Question about adding charcoal during a smoke.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by kb69co, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. I am new and have never smoked before. I have a question about the minion method or just adding charcoal in general during a smoke. If I am already going do I need to start more charcoal in a chimney and get it grey before adding it? With the minion method the charcoal ignites and starts during the smoke. I was told by someone that you should never put black fresh charcoal in during a burn because it will cause creosilt and blacken your food. wouldn't that happen in a minion method burn to then or was I given wrong information?  Thanks for your input. 
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When using the minion method, you add way more unlit charcoal that you think you will need....   Add 6 or so lit coal to the pile..... adjust the temps with the air intakes to the firebox..... cook the food.... there should be coals left when you are done.... that is the beauty of the minion method....    Bury chunks of flavor wood in the unlit coals so you don't have to add those later... If they are buried, they should not flame up due to the lack of oxygen when they are buried.....    Dave
  3. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Hi kB

    you are always going to hear conflicting opinions about how to do this and that in BBQ , but you are right in your thinking about the minion's the same thing. The minion method works perfectly and adding unlit charcoal during a cook is essentially the same thing. If you want to get the straight skinny on BBQ , you listen to the folks on this forum.

    what kind of smoker do you have? 
  4. I have the Smoke Hollow 4-in-1 combo. I am just getting it together to season and try my first smoke. I know it isn't the greatest smoker(made from thin steel) but it was within budget and I think it will be great to learn with. I have made the mods that I found on here to make it work better but I know it won't hold heat great so I will have to add charcoal while I am smoking. I was told not to put new black charcoal in the fire box once you are cooking because it will blacken your food with creasilt. Is that true? do you need to start the charcoal in a chimney and only add it once it has gone grey?
  5. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

  6. mneeley490

    mneeley490 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It depends on if you want thick, gray clouds of smoke covering your food. That's what will happen if you add a bunch of unlit charcoal all at once. With the Minion method, you will get some white/gray smoke, but only a few briquettes will be in the smoke phase at a time.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
  7. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you are interested in trying the Minion Method (which I recommend) take a look at this thread!

    Minion Method

    Good luck!

  8. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I am just getting into charcoal smoking, thanks for the link. Very helpful.
  9. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Another purpose of using the Minion method... All the unlit charcoal (with wood chunks mixed all throughout)... that is in the firebox gets preheated before lighting which cuts down the white smoke... Kinda like preheating sticks when using a stick burner
    pgsmoker64 likes this.
  10. when adding unlit charcoal make sure it good charcoal and not the quick lite that has a starter fluid add
  11. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    if i get to it before the fire dwindles i add unlit if the smoker is wide open and not coming up any longer (meaning i messed up) then i add lit coals along with unlit.
  12. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    No it doesn't hurt anything at all to add charcoal as long as it doesn't have lighter fluid in it. Your friend gave you some bad info. 
  13. maple sticks

    maple sticks Smoking Fanatic

  14. I use the minion method with an empty coffee can with both lids removed. I have a 22" Weber Smokey moutain and I fill the bottom ring of the weber with about 3/4 full of Kingsford charcoal briqutes and the I add about 1/2 a weber chimney starter full of lit coals in the empty coffee can in the midlde of the ring. I remove the coffee can with tongs and the lit coals are yjen in the middle of the unlit ones. I gernearlly add about 4-5 chunks of hickory and assemble the rest of the WSM. This gives me about 6-7 hours of smoking, enough for ribs or small pork butts. Briskets will require more briquettes.

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