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Coal Arrangement Idea

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
This is something I read months ago in "Cooks Illustrated" and wanted to see if all of you concur.

The idea is was to keep the heat more even in the cooker.

To do this, they used the charcoal chimney to get the initial coals going.
At the same time they filled the fire pan with unlit coals. When the chimney was ready they dumped it onto the unburned coals in the fire pan. This burned more slowly than if they put the fresh coals on top of the lit ones (for obvious reasons) and ended up using a lot less charcoal.

Essentially, it took longer for the coals to burn DOWN than it did for them to burn up. Seemed like a good idea to me so that's what I'm currently doing.
post #2 of 9
Sounds like the Minion method. That's what I do in my offset. Unllit coals into the tray then about 1/3 chimney lit on top, on the smoke chamber side.
post #3 of 9
Yeah that is the minion method. I do it just like that.
post #4 of 9
Here's a link that describes the Minion Method.

post #5 of 9
Here is a link to more detail on the minion meathod. Works real well and can be adjusted to work in all charcoal smokers.
post #6 of 9
As far as the use of this method, it depends on your fuel. If you are using lump, it is a good method, though due to the variation in size of lump, your temperatures can fluctuate. Bricks are a uniform size and therefore burn more evenly. However, in my opinion, lighting unburned bricks insize the cooker is not desirable. The flavor of the binders ruins it for me.
post #7 of 9
I concur. I have also done it with lighting the whole pan off at once. I haven't tasted any differance due to unlit briq firing off myself.
post #8 of 9
That is the minion method for sure that is what I use
post #9 of 9
Depends on the briquettes. Some of them have an almost jet fuel aroma when they light off. Others are not bad at all.

I use Kinsford Comp in the UDS and it just smells like wood when it lights. However the blue bag Kingsford that we get on the West Coast stinks when it lights. (No, I'm not talking about Matchlight, just the regular blue bag.)biggrin.gif Actually I don't care much for the smell of RO briquettes lighting in the UDS either. Not as bad as blue bag K but no where as pleasant as the Kingsford Comp.

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