Thanks for your reply JarJar Chef. I appreciate it.
Sometimes I think too much, or too little. HA! Not sure which.
Now that I've had a day to think on this further,
I can't see any benefit other than possibility of getting a little more time out of lump in the beginning, by layering larger pieces by hand.
But that would be a one time benefit during smoke, and would take the smoker longer to come to heat. That process seems like it wouldn't help that much on start up of smoker, when you are trying to pre-warm it.
I guess it may be simpler than I try to make it sometimes.
Want heat, add lit coals, or very dry and warmed splits. Too much? Close vent down. Not enough heat, open vent up.
It's just an enclosed campfire, Frank. Go cook something! LOL
Good grief, I have cooked so much food on a campfire and never once had a maverick. Didn't use minion, no surface temp therm, and often, no grate. Just cooked on, over, or under, hot bed of coals. Usually from a fire that has burned at least a few hours to get coals for a quick meal, or for low and slow, on a fire that has burned for 2 or 3 days to heat all the sand under it. Want it hotter, place on, or near coal bed. Low and slow? Either bury it under the coals and sand, in layers foil (buried dinner), or raise it above coals.
I did it by instinct I guess you would call it. When it's done, it's done.
And no food police came up to me in 50+ years of camping, to tell me I went longer than 4 hours for whatever, and no one ever got sick.
Maybe that's because I was taught food safety by Mom. WAY BEFORE they became govermentt regulations. And... because we used fresh locally raised meat, or our own.
I think they called it common sense back then. LOL Not so common anymore, since hardly no one raises and butchers their own meat anymore. (Myself included, I'm sorry to say) Ever notice most food poisonings come from food certitifed chains, or meat processers?
Geeze They ARE are inspected? Right? What a laugh!
Back to topic.
I'm still trying to learn, and I get caught up in ideas sometimes that sound good, but in the end, aren't all that practical.
I suspect a lot of us newbies in forum, are guilty of trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear.
Please bear with us newbies. We appreciate, and need, your patience.
Also please forgive my little rant up there. Thanks.
Edited by fpmich - 10/11/14 at 11:48pm