Should You Use A Water Pan In A Smoker

  • Published on:  2/26/2021
  • Hey everyone, today we’re going to answer a question I get a lot and that is should I use a water pan in my smoker? Water pans are almost a polarizing thing in the BBQ world, many folks think that by using a water pan you’ll make BBQ that is more moist. While that isn’t necessarily true, there are several advantages to running a water pan. The first and most obvious advantage is by introducing a large body of water into your cooking chamber you now have a very large thermal mass that is going to help you keep your temperatures more stable. Because water can only get to its boiling point and then becomes steam this water pan will help keep your temperatures from spiking, as well as help the cooking chamber recover heat after opening and closing your lid. The second advantage is that as the water boils and becomes steam, steam is much better at transferring energy than air is. This is interesting because in some instances if you generate enough steam you will actually notice your bark on your protein will set quicker than it would normally. This all has to do with how much more efficient steam is at transferring that energy into your protein. The last advantage we want to talk about today is that it helps keep the outside of your protein moist. While we all love bark, I think we can all agree that there is a difference between tasty bark, and just dried out meat. With a water pan, where you would normally have to spritz, you may find that you don’t need to do it as often. Now to me the biggest downside to running a water pan is you need to remember to clean it up immediately after the cook. If you close down a cooker with a half full water pan with water and grease in it, you may open it up to cook the next time and find a brand new science experiment. Other than that one caveat I enjoy cooking with a water pan and if you’ve never tried it before give it a shot and let me know what you think of it.

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