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Ready for my first smoke on my Brinkmann Gourmet

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
After getting used to the nuances of charcoal in my new Brinkmann charcoal smoker by grilling burgers and a quick rib smoke, I am ready to step up and go for a pork butt this coming weekend. I have not made any modifications to the unit yet, just as it is out of the box.

1) How much charcoal should I have on hand to ensure a good continuous fire through the smoke? Is one large bag of charcoal going to be enough?

2) I've read up on the Minion Method and feel that will be the best way to start off this task. How full should I load my smoker to achieve a long smoke?

3) Please feel free to chime in with suggestions and experiences with this smoker and pork butts.

post #2 of 6
i have finally learned the minion method and haven't tried a butt again using the minion, i have just been experimenting with ribs and quicker cooking meats
but i can get around6 or 7 hours of a perfect 200-230 on probably a small 9 lb bag i fill the charcoal as much as i can fit in the bowl and be able to push it to the sides to make a hole for a half filled charcoal chimney to go in the middle.
so i would think you would have to refill the coals one time for a 10-12 hour but? depending on the size of it? but my last 9 pounder took like 13 hours to get to temp
post #3 of 6
I have an ecb gourmet WITH mods, and a 18# bag of charcoal is more than enough for a pork butt or brisket smoke. I can't say how well it works in an un-modded ecb, as I've never smoked with mine that way.

One thing that gets overlooked on these smaller charcoal smokers is that you can divide your pork butt to cut down on the time it takes to finish to 205....this also gives more surface area for rub and for smoke penetration.
It won't necessarily cut your time in half, but generally will cut 1/3 of the time off of an 8-9# butt.

If you do decide to do mods to your smoker...I highly recommend a damper for the bottom as the first mod to regulate how much air it gets...this helps a LOT when you need to tame a temp spike gone bad.

Good luck with your smoke and show us the results!!

post #4 of 6
The minion method works fine. It usually gets me 2-3 hours into my smoke before I need to open the door to my smoker anyways. I've never tried to go 6 hours or more without adding fuel anyways. I always end up setting my alarm clock to wake me up every 2 hours on long smokes.

Don't overload your firebowl or try to do the entire smoke without adding fuel. I would start with about 30 coals and add 8-12 every 90 minutes or so as needed. I haven't used a ECB in a long time but from what I remember, w/o mods it was hard to maintain a good temp over 200.

Good luck and pics please! PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #5 of 6
I agree with Pandemonium. 9 pounds of charcoal sounds about right for a good long cook. The more air tight youe unit, the longer cook you will get out of the pile. I know some WSM owners can get a good 10-12 hours out of 9-10 pounds of charcoal.
post #6 of 6
and the temp has been very steady for me in hot florida anyway. just practice with no food. thats what i did the first minion burn i did, coals dont cost that much
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