Using your Charcoal Basket With A Smoker (Minion Method)
So you bought a charcoal basket (yay!) or made one on your own (boo! hiss!) and are ready to start smoking. Fill up your charcoal basket with a mixture of premium hardwood lump and hickory chunks. The Naked Whiz is an excellent source for hardwood lump charcoal reviews. You can usually find hickory chunks at your local hardware, grocery, or home improvement store. Better still, you can buy them from Amazon.com through our affiliate link!
Once you have your fuel (and basket) you are ready to go. Fill the basket with a nice mixture of hardwood lump, and hickory (or preferred flavor) wood chunks. Make sure you have a good mix of hardwood and hickory. If you are low on chunks you can put more towards the top. After a few hours, the amount of smoke absorbed by the meat significantly lessens. By the time the burn gets to the bottom of the basket, the meat will not be absorbing much smoke.
Place the charcoal basket in your smoker and light some charcoal in a chimney starter. Once they are glowing red embers dump them on top of the charcoal basket. From here you will have to learn the best method for maintaining heat and a slow burn. In my smoker (bbq chef), I close the chimney completely, and crack the vent in the offset about 1/8".
You will need a thermometer to monitor the temperature in your cooking chamber and your meat. I recommend the Maverick Wireless Thermometer. It allows you to wirelessly monitor the temperature from up to 100 ft away. I can sit on my couch and monitor my temperatures!
- Do not peek - Anytime you open the cooking chamber you lose heat and cause temperature inconsistencies. I know it is hard, but no peeking!
- Season the grill - You can season your grill by coating the grates with shortening and heating it up to cooking temperature. Repeat as often as you would like, I do this almost every time I cook.
- Use aluminum foil to catch ashes - This will make it easy during cleanup, ash buildup causes corrosion