My water pan looks weird after soaking in in water to clean some burned on junk.

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BAPyessir6

Senior Cook
Joined
May 15, 2020
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Location
Prior Lake
As most know, I got a smoker recently and smoked a pork butt. It turned out really good, juicy, and tender, though a tad salty because I probably seasoned the meat too heavily. Tomorrow I'll do another one and tweak the seasoning rub.

Anyway I foiled my water pan really tightly and poured some water in it, though some of the pork drippings got under the foil and burned into the pan. No biggie, I deal with tons of burned on junk, so after it cooled I threw it into the sink and soaked the junk in water with a dash baking soda and a dash vinegar in it overnight. Next morning the burn came off easy with a green scrunge, but there were also black flakes attached to the burn that came off (and seemed to come off up to the water line). Did the water/vinegar/soda mixture strip the (what I assume to be) enamel? Should I be worried if my water pan looks like this now? Or is it whatever since it only holds water for a cook? (My water is slightly hard, but I've soaked tons of roasting pans and canning pots (all enamel coated I think) in the same stuff and never had this flaking.)
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That looks like some kind of residue, to me, instead of flaked off enamel. It is hard to tell from the picture.

I don't know how baking soda and vinegar in water could damage porcelain/enamel. But, I can imagine it leaving a residue.

But, like you said, it is a water pan. Food will never touch it.

CD
 
It does feel smoother up near the black and more rough on the silvery white parts. I don't know what happened. Shrug.
 
Foil, water, various chemicals, etc. It's no wonder there is residue in your pot. Scrub it out with Barkeepers Friend.

If you keep water in the pan while you're cooking that will make life easier.
 
Foil, water, various chemicals, etc. It's no wonder there is residue in your pot. Scrub it out with Barkeepers Friend.

If you keep water in the pan while you're cooking that will make life easier.

Barkeeper's Friend will work, with some elbow grease. That's too much work for my lazy a**.

My WSM water pan always looked like a train wreck. I used foil to line it, but that didn't do a whole lot. I didn't worry about it. that's the nature of grills and smokers. They never look pretty once you use them for the first time.

BTW Andy, BAPyessir6 did have some water in the pan that was lined with foil. Like I said, it doesn't help a lot.

CD
 
Bahaha a train wreck. It's like a shoe the older it gets the better it works. Also wine.

Also do you have to use gloves with barkeepers friend? I thought it was oven cleaner but maybe I'm mistaken.
 
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Also do you have to use gloves with barkeepers friend? I thought it was oven cleaner but maybe I'm mistaken.

I don't think so. I use it in the kitchen, but not a lot. I haven't used gloves, and still have all the skin on my hands. Of course, some nitrile gloves are always a good idea with cleaners.

CD
 
It's a powder, like baking soda and/or Old Dutch Cleanser(?) Comet... that sort of stuff.
I've used it - no problem.
 
Yeah, clean it for aesthetics :)
I actually hardly ever use the waterpan. I use my wsm more like a pit barrel smoker
(Not really through about the waterpan. I use it a lot. Just not what it is meant for. It makes a great waterbowl for the dogs ;) )
 
I would live with it but it might be worth using distilled water, similar to that used in a steam iron, to avoid the minerals found in some tap water.
 
On the other hand, I did use the water pan in my WSM. I filled it with hot water before putting my meat in the smoker. The added thermal mass helps steady temperatures. That's just physics at work.

I also wrapped my pan with foil. It didn't help a lot with keeping the water pan clean, but it did help some.

And again, my water pan looked pretty gnarly, but that had no effect on the food.

CD
 

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