One aspect with cooking and smoking on your BBQ smoker that is overlooked: your water pan! The water pan is an important part of smoking meat and I have experimented with and without a BBQ water pan. When I did not use a water pan, I had to set the meat to smoke on aluminum foil so it would sit in its juices to insure it stayed moist. With a water pan, the heated moisture enters the smoking and cooking chamber to moisten your meat.
There are a couple cool techniques on how to use your water pan and experimentation with get you the results you'd like. I have used Apple juice before and I really liked the results because it provided a sweetness but the sweet was not too overbearing. Another juice that can be used is orange juice and pineapple juice. The orange juice in your water pan is great for grilling and smoking fish. The pineapple juice works with all types of food because it also has a sweetness to it that you will enjoy.
The metal water pan is not a big investment. I've seen them at local stores for as low as $5 because it is simply metal. You don't need to make a big financial investment over $20. If you'd rather not go ahead and fill your BBQ water pan with a juice, you can simply use tap water to fill it. Bottled water is not necessary in your water pan. One important aspect to use your water pan is to not let your water pan go dry. This will create a "burn" and you don't want that dry air filling your cooking and smoking chamber. This is one bad technique I have made the mistake with before. I really didn't like the outcome when I let the water pan burn with no fluids in the pan. Although you may have to keep a close eye if you don't fill up the pan, you can fill it higher in the pan to help you out in this way. Once you set your water pan in your smoker you should not need to move it. This will help you to not turn it over and put your fire out or dampen the coals you have worked hard to make. So, next time you cook and smoke your food, I highly recommend you take advantage of using a water pan!
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