In talking to Reni ,wife of the late great Willi from whom i inherited my 50, i learned that he placed a large drip pan on a low shelf beneath the products he was smoking.
Why he asked, drip grease all over the foiled wood box and smoker floor when it can be collected higher?
Beats me.
Today i am cooking a 6+ butt in a pan on a rack in the pan.
Next time i will put it on a rack with a drip pan on a lower rack.
Would more experienced smokers than i am, tell me please why it makes sense to dribble grease to the wood box roof and floor?
Original Post
Dick, a couple of quick questions.
Putting a drip pan underneath the meat makes total sense but.....

Im thinking in the back of my little mind.....You have to heat the drippings or fat.

Would that increase you chance of fire?
Would it increase cook time?
Would it be worth it?
I dunno. Just thinking outside the box here.

Please let me know about your thoughts.

Would it b
In "traditional" Q, especially in the SE, they like to "drip" the drippings onto the fire and create an aroma from that.

Does it? Don't know, in a CS.

For me, a pan collecting grease is just one more thing to clean up. Cover the top with foil and throw it away. Works fine.

I also wouldn't restrict the smoke from rising, by putting a pan underneat UNLESS you're wanting to collect the grease for something.
In speaking for me, perhaps you overstate a bit.
It is not that i "don't like" smoke on meat.
I simply want it with less frequency than many here. The idea of smoking side dishes to accompany smoked meat would certainly be overkill for me.
As to methods/recipes i sure don't know anywhere near what many here know about producing Q.
So many have arrived at different techniques and recipes it is clear that Q ing is a very "inexact" science! Few agree about anything!
Illustrative of that,the Cookshack people have produced at least one expensive cookbook that members here generally advise should be "thrown away"! Apparently even the manufacturer of the machine isn't right!
I do acknowledge that i am not likely to accept anything as gospel until i personally observe a method and the result.
I have been fumbling along with my smoker and like most beginners at anything have had generally good but mixed results.
My question about using a drip pan will in the end be settled by my own experimentation, but i wanted to start with some experienced thinking.
Thanks to all who commented.
As usual,Smokin' nails the answer.

A couple applications that extend the usage of foil might be these.

If you foil always,you don't forget.

Even with a drip pan,the minimal air flow still distributes a lot of moisture/grease and coats the woodbox and floor.

As Smokin'said,the grilling asset of grease/meat juices hitting a hot surface is a critical part of flavor profile.

Not just in the SE.

I often cook full loads,thus utilizing the bottom rack.

If I cook one larger butt,and a couple of smaller ones,I like the higher direct heat over the firebox on the largest butt.

I like to cook chicken pieces at higher temp,thus grouping them over the firebox on lower racks.

If I run pork loins in a traditional CS,rather than grilling,I sometimes like the higher direct heat directly over the firebox.

If your drip pan contains liquid,than you are effectively creating a heat sink and the boil off increases the moisture in a sometimes too moist cooker.

The goodcooks that have tried to teach me,constantly emphasize "know your cooker and how each part cooks".

Smokin' is the best I know about this.

Just my $0.02
I guess my problem with the drip pan on a rack would be that you'd still end up with some grease on the floor of the CS. No matter how hard I try to get the floor lined tightly, some grease always drips down the sides of the CS and under the floor lining.

Nice idea though. I might give it a try.

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