I have just bought the Cajun Bandit kit for my Weber 22.5" grill. Have used it twice. Once with chicken legs and thighs and the 2d time with 2 pork shoulders. The shoulders cooked for a total of 7 hrs, wrapped in tin foil for the last 2 hours.
Toward the end of the cook I lost heat and had to add more charcoal. I guess when they say use a full load of charcoal it means to fill it until the coals spill out of the rack. Is adding coal after 7 hours common?
I am buying the Maverick ET 732. It comes with a 3' temp line, but there are 6' lines available. Can you use the 6' line in either port (meat or cooker)?
I am new to smoker cooking, but have been on Weber kettle's since 1970.
Thanks for any advise you can offer.
Yes it's best to start out with a full load of charcoal when you're looking at an extended cook. I always give the legs a couple of taps several hours into the cook to knock off the ash build up. This goes for both my Cajun Bandit and my WSM.
I did two pork butts (9+ pounds each) for my family's annual 4th-of-July picnic and the cook ran about the same time as yours. The Bandit ran a bit hot, about 285-300 or so, and I didn't have to add any charcoal.
This was my ring when I started and I added about 30 lit coals for a Minion start, and a couple of pieces of wood: apple and hickory.
I should add that I run my bandit dry with just a foiled water pan. I also foiled the butts around the 165-degree internal point.
Because it was running hot, I tended to keep the vents almost fully closed through the cook. I do the taps as J'ville noted, and also clear the ash once in a while by opening and closing the vents a couple of times.
Here they are about 4 hours in, just before foiling:
I think the Maverick will be a great addition and that's what I used to track my temps. I believe I read somewhere that the 6' line will work in either port, but I can't remember where that was.
Keep at it; you'll get it. BTW, how did the shoulders turn out? This is what I ended up with and if I had happened to need more coals, so be it! :)
Here's the link on the 6-foot cord, from the BBQ Equipment Store. I purchased one there (great service!) but haven't used it yet.
I use the Cajun Bandit stacker on my OTG 22.5 with a charcoal ring and heat deflector. The end result is very similar to a WSM just shorter height.
I don't use minion - I build a fuse setup and can get 8-10hrs out of a thin "snake" of coals with proper vent management at 265 degrees.
I think the minion method is awesome, but you can end up with a whole lot of lit coals, which can lead to a runaway fire and a hard battle to keep temps down.
Give the fuse a try - I think you'll like the efficiency.
I've been thinking about trying that. You've described pretty much exactly what happens when I run the Bandit using the minion method. I don't mind hotter temps but I don't really like breaking the 300-degree mark.
I'll be trying the 'fuse' method this weekend.
A Brethren link with some pics for the fuse method:
Thanks to all for the advice. This seems to be a great place to pick up new ideas. Thanks again.
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