Water pan or not for pulled pork in a MES?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by dieselrealtor, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. I have allways used the waterpan in the ECB & now in the MES, are there different schools of thought?

    Maybe keep it in with no water to catch drippings?

    Doing a couple of butts now, about 2 hours into the smoke.

    thanks in advance.
  2. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Some believe water in the pan is for moisture and some believe it's used for a heat sink.

    I inject my meat and do not use water in the pan. It's lined with foil, and I use the drippings.

    If water is so important for moisture, then where is the water pan in a stick burner?

  3. hardslicer

    hardslicer Smoking Fanatic

    I have always used a water pan....but lately have been thinking about doing a pork butt without one.....I want a nice bark on it and the water seems to keep it kinda soft......juicy but soft......I have an electric smoker fyi
  4. I pulled the pan & dumped it.

    Gonna use it to catch the drippings, separate the fat in the morning & pour the ooey goodness back onto the meat after it is pulled.

    We will see how it turns out, hope it is OK as we are serving to company tomorrow afternoon.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2011
  5. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I don't have a MES but in my drums I use a pan. #1 to keep my smoker clean, #2 I use water so the fat doesn't burn creating sour smoke. But that's just me. 
  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    To use water or not is a personal preference. Try it both ways and see which you like better.
  7. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I like Al's idea...

    Try it both ways

    When I fist got my MES, I used the water pan religiously, but one day tried smoking pork butts without water.  I got a good bark, and the pork was plenty juicy.  I took the water pan and threw it in the freezer for about 20 minutes.  Once the fat was hard, I scraped it off and saved the rest to add to a finishing sauce.

    All the steam being released thru the exhaust gave me false sense of smoke, especially in cooler weather.

    The other reason I don't use water in the pan, is my little gadget performs much better without a water pan.

  8. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    >>>>>>my little gadget performs much better without a water pan.  

    I am just not gonna go there...

    I dont use water in my MES or WSM.

    Have slate plates in the MES and a 12 inch flower pot saucer in the WSM.


      Have a great day!!

  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That is a matter of personal preference.

    However you are always supposed to keep your water pan in position when using an MES---with or without water.

    I cover mine with foil, and keep it in there. On a rare occasion, I may put water in it, but only for holding heat (boiling water), or adding moisture (very seldom).

    If I want to catch drippings, I put a nice clean throw-away foil pan in, up closer to the meat.

    My 2¢

  10. hardslicer

    hardslicer Smoking Fanatic

    that's why I ask....you guys always have good, clear and quick answers.....I appreciate you sharing your experience....[​IMG]

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