Second Pork Butt - Minion Method Help

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by rybro, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. rybro

    rybro Newbie

    Hey guys,

    I haven't posted for awhile, my 4 month old has been keeping me really busy. I have a few friends coming over this Saturday to watch some college football, I plan on doing a night smoke so it is ready by noon. This will be the second pork butt that I have ever done. I had A LOT of success with my first one. A friend who had been smoking for years thought it was better than his. I was very proud.

    There are a few things I am going to change. First, I am allowing myself a little more time. Second, I ended at 198 internal last time...I want to hit 203 this time. Thirdly, I will be letting this one rest for a few hours instead of 45 minutes. And lastly, I am going to use the minion method.

    So my question revolves around the MINION METHOD. I have done a lot fo searching through the forums, but it is very time consuming. I have a Weber Kettle Kettle Grill with a Slow-N-Sear Plus. Check out amazon or google to see what I'm talking about. I would like to use Royal Oak lump this time around. I was thinking of using a handful of fully ashed professional grade kingsford briquettes and set in one corner of the slow-n-sear. Then, line the rest of the chamber with unlit Royal Oak Lump Charcoal. I assume just use enough to cover the bottom and use the vents to control temp? Or do I need more than I think? Does anyone see any trouble I might run into? Any Suggestion would work.

    My question is strictly about the charcoal setup and use. I understand how to use the wood part, that's not the issue. Thank!
  2. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Fanatic

    From what I've read(which is minimal) lump isn't recommended in the slow-n-sear - burns quicker and odd shapes reduce the amount of coal you can put in. Also I don't think you can do a true minion with it either. Maybe take a few lit coals and place them to one side, but they claim it can cook for 8 hours on a single load. If you haven't tried that long a cook yet with it. I would be a little weary on my first overnighter. You could always try a dry run on a day off or on Friday night after work to see if it really does what it claims. Let us know the results. good luck.


  3. rybro

    rybro Newbie

    I will try a dry run tonight. My concern is the crappy taste you can sometimes get with briquettes due to the binders they use. Tonight I'll use Royal Oak and try and pick out similar shape pieces so it burns more even with the minion method. We'll see how long it burns. I just refuse to use briquettes because I have a very tuned pallete and can pick up the off taste briquettes leave off when not fully ashed. Let's say it goes for 4-5 hours consistently but then I need to I just put unlit lump on top the lit? Or do I push all the lit lump to one corner and then poor in unlit lump?
  4. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Fanatic

    If you have access to the coals, and there are enough still lit I would just push the unburned to one side and reverse the pattern you started with so you can come close to mimicking your temps(if your happy with them). A good dose of hickory should be enough hide the briquette taste - I would think. I've never experienced that before. Guess I'm sorta glad my palette isn't that sensitive. Good luck and let us know. I'm interested in hearing if the s-n-s works as advertised. 

  5. Did you use the slow n sear the last time?I have a slow n sear and a 22.5 weber kettle. Havent had the slow n sear that long but on low n slow cooks ive found i get a longer burn time if i load the slow n sear with briquettes to near full but leaving room on the top left side for lit coals (about 12 or 15). Heat rises so haveing to burn down instead of up slows the consumption of the fuel. I agree with gmc that lump wont last as long and can be an inconsistent heat. Kbb is what slow n sear used to determin times and temps so lump would be different. I havnt used lump in it so cant help but to say i would fill the fuel section up and push the last of the hot lump to one side when adding more so its like continueing the fuse
  6. rybro

    rybro Newbie

    Yes. I used the slow n sear last time. But I didn't use the minion method the first time. So this will be a first tonight. I did a dry run yesterday, did pretty well....except I had too much smoke. Did a second dry run and buried the wood in the charcoal....did better, but still too much smoke. Just going to have to monitor it tonight I guess! Any last minute suggestions?
  7. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Fanatic

    Sorry no real suggestions except maybe less wood.Our family isn't into the heavy smoke flavor. They like a lighter smoke. Hopefully your wood is dry, and I would suggest placing piece next to where you put your hot coals, then stagger the rest down the coal line. I wouldn't put my meat on until the temps are stable and the white billowy smoke has stopped. Good luck - keep us informed.

  8. I also like a mild smoke flavour. I dont bury it throughout i add about a four ounce chunk on top of the hot coals right at the start and again about an hour and a half in. Some say smoke adhears to the meat best when its still cold and moist. Good luck and try to post some pics.
  9. rybro

    rybro Newbie

    I didn't take any pictures this time. I decided to try Royal Oak Lump for the minion method, just for kicks, filling the slow-n-sear about 3/4th full. Under all of the lump, I burried an apple chunk in the middle and a hickory chunk on the finishing end of the minion. Filled the water resevoir on the slow-n-sear all the way full. Also had a drip pan with water under the meat. I completely ashed over abour 10 Kingsford Professional briqs. I then placed them on top of one end and placed a hickory chunk on them. Waited for the smoke to clear and to come to temp, about 145. Put the meat on at 8:30 pm. 

    So that is how I started. At first, I had to adjust the vents a tad and eventually it held for about 2 hours. But, as I found out very quickly...Lump burned up way too fast. I had to keep pushing the burning stuff to one corner and do it all over again.I eventually gave up and just used the Professional Briquettes. They are apparently all natural. Those worked much better and lasted longer. I eventually pulled the pork off at 8:45 am when it hit 200. Let it rest in cooler for 2 and half hours. Came out great. 

    But a few things I noticed. The method did not last as long as I thought it would. Still found myself outside about 6 times in the middle of the night. I think maybe I need to use more charcoal. Another thing I noticed, everytime the minion would start to approach some unburned would produce some white smoke for awhile? Is this normal? I thought the point was that it warmed up the wood since it is burried in the coals and that it wouldn't produce white smoke?

    I'm starting to think it is time to buy a real smoker. I feel like I'd be able to hold temps for longer. Seems as though the slow-n-sear burns up the charcoal too fast.
  10. You should start with the charcoal section full and the water section full of boiling water so your not useing the charcoal to heat the water. I can usually get 7 to 8 hrs from that setup depending on weather. A tip one of the other members gave was to foil off the lower grill that isnt covered by the slow n sear to force the air flow to the slow n sear for better temp control. What temp were you shooting for and what was the actual temp at grill level? White smoke is normal but it doesnt last long. I add the wood on top of the hot coals and after a couple minutes the white smoke disipates and turns to tbs.

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