Originally Posted by landarc
It is not odd that most folks cannot taste the 'charcoal' taste when using the Minion method correctly. If you do it right, the coals that are lit will preheat the coals that are about to ignite, it is like preheating wood prior to putting it into a stickburner, you preheat and the gasses that create the off flavors during combustion outgas prior to igniting. You get a clean burning fire for that reason. The wood needs to be incorporated into the burn stack prior to lighting, and the entire cooker must be brought to temperature for the proper preheating to occur in the charcoal basket.
Adding cold charcoal or wood within a few minutes of cooking is a sure fire way to get a column of dirty smoke on your food. I let the drum or kettle settle down and burn for an hour prior to adding the meat, I get no charcoal, carbon or 'Kingsford' taste on my food. Nobody else has ever mentioned it either.
I'll add to this by saying that charcoal is a moisture magnet and pulls the moisture from the air when the bag is left open. Charcoal will pull moisture through the bag if its sitting on the ground, especially concrete or dirt.
Heres what I do to keep my charcoal as dry as I can. Keep the bags closed tight, set a rock or a chunk of wood on top of the open end to hold it down. Keep the bags off the ground by setting them on 2X4s or a pallet, so air can circulate under them. I keep all my charcoal covered with empty bags so no moisture in the air can settle down onto the bags.
I keep my homemade stuff in the chicken feed bags and some of the Lazzari bags.