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fire question...

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have the Char-broil American Smoker, and have a question concerning the firebox and fires.....

first of all, the minion method...if I understand this correctly, I make a pile of charcoal in my firebox, and start another pile in my charcoal lighter can...once the coals are hot, I put them over the other ones I already have in a pramid in the firebox...

with this method, will it get too hot? I built a ver small fire tonight, of about 20 briquettes right in the box, and it rose to 300 in the chamber for quite a while...will more coals make the fire hotter?
post #2 of 14
I can not say for a fact, but when I use my Dutch oven I can count on each piece of charcoal putting out about 25 degrees of heat.
post #3 of 14
when i do the minion method......i don't stack the charchol in a pyramid.......i put em level.........then i place the lit charchol from the
chimney on ONE side of the charchol.......that way.......the fire starts on one side......and then slowly burns to the other side......the charchol last MUCH longer that way


post #4 of 14
the idea of the minion method is to put the lit charcoal on top of unlit to get heat and light slowly from the top down as not to have to add coals all the time or get the full pile engulfed @ once & waste heat later by opening the firebox door.- as far as i understand it.but i burn wood & depending on outside temps,sun,wind,& frosty accessories.. the minion method went out the window quickfast.
post #5 of 14
i tried that once gsg........and it wasn't long before the whole pan was fired up........i just used the minion method tonite on my ribs.....and did it from the side........to me......putting the lit chimney full of charchol in the middle......isn't anything different from what i did before i learned of the minion method.........

post #6 of 14
same here w/ my everything lighting. but since i chopped all the wood over the last year i just use a few charcoal bricks to get the wood lit.
post #7 of 14
The minion method works well in my ECB but not in my horizontal. Maybe to much air space?
post #8 of 14
good thought......even tho i am not getting my stick burner till christmas (crap).......i like these ideas........helps my learning curve to not be so steep.........thankx deb

post #9 of 14
the minion method does not work for me either. what i do is start a chimney full of kingsford briquettes. when they are flaming good, i dump them into my firebox. i then place them into a kind of round top pyramid. then i place a log on top of it. it catches fire pretty quick. then i place another log (or split) on top of my firebox to prewarm it. when i need to place it in the firebox, in it goes and another one goes on top again. i keep doing that until i am about an hour from being done with the smoke session. at that time, when i pull off the prewarmed log/split, i don't put another one up there.

this works good for me, and i can keep my smoker running 225-240°. i do not have a damper in my smokestack. it runs wide open; i open/close the intake damper in the firebox as needed. i usually run it 3/4 open. i keep a small, but HOT, fire going all the time. with my damper open 3/4-100%, and one or two small logs in the firebox, i have a hot fire.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
when I add wood, my fire turns to thick white smoke though...after a little while, it will go away...
post #11 of 14
Yeah, the minion method only works with good air control, too much air and everything burns, if you got your dampers too wide, or (this is most often the case) just too many air leaks, you get nothing but a big fire. It is all about controlling the air coming in.
post #12 of 14
Welcome to the SMF! cool.gif
post #13 of 14
I've closed my dampers down and still burned up everything in there. It is leaky gotta fix that. I just don't use the offset much to expensive!
post #14 of 14
if the wood is smoldering, the smoke will be thick and white. if the wood is burning real good, the smoke will be the thin blue kind. i keep my fire going in the firebox, until i am thru smoking, then i let it die out on its own.
i have to keep my firebox door propped open a bit when i first get the fire going. after i get the smoker up to temp, i close the door all the way. by then it is burning really good, and gets enough air through the damper. keep the wood afire, and you will have thin blue smoke. let the wood smolder, and you will have thick white smoke.
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