Does any of you use a clay saucer instead of water ?

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Does any of you use a clay saucer instead of water ?

Post  Ton on Sun Aug 02, 2009 4:10 pm

Although I may not have searched good enough, I didn't see any mentioning of using a clay saucer instead of water or sand in the water pan.
It is quite popular on the Virtual Weber Bullet and also on our dutch bbq forum. I used it on my WSM and it worked great.
Now I am trying it with my ProQ Excel 20 on my first cook with it and as far as I can see it works great there too.
I have a 14" clay saucer (the saucer you put beneath a flower pot) and put it, foiled, in the water pan and cover the water pan subsequently with a few layers of foil.
Now, in the ProQ with 1 stacker and using the minion method, the temperature rose very quickly to around 260F and after closing the vents partially and putting the ribs in, it fell to 225-235F and srtays there until now.
Very easy to clean, because you only have to remove and renew the foil on the pan for the next cook.

Ton
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Re: Does any of you use a clay saucer instead of water ?

Post  Mack on Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:31 am

Hi Ton,
I have heard about the clay saucer mod, but don't know anyone here in the UK that uses it. Perhaps you would be kind enough to post some pictures for us all to see.
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Re: Does any of you use a clay saucer instead of water ?

Post  Ton on Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:10 pm

Hi Ian,

I still have to find out how to post pictures here, but one of the members of our dutch bbq forum made a very clear and nice description with pictures on his blog here:
http://www.bbq-nl.com/2008/07/wsm-waterpan-aanpassing.html
I translated the page into english here:
http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=nl&tl=en&u=http://www.bbq-nl.com/2008/07/wsm-waterpan-aanpassing.html
Although the translated english is rather bad, I think the pictures tell it all.
You will need an unglazed clay saucer. For my WSM I used a 12" one, but because the ProQ has such a big waterpan, I bought one of 14" diameter.
As I wrote already it worked great for the ProQ Excel 20 too. I used the minion method, although with a bit more lit coals (half a Weber chimney lit coals on a full Weber chimney with unlit coals).
Temp rose rather quickly to 260-270F, but settled then to around 235F and stayed so for 4 hours. When I opened all vents completely at then, I could finish with 275F.

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Re: Does any of you use a clay saucer instead of water ?

Post  Dr_KY on Mon Aug 03, 2009 4:43 pm

I use it in my large drum smoker.
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Re: Does any of you use a clay saucer instead of water ?

Post  hartlenb on Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:48 pm

Besides moderating the temperature, isn't the resulting steam one of the other benefits of using water (instead of sand or a clay saucer)? I thought I read somewhere that the steam helps keep the meat moist.

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Re: Does any of you use a clay saucer instead of water ?

Post  Ton on Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:19 pm

At first I have to admit that I am a newbie.
But I gathered that you can compensate for that by mopping a few times more.

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Clay Saucer

Post  3Dragons on Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:54 am

I used a 14 inch clay saucer (it's actually the bottom for a flower pot) today for the first time. It worked awesome. Using the water before, a lot of times I had a hard time getting the smoker above 200 degrees, or maintaining it, and that was with the 3 vents on the bottom fully open and usually on a hot day.

Today, I wrapped the top of my water pan and the saucer with tin foil to make clean up easier and did everything else as normal. I barely had to have the 3 vents open at all and I easily kept my temp at 220 all day. I did an 11 hour smoke and had to add more lump charcoal only once. I did use a mop sauce a few times but the bbq was moist and juicy. I will be using the saucer from now on.
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Re: Does any of you use a clay saucer instead of water ?

Post  zino on Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:18 pm

this is indeed very nice news to me!
I only miss how to have extra moisture in the meat.
I know the steam you get from a water pan keeps the cooking chamber quite well humid thus the saturation do delay the liquid leakage from the meat.
You can mop but cannot recover the loss, or am I mistaken?

I am very attracted by the use of the clay saucer, because yesterday I did a 10 hours smoking a pork cut and I had many difficulties in raising the temp even up to 95C. Worst case was when introducing new (boiling) water: the temp always dropped down to 85C!!!
But i don't want to omit the "moist factor"
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Re: Does any of you use a clay saucer instead of water ?

Post  3Dragons on Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:48 pm

zino wrote:this is indeed very nice news to me!
I only miss how to have extra moisture in the meat.
I know the steam you get from a water pan keeps the cooking chamber quite well humid thus the saturation do delay the liquid leakage from the meat.
You can mop but cannot recover the loss, or am I mistaken?

I am very attracted by the use of the clay saucer, because yesterday I did a 10 hours smoking a pork cut and I had many difficulties in raising the temp even up to 95C. Worst case was when introducing new (boiling) water: the temp always dropped down to 85C!!!
But i don't want to omit the "moist factor"

I was wondering about the "moist factor" too. I didn't miss it at all. My pork shoulder was as moist and delicious as ever. I did mop mine but maybe 4 or 5 times in the 11 hour smoke. After the smoking was done, I wrapped it in foil and put it in a small cooler covered by towels for an hour. Then I opened it up and used 2 forks to "pull it". It was very good.

I intend to try injecting it with some type of mixture sometime to try that in the future.
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