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Minion Method and Lump Charcoal
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turftiger
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Joined: 12 Sep 2008
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Location: Lee's Summit, MO

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09 08 2:32 am    Post subject: Minion Method and Lump Charcoal Reply with quote

I have been using the minion method and lump charcoal in my UDS. I have no problems keeping the fire going in the smoker. My biggest problem is getting the lump lit in my chimney starter. I have had very inconsistent results getting my lump going well in my starter. I was wondering if I am missing out on some secret to insure good hot coals in my starter. I usually use newspaper and some starter gel on my lump in the chimney. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
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k.a.m.
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Joined: 12 Dec 2007
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Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09 08 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

turftiger, I have found the only great use for my side burner on my gas grill and that is to light my chimmney. Also when I am using my offset I just use one of my propane burners. The offset is on the other end of the yard they both work great.
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Pit Boss
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Joined: 04 Sep 2008
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Location: Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09 08 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Use enough paper. I generally use two full double pages out of the news paper. So in essence I'm using four single pages. You can also sprinkle or drizzle a small amount of oil (I just use the olive oil on my kitchen counter) to prolong the paper burn.

I've never had a problem getting my starter to burn unless I didn't have enough paper in there.
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J.Shaft
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Joined: 14 Mar 2008
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Location: Guelph, ON Canada

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09 08 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a sideburner guy too... but i have heard good things about paper towels soaked with some cheap Vegetable Oil.
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Hell Fire Grill
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Joined: 17 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09 08 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the moisture levle in your charcoal and/or paper may be a little to high. Lump charcoal draws moisture fairly easy. I keep my charcoal in my garage, elevated off the floor, in burlap bags, stacked on top of each other with the empty bags covering them. If it sits directly on a concrete or dirt floor it can absorb the moisture from the floor. Try keeping a small amount in your house for a couple of days and see if it makes a difference.
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ou812warford
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09 08 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have noticed sometimes if you stuff the paper to tight in the bottom it has problems lighting. I use 1 piece of neswpaper and the veggie oil thing. It works great unless it is really windy out.
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Nate_bone
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09 08 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting, I seem to be able to light lump in my chimney with no problem no matter how I pack the newspaper. For a while I thought I had to use some fatwood for a starter, but when I ran out I realized it lit just fine without it. I've never tried the oil trick, I'm pretty sure I'd make a mess before it did any good. I think the best thing to do when you're lighting your chimney is to make sure it has enough space under it to get a good draft going - I had a few problems with that the first time or two I used the chimney, but now everything works just fine.
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Cal-B-Que
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09 08 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use Kingsford firestarter lighting cubes; they work great. Another thought is to use regular charcoal in the chimney
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Johnny V
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Joined: 24 Aug 2008
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Location: St.Louis Mo.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09 08 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I light mine on the top gr. of my webber works good. If you are using some kinda fuel why use a chimney? I think they both work fine alone. If you use a fuel of some kind just make sure to burn it ALL off before you start your cook. Smile
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doug
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09 08 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use 2 pages of newspaper under the chimney and mix compressed sawdust firestarter chunks mixed in with the lump and never had a problem
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Fatrat
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09 08 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always use briquettes and newpaper to start, then add the 15 - 20 ashed over coals to a basket of lump and wood chunks.

Ray
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necron 99
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10 08 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a combination of Weber Lighter Cubes and Western Red Hot paraffin / sawdust log lighter pieces to start either lump or briquets in my chimney starters.

I bought 12 boxes of the Weber cubes when they were being phased out a while back, but I see they've come back available again at hardware stores and such.

I buy the Western starter bricks at Academy, but Wal-Mart carries them as well.

The Weber cubes are easy to light, but don't last real long. The Western sawdust bricks are difficult to light, but give a good burn time. So I'll use 2 cubes and about half a sheet of sawdust starter under the chimney. I'll light the Weber cubes, and the sawdust sheet pieces light from the burning Weber cubes.

I hate the wispy ash bits burning newspaper or burning paper towel produce, and more importantly, my wife hates those wispy paper ashes blowing about when a breeze strikes them more than I do!

There's a number of tips on The Virtual Weber Bullet on starting charcoal in a chimney starter.

http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/chimney.html
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smoke51
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Location: SE Charlotte, NC

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10 08 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i also got sick of the ash from newspaper blowing around my back yard so i just went out and bought a 20 dollar propane torch and it works great. fill the chimney up, and light the underside with the torch....no more worrying if its actually going to work.
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tnbarbq
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10 08 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two pages of newspaper always work well for me. I have the big Weber chimney. The small cheapy at wallyworld is ok but does not allow for as much airflow.
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murf
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10 08 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One sheet of paper towel and a little cooking oil is all it takes. Just roll it up like a cigar and lite one end. Never has failed for me in my egg.
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turftiger
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Joined: 12 Sep 2008
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Location: Lee's Summit, MO

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10 08 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys. There are a couple of things a few of you mentioned that I had not thought of. I will give them a try on my next smoke. I knew there would be something I could do to get my lump going in my chimney. It sure takes a long time to get the smoker up to temp when your chimney isn't going good and hot. Thanks again.
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msp1128
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Location: Hanahan, SC

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10 08 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

old turkey fryer burners work well also.
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stevo
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Joined: 13 May 2008
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Location: Windsor Ontario Canada

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10 08 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had it with newspaper....

I have been lighting exactaly like murf for a year now. No mess and no burnt ash blowing all over your yard.
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B Bruns



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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10 08 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had good results with "Diamond Strike-a-fire" sticks.

They light up instantly, though I use a match instead of the (fickle) strip on the box.

Not as cheap as newspaper ($2.50 for a box of Cool, but very reliable and available any almost any grocery store.

As others have mentioned, lump does absorb moisture. The only time I've had trouble lighting lump was from a bag that was left open for a few weeks in the garage. I suspect that it had sucked up plenty of humidity and consequently was quite stubborn to lignite.[/img]
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jib
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11 08 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I pack the top of the chimney with smaller pieces of lump and shoot the flame from my propane (or MAPP) torch into the cavities for about 5-8 minutes. It'll all be going in 15-20 minutes, even here in the damp PNW.

No newspaper, no firestarters, etc.

Jack
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