Originally Posted by roadfix
I've also used hot water in the past and what I've noticed with using water is that the moist environment helps keep the temps a bit more low & steady.
This is exactly what the engineers knew/came up with; Since water boils at 212* F (at sea level) the air temperature above the water pan, where the meat racks are located, would/should not rise excessively above that point, thereby saving the meat from being converted into a hockey puck or something resembling a dried buffalo chip. ~ With no means to control airflow/fire control, it was the best option. ~~ A better, more common sense approach to fire/temperature control is through the use of air vents located on the bottom of vertical cookers..The Weber Smoky Mountain (WSM) is an example..The WSM with an enclosed bottom, has both butterfly air vents and a water pan... The water pan filled with sand still acts as a heat sink of sorts, and the butterfly vents give the user better total temperature control. With practice the cooker can produce very good BBQ...Ask Fred (pacanis) ~~ I'll let some rocket scientist calculate how many BTUs (Wood/Charcoal) it takes to simmer a gallon of water for 14 or so hours while cooking a pork butt..My Guess would be about the same amont it takes to cook the pork butt to 190* ~~