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Soo's Donut with A Billows Fan

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    Soo's Donut with A Billows Fan

    I have a 18" Weber Smokey Mountain and have settled in on using Soo's Donut variation of the Minion Method for my charcoal. However, today was my first cook with using a Billows fan with my Smoke X4. After it was finished I noticed that the charcoal on the opposite side from the fan was still unlit. - Not particularly surprising.

    My question is - instead of the center, should I start with the lit charcoal on the opposite side from the fan and let it burn across toward the fan?

    This was a test run with the Billows before I do a big multi-day cook for next weekend.

    I have an 18” too, but I have never used the donut method. I always use the minion, and when I use my fan I don’t have a problem.


      I have been using the donut method in my 18.5 WSM for years. Years ago that was the Minion Method as I knew it. I used to stick an old paint can in the pit to keep the circle while waiting for the hot coals. I only recently started using a fan. Last night I used it to make ribs. I used the pit viper fan and FireBoard 2 Drive. I don't see any issue with uneven burning of coal. It may be the Billows fan adapter creating a directional flow of air. The adapter I purchased for the Pit Viper directs air down into the bottom of the WSM so it gets diffused. https://bbqguru.com/storenav/Index?c...=&&productId=6
      Last edited by Truckbutt; June 13, 2021, 04:27 AM.


      • klflowers
        klflowers commented
        Editing a comment
        Maybe that is why I don't have a problem. That adapter came with my cyber q fan.

      I’m with Truckbutt on this one. The minion and the donut is the same. And yes, most likely the fan and how it’s mounted is causing the air flow to move in a certain direction, leaving some charcoal unlit. Not a problem really. I use the same adapter as Truckbutt links to, and I like the downwards air flow it creates, causing a better distribution.


        Perhaps I should have added that I have no complaints about how the Billows performed. I smoked some ribs and let it run a few more hours just to see how it performed. If I had let it run longer, I don't know if the remaining charcoal would have stayed unlit. Just wondering if I could improve the efficiency.


        • NotTheGolfer
          NotTheGolfer commented
          Editing a comment
          I used a Billows fan with the “Soo’s Donut” method yesterday, and noticed the same thing happening - the unlit coals behind where I poured in the lit coals didn’t burn. Have you experimented with any other setups that have worked better?

        • dwlacroix
          dwlacroix commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes, I start with the hot coals on the far side from the fan. Works fine


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