Sand versus Water?

Any type of purchased BBQ Pit.

Moderator: TBBQF Deputies

User avatar
Sam Ha11
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 2:27 pm

Sand versus Water?

Postby Sam Ha11 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:03 pm

So, in my current WSM, I've got a deep water pan. I've been using it as advertised with some Hot water when I start the BBQ rolling. However, I've seen discussions mentioning sand instead of water. While I can see the heat retention properties being a bonus, not to mention easier clean up, would that mean the meat has less moisture in the smoker while it's cooking? Would the meat tend to come out drier if I used sand instead of water? Could a mix of sand and water be used and see any kind of difference?
User avatar
Chuck Wagon
Posts: 3671
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:55 am
Location: Jonesboro,Tx

Re: Sand versus Water?

Postby BluDawg » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:13 pm

using a water pan does not add any moisture to the meat and has no effect on whether it is moist & juicy, everything that meat needs is already in it you just need to unlock it. Sand has advantages over water in that t don't need to be replenished, ease of clean up, it also holds heat better so you use less fuel.
Never met a cow I didn't like with a little salt and pepper.
My Blog: Http://
Old Country Over/Under
Webber 22" Performer
User avatar
Posts: 3318
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 7:10 pm
Location: Burleson,Texas

Re: Sand versus Water?

Postby limey » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:38 pm

Used the bottom of a pot -terra cotta. I wrapped it in foil and used instead of water and sand. Worked out great on the WSM22.
How bout some more beans Mr.Taggert? I'd say you've had enough!
R & O Custom Trailer
Weber 22.5 Gold
Weber 22.5 Smoky Mountain
Oklahoma Joe Longhorn Edition
Limey BBQ Co. Competition Team
User avatar
Posts: 2231
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:38 pm

Re: Sand versus Water?

Postby k.a.m. » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:45 pm

As Dawg said the water is nothing more than a heat sink. With that being said it is a much more efficient heat sink than sand. During a long cook once the sand heats up your temps can become unstable this is my experience with using it. In my opinion the clay saucer is better than the sand because it gets stable quicker than the pan of sand. I personally prefer water in my WSM's. In the 22.5" I can go an entire 12 to 14 hour cook running between 250° and 275° on one pan. I foil my pans so clean up is a snap.
I hope this helps. :D
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

My Hybrid cooker.
Competition trailer #2.
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:40 am
Location: Heart O Tx

Re: Sand versus Water?

Postby RLTXBBQ » Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:34 pm

I prefer the water
Posts: 2074
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:41 pm
Location: Lake Jackson, TX

Re: Sand versus Water?

Postby jtilk » Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:08 pm

What the heck... just got with wet sand in the bottom of a clay pot.... :wink: :laughing7:

Big Green Egg
Pitmaker Vault

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson
User avatar
Scott P
Posts: 275
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:36 pm
Location: Porter, TX

Re: Sand versus Water?

Postby Scott P » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:02 pm

I always threw a layer of foil on the pan and filled it with water. I bought a Stoker last year and now the pan just gets foil.
Buddha Belly BBQ Team

18" WSM
22" WSM
26" Kettle
User avatar
Posts: 7984
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2007 11:15 am
Location: Yorktown, VA

Re: Sand versus Water?

Postby DATsBBQ » Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:22 pm

Back in my WSM days, I used 3 fire-bricks each wrapped in foil in the water pan. They are thinner than regular bricks and sold at any place that sells wood stoves. I filled the gaps with balled up foil then put three layers of heavy duty foil across the top of the pan. After a cook, just peel off the top layer and replace. Easy cleanup. Great source for "thermal mass" to prevent radical swings in temp (like when all the water boils out of the pan). Should you have to get access to the fire ring from the top during a cook, no danger of getting scalded by boiling water. And the bricks are only a buck or two each.

Sand will eventually turn into a brick and be hard to remove.
Deputy Dave

“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer."-Bruce Lee
User avatar
3 star redneck
Chuck Wagon
Posts: 2609
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:29 am
Location: Glen Rose TX

Re: Sand versus Water?

Postby 3 star redneck » Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:29 pm

Our R&O Verticals we prefer you to use water or some other liquid.....sand has to many negative factors on the way the pit is designed to work.....and Im Assuming Pitmaker's are the same way......
R&O Custom Offset....It rocks!!!!

Hook Em' Horns

Return to “BBQ Pits - Offset and Vertical Smokers”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests