Place Pan Under Meat to Catch Drippings?

Do you use a wire rack under the meat or just lay it in the pan? I would think a wire rack would be best so the smoke and heat surrounds the entire meat..
You are correct - it is best to leave all surfaces exposed for the smoke and heat to surround the meat.

I think the OP was asking if he should put a drip pan on one of the lower shelves in his vertical smoker, so the meat wouldn't actually be in the pan.

I don't have a vertical, so I will sometimes lay a cooling rack across the top edge of a drip pan if I want to use one, like this...

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You are correct - it is best to leave all surfaces exposed for the smoke and heat to surround the meat.

I think the OP was asking if he should put a drip pan on one of the lower shelves in his vertical smoker, so the meat wouldn't actually be in the pan.

I don't have a vertical, so I will sometimes lay a cooling rack across the top edge of a drip pan if I want to use one, like this...

View attachment 3875
I agree. This is how I do it in my 1600. This is from my last brisket cook.
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I just added a comment about baskets to another thread. I started using essentially wire racks or baskets to slide in and out easy. I have a virtical, so i'll generally use the top or 2nd from the top for meat, and put a foil pan on the lowest shelf i can, whatever fits over my smoke tube. I take out extra racks so they don't get dirty for nor reason. So in essence, there's a fair bit of air space between the meat and the foil pan, so little to no blocking of smoke moving about the chamber.
 
I just added a comment about baskets to another thread. I started using essentially wire racks or baskets to slide in and out easy. I have a virtical, so i'll generally use the top or 2nd from the top for meat, and put a foil pan on the lowest shelf i can, whatever fits over my smoke tube. I take out extra racks so they don't get dirty for nor reason. So in essence, there's a fair bit of air space between the meat and the foil pan, so little to no blocking of smoke moving about the chamber.
Thats a stellar idea taking out the extra racks! So few questions, I do have, I have a wire rack for larger roasts, whole turkeys but what specfic racks do you use?

Also with using smoke tubes for extra smoke flavor becasue I have noticed the pellets don't yield as strong of a smoke flavor as I am used to with my stick/charcoal burners. Where do you place the smoke tube and do you use pellets or chips, also do you have to light the tube? Sorry I am a nube to pellet smokers I have been using my Weber Smokey Mountain for quite a few years.
 
Where do you place the smoke tube and do you use pellets or chips, also do you have to light the tube?

I have a horizontal pellet smoker, so I won't answer the question about placement. Lately, based on recommendations on this forum, I've been doing a mix of pellets and chips inside my smoke tube. Apparently the chips give off a stronger, cleaner smoke. Yes, you need to light the pellets in your smoke tube. I use a bernzomatic torch. Let them burn for about 5 minutes and then blow them out. Then put the tube in your cooker.
 
I got them at kohls a couple years ago, but can't seem to find them. here's the best picture of one with a few blocks of cheese in it that i have. they are stainless and cheap. the dishwasher does a good job on them actually, so cleanup is minimal for me.
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I set the smoke tube on whatever you call this metal plate. I think normally a rack would be right above that plate but i just remove it and run this way. I rarely make enough at once to use all the shelves.
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Hey there relatively new to pellet smoking, I've had charcoal for years. I have the 5-Series vertical and was wondering if anyone puts a pan directly under their meat to catch the drippings or does that affect the heat and cook temps of the smoker?
Hi Jimbo!
I have a PBV5 COMP. Many times I just let the water pan catch it all. But, mybwife makes a really good BBQ sauce and she uses pan drippings so I save her some. Her sauce is fabulous ( it doesn't have a shelf life like Cackalacky vinegar sauce.
If you use a catch pan it is advised to keep the distance 4" or greater below the meat you are cooking (top edge of pan to bottom of roast. Any closer and steam will be cooking the roast instead of the smoke.
I know some guys that place the pork butt in a 4" hotel pan start to finish, but I never do it that way. That method is to much like a counter top slow cooker.
Alton Brown has a scientific video about the effects of a pan under a roast.
 
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