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Author Topic: Minion Method/Snake Method - Basic Questions, Part 2  (Read 1039 times)

Eapples

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Minion Method/Snake Method - Basic Questions, Part 2
« on: September 11, 2013, 10:46:42 AM »
I'm doing a dry run using the snake method.  The temp held in the 250-260 range for almost two hours.  Now, into hour #3, the temp has dropped down to 230.  I checked the grill, and the coals have burns just about half way around.  All vents have been fully open for the last hour.  Is this ok?  The weather is partly cloudy, with a light breeze throughout most of the day.  More clouds now than when I started.

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Minion Method/Snake Method - Basic Questions, Part 2
« on: September 11, 2013, 10:46:42 AM »

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Chasing_smoke

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Minion Method/Snake Method - Basic Questions, Part 2
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2013, 11:17:08 AM »
That's about right depending on your snake setup. The first few hours has the charcoal from the chimney and the ones getting lit going. After that the grill settles as the coals move along the snake. I run my ribs at around 225 so that would be great for me. If you want higher temps add another layer to the snake. It would be a 2x2x1 setup that should push you into the 250ish range. Just as a gas grill, the amount if heat depends on how much is lit at one time. You have control with air flow if it gets too hot.  If there isn't enough coals lit to boast the temp it can't get there. Doing a dry run is a great idea, when adding meat to the mix expect a drop in temp to begin with. That happens on every cook because your adding a cold mass to the grill.

There are two ways to control temps in a charcoal grill: air flow and how much is lit at one time.

Keep asking questions we will get you setup in no time.


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Eapples

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Re: Minion Method/Snake Method - Basic Questions, Part 2
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2013, 11:34:12 AM »
That's about right depending on your snake setup. The first few hours has the charcoal from the chimney and the ones getting lit going. After that the grill settles as the coals move along the snake. I run my ribs at around 225 so that would be great for me. If you want higher temps add another layer to the snake. It would be a 2x2x1 setup that should push you into the 250ish range. Just as a gas grill, the amount if heat depends on how much is lit at one time. You have control with air flow if it gets too hot.  If there isn't enough coals lit to boast the temp it can't get there. Doing a dry run is a great idea, when adding meat to the mix expect a drop in temp to begin with. That happens on every cook because your adding a cold mass to the grill.

There are two ways to control temps in a charcoal grill: air flow and how much is lit at one time.

Keep asking questions we will get you setup in no time.


 "my kettle is more powerful it will do almost anything."

Right now, into hour 4 the temp is down to 199.  I'm a bit geeky about these things.  If someone shows me a photo, I follow the setup in the photo.  The photo showed a semicircle, two rows high, with enough room at the end for the drip pan.  That's what I did.  Your suggestion, which makes absolute sense, is to add more coal.  Actually I decided the next time around, for the wet run, to add another row of coals, or to simply pour out a semi-circle of coals banked along the perimeter of the fuel grate.

I'm actually satisfied now that I discovered, with a little help from my friends (sing with me), something about temp control that works.

pbe gummi bear

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Re: Minion Method/Snake Method - Basic Questions, Part 2
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2013, 11:42:29 AM »
The ambient temp, wind, and sun all make a difference in your temp. You could try using a "fatter" snake and try using the vents to control the temp. You can also make the snake fatter as it burns if you expect to cook through the evening when it's colder and not sunny.
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Eapples

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Re: Minion Method/Snake Method - Basic Questions, Part 2
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2013, 12:01:02 PM »
The ambient temp, wind, and sun all make a difference in your temp. You could try using a "fatter" snake and try using the vents to control the temp. You can also make the snake fatter as it burns if you expect to cook through the evening when it's colder and not sunny.

One of the problems I've encountered is that my back yard is in direct sunlight for most of the day, perhaps up until 4pm at this time of year.  The temp in the kettle is 150 degrees when I take the cover off.  The food probe from my digital thermometer was picking up a temp of 127 degrees from the aluminum table (Weber Performer Silver).  Down here on the space coast it rarely goes below 70 degrees air temp.

