The 22" Weber Smokey Mountain is my go-to smoker for small cooks.......2-4 butts or 10 # of chicken leg quarters. Fill the water pan with sand or just leave it empty and wrap it in foil. You can throw away the foil and the pan stays clean. The water helps regulate the heat but if you cook on it enough you will find that the bottom vents also regulate the burn rate thus the heat stays where you want it. I haven't put water in mine in ten years.