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Do you use a drip pan ?

fairchasefairchase Posts: 293
edited January 2012 in Pork
 When doing low and slows do you use a drip pan ? If so do you use water in it to keep the fats and juices from burning ?


  • ChokeOnSmokeChokeOnSmoke Posts: 1,909
    edited January 2012
    Yes, always, and for just that reason.
    Packerland, Wisconsin

  • CrimsongatorCrimsongator Posts: 5,795
    I typically wrap the platesetter in foil but do not use a drip pan.
  • yep, liquid in it can be beer, wine, water or stock just depends on the cook.  Aromatics also in the drip pan.
    Large, small and mini now Egging in Rowlett Tx
  • FxLynchFxLynch Posts: 433
    I do put liquid in, but only to keep the drippings from burning.  I don't subscribe to the school of thought that the liquid from the pan with go into the meat, but I do see that keeping a more moisture rich environment inside the grill might be a good thing.  

    Putting some sort of spacer between the plate setter and the drip pan will also keep the liquid in the drip pan from boiling out as soon.

  • i normally just make a homemade pan out of aluminum foil, and throw it way at the end.  just to keep the plate setter a little cleaner.  never used any liquid in a pan other than a turkey,


    XL   Walled Lake, MI

  • tnbarbqtnbarbq Posts: 248
    I use a drip pan to keep plate setter cleaner.  I don't put liquid in either.  I'm smokin not steamin.
    Mid TN. Hangin' in the 'Boro. MIM Judge
  • Hungry JoeHungry Joe Posts: 1,538

    I use a drip pan on the plate setter with three pennies in each corner
    to keep it from touching. This keeps the drippings from burning. I also
    line it with aluminum for easy clean up. I have put apple juice and
    apple cider vinegar in it when doing pork butts. The vinegar gives the
    pork a nice flavor.

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,874
    Drip pan, no liquid unless the drippings are burning.

    I get better flavor from moping the food, rather than letting fluid from the pan evaporate.

    Something I came across recently indicates that fluid in the pan might actually quicken the cooking. The notion is that the more water vapor there is in the chamber, the better the heat is transmitted to the food. The same article mentions that wood smoke has quite a lot of moisture in it, and adding moisture in a charcoal burner would be a better replication of a stick burner.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,498

    Hi gdenby-

    Interesting third para in your above post-must be related to the saturated vs dry heat (think steam room and sauna and the relative temps).  Should you have the reference I'm sure there are a few of us who would like to further explore and understand the concept.  TIA

    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,874
    The info is gather from "Modernist Cuisine," and perhaps some other comments by N. Mhyrvold, one of the authors. The book has info spread out over 5 volumes, and there are discussions on relative humidity in smoking and BBQ scattered across several volumes. There are several mentions about how higher humidity helps cooking. As is noted in the books, no one minds sticking their arm into a 450 F oven for a minute, but no one would do that even for a few seconds in water, much less oil. Adding moisture improves the mechanical transfer of heat.

    Elsewhere, perhaps in an interview, he mentions that wood fires have lots of moisture, because even seasoned wood is still about half water by weight. There is also discussion about what Rh to use in high end smokers to achieve the best effect.There is mention of gauges for smokers, but I have found nothing online that I would risk in a modestly hot Egg. Old fashioned psychrometers would probably survive, but not give a good reading as they are designed for room temperatures. I am left with a guess that getting steam into the Egg would make cooking more rapid, but I haven't any specific amount of water.

    I foresee some pleasant experiments: "The efficiency of hot apple cider in drip pans upon the cooking of fatties."
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,498

    Thanks for the summary of information.  Some interesting comments about the role of moisture.  I too am interested in playing around with major liquid in a drip pan to see what comes of it.  Somehow, I doubt my scientific data capture will achieve anything worth publishing but the experiments will be fun.  Enjoy the journey and thanks again.

    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,874
    I did some searches. It appears that in an oven environment, adding moisture does not improve the speed of heat transfer to the food. I found several references to the thermal conductivity of humid vs. dry air. While the thermal conductivity of both air and water vapor increase with temperature, the conductivity of water vapor is so much lower that increased humidity does not heat the food faster than dry air.

    Evidently, hot oxygen, nitrogen and Co2 will give up their kinetic energy to foods faster than water vapor will.

    I found a couple of statements from high end oven websites that mentioned that meat would lose less water weight, but take longer to cook at higher humidities.

    The other thing that seems important is that higher levels of humidity allow more smoke penetration.

    Perhaps the guideline is that a dry drip pan will mean the meat cooks faster, but a wet one will mean a smokier flavor, and a more moist mouthfeel.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,498

    I like your summary-makes sense and after reading your notes above I remembered an article I was pointed toward by someone on a BGE forum related to the physics of the "stall".  Here's the link and a pretty solid explanation: 

    Not sure how this will enhance the flavor of my offerings but nice to know a bit of the reasons "why".

    At least the thread is not totally hijacked yet:)

    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • I use a drip pan filled with apple juice and water for low and slow boston butts. I add liquid about every 4-6 hours to make sure that liquid remains in the pan...burnt drippings can give off nasty smoke.

    Afterwards, I strain the drippings and add a little back to the pulled pork for a little added flavor and moisture.  Plus I find that adding a little to a ziplock before refrigeration or freezing will help retain moisture when reheated later.
  • For those who dont want to collect the drippings for later use I this tip on Cooks Country. Salt the bottom of the drip pan to prevent the dripping from burning.
    Large, small and mini now Egging in Rowlett Tx
  • fairchasefairchase Posts: 293
    edited January 2012
    For those who dont want to collect the drippings for later use I this tip on Cooks Country. Salt the bottom of the drip pan to prevent the dripping from burning.
    Really ? That sounds interesting .  I've never heard of such, but I'll check it out.
     Have you got a link ?
  • BakerManBakerMan Posts: 159
    @lousubcap - very interesting article on the "stall".  Thanks for sharing.
    BakerMan - Purcellville, VA "When its smokin' its cookin', when its black its done"
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