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I am watching the pit masters I dvrd last night as I am typing this. They do not have holes in the pans. I am guessing one of the reasons that they use the pans to catch the moisture. Also, the sm025 (which i have) and most of the other cookshack models (so they have mentioned on here) are a very moist cooking environment, and are different than the charcoal ones they use in the competition (that is just my guess). You can always start to get the smoke all around then finish without the pan. I am thinking about trying a pan next time I do a brisket, just to see how much difference it makes with the juiciness.
When I did my last brisket on Sunday, I decided to do it fat up (1st time was fat down) just to see the difference. I don't know that it made much difference, but the heat was closer to the meat instead of the fat, so it may have been a tiny bit drier. I think if I did fat side up again, but in a pan the whole time....well, that is just me thinking out loud. I doubt it would hurt to do it fat side up in a pan the whole time, it would keep the drippings on the meat and not the fat. I will try it in a couple of weeks and let everyone know how it comes out. I am sure it will be delicious and I am not tryin to win any comps, so....ya don't know until you try it.
Originally posted by cal:
My guess is that the fat cap probably is not going to get much smoke penetration anyway? Smokin' would always say try one booth ways and take good notes on what works for you.

I agree Cal. That is why I do fat side down. At least the worse thing that can happen is protecting the meat from direct heat.
But like you said, try'm both.
Originally posted by HAC111:
Could never figure out why some smoked fat side down. I always smoked fat side up thinking it was basting when the fat melted. it makes a lot of sense to put fat side down to keep the bottom protected.

It cooks both ways and is your preference. Give it a try and use the one that works best for you. you have to start another fire!! Big Grin

Me, no pans. No restriction of heat, smoke, driping juices or air circulation. Depending how full the smoker is all meat is fat up. If I can I'll rack the meat in the center of the smoker. If the smoker is full (the way I like it best) bottom rack closest to the heat I'll turn fat down. That all so allows all the juices from above the flavor the bottom rack. Bigger mess to clean. I feel much better product coming out.
Keep in mind that pitmasters on TV are doing things for a Specific NEED.

cooking six sixteen pound shoulders to achieve one lb pork, they are looking for ,is not unusual.

The same with packers.

Pans could be for quick boilng/braising/steaming,or keeping all the fat from causing grease fires.

Speed-speed -speed.

A 200 lb hog might yield two lbs.

18 slabs of ribs may yield 6-8 individual bones.

If you ever get the chance to cook in the backyard with one,I doubt you will ever see a foil pan in the cooker.

Just my $0.02
I have taken a few classes, and two foiled and one did use pans. Accomplished the same thing as the foil. On TV, you don't get to see why they do what they do.

The one class which used the pans didn't let the meat sit on the bottom of the pan. there;s more steps.

But as they say If I told you I would have to kill you???

Do what works best for you, try a few things. Practice is good at least you get to eat the mistakes. Or maybe take a class.

Fast Eddy's class is next on my list.


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