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Why add water to power xl grill?

Adding water to a power xl grill serves several important purposes that contribute to optimal grill performance and delicious grilled food. The key reasons to add water are:

Temperature Regulation

One of the main benefits of adding water to a power xl grill is that it helps regulate and maintain an even cooking temperature. As the water evaporates from the drip tray, it absorbs heat energy from the burners and cools the interior temperature of the grill. This prevents flare ups and hot spots that can burn food. The evaporating water vapor also helps food cook more evenly.

Moisture and Flavor

The steam created by the evaporating water moistens the food as it cooks. This prevents food from drying out and helps it stay juicy and tender on the interior. The steam also carries smoke flavors into the meat or vegetables, infusing them with delicious barbecue taste. Meat cooked over water stays succulent while also developing a nice char on the exterior.

Easier Cleaning

Adding water to catch drippings from meat and vegetables keeps the grill cleaner. The water prevents grease and food debris from coating and burning onto the flame tamers and interior of the grill. Once finished cooking, it’s much easier to empty out the water and give the grill a quick scrub. The water dilutes and captures grease for less buildup.


The water also serves as a safety barrier between the burners and drippings. Grease that hits directly on the hot burners can flare up and cause dangerous flames inside the grill. The water prevents this by capturing the drippings and preventing them from hitting the burners directly. This makes grilling safer and prevents uncontrolled fire flare ups.

How Much Water to Use

Filling the Drip Tray

Most power xl grills have a removable drip tray that sits between the burners and the lower cooking grate. For optimal performance, this drip tray should be filled about halfway with water before grilling. Fill the tray until the water level is about 1/2 inch from the top. This provides enough water volume to catch drippings, regulate temperature, and generate steam.

Refilling as Needed

The water level will gradually decrease as the water evaporates during the grilling process. Check the drip tray occasionally and refill with more water if the level gets too low. Try to maintain at least 1/4 inch of water in the drip tray at all times during cooking. Add more as required to prevent the tray from going dry.

For Long Cooks

For very long cooks, like smoking large cuts of meat over several hours, you may need to refill the water tray multiple times. Make sure there is always adequate water to catch drippings and prevent grease fires throughout the entire cook. The longer you grill, the more times you’ll need to top off the water.

What Type of Water Should Be Used

Plain Water

Plain tap water is recommended for power xl grill water trays. Tap water is convenient, free, and effective. The minerals in tap water can help add trace nutrients when evaporated. Tap water avoids any problems that could arise from added chemicals in bottled waters.

Avoid Distilled Water

Avoid using distilled water in the water tray. Because distilled water is purified, it lacks minerals and can have acidic pH levels. Distilled water absorbs heat differently and may not contribute to ideal temperature regulation. The lack of minerals also prevents beneficial steam nutrients.

No Other Liquids

Do not use beer, wine, or other liquids in the water tray. Water is best for even heating, moisture, and safety. Sugary liquids like soda or juice could burn and leave residue on the grill. Flammable liquids like alcohol create a fire hazard. Stick to plain tap water only.

Setting Up the Water Tray


The drip tray with water should sit directly beneath the bottom cooking grate and above the burners. Remove any flame tamers first. The water tray should catch drippings falling from the cooking grate above. This positioning allows the water to absorb heat, vaporize, and collect drippings.


Place the drip tray in the deepest part of the grill interior so that the top of the tray is level. This will help prevent grease from overflowing if too much accumulates. The deeper design also holds more water, providing a larger heat sink.


Ensure the drip tray is sitting evenly and stabilized inside the grill. You don’t want the tray to tip over when moving the grill. Some trays fit snugly into racks while others can be temporarily secured with aluminum foil. The tray should not shift position during grilling.

Grilling with Water Tray


Always preheat your grill completely with the burners on high before placing food on the grates. This preheat should be done with the water-filled tray in place to allow it to heat up as well. Preheat for 10-15 minutes.


While cooking, adjust burner temperatures as needed to maintain even heat across the grill. The water tray helps prevent flare ups. Shoot for temperatures between 350-450°F for most grilling. Use a grill thermometer to check.


Expect drippings to fall into the water tray, creating sizzling and steam. This is normal and means your water tray is functioning properly to add moisture and flavor. Add more water as needed.


Rotate or flip items occasionally for even exposure to heat and prevent burning. Moisture from the water tray allows you to cook a little longer between rotations.


Replenish the water level whenever it gets too low to be effective. For bigger meals or long cooks, you may need to empty the tray and add fresh water multiple times.

Cleaning Grill and Tray

Safety First

Always make sure the grill is completely cool before attempting to clean the water tray or other grill parts. The remaining water will be hot after cooking. Wear protective gloves to avoid steam burns.

Remove Debris

When cool, carefully remove the water tray and empty out any remaining water and debris. Use a spatula to scrape off any large grease clumps or food bits into the trash. a wire brush scrubber can help remove any residue that’s starting to bake on.

Simple Cleaning

For a thorough cleaning, wash the tray with dish soap and hot water using a non-abrasive scrubber or sponge. Rinse and dry completely after cleaning before replacing in the grill. Wipe down the exterior and interior of the grill for maintenance.

Deep Cleans

For a grill deep clean, use degreasing cleaners specifically formulated to break down and dissolve grease and carbon on outdoor cooking equipment. Always follow safety instructions and rinse thoroughly after using cleaners. Allow grill to dry fully before next use. Periodic deep cleaning helps maintain grill efficiency.

Benefits of Grilling with Water

Below are some key benefits to utilizing a water tray during power xl grilling:

Benefit Description
Temperature Control Water absorbs and regulates heat for consistent grill temperature.
Moisture Evaporating water keeps food juicy and tender.
Flavor Steam infuses food with delicious smokehouse flavors.
Safety Water prevents grease flare ups.
Cleaning Water dilutes and captures drippings for easier grill cleaning.

Tastier Food

Meat and vegetables cook up more moist, tender, and flavorful with the water method. The steam keeps food from drying out while also transferring smoke essence.

Ideal Grilling Conditions

The water tray creates the ideal cooking environment inside your grill. You’ll enjoy precise temperature regulation for perfect results and less likelihood of over or undercooking.

Quick & Easy

It only takes a minute to fill the water tray before grilling. Let the water do the hard work of temperature and moisture control for you automatically.


Using water in a power xl grill provides major advantages you simply can’t get from dry grilling. The water regulates heat, adds moisture, imparts flavor, prevents flare ups, and makes cleaning easier. Filling the removable drip tray with about 1/2 inch of water before preheating and grilling is recommended for optimal performance. Refill the tray with water as needed throughout the cook. Proper use of water helps ensure perfect results every time. Juicy, flavorful food with less mess and stress is well worth the minimal effort of keeping that water tray full.