Q: Dear Doc,
I have a barrel smoker/grill without the extra smoker part. I want to do some indirect grilling and the manufacturer says to put a pan with water under the meat on the non-fire side. I’ve never heard of doing that before. Does it make a difference to the quality of the food that has been BBQed? Or should I just continue with indirect grilling the way I’ve been doing which seems to have worked just fine?
A: Hi Phil,The water pan will do a couple things. It will catch the dripping fat and make for easier cleanup, it will provide some moisture in the cooking chamber, and it will serve as a mass of heat to help keep the temps even. It won”t do any of those things all that well in a cooker like you describe. By all means the water pan can be skipped, but remember, good BBQ is done with the help of many little things…–Dr. BBQ