Originally Posted by nralover
Guys- is the minion method the best way to go for ribs on my kettle? If so, how many lit coals should I start with, and how many underneath? Any tips would be appreciated...
Simple answer. Yes, use the minion method. On my 22.5 kettle, I just put a drip pan with water on one side, directly over one of the three bottom vents. I put unlit charcoal over the other two vents, and dump about a dozen lit coals on top of them. I mix my smoke wood in with the unlit coals.
Ribs are pretty good to experiment with, IMO. They are kind of hard to mess up. Your temperatures will fluctuate, especially if this is your first smoke on a kettle. Don't let it rattle you. Work mostly with the bottom vents. You will probably end up with the bottom vents open about 1/8 of an inch, and the top vent closed or just barely open. Temperatures will go up and down slowly, so don't over correct.
At the end of the day, you will eat well, and know more about your kettle. Just don't get flustered by the temperature fluctuations. You will be cooking for 4 to 5 hours with a big rack of spares, and at least 3 hours for baby backs, so those fluctuations will not be that big of a deal.
Relax and enjoy.