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does the "minion method" work in an offset smoker?

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welshmark10

I was looking at the weber smokey mountain site www.virtualweberbullet.com and read about the "minion method" for maintaining constant temperatures for long periods of cooking time. It basically consists of having a whole layer of unlit coals and covering them with a small number of lit ones (from the chimney starter), the theory being that the unlit coals catch alight throughout the cooking process thus negating the need for adding extra coals every hour. I have a New Braunfels offset firebox smoker and was wondering if this method would work here too, maybe for smoking brisket overnight. Anyone tried this?

Thanks.

Post Mon Jul 14, 2003 2:25 pm
Luke medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 89
Location: Texas

While that is an intriguing idea... I think it would be very hard. First to cook over-night you would need to have a large pile of coals. Second, unless you use natural lump charcoal (which we all should be using anyway) the ash would most certainly smother the fire eventually. Third, you would have to experiment with your smoker and the brand of charcoal you were using to determine how much air flow is necessary to maintain a slow ignition and a constant heat. To me this seems like the kind of thing that would be awesome if you could make it work, but might be nearly impossible and would not be transferable to another pit or charcoal.

Post Mon Jul 14, 2003 5:28 pm
Reuel raw
raw

Posts: 3
Location: Los Gatos, CA
I have a New Braunfels with the side firebox too and the best results I have had are using cured logs with charcoal.

I start a fire with charcoal in the front of the firebox (near the vent) and then lay two or three logs on top. (I am currently using apple wood, thanks to a friendly horticulturist.) The logs burn from one end to the other and last about 4 or 5 hours. I typically start a brisket at dawn and smoke all day, having to refuel 3 or 4 times depending on the amount of meat I am smoking.

Charcoal by itself will not last more than 2 hours. Logs, at least, doubles the time between refueling. Try a remote monitor with an alarm (about $50 at most cooking stores) to tell you when the temp is going low and it's time to refuel.

Note: For a killer bbq sauce, I refrigerate the smoked meat and use the accumulated jelly the next day in my sauce.


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