Offset Smoker

Where To Put Water Pan In Offset Smoker: For Perfect Smoked Meat

Where to put water pan in offset smoker

Many people want to eat smoked meat in an offset smoker. Most of them also want to learn about offset smokers. Learning about an offset smoker is an enjoyable task in it. If you learned to smoke in an offset smoker, you know everything about it. There are many types of smokers available in the market. Offset smoker, offset smoker with vertical chamber, pellet smoker, ugly drum smoker. 

Many people are curious about placing a water pan in an offset smoker. Most of them thought that it could hurt our smoking. On the contrary, many think that it produces humidity in the smoker. That humidity is precious for a mouthwatering barbecue.  

But the most common question ever seen by smoking lovers is Where to put water pan in offset smoker. This is no doubt a worthy question. We want to satisfy you with an explained answer.

Where to put water pan in offset smoker?

Where to put water pan in offset smoker? Well, its answer is so smooth and effortless. You can place your water pan on the cooking grates. On the other side, where your food is placed. This can give a rich taste to it. 

Cooking grates are placed between the firebox and the food. When you put a water pan on the cooking grates, its vapours mix with smoke and produce steam inside the chamber. These steam help in keeping the food moist and juicy.

Putting the water pan on the cooking grates is the best placement. Because heat and smoke interact with one another on this point. So you have learned to know where to put a water pan in the smoker. 

Many offset smokers have in-built water pans, but if they do not have one, you can put it in an aluminium or steel pan. As we said, the water pan’s best placement is on the cooking grates. But the new and advanced smokers may have a different place for this.

Water pan in the smoker

Water pans in smokers can play a vital role in smoking. It produces moisture in the food. When mixed with the heat and smoke, its vapours give the meat a juicy, tender, and delicious texture. This will increase the taste of your food.

Here is a question from many people should I put water in my smoker? Most people use different liquids rather than water. It can add a mouthwatering flavour to the meat. They not only smoke meat in the smoker, but they also use it for smoking vegetables and eggs and making pizza. Putting a water pan in smoker can also lead these recipes to the top.

Water pan

The water pan is like an additional tastemaker for your smoked meat. It is made up of stainless steel. You can also make a disposable water pan using aluminium foil. It is beneficial for smoking. Water helps to maintain the temperature consistent and makes the food moist.

The water pan can be of any material. Its basic property should be to hold the water. It should have a tight seal that helps to prevent the water from splashing. You should have been careful about this, so it shouldn’t be leaked from anywhere.

Working of water pan

The water pan is a crucial component of any offset smoker. It helps to maintain the temperature inside the smoker. It helps to prevent the food from burning and overcooking. 

Its basic work in an offset smoker is to produce humidity inside the smoker. This humidity makes the food moist and juicy. It won’t damage your food if you do not want to place a water pan in a smoker. But using a water pan smoker can surely give you some benefits. Using a water pan smoker, you can get your desired tender, juicy, smokey meat. 

This will also help to check the temperature of the offset smoker. You can easily monitor this by placing a thermometer in the water pan. A water pan prevents your smoker from temperature rising.

As you know that smoking is a time taking process. There is a danger to your food of being hard and dry. If you want to keep it safe, put a smoker water pan. This water pan in smoker gives you a lump of delicious meat.

Effect of smoker water pan

Smoker water pan has great effects on food. It keeps the food moist and juicy. It prevents the food from being hard and dry. It keeps the temperature consistent the whole time during smoking. It also works as a heat deflector inside the smoker. It can slow down the increasing temperature. 

When the smoker heats up, water in the pan produces vapours. When they condense with the meat’s surface, they create some stickiness. This can make the meat more juicy and smokey flavour. You must think of where to put water pan in offset smoker.

Advantages of smoker water pan

There are several advantages that a water pan gives to your food. 

1- Temperature maintenance

The research says water takes longer to rise and fall to the heat level than the air. 

If you put a water pan in an offset, the temperature goes high. The water inside the pan produces humidity that will control the temperature. On the other side, if the temperature in the smoker goes down. The heat which is already absorbed in the water will maintain the temperature. 

2- Prevents direct heat

Placing the smoker water pan on the cooking grates will prevent the food from direct heat. Placing the pan there would save your food because the cooking grates are between charcoal and food. Also, the water vapours make the heat less effective, and it does not hurt the food.

3- Makes the smoker’s environment moist

The water pan presence inside the smoker makes its environment wet. When water evaporates in the form of vapours, mix with the surface of the meat and makes its surface moist. The humidity the water pan creates makes the smoker’s environment best for the meat. 

4- Smoke rings

When the surface of the meat condenses with the water vapours, the moisture will absorb more chemicals and smoke. This will surely help to create the smoke rings. The moisture also helps smoke particles stick to the meat’s upper crust.  

