Just bought a WSM and my understanding was the first few hours are the most important for obtaining the smoke flavor/ring. If I am burying the wood in different places to be lit later, am I not losing valuable smoke in the beginning as well as some of the ability to control the amount of smoke due to me already putting wood "landmines" in the sporadically throughout coal? If i were to lay some wood chunks on top, how many would be acceptable so that when the lit coals light up my "landmines" I am not over smoking? In the past I would add wood as needed whereas with this method I feel how I set my wood in the beginning will dictate the entire cook, which scares me.
Do you lose valuable smoke via wood chunks in the beginning using the Minion Method?
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I usually bury 2 or 3 chunks, then sit on in the bottom of the impression into which I pour the lit coals. This gets it smoking right away, but won't allow it to burst into flames. If you just put the chunks on top, they're likely to catch fire.
Haha, I made a bit of a typo. I should have said "I usually bury 2 or 3 chunks, then sit onE in the bottom of the impression into which I pour the lit coals."
Awesome, thanks Mdboatbum. Do you ever have to add a chunk or two later or is this all you need for that smokey flavor?
Usually not. The buried chunks will catch and smolder throughout the cook. If I'm not getting the color I like sometimes I'll toss in another chunk or a handfull of chips at the end, to purposely generate some heavy smoke. If it's under 10 or 15 minutes, you shouldn't have a problem with creosote flavor, but it will add some color quickly.