Qs re: the snake method


John Neuser

I've never actually tried it but am most curious. I have a WSM 22". I also have and, use frequently, DigiQ controller. I've seen folks use a row of two briqs side by side and three side by side with the third sitting on top of the other two. Has anyone tried four? What is the longest burn you can expect with the various kinds of snake? What temps. Lastly, what do you use the snake for most of the time? Ribs, jerkey, fish, etc. I'm assuming, possibly incorrectly, you wouldn't use it for a brisket or pork butt where you're looking at long cook times. Thank you. Appreciate all comments. Wishing all of you stateside folks a happy Thanksgiving.
Thanks Eric. What temp were you running at?
With a Snake you control the temp with the top vent. What I have found to be the easiest is to do a 2/3 snake. I use one fully lit charcoal and set it on top, dead center of my snake. You cook goes on the 1/3 side (indirect of the snake) with the lid vent directly over your cook. It might take a couple times fiddling with the top vent before you finally lock in. Windy conditions can increase the fiddle factor
Thanks Eric. What temp were you running at?
Anywhere from as low as 180 (was cold out in the early hours of 3-5 am) to one point where it spooked up to nearly 300*. Average was pretty steady around 225-250. I used jealous devil xl for the bottom row and broken pieces for the top row along with some hickory chunks
I use the snake as well 2 over two on my 26" weber kettle. Vent right it burns forever at 225. Love the method so much sold my 18" WSM didnt see the need for both.
I have had success using the snake method for briskets on my 22” kettles.
This was actually my preferred method.
It gives longer burn times with steadier temps than my SnS with water.

That said, I don’t see where it fits in for me on my wsm.
Sure you could get colder temps but if I needed colder temps I’d use one of my other vertical smokers or put smoke tubes in my wsm.
I don’t see a “cold smoke” from the snake like the kind I’d use for my oysters or the way I like my salmon.
The snake method was introduced mostly for Weber Kettles to get similar results as the WSMs where the Minion method was most common. The Kettles have a much smaller chamber than WSMs, even the smaller WSMs, but basically it works on the same principle, lit coals burning onto unlit for even temperature.
I don't understand whether it'd be a need to use this on WSM when a Minion works fine as burning down rather than up or out but i've never tried it on WSM... I would assume you'd snake the unlit coals around the outside of the charcoal ring for this?