Minion Method

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scotty's bbq

Fire Starter
Original poster
Jul 26, 2006
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Hey all...

I am going to use the minion method tomorrow. Has anyone used it with Lump Coal instead of charcoal? Is there anything I need to watch out for that is different from using charcoal? I have a new Braunfels Bandera that I am still getting to know.
The lump charcoal is often bigger than the brickettes so you won't need as much. I like to place them in a criss cross stick pattern for better air flow. Seems to last all smoke that way. Put some wood chunks or sticks in between one or two in each a layer depending how big the are.

Good Luck!
Thanks Dutch...

I read this information prior to my post, but the lump charcoal info wasn't as detailed as I would like. Do you use a propane smoker or a wood/charcoal smoker? If wood/charcoal what do you heat it with? I bought a bunch of lump, but I haven't mastered how much to begin with. A lot of people say not to use charcoal because it can leave a nasty taste on the food...

What's your take?
Lump burns hotter, but does leave alot less ash than regular brickettes. Regular brickettes have alot of fillers in it.
I use an offset smoker with briquettes using the minion method.

It does create a lot of ash, but I have a slide out tray that make it easy to dump and reload without losing any heat. Or not a lot at least.

One thing I like doing in regards to the wood chunks is that above my bed of coals is a second grate. On that grate I have two cast iron woodchip boxes. I just put one or two chunks of wood in that. The heat from the chamber heats up the cast iron boxes, and they slowly burn the wood chunks. Putting them directly in the fire makes the burn up faster cause they literally catch fire. But having them in the cast iron boxes keeps them from igniting and just burns them really slowly, and almost incinerates them to nothing.

I haven't found any taste difference using the minion with regular briquettes, and I served a briskette and a shoulder to a group of almost 20 and got nothing but rave reviews about the flavor. In fact.... just today I got a thankyou card in the mail from one of the guests talking about it, and it's a week later.
I will try starting with lump this afternoon and then switch to briquets. this way the extra heat of the lump will get me up to temp and the long smoke time will continue with the ease of briquets
Scotty, I have a GOSM that's propane fired and an old ECB bullet H2O smoker that's charcoal fired. When I use the ECB, I start my briquettes in a charcoal chimney. Once they have ashed over, I'll dump them on the charcoal in the fire pan and spread them out. I will use a couple of loosely wadded up sheets of newspaper stuffed in the lower section of the chimney and light it with a match or I'll fill the chimney with charcoal and put it on top of the side burner of my grill and then light the burner. I don't use lighting fluid to start briquettes for smoking because (my opinion here) you don't achive high enough heat to burn off the fumes.

BTW-You can use the chimney to start lump charcoal too.
Thanks for the info Dutch!! Based on your post, you don't use lump charcoal...I don't know if anyone else has had as hard a time as I have had with Kingsford's lump coal or not, but I may switch to charcoal briquettes soon.

It is taking way too long for the lump to get going...once it goes it provides good heat, but it does burn out rather quickly!
I just did some pork tenderloins this weekend with just briquettes and noticed a very briquette taste with the meat.

I will have to check the bag for what brand ( I was trying this one out) but with the strong off flavor this cat is not going to do that again is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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