Water pan plays an important role in making smoke rings. The water inside the water pan creates moisture which will cause the smoke rings on the meat.

Some additional benefits of using a water pan

  • A water pan gives moisture to your food. Food will become more tender, juicy, and flavorful. 
  • You can monitor the temperature by putting a water pan inside the smoker. You can place a thermometer inside the water pan and check the condition of the temperature. This will help you to make the temperature consistent.
  • A water pan also helps you to increase the smoking time. Its moisture lessens the cooking period. This will help to make the food tastier and juicier.
  • The water inside the water pan can cause drops at the surface of the lid of the smoker. These drops fall on the meat and make it moist. 
  • A water pan can also give the surety of even cooking. The food will be safe from being uncooked and unevenly cooked in the presence of water. 

The drawback of putting a water pan 

As we know that everything has drawbacks as well as benefits. Placing a water pan inside the smoker also has some disadvantages. If thinking of benefits is suitable for food, thinking of drawbacks also gives you the best results. Let’s discuss the drawbacks of the smoker water pan.

  • Water is somewhere not good for the smoker. It can make a nuisance sometimes when the smoker does not get heat up.
  • Sometimes it takes two to three hours to return to the normal temperature after smoking of 3-4 hours.
  • Because of being inside for a long time, salt and chemicals make it tough for water to consume smoke. And less smoke means less smokey flavour in the food.
  • Droplets appear on the surface of the lid, dripping down on the meat. These droplets can make the meat’s crust creosote.
  • Another thing you should keep in mind is that you should check the quantity of water. If there is excess water in the reservoir, this will affect the efficiency of the smoker.

As an extra tip, remember that the water pan must b cleaned after every cook. Leaving the water inside will become the poison for your next cook. When you are done with the smoking, dry out the whole smoker. There shouldn’t be remaining water inside the smoker. If the water pan is left inside the smoker, it will make a crust of rust on the smoker. This will surely ruin the taste of the food you will next smoke. 

When should you put a water pan in the offset smoker?

The water pan will surely benefit you when you smoke on low and slow heat for a long period. No matter which kind of food you are going to smoke. If it consumes more time and the heat is low, you must put a water pan. 

When should you not place a water pan in the offset smoker?

   If you smoke on high flame and want to make it quickly, a water pan can disturb the temperature. Water can let down the temperature and make the process lengthy. If you smoke a turkey or any poultry, moisture can destroy the crispy skin. The water inside the pan produces vapours that will create humidity. This can disturb the crispy crust. And poultry is nothing without crispy skin. 

Some additional tips

  • Always add hot water when you use a water pan in an offset smoker. Adding warm water to the pan can help you to heat the smoker a little bit quicker.
  • While adding the water to the pan, ensure it would not spill over. Always fill the pan half or to the highlighted point.
  • If you see that the water is becoming less. Always add hot water because cold water will decrease the temperature.
  • Every time before going to smoke, make sure that the pan is clean. There should not be any remains from the previous cook. It will ruin the taste.
  • Ensure the water pan is on one side of the cooking grates. 
  • After every cook, clean the water pan and dry the water from the smoker. 

Final words

You have read every minute about placing the water pan in the offset smoker. Considering all the advantages and disadvantages of using the water pan would be best. After going through the complete overview, you should know the working and effects of the water pan. We hope you have gotten where to put water pan in offset smoker.


How can we properly use a water pan in the smoker?

Every smoker has a different place for putting the water pan. It is dependent on the smoker which you are using. You can place the water pan in its specific place, designed for this purpose. You can place it on the cooking grates if there is no specific place.

Can we use a water pan for smoking a fish?

Yes, you can use a water pan while smoking a fish. It will make it moist and juicy. But if you want a crispy fish, you must smoke it at a high temperature. For this, you should not use a water pan because it will cool down the temperature.

When should we use a water pan in the offset smoker?

We should use a water pan if we want juicy and smokey-flavoured food on low heat. The water pan wets the smoker’s environment and makes the food juicy and tender.

 Does water affect the taste of the meat?

Yes, water can makes the taste yummy. Many people use different types of liquids instead of water. They can add some flavour but do not improve the taste. Water will not only make the food juicy and moist, but it will also make it tastier.

Why do we use a water pan in the offset smoker?

A water pan makes the food juicy and smokey. By placing a water pan inside the smoker, its interior becomes moist. This will leave a great effect on the piece of meat which is being smoked inside. 

How do I clean my water pan?

You have to clean your water after every cook. It would help to wash it with soap and water using a brush. This will clean your water pan thoroughly. You must clean the rack of the water pan. 

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