The Piedmont Water Pan


 

Mike Willsey

TVWBB Member
I have through the years followed all of the good suggestions regarding water/drip pans for indirect cookers. Boiling the water then adding to the pan, add sand then cover with foil, and recently to crumple foil then cover with foil.

I came up with a new idea that I hadn't heard anyone speak of yet. I went out today and bought two new pans, stacked them together, held them tight with clamps, drilled 3 holes for no. 10 bolts, cut copper tubing to 3/4" as spacers, and wing nuts to hold it all together to make a double pan.

The bottom pan acts as a heat shield to the top pan, where you can add boiling water or nothing at all! If you do add water to the top pan, you drastically reduce evaporation.

You can see pics on my website, address below,

http://web.infoave.net/~amwil/discursion.htm#Drip%20Pan

You should be able to make one for yourself from the pictures and my description above!
 

Paul G.

TVWBB Emerald Member
Mike

I like the idea of your double pan and would like to know the costs to order from you. I have a vacation home on lake Greenwood which is in the Piedmont region of SC. Are you close ?

Paul
 

Steve Petrone

TVWBB Diamond Member
Mike this looks like shear genious. I am impressed. The simple ideas are the best. Do you use weber water pans? When do you use water?
 

Mike Willsey

TVWBB Member
Originally posted by Steve Petrone:
Mike this looks like shear genious. I am impressed. The simple ideas are the best. Do you use weber water pans? When do you use water?

I get pans at the Bass Pro shop at Concord Mills all! Are you from Charlotte? If so, your upwind of me! Down here in Lancaster.

I haven't used water for a while now as I had been using sand in my water pan. The trial I did the other day when I cooked spare ribs for 5 hours with a dry double pan and the grease never burned! It just collected in the upper pan, so, I will probably never use water again.

Note: My cooker is a weber kettle (19.5") which I added a spacer to make it work like a WSM. I cut down and split a 55 gallon drum to fit over the bottom kettle and set the lid of the kettle on top. I also made a metal ring to go around the charcoal grid. I'm having too much fun!
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I put 4 grids in there, more, for tiny or thin stuff like wings or spares. I'll be posting pics of it this weekend along with new pics and directions for doing spare ribs/rib tips.
 

Paul G.

TVWBB Emerald Member
Mike

You've really got some interesting concepts and I hope you'll follow with some posts and pics to show us your set up and how it works. Wish you'd get a WSM, but sounds like you'd rather build one
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! Well guys like you make up for guys like me who would rather buy "the floor model that's already assembled"
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.

I'm really impressed with the grease not burning in the double waterpan, even without water. I'm going to send you an e-mail about getting a set from you. Lately our Academy Sports has not been carrying the spare Brinkman pan.

Paul
 

Brian J

TVWBB Fan
looks interesting. has anyone used the lower grate with this double pan? it seems to me the top pan may impede the lower grate from seating properly.
 

Paul G.

TVWBB Emerald Member
Brian

That is a good point. He doesn't use a WSM. I haven't order one from Mike or built one myself. It looks like the space between the lips of the 2 pans would be sufficient to hold the pans and the lower cooking grate would fit in its usual place ?

Paul
 

Rick Angiel

TVWBB Fan
I was thinking about trying to construct one this weekend using the two pans I have. I was going to use 3/4" rod coupling nuts as spacers, since I don't have any copper tubing laying around. When I, too, thought the two pans may not fit. I figured I would just grind/cut down the spacers appropriately. I just need to determine what the actual length needs to be.
 

Rick Angiel

TVWBB Fan
I went ahead and assembled the double water pan using the 3/4" rod coupling nuts. The result was the assembly was a touch to high. I ended up using my bench grinder to shorten the nuts by 1/8" or so. Right now, the height looks good. The final length was 0.6". Now, I just have to try out the unit. I am planning on putting on a couple of butts tonight. I'm just not sure if I want to try a waterless cook yet.
 

Mike Willsey

TVWBB Member
Originally posted by Rick Angiel:
I went ahead and assembled the double water pan using the 3/4" rod coupling nuts. The result was the assembly was a touch to high. I ended up using my bench grinder to shorten the nuts by 1/8" or so. Right now, the height looks good. The final length was 0.6". Now, I just have to try out the unit. I am planning on putting on a couple of butts tonight. I'm just not sure if I want to try a waterless cook yet.

Thanks for the feed back! So, for the WSM the spacer height should top out at 0.6". I cooked 2 slabs of ribs for 5 hours and the grease didn't burn without water, now I will say that my pans might be farther away from the coals. But afterwards, I took the pans apart, ran them through the dishwasher and they cleaned right up. I have a lower position for my pans and will set lowest next time I cook. Please let me know how it goes!
 

