When do you put water in water pan ??

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by dcw, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. dcw

    dcw SMF Premier Member

    I am new to smoking...just bought the stainless MES with the window and digital control. I have smoked a sirloin tip roast and some salmon fillets. Both turned out well.

    I used water in the water pan for both the sirloin and the salmon.

    When is it appropriate to use water in the pan and when do you run with no water ?? Any "rules of thumb" when to use water ?


  2. ronp

    ronp OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You should use it always. It will help with the heat mass and keep temps steady. Put it in right away.

    Good luck with your new toy.
  3. Ron said it, you would use water for almost everything.
    As to when to add water, I boil the water on the stove, and about 15 min. prior to putting the meat in add the water to the preheated MES. I have an older 750 watt MES and I preheat for 1 to 2 hours. With the new 1200 watt element preheating isn't needed as much. But understand the reason to preheat is to thoroughly all the metal in the cabinet, once the metal is thoroughly heated the MES holds temp and recovers very fast.

    My grates are on the top shelf during preheat, this leaves a nice easy cavity to easily pour boiling water into the water pan.
  4. dcw

    dcw SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the quick reply !!

    This forum is a wealth of info.

    Kinda hard to decide what to smoke next !!!


  5. mama's smoke

    mama's smoke SMF Premier Member

    I always use a mix of apple juice and water. With chuckies, I use beef broth and onions.
  6. I always get my water nice and hot then put it in my smoker right away. I have not yet tried putting apple juice or broth in mine.
  7. I use water/ juice mixtures and occasonally beer, but i use it for every smoke...
  8. mballi3011

    mballi3011 OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My smoker has water in it right now and I haven't smoked in it for days. You always use the water pan with water all the time you are smoking. Like Ron said.
  9. Never saw the reason to heat up the water before placing in the pan. It is not there to help cook the meat but to stabilize temps. You can add flavorings to it, but you will see little flavor from doing so. Don't over fill you pan, only on long smokes like turkeys or ribs would I add a full pan. Usually I have around 1/2 to 3/4 full. In colder temps try using Playbox sand instead. It will help you to achieve higher and more constant temps.

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