Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
With winter in full gear, we’re enjoying all the awesome photos of EGGs in the cold weather. Stay warm with some of our favorite Dutch oven recipes: Chicken & Dumplings, Chili Con Carne and BLT Soup.

The Big Green Egg headquarters has moved - come visit our new location and check out the museum! 3786 DeKalb Technology Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30340

Water Pan or Not?

QDudeQDude Posts: 578
edited August 2012 in EggHead Forum
My friend has a large BGE and I have an XL.  We were debating the merits last night of putting a water pan in the egg to keep the food moist.  I don't believe that any water is needed but he insisted that it helps.  What has been your experience?

A northern Colorado Egghead since 2012!

XL and a Small BGE.

·

Comments

  • Don't think you will see much difference. I'll use water, juice, beer or wine if I want to save the drippings but it's not neccessary for the meat.
    ·
  • +1 what Lil Steven said.  Also, my preference is to put spacers under any pans (whether they have water in them or not) so as to NOT scorch the bottom and/or ruin the stuff in the pan, and the pan itself.  I tried using a pan to catch the turkey drippings from doing a Mad Max turkey one time (in order to use those drippings in his go-to gravy recipe), and ended up NOT being able to use the drippings cuz everything was scorched to the bottom of the pan, and I ended up having to throw the pan away cuz I couldn't get the stuff off!! 

    But, at any rate, you should NOT need to use a pan of liquid to keep food moist in the Egg - the Egg does just fine @ keeping foods moist, all by itself. 
    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
    ·
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 12,481
    Water in the drip pan cools it so the fats don't boil off and give the meat a bad taste.  Water is making a one-way trip outta your meat - part of the cooking process.  I doubt you'll raise the relative humidity much unless your water pan is boiling right on the coals.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

    ·
  • tazcrashtazcrash Posts: 1,847
    Water in my old smoker was used to keep the temps down, and help keep temps low and steady.
    The ceramic composition, and air tightness of the egg does that. 
    Bx - > NJ ->TX!!! 
    All to get cheaper brisket! 
    ·
  • bud812bud812 Posts: 1,290
    tazcrash said:
    Water in my old smoker was used to keep the temps down, and help keep temps low and steady.
    The ceramic composition, and air tightness of the egg does that. 

    +1 on that one. The good ol WSM days.

    Not to get technical, but according to chemistry alcohol is a solution...

    Large & Small BGE

    Stockton Ca.

    ·
  • AleBrewerAleBrewer Posts: 555
    Yep...had a water pan in my old LP smoker. I filled it with sand, not water. It helped to maintain temps in the smoker.

    Don't think you really need one in the egg. I do drip pans all the time though....raised on four 5/8" stainless nuts so as to avoid the burnt stuff.
    ·
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited August 2012
    Wet environments dont keep food moist when cooking. They can make the cook more gentle (steam), or deliver the heat energy uniformly and quickly to the meat (boiling), or help meld flavors while both steaming and braising

    But you can dry out meat just as easily with a wet environment, in fact FASTER than a dry environment, by just overcooking. Overcooking is (for our purposes) the only thing that will cause dry meat.

    Roast one chicken breast at say350 and boil another one (at 212, obv), make sure both go in at the same time (when oven and water are at temp). The boiled one is in a lower temp environment, but it will cook faster and be just as dry when over done

    It's all about what temp the meat is when you take it off
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
    ·
  • I like using liquid in the our drip pans, we also inject as well as vacuum marinade our long cooks.

    We gain 17% more moistness out of our cooks using liquid in the drip pans.  Every little bit helps.

     

     

    -SMITTY     

    from SANTA CLARA, CA

    ·
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    17% is excellent
    Most people average 12-14%

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
    ·
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 12,481
    What does that percentage mean?
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

    ·
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,526
    one could make the arguement that it takes a bigger fire to hold 250 dome temps with a full water pan. bigger fire means more draft, more draft means more air flowing over the meat, maybe the increased fan effect causes more drying than a smaller fire and no water pan
    ·
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 12,481
    edited August 2012
    If you can make a dent in the humidity, heat transfer increases with an increase in humidity for a given temperature.  So, at atmospheric pressure, food will cook faster in a steam oven than in a dry oven at, say, 210 F.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

    ·
  • What are you cooking? 

    Pork shoulder - no need.  Plus, on an overnight cook, I'd expect the water pan to dry up then the temp would get too hot. 

    Ribs - I guess I'd rather foil if I wanted extra moisture (I'm currently on the fence about this)

    Is water really the problem?  In barbecue, it's the melted fat that keeps the meat moist.


    ·
  • The only time I put water in my Egg is if I let the temp get away from me during start up.  The mass of the water absorbs excess heat and cools the Egg which lets me get away with having a doofus moment.  Using the water to keep the meat moist is not needed in the Egg.

    ........................................................................................

    Flint, Michigan.  Named the most dangerous city in America by the F.B.I. three years running.

    We invented the U.A.W. and carjacking!

    ·
  • DuganboyDuganboy Posts: 1,118
    Most of the eggers who use a water pan, have previous experience with other smokers and equate the need for a water pan with what they have grown accustomed to.
    ·
  • NibbleMeThisNibbleMeThis Posts: 2,246
    My wife often uses a piece of stoneware with water in it on top of the platesetter when baking certain breads on her Egg but that is specific to baking.

    I usually leave my drip pan empty and on spacers for roasting and smoking, like others.
    ·
  • AdamdAdamd Posts: 160
    I use a small egg and use a water pan only because I have a metal bowl that I used with my old smoker that fits perfect on the platesetter when flipped upside down so the bowl is sitting on the feet. 

    I use it because it is easy to set up and don't see it hurting so why not...
    ·
  • BrownieBrownie Posts: 1,022
    stike said:
    17% is excellent Most people average 12-14%
    Couldn't agree more. I rarely see these percentages.
    ·
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    I hit 18% once back in 2006, but since then average only 11-12.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
    ·
  • OutcastOutcast Posts: 112
    Extech Wood Moisture Meter
    In case you need to check your moisture levels.
    ·
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 12,481
    Oh, basically a conductivity meter.  Salt your meat more to make it more conductive, I mean, conducive to higher moisture readings.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

    ·
  • SkinnyVSkinnyV Posts: 2,298
    I see no difference , so I don't bother.
    Seattle, WA
    ·
  • MikeP624MikeP624 Posts: 292

    stike said:
    Wet environments dont keep food moist when cooking.
    stike said:
    17% is excellent Most people average 12-14%
    I am confused by your responses. First you said wet environments do not keep food moist. Then the next post you commented on SmittytheSmoker's post about increased moisture due to a drip pan and said you see a 11 to 12% increase in moisture.  Am I missing something?
    ·
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 12,481
    edited August 2012
    You can't gain water weight unless you inject it or use magic.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

    ·
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i am screwing with smitty, just as he was screwing with me.  12%? 17%? 
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
    ·
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 12,481
    ..or it's that time of the month

    :))
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

    ·
  • AleBrewerAleBrewer Posts: 555
    damnit guys......I was just gonna order one of those meters too!
    ·
  • DuganboyDuganboy Posts: 1,118
    Makes you wonder how those old concrete block pits with a piece of tin over them ever produced such mouth watering Q!! #:-S
    ·
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 12,481
    Oh, like Jones BBQ in Arkansas.  That looked like some sweet BBQ.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

    ·
  • DuganboyDuganboy Posts: 1,118
    Oh, like Jones BBQ in Arkansas.  That looked like some sweet BBQ.
    Zackly!!
    ·
Sign In or Register to comment.