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Burning through a lot of charcoal

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have been reading some of the posts and there is mention of the "minion method". Can someone post a link to it or explain to me. I am planning on doing a couple of butts on Friday and want to give this a try.


Silver Smoker w/mods
post #2 of 11
Here ya go Colorado,
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks Dan, this is prefect. PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif I will give it a shot and post my results.
post #4 of 11
What kind of smoker are you using? Some can be modified to make them more efficient.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have a Char Broil silver smoker, with some mods. I built a charcoal basket, installed a baffle in the smoker side, and extended the exhaust chimney down to grate level. Is there anything else I should look to tweek?
post #6 of 11
seal your cooking chamber doors with tinfoil of similar...and keep your air intake out of direct wind
post #7 of 11
post #8 of 11
a) Yep, that'll help. In addition, make sure your firebox lid fits snugly - lots of heat can escape via that space.

b) Depends. I've found that doing this tends to create a backdraft problem! The smokestack is the first thing encountered by the wind, and the cold outside air blows in through it - particularly if you follow the conventional wisdom that says to always leave the stack fully open.

I always turn the firebox into the wind. You are correct that the inrushing air will promote faster burn; to control the speed of that burn, simply close down the intake vent. Also close the smokestack a bit, with its lid helping to block the backdraft.

One more thing to help control the burn is to put a double-walled divider in your charcoal basket. It should extend 2/3 of the way across. The walls should be 18ga or thicker, and ought have an inch of gap between them. This makes the fire travel in a C -shape rather than spreading in all directions.
post #9 of 11
In addition to all the above advice , check to make sure your baffle doesn't angle down so much that it restricts the air flow from the fire box to the cooking chamber.
Took me a while to figure that one out on mine icon_redface.gif
post #10 of 11
It is truly the way to go if you find yourself using way too much coal...

Good Luck!
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Afternoon everyone, well I made some tweeks and also adopted the "minion method" this smoke (12lbs of Boston Butt). I was very pleased the way things turned out.

Here is what happend last weekend, I did a 11lbs of Boston Butt, outside temp was 44 degrees. I could never get the smoker temp above 180 degrees and was running through charcoal like crazy, which prompted me to open this thread.

This time around:
Outside temp - 44 degrees
Charcoal setup - Minion method (I got 7 hours with this at 225) icon_smile.gif

I was able to sustain the temp in the smoker which allowed the butts to smoke better. I pulled them and foiled wraped and spritzed them with apple juice, then in the oven at 250 until internal meat temp reached 200.
At this point I pulled butts from oven and towel wrapped and into ice chest.

Everyone raved at the pulled pork,

I think I am starting to figure out my smoker and the minion method looks to be the way to go!!!

Thanks everyone for all the advice and tips!!! PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
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