Fire Ring and Water Pan

In preparation for holiday cooking, I wanted to share one of my grill layouts for those meatier roasts and smoke times. Many of you have seen my Grill Layout Tips and while that’s great for grilling, I wanted to show you one of my BBQ layouts. Maybe we’ll start with grill vs bbq…at least my definition. Grilling is taking your product (meat, veggie) and cooking it over direct/indirect heat for less than 1 hour. Normally grilling would be for items that take under 15 minutes to cook. While with BBQ, we’re talking about 3-12 hours of cooking in smoke and low heat not less than 225 degrees and not higher than 325. Definitely more than an hour.


For this new layout, the idea is that there is a fire ring with a water pan to catch drippings. There is an argument to not do the water pan, however, I care about my grill’s life and I’ll do anything to catch drippings. Drippings can eat away at the grill. The other thing about this layout is that I light both sides at once. Yes, there are fire snakes, I’ll go over that later. I need this layout for a good 2-3 hour cook at a higher temp around 275-300 degrees.

What to Put In

For the water pan, I’ve tried putting in all sorts of vegetables to try to penetrate the meat. At this point, I don’t think anything has worked except for onions. Carrots, celery, rosemary, bay leaves, peanuts, apples, oranges, thyme, sage, lemons, celery root, garlic, pepper corns, cinnamon, and lettuce have not done much to the flavor. Mainly, the smoke and rub take over the meat. I’m still experimenting with different combinations but for now, I’ll stick with onions. I think the onions make for a great seasoning for your grill.

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