Moist Heat BBQ

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Minion Method

The question was asked as to what the Minion Method is. The Minion Method was named after it's creator, Jim Minion, and is designed to be used for cooking sessions that will last 6-18 hours (although I have personally used it for shorter sessions).

The concept behind the Minion method is simple. Place a small number of lit coals on top of a pile of unlit briquettes and control your temperature by adjusting your vent(s). The lit coals will ignite the unlit coals slowly, allowing you to cook for long periods of time without having to add new coals as well as controlling your temperature since it is easier to bring a fire up to a certain temperature rather than try to bring it down. You really only want to use this method for slow and low cooking (225-300 degrees), not for 325-350 degree cooks.

One possible con to this method is that some say you should never add unlit coals to your fire becuase of the fumes that get released when the briquettes ignite. While this is true, I have not noticed any foul taste on any of the meat that I have smoked.

Depending on the amount of unlit coals you start with, you are supposed to be able to get up to 18 hours of heat by using this method. I have not done anything more than 9 hours and I had to reload coals three times in that period using this method. I can typically go up to 3 hours without having to add any new coals if I use the Minion Method. I only start with one full chimney starter of unlit coals and 3/4 to 1 chimney starter of lit lump charcoal. I'm sure I could go longer if I started with more.


  • At 6/26/2006 2:33 PM, Blogger T-Bone said…

    I don't know but I'm sensing a disturbance in the Pork. With Master Joe-Be-Wan away on vacation, young Andiken's confidence seems to be growing. With his brisket and roast successes, I'm sensing a power grab to join the High Pigi Council.

  • At 6/26/2006 4:01 PM, Blogger RC said…

    Use the pork Andiken....

    Or as Seinfeld would say "You know, you're not Joe-Be-Wan".

  • At 7/06/2006 9:52 PM, Blogger Joe-Be-Wan said…

    I support Andiken in his teaching. I was in the Promised Land/God's Country re-charging my roots, so he was carrying the torch.

    I have had mixed success w/ the Minion method. It works easier if you are using lump charcoal.

    Lump lights quicker and also doesn't release foul tastes when lighting. According to my master, Dr. Porkenstein, you can throw it right on the fire.

    Cooks Illustrated, while they are a bunch of yankees, have tested charcoal vs. lump vs. gas. When smoking, they found that the charcoal imparted NO foul taste b/c the smoke covers it up. Using charcoal by itself, though, you may score a little added taste, so you should use natural lump (Andiken has discovered a local source- the dreaded Wal-Mart).

    Take it for what's it worth.


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