Foiling your water pan


Kirk Boorman

TVWBB Super Fan
I read that wrapping your pan in foil would make cleanup easier, so I've done it for every cook except my last. As far as cleanup goes, it's great. All you have to do is remove the foil and give the pan a quick rinse. I've recently heard that foiling the pan might not be a good idea, but I haven't heard why. Any ideas?
On my last cook, I didn't wrap the pan. Aside from the extra cleanup I have to do now, I didn't notice anything different about this cook and those done with the pan wrapped. The temps came up at the same rate and held just as well.
One thing I can say though, the water doesn't evaporate nearly as fast when I wrap the pan. After 5 hrs, the unwrapped pan needed refilling. When I wrap the pan, I can go for 18 hrs or more and I don't have to top it off more than once.
Sometimes the foil lining can wick the water up and out of the pan into the fire. This can happen if you have to join two pieces of foil to line the inside pan bottom.

I have also heard that water can get under the foil and cause problems.

I have always line the inside of my pan with a single sheet of Reynolds Heavy Duty foil and have never experienced either of these problems. I have experienced very easy clean-up!
When I wrap, I use foil that's wide enough so that I don't need a seam and I do it inside and out. I haven't had any trouble with water wicking onto the coals and I like how long it goes between fill ups.
I also use wide foil and have only had the wicking problem once. Must've had a small perforation in the foil. It caused a nice steady drip of water on the coals. Made for some temp instabilities for a while.

Once forgot to foil the inside of the pan. Water evaporated and the fat dripping baked onto the surface of the water pan. Couldn't even chisel that junk off. Finally had to throw it on the gasser for several hours to burn it clean.
I have taken to spraying the water pan with Pam, or other similar cooking oil spray, before assembly. I have not had any trouble cleaning the pan afterwards, other than it being a bit messy.
I don't foil the inside or outside of my waterpan. I do spray with pam and this helps with cleanup. I've got a dog that loves the drippings which I skim off later and I've never found the cleanup to be that much of a real problem.

I just spray the inside. The only problems I've had were where the water boiled off and grease stuck to the pan at that level. I have no concern about the outside of the pan, although I know some here do.

I always foil the water pan (unless I forget to buy the wide foil) because clean up really stinks without it. I haven't had any water wicking problems yet.

Not to get off topic, but...where are you from Paul G? I lived in Bonifay, FL until I joined the Navy and it is nice to see someone else from the Panhandle.

Since you lived in Bonifay, you're probably one of the few people on this board who will recognize where I'm from - the great metropolis of MILTON. I've been a country lawyer here since 1970 and this is where my family is from. It has probably changed a lot since you were in the area and Santa Rosa county is the 10th fastest growing county in Florida. We stepped into the 21st century about a month ago when the county voted to go WET.