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Minion method fears

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
New to the smoking game. Finally was able to make something delicious the other day (pulled pork). Went through so much coal and was constantly tending the fire to keep temp. Part of it is probably because of my cooker: dyna-glo offset vertical. Modded it up real nice, but still difficult to hold temp. Anyway, I want to try the minion method, but I'm worried about getting acrid, bitter flavors from creosote due to unlit coals being in the firebox. Has anyone had issues with this? Thanks gentlemen.
post #2 of 14

Good Charcoal, Lump or Briquettes are never a creosote problem. It was burned off in the charring process. Your earlier issues should have been the exception. The minion method works fine, just don't add too many chunks of smoke wood...JJ

post #3 of 14

The way the minion method works is as you start a fire from one spot as it burns it pre heats the fuel so when the fire gets there the fuel is warm, no bad smoke.

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef JimmyJ View Post

Good Charcoal, Lump or Briquettes are never a creosote problem. It was burned off in the charring process. Your earlier issues should have been the exception. The minion method works fine, just don't add too many chunks of smoke wood...JJ
Thanks chef. How many is too many? Say for something that takes a while like brisket? Roughly.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by c farmer View Post

The way the minion method works is as you start a fire from one spot as it burns it pre heats the fuel so when the fire gets there the fuel is warm, no bad smoke.
On an offset, should I put the lit coals closer to the air intake or closer to the smoke box? Thanks for the reply.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefwik1 View Post


On an offset, should I put the lit coals closer to the air intake or closer to the smoke box? Thanks for the reply.

 

 

I always start the coals next to the air intake.

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefwik1 View Post


Thanks chef. How many is too many? Say for something that takes a while like brisket? Roughly.

Too many is as much Wood as Charcoal. Put a 3X3 chunk every 5-6". As one is spent the next should be well warmed and start smoking as the adjoining charcoal gets going. Watch the smoke output. If there is no smoke or smell of smoke, add a chunk on the hot coals to get by til the next piece gets going...JJ

 

Similar to this pic borrowed from Goggle images...

 

DSCN1071_zpsc661fd6f.jpg

post #8 of 14
Looks like chef JJ and Cfarmer got you straight. As far as how much smoke chunks, the method that works for me is to add 1-2 small splits on top of the lit coals. Once ignited, I let them burn, open flame, for 5-10 minutes and then shut down my vents and bring the smoker up to temp.



This method has improved my bbq immensely. Just my $0.02. Keep after it and eventually you will dial it in to your taste.
Lance
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef JimmyJ View Post

Good Charcoal, Lump or Briquettes are never a creosote problem. It was burned off in the charring process. Your earlier issues should have been the exception. The minion method works fine, just don't add too many chunks of smoke wood...JJ

So i did a dry run minion method. Even with water pan, temp stabilized at around 340. Didn't put any wood in, just blue bag charcoal. Lit about 15 coals and put in the middle. Thinking maybe either I put to much coal and it's lighting too fast and/or shouldn't put the lit coals in the middle, but rather on the side, close to the air intake. What do you think?
post #10 of 14

Try less lit coals, side or even corner. Way easier to make a small fire hotter, opening air damper, than choking air off and waiting for a big fire to die down...JJ

post #11 of 14

Nice... Is this the AMAZN Charcoal Smoker?

 

DSCN1071_zpsc661fd6f.jpg

post #12 of 14

No...That was a Goggle Images pic that repesented the Minion concept pretty well. Looks hand made...JJ

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef JimmyJ View Post
 

No...That was a Goggle Images pic that repesented the Minion concept pretty well. Looks hand made...JJ

Yes, I was joking, BUT! Maybe Todd should consider building one, bet he could sell some.

post #14 of 14
I tried the minion method with a charcoal basked in my offset smoker. Didn't really plan on smoking anything, just a dry run but I had the wife buy some ribs and I threw them on. I believe the minion method can work in an offset but I think it is too unpredictable to be reliable. If you oversupply the air for a few minutes too long, you'll lose contol of the fire like I did and end up at 400 degrees. I had to close the baffle and ended up with one side at 350 and the other at 225. So I put the ribs on the 225 side and they were excellent. It did hold the temp for about 4 hours so that is a plus.
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