All Nighter

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Jun 18, 2006
Well my all nighter really started at 2am. I had two 7# butts and attempted to use the minion method. Loaded up the charcoal pan (I have an ECB) and spred 16 hot coals in the middle, hoping they would burn slowly and outward.

I came back 30 minutes later and most of the coals were burning, the temp was out of control. I emptied the pan and replaced the coals every hour. I have no idea why the minion method did not work. Any idea's?

The good thing was the both shoulders turn out AWESOME!! I only went through one of the shoulders. I took them both off at 3pm and put them in the cooler. Took one out at 5pm and pulled. Took my son to the emergency room shortly after pulling to stitch up his eye, and left my guest to enjoy the fest. At 9:30pm I took the other butt out of the cooler and it was piping hot still. Next time, I will buy a little less meet.

Ribs are going to be this weekend. I think I have a bbq addiction now. Any thoughts about the minion method would be appreciated.

When I was cooking on an ECB, my temp's would spike early on in the smoke, but would tend to cool off later on in the smoke. All in all it seemed to work out to make some pretty good Q.

When I cooked butts on my ECB, I would fill the pan with charcoal and light it, fill the pan with water, put the butts on the grill and go to bed. Morning came and the BBQ gods left me cooked butts. :D

I didn't know about internal temps, chamber temps and all the high tech stuff we know now. :shock:
Just something to think about, but when I started using the minion method, I was using the old Kingsford, not the new stuff. The new stuff lights much quicker and hotter, so I mostly use it in my kettle. I do use a mixture of K and lump in my BSKD, but my basket facilitates the slower burn, compared to a normal charcoal pan.

I wonder if your elevated temps were due to the charcoal itself, not the method. Also, how hard is it to control air in and ECB?

It is hard to control the air in the ECB. The charcoal pan is well ventilated and it sits in another pan with a single hole in the bottom. The hole is about two to three inches in diameter.

A suggested that was given to me by an individual was to drill about 7 holes in the pan that the charcoal pan sits in. I drilled 7 (1/8 inch) holes around the pan.

I am going to try the method again this weekend with some ribs. I plan on using less lit coal and experiment with it. I have been using the lump, but I wanted to try the minion with the Kingsford.

Remember it is easier to build a small fire and make it bigger than the other way around. I don't lite off that many coals, but I basically follow the rest of the theory of the Minion method.
Noah hit it with the New Kingsford, I have switched to DuraFlame briquets for that reason. They work very well and have much less ash.
If using lump start out with less lit coals and give yourself a chance to keep temps down.
Jim, Thanks for the information. I will try the Duraflame this weekend for my ribs. Would you recommend placing the hot coals all in the center of the pan or spread them around? Thank you again.

I have always spread the burning coals around, I use the warm up period of the cook to help produce smokering on brisket and butts.
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