Confused about charcoal methods...

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by phatz504, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. Good day all...(using a webber kettle)

    I am having a bit of trouble here. My temps keeps bouncing from 200-300. Tell me what i'm doing wrong....

    I first toss a full chimney in and wait till she gets down below 250, then i toss on my meat. It slowly starts to cool down, and after about an hour and a half she's down to about 200, anticipation of this i fill the chimney and lighting it 20 mins or so prior, and once it gets down to about 2 (looks like the coals are all burnt out?) i toss another full chimney on but...that brings it back up to about 300 more 20 mins or so. I know i'm doing this wrong, Maybe i should just toss a handfull or 2 of lump on the burning coals once it gets down instead of getting them all fired up in the chimney to toss them is...but are they gonna catch is what i'm affraid of?

    I've read about this "ring method" which sounds quite inticing. Sounds like it is just a matter of lighting it once and letting it burn for my whole 12 hr smoke or so? (just doing an 8 lb butt).

    If anyone has the time to explain this method, or the link on how to do would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you so much in advance...

  2. dewetha

    dewetha Smoking Fanatic

    i have no done it myself, went gas a few year ago but looking at the possibility of going back to charcoal or wood.

    do a search on the minion method here and on google. youtube has a few videos on it.

    form past experience you are missing a few things. when you add volume of cold(meat) you will lower the temp in you smoker. you need to learn to judge the effects. i know that a full smoker means i look toward 280ish before adding food.  250 for half a load.

    adding small amounts of charcoal is better than a full chimney. also, is this natural wood lumps or briquettes? be sure you don't add any flavored or pre-soaked self igniting charcoal.

    seek out weber users, Smokin AL is one that i know of on the site. he can help. he turns out some good looking BBQ.
  3. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  4. Thanks a was my first time, so i guess i should have seeked some advice on this wonderful forum before attempting! hahaha.

    I'm going to try this "minion" method this weekend. Yes, i did look at the video's online and such (thank you dewetha). but from the vid's i saw....they were making the ring of unlit on the outside, and then filling the entire middle with a full chimney. Yes, i think this will result in a long burn as it burns outwards but....correct me if i'm wrong...doesn't this result in direct grilling?

    I was going to create a ring of unlit, then blanket that with some lit lump from the chimney to allow it to burn down. This will allow me to keep an area in the middle in which the meat can sit with nothing under it.....yay or nay?

    Thanks again....
  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    You want to make the ring about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way around the kettle. With about 2 to3 briquettes high & about 6-8 wood chunks mixed in, then light 6 to 8 briquettes & put them on one end of the ring. The fire will slowly follow around the ring. Adjust the heat by opening & closing the bottom vents & keep the top vent wide open.

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