This may be a dumb question to some but isn't the purpose of a water pan to replace moisture lost in a non-insulated smoker? I have a Party with 3 inch insulation that maintains temps great. I always use the water pan and everything always comes out wonderful. I've been looking at getting a Fast Eddie (one day) and was wondering why they don't use water. Is it a charcoal thing?
Kmart, a fast eddie doesn't use charcoal but rather pellets. A water pan for most cookers is used to even out the heat in the cooker. I've used a water pan in a stumps clone and it made the meat to mushy for me. Next cook we didn't use the water pan and the meat was much better. Butts have enough moisture in the meat in my opinion that you probably don't need to use a water pan. Now I'm basing this on cooking with WSM's mostly. I've got a Competitor and haven't tried the no water method yet. Briskets and ribs you still might want to use the water pan. Hope this helps some.
Somewhat. I understand that the Fast Eddie doesn't use charcoal. That's what brought up the question. Guess I should have been more specific when I asked if it is a charcoal thing when you see water pans in charcoal smokers. The dimensions on an FEC100 are close to a Pro Jr. One uses a water pan/charcoal, the other doesn't. I talked to someone at the Charcoal Store and they said a water pan is for non-insulated smokers to replace the moisture lost within the meat. I did a butt on my Party this past New Years day with about a gallon in the water pan and it came out as tender as you could ever imagine, wrapping it after 160 (6 hours). Would I have the same results without any water in the pan? If so, is the pan just recommended for ribs and brisket?
ok, this is just my opinion. An insulated cooker probably doesn't need a water pan. I use two wsm's and have not used the water pan with water in it for over a year or so now. In a small cooker with the firebox directly under the meat you need some kind of diverter - again my opinion. I use the water pan with a flower pot base as my heat diverter.
Chubby, Party, and Gator. We run all 3 of those models dry. You have to learn how to control the fire without water. Also, we found the heat diverter helps if you are running dry. I don't think Mike from Backwoods supports this method it has worked well for our team.
I.A.B. 30 BBQ Phoenix, AZ
Backwoods Gator Backwoods Party (2) Backwoods Chubby
Used the water pan on yesterdays cook. Hightest temp was 264 degrees...much better than 300. Next cook I'll try with the lava rock. Another question presented itself to me yesterday. I only cooked 3 pork butts in the Competitor and was wondering if there is a preferred place in the cooker to cook them. I put two butts on the middle rack and 1 below that. Is the back of the cooker hotter than the front...left side hotter that the right?