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Best long cook coal technique?

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    Best long cook coal technique?

    Tried searching the forum before asking...

    Going to be smoking a nice big pork shoulder on Thursday and wan't to try one of the long cook coal techniques (minion, fuse etc). Based on your experiences what method works best in a 22" Weber kettle using Kingford original?

    When I do a long cook on my Weber 22.5 I usually go with a fuse. I'll build a fuse of 3 wide and 3 high around 80+% of the perimeter. Just "ahead" of where I will light the fuse with 5-6 hot coals I put some wood chips/chunks. Sometimes in a couple different spots. Try to keep the wood close to the start of the fuse so the smoke hits cold meat. I will also throw some burnt offerings (fat trimmings) on the grate above the fuse in the first 1/2 but far enough down the fuse so the fat can heat up and drip on unlit coals. I put a pan under the meat (hence only 80+% of the perimeter with coals) half way filled with water. . I have a hinged grate, and make sure to have one of the hinges above the end of the fuse so I can add more coals as needed toward the end of the cook. I can usually get 8+ hours before needing to add coals. I also like that this essentially moves the heat around the meat, instead of hitting the meat from one side (and making me move the meat a bit).

    Hope this makes sense...


    • Guy
      Guy commented
      Editing a comment
      Great description Mr. White. And great technique.

    Oh man. That was the perfect response. I am going to do exactly that! Do you keep your top vent completely open and then control with the bottom vent or the other way around (have seen conflicting information on different websites, I would think having the top vent open is the best way).


    • Papa Bob
      Papa Bob commented
      Editing a comment
      there's other websites?

    • Craigen Perrie
      Craigen Perrie commented
      Editing a comment
      There are! No idea why you would use them though, only if you were desperate. Kind of like with Coca Cola I guess...

    • OGMrWhite
      OGMrWhite commented
      Editing a comment
      I keep the top vent half open per MH advice on the main site, however I will close it down when the wood starts smoking so the smoke stays inside longer.

    I use the fuse like OGM says, but I have taken to putting the wood on the grate just above the start of the fuse. To me it just seems like it will smolder a lot longer without charring.


    • Ernest
      Ernest commented
      Editing a comment
      do you want the wood to smolder? Doesn't that give you that dirty smoke flavor?

    Did the fuse. Built it 2 wide, 2 high with an extra 1 on top. Burned so well I was shocked... Kept almost exactly at 225°F over 6 hours, then it started to climb up into the 250°F region for the last couple of hours. Managed to keep it steady at around 240°F by adjusting my intake and exhaust. Had my shoulder on for 7h30m and still have enough coal to go for another hour or two I reckon. Great technique.

    Will never do a low an' slow cook without it again.

    Click image for larger version

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    You can see that when I pulled it off the fuse still had a bit of life in it.

    Click image for larger version

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    • Breadhead
      Breadhead commented
      Editing a comment
      Good cook Craigen... It looks perfect.

      I do all of my smoking in a Big Green Egg. I've done 18 hour low and slow cooks and didn't add any lump coal and had about 20% of the coal that was unused. I like to see how you guys do it though.

    • PaulJ
      PaulJ commented
      Editing a comment
      Wow, Wartface---An 18-hour cook is awesome! I'm trying to get my technique in gear on a Saffire smoker-grill that I bought recently. How high above the air holes did you pile the lump charcoal? I'm still trying to get a good sense of how much fuel is needed per hour of low-and-slow cooking. Can you advise me?

    The fuse/snake method is very consistent in the kettle. I like to use a few bricks inside to shield the meat and minimize the direct heat even further.


      Eugene can you splain the bricks to me?


        Here are a couple pics using plain clay bricks.
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        • Spinaker
          Spinaker commented
          Editing a comment
          I like that Eugene, cool and effective idea man!


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