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SnS reservoir drying out after 3 hours, normal?

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    SnS reservoir drying out after 3 hours, normal?

    Just curious for those with a SnS how long the water in their reservoir typically lasts. I noticed mine goes dry after about 3 hours. Is this normal? Should I be refilling every few hours?

    #2
    Depends on a few things like what temperature you're cooking at, the ambient temp and humidity, wind, how well your kettle lid seals, etc. On an average day cooking at 250F I usually get 4-5 hours, but I've gotten much less during Santa Ana conditions. As far as refilling, I let the bark be my guide. If the bark's set nicely I don't bother, if I think it needs more time I might, but I'll probably just spritz with water at that point.

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    • Texas Larry
      Texas Larry commented
      Editing a comment
      +1 here.

    • Henrik
      Henrik commented
      Editing a comment
      +2

    #3
    It depends on your cooking temp. The 5 hours is for a 225 cooking temp.

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      #4
      I agree there are many variables to consider. Just be careful if you add water to an empty and hot reservoir as it could spit very hot water on you.

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        #5
        I usually get 4 hours or so at 250. By that point I've found the meat is sweating and the cooking environment is humid enough that more water is not needed.

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          #6
          Have to chuckle while reading this. While you are concerned about running out of water, rightly so I might add, many of my WSM brothers talk about ditching the water pan completely. it’s like the tale of two cities or something like that. 😉

          Don’t forget you can always place a bigger water pan on top of your cooking grate. I don’t use a SnS. I use the baskets that came with my Performer and fill a disposable aluminum pan filled with water for low and slow cooks. I need to find something a little more heavy duty though. I only get 2-3 cooks out of them before they start getting pinholes in them.

          Comment


          • Razor
            Razor commented
            Editing a comment
            mountainsmoker lol, that’s exactly what I ordered from Amazon after posting. I’ve been cooking a lot of stuff at 225/325 recently and if it’s only going to be a few hours I do it on the kettle versus the WSM.

            surfdog just depends on what I’m cooking. I leave it in for briskets, butts, chickens, hams, etc., but take it out to hang jerky, ribs, etc.

          • surfdog
            surfdog commented
            Editing a comment
            Razor Just to be clear, when I say I “ditched” mine...I meant as a water pan. I kept it in there, as a diffuser...but no longer added water.

            But that’s one of the things I always liked about the WSM...it’s incredibly versatile and can be run numerous ways and still get awesome results.

          • Razor
            Razor commented
            Editing a comment
            surfdog I was toying around with that for stuff like jerky, but when I went to buy the Hunsaker kit they had a deal that included their vortex thing. I figured what the heck and got it. Works pretty good and I don't worry about cleaning it as much since it sits right above the coals.

          #7
          The trough isn't as good as a regular aluminum water pan imo so I don't typically use it.

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            #8
            Half the time I forget to add water. Honestly I have never added water back. The moister chamber I’m only concerned with, if at all, during the first couple/few hours of the cook.

            I wouldn’t be all that concerned with it.
            thats just me though.

            Comment


            • Steve R.
              Steve R. commented
              Editing a comment
              Nope, that's me too.

            #9
            I never add water. Honestly, I’d prefer to to use that space for more charcoal if I could.

            Comment


            • B-30
              B-30 commented
              Editing a comment
              I would expect that the water barrier between the two is as helpful, if not more, than the steam. I would help to even out the heat between the coals and the cooking surface, as well as dampen down the difference. I'm guessing as I just ordered mine today, and haven't had any experience with it, yet.

            • ColonialDawg
              ColonialDawg commented
              Editing a comment
              I agree with you on its purpose - for me it just didn’t make any difference in the outcome/quality of what I cook. That being said, I cook mostly hot and fast now. But even when I started out low and slow it didn’t make much difference. That is my personal experience, though, and I know others may have different opinions.

            #10
            I probably see 4-5 hours of water in my SNS reservoir when smoking, but honestly, cannot say exactly how long it lasts. As the old adage goes - if you're looking, you ain't cooking!

            I smoke ribs for 4-5 hours, and usually have water left after those cooks, as I have to dump it the next time I clean up the kettle. For longer cooks of butts and brisket, I never refill the reservoir, and I always have plenty of bark, and stable cooker temperatures. As others have said, its about surface moisture and humidity earlier in the cook.

            Comment


            • HouseHomey
              HouseHomey commented
              Editing a comment
              Ya know, I think I’m with Beefchop down below. I have never seen water left after a cook, even ribs. Likely some displacement from mucho debrisO in the space.

            • jfmorris
              jfmorris commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes I note build up of burned crap down inside the water reservoir of my SNS as well. I hit it with a putty knife every once in a while.

            • Omigs
              Omigs commented
              Editing a comment
              Ha! The reason I know it's 3 hours is because during my last cook I was holding steady at 230 and noticed that the temp started dropping quickly. I took a look and noticed the reservoir.

              Surprise hail storm last year damaged my lid so I think I don't have a good seal on my grill.

            #11
            I never really saw the point of adding water to it anyway. I would not worry about it. When I had one, I think I only put water in it once or twice, maybe.

            Comment


              #12
              I also use a water pan and skip the SNS reservoir. That reminds me...At this point mine has become black hole for debris, so I should probably power wash it this weekend.

              Comment

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