Those new to the world of BBQ smoking may have already heard about the minion method a few times. Even many of the experienced BBQ enthusiasts I know have never used this method, though they know quite a lot about it. This method can be particularly effective for those using the Weber Smokey Mountain or a similar type of smoker.
The Minion Method can be defined as the technique of setting up the fuel (charcoal) in a way that helps it burn longer with a higher degree of consistency and steadiness. The biggest advantage of this method is that there is no need to continue the addition of fuel throughout the cooking process. Therefore, the Minion Method can be the perfect way to go about an overnight session of cooking. This method is also preferred because it allows to start cooking within a relatively shorter period of time. When done in the best possible way, it tends to last between six to eighteen hours at the temperature of around two hundred and fifty degrees Fahrenheit. This method is heavily recommended for the low and slow variety of meats such as pulled pork and brisket. Please remember that this method should never be used to cook at temperatures above three hundred degrees Fahrenheit.
The Minion Method is the brainchild of a gentleman named Jim Minion. While competing in a BBQ competition, he came up with this excellent idea while trying to regulate his Weber Smokey Mountain cooker’s heat. If we follow the manufacturer’s instruction for Weber Smokey Mountain cooker, the temperature will touch three hundred and fifty degrees in almost no time. Unfortunately, this is not the ideal temperature for smoking low and slow meat. Jim Minion made certain adjustments that produced amazing results. He started sharing his technique with the fellow barbecue enthusiasts. Very shortly, his method of charcoal smoker lighting and maintenance gained immense popularity as the Minion Method.
Here is a step by step guide to help you set up the Minion Method.
• Start by filling up your Weber Smokey Mountain’s charcoal chamber with charcoal briquettes (unlit) to the top.
• Use fist-sized wooden chunks to spread at the top and the bottom of the charcoal.
• Make sure your chimney starter is half-filled with charcoal and light it up.
• After about 15 mins, the burning charcoal will start turning into white ash. Once this happens, just dump it above the unlit charcoal.
• Congratulations! Now you have set up the Minion Method.
It is true that the Minion Method was invented while using the Weber Smokey Mountain smoker. However, this does not mean that this method is not applicable to other types of smokers. The most important point here is to ensure that the charcoal is placed in a way that allows air to be in contact with it from all sides. As you grow in confidence, start playing with the ratio between lit and unlit charcoal to find out what works best for your smoker.