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Thread: can a drip pan containing water affect cooking time? I think so.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Fort Worth, TX area

    Default can a drip pan containing water affect cooking time? I think so.

    During my first few cooks with my ST1400, I experienced some long cook times with pork butts - one in excess of 25 hours at 225+f.. The other two cooks were over 22 hours duration and the butts removed at 190f internal temperature. I even checked out the operation of the thermostat and found it to be operating exactly as it should. That is I got approximately the same temperature spread as I was advised I would and the AVERAGE temperature was within 4 degrees of the set point.

    For the first 3 cooks, I used a drip pan under the bottom cooking rack that held flavored liquids as per a recipe that I like the sound of. Since it was taking twice as long to cook as reported by others, I suspected that the evaporation effect on temperature from the liquid was keeping the actual temperature around the meat lower than desired. Yesterday I cooked my 4th pair of pork butts and by coincidence these were also the largest I have cooked - just over 9 pounds each. I still injected about 1/2 cup per butt of Cajun butter and spices. This time I eliminated the drip pan. With the thermostat set at 225f, I saw oven temperatures ranging from 219f to 254f. The bottom butt reached 197f in 11-1/2 hours and I pulled that one. It took another 1-1/2 hours for the other butt to reach 197f. The results were excellent but then pork butts are almost bullet proof aren't they?

    I am convinced that the shielding effect plus the temperature lowering effect of evaporation can have a dramatic affect on cooking times.

    Happy Smokin everyone.

    Last edited by applejack; 12-13-2011 at 01:33 PM. Reason: to correct typos

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Maryville,Tn Just south of Knoxville


    Applejack....I agree with you. I have had the same experience as you. I don't think they were designed to produce enough heat to use a drip pan with liquid added. According to ST....the drippings hitting the top of the wood box creates a steam to keep the meat moist.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011


    I always use a 1/2 Foil Steamer pan on the bottom rack with a cup of water, or apple juice ...

    You can also use the drippings afterwards as a reduced sauce. By adding a small amount of liquid it will help keep your meat of choice moist.

    I hope to get a Christmas gift of the (Smoking Tex 1168 - Flavor Box )...

    Click image for larger version. 

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