Burning through a lot of charcoal

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by coloradosmoke, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. coloradosmoke

    coloradosmoke Newbie

    I have been reading some of the posts and there is mention of the "minion method". Can someone post a link to it or explain to me. I am planning on doing a couple of butts on Friday and want to give this a try.


    Silver Smoker w/mods
  2. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  3. coloradosmoke

    coloradosmoke Newbie

    Thanks Dan, this is prefect. [​IMG] I will give it a shot and post my results.
  4. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    What kind of smoker are you using? Some can be modified to make them more efficient.
  5. coloradosmoke

    coloradosmoke Newbie

    I have a Char Broil silver smoker, with some mods. I built a charcoal basket, installed a baffle in the smoker side, and extended the exhaust chimney down to grate level. Is there anything else I should look to tweek?
  6. teacup13

    teacup13 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    seal your cooking chamber doors with tinfoil of similar...and keep your air intake out of direct wind
  7. coyote-1

    coyote-1 Smoking Fanatic

    a) Yep, that'll help. In addition, make sure your firebox lid fits snugly - lots of heat can escape via that space.

    b) Depends. I've found that doing this tends to create a backdraft problem! The smokestack is the first thing encountered by the wind, and the cold outside air blows in through it - particularly if you follow the conventional wisdom that says to always leave the stack fully open.

    I always turn the firebox into the wind. You are correct that the inrushing air will promote faster burn; to control the speed of that burn, simply close down the intake vent. Also close the smokestack a bit, with its lid helping to block the backdraft.

    One more thing to help control the burn is to put a double-walled divider in your charcoal basket. It should extend 2/3 of the way across. The walls should be 18ga or thicker, and ought have an inch of gap between them. This makes the fire travel in a C -shape rather than spreading in all directions.
  8. 1894

    1894 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    In addition to all the above advice , check to make sure your baffle doesn't angle down so much that it restricts the air flow from the fire box to the cooking chamber.
    Took me a while to figure that one out on mine [​IMG]
  9. bigtrain74

    bigtrain74 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It is truly the way to go if you find yourself using way too much coal...

    Good Luck!
  10. coloradosmoke

    coloradosmoke Newbie

    Afternoon everyone, well I made some tweeks and also adopted the "minion method" this smoke (12lbs of Boston Butt). I was very pleased the way things turned out.

    Here is what happend last weekend, I did a 11lbs of Boston Butt, outside temp was 44 degrees. I could never get the smoker temp above 180 degrees and was running through charcoal like crazy, which prompted me to open this thread.

    This time around:
    Outside temp - 44 degrees
    Charcoal setup - Minion method (I got 7 hours with this at 225) [​IMG]

    I was able to sustain the temp in the smoker which allowed the butts to smoke better. I pulled them and foiled wraped and spritzed them with apple juice, then in the oven at 250 until internal meat temp reached 200.
    At this point I pulled butts from oven and towel wrapped and into ice chest.

    Everyone raved at the pulled pork,

    I think I am starting to figure out my smoker and the minion method looks to be the way to go!!!

    Thanks everyone for all the advice and tips!!! [​IMG]

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