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In Reply to: New WSM owner Questions posted by Greg Muller on July 14, 2009 at 17:17:20:
I use sand in the pan all the time. I'll never go back to water. Sand provides a consistant barrier that provides consistant temps. As water evaporates, the barrier is lessened and temps will vary. Your smoker gets hotter as the water evaporates and cools if room temp water is addded.
I've never burned anything on the lower rack with this method.
As mentioned below, learn the minion method. I've also experienced 16 hr burns using this method. And what is the benefit of a 16 hr burn if your have to baby sit your water levels. It defeats the purpose. I like to load my wsm up, spend about 45 min. with it to make sure my temps will be stable, then walk away for at least 8 hrs. Less for ribs. I also don't have to fill my charcoal basket to the brim for shorter burns.
My neighbor also got tired of me dumping my rancid water in his yard.
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