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Water Smokers vs. Dry Heat

Hello,[p]I'm thinking of getting a smoker - used an egg before, but I'm having thoughts about a water smoker. It seems logical that the moist smoke would produce moister meat. Is this correct???[p]Thanks in advance


  • Yes to Stan, in a metal water smoker.

  • mollysharkmollyshark Posts: 1,519
    But would that necessarily translate into more flavor?

  • Stan Fyfe,[p] It does stand to reason that a more moisture-rich environment will produce moister meat. After all, think of a roast that comes out of a crock pot after you cook the holy heck out of it. However I don't really think there is that much difference between the amount of moisture in a water smoker and a BGE, especially if you use a drip pan in the BGE. Most water smokers seem to be a fairly open environment. This meant two things to me when I used to use a water smoker: first, it was hard to maintain control over the charcoal (not much if adjustment avaialable) so the water pan acted as a heat buffer to keep the temperature in the low 200s (in other words, a lot of the energy from the charcoal went into boiling the water) making the lack of charcoal control moot; second, I had to keep it out the wind or it wouldn't stay hot enough. That being said, the more expensive ones are probably better than the Wal*Mart special I used to use. The BGE is much more of a closed system and seems to retain moisture very well (this goes hand-in-hand with it being so efficient in its use of lump charcoal). For example, when I cook pulled pork, it is not uncommon for me to have some black goo come out of the bottom vent of the BGE. This is just the moisture from the pork dripping down the sides and taking some of the black deposits from the side of my BGE with it. I was able to get pretty darn good results with the water smoker and I get awsome results from Mr. Avocado. But honestly, moistness of the meat seems to be improved since the switch the BGE. Plus I've got the added versatility it provides. But as we all know, YMMV.[p]MikeO
  • CatCat Posts: 556
    Stan Fyfe,[p]The moisture a water pan adds to the air - and the meat - is negligible. As MikeO notes, what the water does is buffer the bottom of the meat from direct heat.[p]Cathy
  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Stan Fyfe,[p]I totally agree with MikeO but wanted to add a point why there is water in the water smoker - its to help replace the moisture lost in the smoker. Their is vertually no insulation at all so it requires much more heat to replace the lost heat from the metal sides and top. These conduct heat easily compared to 3/4" ceramic. The result is that little fuel is used in the Egg and little moisture from the meat is lost since there is a vary much reduced air flow thru the Egg compared to a metal smoker.[p]Tim
    [ul][li]Tim's BGE website & cookbook[/ul]
  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    MollyShark, not really, with the exception the ceramic is more versatile for long low and slow smoke results. There are some of the pro's that have modified the water smokers to give better results. But for full year round all temperature cooks, the ceramics still take top choice for taste, long term durability, fuel consumption and ease of use.
    Just my view from my back porch...:-)

  • ZipZip Posts: 372
    Cat,[p]Well said and very correct![p]Ashley

  • ChefRDChefRD Posts: 438
    Stan Fyfe,
    Hello. Heres my $.02 worth. I used a brinkman smoker for years before getting the egg and these are my own observations so take them for what their worth. :)[p]I got good results with ribs, turkeys, etc. but could not regulate the temp and get a long enough burn time for pulled pork. The fire pan and the drip pan lasted only a couple of years due to rusting/cracking. My major complaint with this type of water smoker was that I couldn't use it in winter months, but for the cost of the unit, it is a good little smoker.
    The BGE has a much higher level of performance and of course you pay for it, but since it won't wear out I feel it is well worth it. As for moist foods, I typically brine my turkeys and I have had one acutually explode from the insides due to so much moisture being created during the cooking process. :) It was kinda ugly but tasted great! :)[p]If you can spend the money for it, I say go for it and I bet you won't be sorry. You can cook just about anything you want (who would have thought of cooking pizzas on a grill??:)) and it will always do a great job.
    Good luck with your decision and keep us posted.

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    ChefRD,[p]An honest and very accurate assessment. I welcome your $0.02 anytime.[p]Spin

  • ChefRDChefRD Posts: 438
    Spin, Thank you for your response. If it wasn't for you I would have 'never' thought you could cook pizza on a 'charcoal' grill!! :-) But after trying it, we were absolutely shocked that it tasted so good! I was very skeptical at first, but now I am a believer, and I have surprised many others too with the taste.
    BTW, I never did thank you for the pizza sauce you gave me (by way of "Fingers" at eggtoberfest '99), so I will say it now, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
    After ~ 3 years I'm still amazed at how nice the people are on this forum. We hope very much to meet you, JJ, TimM, GFW and many others in Waldorf '01.
    best to you,

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    ChefRD,[p]I know I am anxious to meet you too. I hope you're going to do those wonderful chicken wings at Eggfest2001 in April.[p]Tim
    [ul][li]Eggfest2001 - April 28[/ul]
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