Design Question: Removal or Fixed Water Pan for a RF Smoker?

Discussion about Reverse Flow Smokers
Post Reply
Conley
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: May 14th, 2022, 7:23 am

Design Question: Removal or Fixed Water Pan for a RF Smoker?

Post by Conley » May 21st, 2022, 7:03 pm

HI!

I’ve been thinking about the designing a new vertical, reverse flow smoker to replace my Chubby Backwoods Smoker, which is rusting. One of the biggest questions I have, is what style of water pan should I use? Should it be a fixed water pan, or a removal water pan. I plan to use the smoker several times a month, and not all those cooks will need a water pan.

If I design it for a removal water pan, I would size the smoker for a full size standard hotel pan (12.75” by 20.75” by 4” deep) and weld in a C-channel 4.5” off the bottom of the cook chamber. The pan would just slide in and out on the C-channel rails. This would allow me to slide in and out during to cook. This will help with refilling the pan during an extended cook.

If I design it for a fixed water pan, I would have a 4” vertical height pan between the firebox and the bottom of the cook chamber. It would have a port one side and the whole water pan would be sloped to drain. I would also add a filler pipe to the backside of the chamber in a manner such that I could refill the pan without opening the cook chamber door. If I saw moisture/smoke leaving the top of the filler pipe, I would know the water level is low and add more water. I think it would also make the cleanup easier after a cook.

If I planned to use this as an everyday wet smoker, then I think the fixed water pan system is a no brainer. However, my infrequent use of the smoker may add some complications that I am unaware of that would favor a removal water pan for cleaning and/or sanitary issues. Which style would you recommend, and why? I look forward to your suggestions.

Thanks in advance,
David



User avatar
Pete Mazz
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 3351
Joined: February 16th, 2013, 8:19 am
Title: Meathead
Location: Bucks County, PA

Re: Design Question: Removal or Fixed Water Pan for a RF Smoker?

Post by Pete Mazz » May 22nd, 2022, 2:28 am

I built a vertical and just added a shelf near the bottom and use a metal tray that hold the same sized foil pan. Don't have to worry about clean up as I just toss the foil tray when it's no longer any good.


If it's tourist season, how come I can't shoot 'em?

Don't speak the language? Try this: Smoker Terminology

Try my SmokerBuilder Calculators

User avatar
Dirtytires
Expert
Expert
Posts: 3735
Joined: November 24th, 2015, 12:36 am
Title: It ain't broke...yet
BBQ Comp Team Name: Dont compete...cook for events once in a while
Location: Phoenix, Az

Re: Design Question: Removal or Fixed Water Pan for a RF Smoker?

Post by Dirtytires » May 22nd, 2022, 11:37 am

Make it removable. If you use one, it will need to be cleaned and filled so removable is a must. Personally, I haven't used one on over 10 years. I got tired of the extra fuss and skipped it once only to find that it wasn't necessary so just never went back to them.



Conley
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: May 14th, 2022, 7:23 am

Re: Design Question: Removal or Fixed Water Pan for a RF Smoker?

Post by Conley » May 24th, 2022, 7:02 pm

Pete, I like the way you think!! I was leaning towards a removal pan and using a disposal foil pan is a great way to get rid of the nasty gunk in the water pan.

Dirtytires, I have always used a water pan for cooks around 225 degrees, like pork butts and spareribs. I use a dry pan for everything over 250 degrees, or cold smokes. Those are my habits. I’ll have to experiment with a dry pan the next time I do spareribs to see if it is a good or bad habit.

Thanks all,
David



Post Reply

Return to “Reverse Flow Smokers”