Thank you for your suggestion.  It's one more thing I can use in my arsenal.  I'm not too concerned that the temp isn't holding up.  At least I know now how to maintain a low and slow temp.  I generally do my ribs for only two hours, and they've come out fine, that is, on the gas grill.  I want to try them on the kettle.  Now I know I can do it.

Johnpv

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Re: Minion Method/Snake Method - Basic Questions, Part 2
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2013, 12:07:13 PM »
For me, where I'm at, and the weather conditions I deal with, it's easier for me to close the bottom vents to thin slits and have the top vents open a bit more.  Then I adjust the vents more open or more closed depending on where I need the temperatures to go.  I know a lot of people have their bottom vents completely open, but that just gets everything too hot for me/my area.   You'll need to play with your top and bottom vents a bit just to see what they do to your temps, during your dry run is the perfect time to do it.


That's one of the fun things about BBQing, unlike say something like baking, it's not a science.  Every fire, every pit, every piece of meat is going to be different.  It's a living process, and you need to adjust and adapt to each.  It can be challenging but that's the fun in it, least to me anyway. 
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 12:08:53 PM by Johnpv »

Troy

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Re: Minion Method/Snake Method - Basic Questions, Part 2
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2013, 01:19:13 PM »
it's all about the tapered snake ;)

G$

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Re: Minion Method/Snake Method - Basic Questions, Part 2
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2013, 02:02:58 PM »
it's all about the tapered snake ;)

Where are the moderators around here?
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Eapples

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Re: Minion Method/Snake Method - Basic Questions, Part 2
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2013, 04:19:00 PM »
For me, where I'm at, and the weather conditions I deal with, it's easier for me to close the bottom vents to thin slits and have the top vents open a bit more.  Then I adjust the vents more open or more closed depending on where I need the temperatures to go.  I know a lot of people have their bottom vents completely open, but that just gets everything too hot for me/my area.   You'll need to play with your top and bottom vents a bit just to see what they do to your temps, during your dry run is the perfect time to do it.


That's one of the fun things about BBQing, unlike say something like baking, it's not a science.  Every fire, every pit, every piece of meat is going to be different.  It's a living process, and you need to adjust and adapt to each.  It can be challenging but that's the fun in it, least to me anyway.

My experience has been, when following instructions, that one little teensy-weensy bit of information was left out, and it's THAT bit of information that has been causing me grief.  Your advice seems to be the way to go, and it's been echoed by many in this forum.  Yes, follow the instructions, but don't get so stuck to the instructions that you forget to THINK.  That has been my mistake.

Half the fun is getting there.  The other half is being there.  I'm having fun, if you can ignore my bitching and moaning, learning what I need to know to reach barbecue nirvana.

I adjusted the vents, and the temp reacted as expected.  My mistake was not enough coals in the snake.  But, I'm ready.  We have ribs, wings, whole chicken, steak, just to start.  I won't forgo the gas grill; but, I'm anxious to relearn what I need to know in order to cook on a charcoal grill.

Thank you again for your advice and encouragement.

MacEggs

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Re: Minion Method/Snake Method - Basic Questions, Part 2
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2013, 12:02:12 AM »
You will get to a point, after many tries ... that you will put your ribs on, and walk away.

The intakes are open just a smidge or so.

One in awhile, touch the bowl to find the HOT spot - then you know where the burn is in relation to the snake.
Turn the lid so that the vent is opposite the burn .. this allows the smoke to travel across the food.
I have started to use foil in the center to direct airflow towards the charcoal. No water .. no need for it. Or do drip-pan beans.

After 5-6 hours, apply some sauce .. then they're ready to come off. No foil ... just let 'em ride.  :D
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Re: Minion Method/Snake Method - Basic Questions, Part 2
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2013, 12:02:12 AM »

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1buckie

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Re: Minion Method/Snake Method - Basic Questions, Part 2
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2013, 08:11:31 AM »


"Yes, follow the instructions, but don't get so stuck to the instructions that you forget to THINK. "

Yeah, remember that....it will help..........go by feeling & intuition as much as you can stand to also, that will help you be more aware of the cooker & the particular food,,,,,over time,....... 8)
"If you want it fancy there is BBQ spray paint at home depot for that. "
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