MMMM.. BRISKET..
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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 03-07-2007, 06:59 PM   #1
Blutch
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Default Minion Method on offset

Hey all.. now that I have a custom charcoal basket (thanks to a brother here) and a custom baffle - thanks to the same brother. :-) I am ready to try a smoke on my offset using "the method."

Just want to review the way it works.. full bag of lump or briquets in the basket. wood chunks interspersed in the lump.. light a chimney of about 20 briquets or comparable lump and carefully pour it into the middle of the charcoal in the basket... add wood as needed.

My offset firebox is a bit leaky I think.. particularly around the door.. Fire control can be a bitch sometimes.. how much time can I expect to get out of a large bag of lump using the basket in this way?

Cooking two butts a brisket, some fatties and some almonds on Sat.

Thanks!

B
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Old 03-07-2007, 07:09 PM   #2
ushi
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When I first tried to do it on my offset, I wound up with a towering inferno.

Made for excellent chicken. Not so great beef ribs. I think I added too much lit charcoal. I don't have a basket or anything though. I just kind of piled a bunch of charcoal on the grate and put the lit charcoal in the middle.

I've had more success with temp control now, and I get a pretty solid burn out of it. It doesn't really die out for around 5-6 hours. I found to maintain temps I start adding briquettes at around the 3-4 hour mark.
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Old 03-07-2007, 07:11 PM   #3
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Hey Blutch...

I think if your firebox is as leaky as you say it is, you might have a hard time with "the method." That technique relies on being able to control the burn, so that it slowly eats away the fuel. You may have a situation where the whole basket is lit before you know it. Maybe not. Just something to keep an eye on. You might want to start with a smaller amount of lit lump to get things moving more slowly.....Just a thought.

Edit: I think Ushi and hit send at the same time....similar thought.
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Old 03-07-2007, 07:30 PM   #4
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Any suggestions on how to keep this from happening other than starting with less lit fuel at the beginning?

Thanks

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Old 03-07-2007, 08:18 PM   #5
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Instead of put the lit coals on top, leave a coffee can sized hole in one corner nearest the cooking chamber. Pour in about a 1/3 lit chimney of coals into the hole. This causes the burn to go against the air flow, and delays ignition. Once your pit is up to temp, close off intake 3/4 closed, or completely closed if firebox is drafty. Exhaust might have to be closed about 1/4 if temps keep rising.
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Old 03-07-2007, 08:29 PM   #6
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A WHOLE BAG OF LUMP?? Thats a bit much. I normally spread out 1 maybe 1 & 1/2 chimneys full of unlit in my basket. Then put 1 full load of lit on top.

Or, I pile my unlit closer to the vents (air intake) and leave space for my lit to be dumped near the smoke hole so the fumes from the unlit have to pass over the fire before it enters the smoker chamber.
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:48 PM   #7
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And take my instructions with a grain of salt. I use a Klose "S" shaped basket. It cuts down on how many briquetts light up.
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Old 03-07-2007, 11:35 PM   #8
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I use a basket with removable dividers in it in my BSKD. I divide it into 3 sections, load the two from the airvent forward with unlit coals and then por a chimney of lit coals into the section closest to the smoke chamber. Over time, the other sections light by themselves and I just keep oving the coals forward over time and add more unlit to the now empty sections.
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:14 AM   #9
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John, do you have any pictures of this setup?

Thanks

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Old 03-09-2007, 09:17 AM   #10
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Default leaky firebox

i had some gaps in my firebox around the doors and fixed it using foil. scrunch it up to form a "snake" and put it around the edges of the door and when you close it, it is like a gasket, works great.
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Old 03-09-2007, 09:36 PM   #11
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Ok.. i installed my new baffle - wow - and divided the charcoal basket into three sections with two small pieces of grill.. I'll put lump in the two sections toward the air vent and lit lump into the section closest to the smoke chamber. once the different sections catch fire, should I remove the grill sections dividing them?

I'm going to try the foil gaskets too.. doing 2 briskets, 2 butts, 4 fatties and 3 lbs of almonds.

Can't wait.

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Old 03-09-2007, 10:46 PM   #12
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Your deviders need to be solid. To get an idea of what I'm talking about look at the partial dividers on mine here.
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Old 03-10-2007, 05:17 PM   #13
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Not only do the dividers need to be solid, it's better if there is an air gap between a pair of baffles, like in the Klose basket. This prevents the charcoal from getting lit too early, due to heat conduction across the baffle. You want to have the charcoal nearest the food chamber burn first and the flame front to progress through the S-channel away from the food chamber to the firebox inlet.

I have both a homemade basket for the Bandera and a Klose basket for the Klose. The principle with both is the same: Fill all but the food chamber end of the basket with unlit charcoal, leaving enough room for a chinmey full of lit charcoal. Dump the lit charcoal in, and close the lid on the firebox. This is very important, as frequently opening the firebox, especially for longer periods of time will allow the unlit charcoal to light up "out of order" spiking your temperatures. My first attempt with this was a really hot disaster, but I got it mastered pretty quickly.
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Old 03-10-2007, 05:22 PM   #14
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Does the unlit actually touch some of the lit charcaol in this S-shaped thing or is there space? I suppose I could use bricks or something to create this effect in my basket?

Thanks

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Old 03-10-2007, 07:35 PM   #15
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Yes it touches. Is just an "S" shaped pile that burns against airflow. I was getting abougt 5 hours loaded 3/4 full. I havn't messed with the basket in almost a year. I'm about to try a few new techniques though. You just don't want all of it to light at once.
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