pan or no pan

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pan or no pan

Post  lipsmacking on Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:31 pm

hi guys ( bet im doin your head in with these silly questions )

well basically i wanted to know the pros and cons of using the water pan, and not using it.

but really how to use it, when ive done me cooking so far ive always used the pan until the end but can i use it on all meats or just certain ones or cook half with half without just looking for some advice really


mat

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Re: pan or no pan

Post  steveheyes on Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:38 pm

Hey Mat,

I'm pretty new to smoking but I did quite a bit of reading around before getting my smoker and I experimented with the pan a but when I did a dry run for seasoning the smoker.

Basically the waterpan does a few things. It acts as a kind of diffuser for the heat from the coals. If you cook without it you'll hit higher temps. I did this with chickens to get a crispy skin cooking at over 300f. What I found was that the temp was a bit more unstable and I had to do a bit of tuning on the vents. I also found a greater variance in temps between the upper and lower chambers.

With a dry pan it still ran hot but I think it was a bit more stable. Easily got high two hundreds with vents only slightly open.

With water in the pan I found my e20 ran nice at 220 - 250 and I found nice steady temps between chambers. Only 5 - 7 degrees variance. Some people use sand or foil balls in the pan. I've not tried this but from a temp point of view it's the same principle the heat transfers to the cooking chambers through a conducter that is a lot slower than air. The heat from the coal heats the water/sand which is a poor conductor thus it transfers heat in a slower way giving stability and sustained heat.

With sand there's no risk of running dry and getting a temp spike on longer cooks.

However another factor is that water will increase humidity in the cooker. This changes the characteristics of the cooker just like fan assisted conventional ovens can lead to dryer food as they are less humid. Humidity is a preference thing. If you want you can use a combination of sand foil and water to get the humidity and remove the risk of spiking at the end of the cook

One thing I want to do is experiment with using the right amount of water to get spikes by running out so I can slow cook chicken and then spike at the end to crisp the chicken. Also I'd like to put water and fat in the pan so I can boil spuds then they'll roast when the water runs dry giving that fluffy roasty texture you get by boiling til they start to break down then roasting. God knows if it'll work and whether I'll be able to get consistent water use in order to achieve what I want. But my point is there's loads of things you can play with and chances are your food will turn out good anyway as long as you cook to internal temps.

I'd just try out different things if I were you, that's what I'll be doing!

Sorry this post is long but I hope you'll get something from reading it.
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Re: pan or no pan

Post  Treegje on Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:32 am

I fully agree with steve
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Re: pan or no pan

Post  Dr_KY on Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:42 am

I third that.
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Re: pan or no pan

Post  ILBBQS.com on Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:37 pm

Not much more to say, other than...

Ditto. Smile
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Re: pan or no pan

Post  lipsmacking on Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:40 pm

thank you steve gonna have some more practice this weekend

cheers for the reply really helps

mat

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