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Thread: Minion start mistake...too much smoke

  1. #11
    TVWBB Pro J Hasselberger's Avatar
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    I do pretty much what Dustin and Rich do. I've started to split my wood chunks a bit smaller (2x2x1-ish) and use more small instead of fewer large. I don't assemble the cooker until the wood shows some flame. Even with the vents wide open, wood smolders rather than burns. I also start one or two wood chunks in the chimney with the initial briquettes. I'm not sure if it makes a big difference, but it just seems to make the cook go a little easier.

    Jeff
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  2. #12
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    So I guess I'm the odd man at the party here...
    If I'm smoking a butt, I load a chimney almost to the top and light it. As the chimney gets going, I fill the charcoal basket of my WSM and make get everything in place. When the chimney is ready, I dump the full chimney on top of the un lit coals and my desired wood chunks for that cool. I then assemble the smoker and put the meat on. I'm usually up to temp (265-275) in about 30 minutes, and by 45 minutes, it's leveled out and chugging along. Different strokes for different folks I guess..
    Tim
    Last edited by Tim K; 07-11-2018 at 03:39 AM.
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  3. #13
    Moderator Chris Allingham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Petrone View Post
    After dumping half a chimney of lit coals on half a ring full of charcoal and 2 pieces of hickory in a 14.5, I got SMOKE.
    Using the little Weber chimney or the regular full-sized one? Cuz the big one holds 100 briquets, half would be about 50, and in my book a Minion start is 30 briquets or maybe 40 on a very cold day, and that's in the 18.5" WSM. So less hot coals for the 14.5" WSM?

    I ALWAYS get smoke when adding lit Kingsford and smoke wood chunks on top of unlit charcoal when doing the Minion Method. Doesn't seem to be a problem for me. The idea of letting smoke blow off is more like the method described for the old Best Ribs in the Universe where you get the fire going and let the smoke wood burn down. Regardless, whatever works for you is what you should do, of course.

  4. #14
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    Whether smoking on my kettle or WSM, I shove two Weber paraffin cubes into a full SMS or charcoal basket (respectively) and light those. Since the fuel will burn concentrically from the paraffin cubes, I place my smoke wood accordingly. I find the minion method to be too imprecise, even when counting briquettes. In most of his videos using an UDS, Malcolm Reed uses the paraffin cube method. I use a PartyQ to maintain temps so YMMV.

    When cooking BLSL chicken breasts (or anything else that is super lean) you have to be careful not to over smoke. There's just not enough fat to provide any sort of protection against too much smoke. Also, choosing a lighter tasting smoke wood might hedge against over-smoking.

  5. #15
    TVWBB Guru Rusty James's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Turner View Post
    When cooking BLSL chicken breasts (or anything else that is super lean) you have to be careful not to over smoke. There's just not enough fat to provide any sort of protection against too much smoke.
    Never heard it put that way before. I had no idea that low fat content effected smoke penetration. I agree about the mild wood selection. I used pecan with a rotisserie chicken, yesterday, and it flavored the bird very well.

    I'll have to try the paraffin cube method. Sounds less messy.
    Last edited by Rusty James; 07-12-2018 at 11:53 PM.
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  6. #16
    TVWBB Emerald Member Dustin Dorsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Turner View Post
    Whether smoking on my kettle or WSM, I shove two Weber paraffin cubes into a full SMS or charcoal basket (respectively) and light those. Since the fuel will burn concentrically from the paraffin cubes, I place my smoke wood accordingly. I find the minion method to be too imprecise, even when counting briquettes. In most of his videos using an UDS, Malcolm Reed uses the paraffin cube method. I use a PartyQ to maintain temps so YMMV.

    When cooking BLSL chicken breasts (or anything else that is super lean) you have to be careful not to over smoke. There's just not enough fat to provide any sort of protection against too much smoke. Also, choosing a lighter tasting smoke wood might hedge against over-smoking.
    Nothing wrong with the paraffin cube thing, but you need to make sure that it burns off before putting on food. Also, using a partyQ might speed that up, otherwise it seems like it would be brutally slow if you aren't to get up to temp especially in the wsm.
    22.5 WSM, 22.5 OTS, Smokey Joe, Genesis 1000, Smokenator 1000, Old Country Pecos, Thermapen, Smoke, Maverick ET-732, Igrill 2

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