Mike Willsey

TVWBB Member
Originally posted by Paul G.:
Mike

I like the idea of your double pan and would like to know the costs to order from you. I have a vacation home on lake Greenwood which is in the Piedmont region of SC. Are you close ?

Paul

Paul,

Is your zip code at Lake Greenwood, SC, 29653?
Email me at amwil@comporium.net
 

Paul G.

TVWBB Emerald Member
The zip code at the house on Lake Greenwood is 29666; however it would not be an address I would use for mail or delivery purposes.

I'll send an e-mail, but I do want to be sure the double pan would fit the set up for the WSM.

Thanks

Paul
 

Mike Willsey

TVWBB Member
Originally posted by Paul G.:
The zip code at the house on Lake Greenwood is 29666; however it would not be an address I would use for mail or delivery purposes.

I'll send an e-mail, but I do want to be sure the double pan would fit the set up for the WSM.

Thanks

Paul

Right! I'm hoping we hear back from Rick about how it went with his WSM. The pans that I use are a little different design from an original WSM pan in that they have a wide flange/rim. It measures 15 inch across and the flange goes back 1 inch to the pan section, so the actual pan OD is 13 inch and the pan bottom extends down 4-1/2 inches.
 

Paul G.

TVWBB Emerald Member
Mike

Here is a link that shows the pan we use and I'm guessing most are assuming is the one you're using. It's the Brinkman charcoal pan - not the waterpan.

There could also be an issue of the double pan dropping down so far in the charcoal bowl of the WSM to diminishand already limited space for ashes and end up blocking the vents in the bowl ?

Paul
 

Rick Angiel

TVWBB Fan
I finished an 18 hr cook this afternoon with the double water pan (two butts and a small flat). I used two Brinkman charcoal pans with the rod coupling nuts as spacers. I filled the water pan up with just shy of two gallons of water last night when I put everything together. I did not add any water at all the remainder of the cook. At the end of the session, there was about a 1/4" of liquid remaining in the bottom of the pan. There was some burned drippings on the edge of the pan, but nothing on the bottom. Overall, the pan was easy to clean (I hand wash). As far as clearance, this was not any different than using a Brinkman charcoal pan: the second pan sits up, closer to the bottom grate. During the whole cook, I did not notice the acrid burning smell I noticed when my single pan was running low on water.

Mike, this was an inventive idea. Let us know if you come up with anything else.
 

Mike Willsey

TVWBB Member
Originally posted by Paul G.:
Mike

Here is a link that shows the pan we use and I'm guessing most are assuming is the one you're using. It's the Brinkman charcoal pan - not the waterpan.

There could also be an issue of the double pan dropping down so far in the charcoal bowl of the WSM to diminishand already limited space for ashes and end up blocking the vents in the bowl ?

Paul

Yep, I looked at the link and that is the pan that I use for the dual!
 

Mike Willsey

TVWBB Member
snip
Mike, this was an inventive idea. Let us know if you come up with anything else.

Thanks for reporting back! Sounds like it went well!

I do have something that I haven't tried yet but I'm sure it would help even out the heat and make it more efficient. Here is the concept,

the water pan sits above the charcoal, the heat is forced to the outside of the cooker wall because it has to go around the water pan. Sooo, suppose you take a piece of sheet metal, cut it into a circle the size of the inside of the cooker, then cut out the center so that it looks like a donut. Place it at least 1 inch above the water pan so that the heat is forced back towards the center of the cooker! What do ya think?
 

Steve Petrone

TVWBB Diamond Member
The issue of all the heat travelling up the sides of the cooker had me thinking too. Being less experienced at design and all things mechanical...I forged ahead.

I do not have a design but rather a concept...
I am thinking of blades sort of like propeller blades fixed in place on the sides that 'stir' the rising hot air and send it into the cooker not just straight up the sides to singe the meat on the outside edges.
 

Mike Willsey

TVWBB Member
Originally posted by Steve Petrone:
snip
I am thinking of blades sort of like propeller blades fixed in place on the sides that 'stir' the rising hot air and send it into the cooker not just straight up the sides to singe the meat on the outside edges.

That would make it a convection type cooker but I would worry that the draft would cause heating variations in the coals. Plus at some point, all of the mechanisms would require cleaning.

But we both concur that there just might be a loss of heat from the heat being forced against the cooker walls by the water/drip pan for sure!

I'm gonna try to make one of my donut plates with thin sheet metal from Home Depot. First thing is to drill a tiny hole in the center then use a string and pencil to make the circles, then carefully cut the outter circle and inner circle with a fine metal blade on a jig saw.

There will be some small gaps between the wall and plate but air does act some what like water and will take the path of least resistance so it should easily divert towards the large center hole.
 

 

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