Time to TBS on the Mini?

Discussion in 'Mini-WSM' started by kettlemetal, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. kettlemetal

    kettlemetal Fire Starter

    I have most of my issues with the mini under control, but getting to TBS has been a bit of a headache. Right now I'm about an hour past lighting, and the white smoke is still chugging along.

    I started with a pretty full basket of KBB with 3 hickory chunks buried well. I lit one edge with a torch for 1-1.5 mins, assembled the mini, top and bottom vents open. Aiming for 225, I closed down the bottom vent around 200 or so. Sitting nicely at 225 now, but smoke is thick.

    I even scrubbed my steamer insert today, as old grease on there makes its own smoke which complicates the matter. Any input? Thanks!
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2015
  2. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    IMHO... Stop using chunks and start using chips. And use the chips sparingly.  Remember you have a "Mini" smoking chamber.  I little wood goes a long way!  Light enough charcoal to fill half of the basket. Fill the other half with unlit charcoal.  Sprinkle chip over the unlit charcoal.  As the unlit charcoal begin to slowly burn so do the chips and you have your TBS. 

    Just my thoughts...


  3. kettlemetal

    kettlemetal Fire Starter

    Appreciate the tip B, certainly something to try.

    It's funny...I have a long way to go, but the frustration/satisfaction balance can really be wacky. What you mentioned is super logical and makes a ton of sense, but then I see people with very similar builds using chunks just fine and it drives me nuts.

    I know that the real sweet spot is finding what works for me, on my smoker, on the particular day I'm using it, but man...getting there is a rollercoaster.
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I use chunks, (3-4) 2"-3". I use the side light method that I have mentioned using my torch. I have TBS immediately using this method.
  5. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG]   That will work too!  b
  6. kettlemetal

    kettlemetal Fire Starter

    I've been trying to approximate this, but it's just not the same without a side vent. You're probably getting some major pre-heat action.
  7. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes I am, as in immediately. I played with my mini. Adding one thing at a time until I found the optimal set up. Then I built my other Mini's based on that set up.

    I tried every lighting method out there. And settled on the one that works the best and wastes the least amount of fuel.

    So that's what I use. I can have my mini and my
    other charcoal smokers up and smoking with TBS in less than 10 minutes.

    Really is the best way to get a smoker going. No wasted fuel and you preheat the smoker.
  8. slysmoke

    slysmoke Smoke Blower

    I've occasionally placed smallish chunks outside of the basket, spaced around so that as the charcoal starts burning, the chunk outside the basket will start to smolder, but doesn't usually ignite as its not in direct contact with the charcoal.  

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