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May 3rd, 2016, 5:31 pm
#1
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: April 26th, 2016, 5:14 pm
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Hey all - I've read where folks can maintain a long burn time in a side box smoker using a charcoal basket (often following something called "the minion method"). Folks at another BBQ forum however tell me "no way this works". Is anyone doing this? ...or perhaps the better question is, what IS a charcoal basket used for in a side box smoker? Thanks for any and all info (newby here).

May 3rd, 2016, 6:03 pm
#2
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Yes, it works fine, but, depending on the temperature that you are wanting to cook at, the length of time may not be what you are wanting.

Here are the Yoder charcoal boxes: http://www.atbbq.com/catalog/product/view/id/2210/

Yoder_Herb
May 4th, 2016, 3:35 pm
#3
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: April 26th, 2016, 5:14 pm
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Yoder-Herb; what other stick burners are telling me is that the so-called 'minion method' is for WSM or ODS smokers, not side box smokers. They claim there is no way to maintain a minimum temperature of 200F (or so) using this method and that cooking with splits of wood will be the only way to do this. Does this sound about right to you? That said, I think I'd still be interested in a charcoal basket to provide other options for using my Wichita.

May 4th, 2016, 5:31 pm
#4
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They are obviously not Yoder owners. Yoder makes the charcoal baskets as options for Yoder stick burners, as I previously posted.

Yoder_Herb
September 28th, 2016, 10:42 pm
#5
* Wichita ** Wichita *
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My Wichita basket burned for over 5 hours at 225 on my first attempt, and I was using Kingsford briquettes. I'm sure I could get it to last longer (and smell better) with lump. No complaints here.

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Yoder Loaded Wichita 2016
Large Big Green Egg 2014
August 30th, 2017, 6:56 pm
#6
* Wichita ** Wichita *
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Fixing photo link:

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Yoder Loaded Wichita 2016
Large Big Green Egg 2014
September 3rd, 2017, 1:04 pm
#7
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: August 31st, 2017, 5:04 pm
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  • Location: Maize, Ks.

I used mine for the first time yesterday with Weber briquettes also six healthy sized pecan chunks mixed throughout. Maintained temps at 235-260 ( grate temps )with the vent 1/3 open for a solid 6 hrs. It took close to an hour to heat up with the door wide open once the basket was started. I had to add coals for the complete cook of a total of 10hrs, brisket point along with whole chicken, dozen thighs, 24 poppers, brats and hot links. Worth the $ for me learning this new loaded Wichita. Weber briquettes are bigger, burn hotter than KBB.

September 6th, 2017, 2:31 pm
#8
* Wichita ** Wichita *
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How did you go about adding coals to the basket to extend your cook? One thing I found out quickly was that I had to make sure I cleaned out any remaining embers from below the basket when I attempted to reload it because when I didn't do that the new coals inside the basket caught fire in places that messed up the minion method.

When I tried to "reload" my basket the first time, it had successfully burned from one side to the other, so I thought I could just dump new charcoal back in the basket to refill it, and that would force it to reverse direction and burn back in the other direction. It didn't take long to realize I should have removed the basket and cleaned the firebox below it first.

My charcoal basket sits low enough in the firebox to be affected by residual embers that have fallen through the basket on the first snake burn if I reload the basket without cleaning out the firebox before reloading:
Image

Yoder Loaded Wichita 2016
Large Big Green Egg 2014
November 10th, 2017, 12:09 pm
#9
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: August 31st, 2017, 5:04 pm
  • Posts: 6
  • Location: Maize, Ks.

Sorry for the very late reply, wow.

I run the basket on top of the grill grate. I also start the coals at the door side and when I add coals it’s just poured on top of what’s burning. It just kept burning but I had a ton of ash on the left side so I guess the door side was letting enough air in. I’ve only used it twice and the last time was ribs so it wasn’t a long cook.

November 10th, 2017, 12:25 pm
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SteveSmokes wrote:Sorry for the very late reply, wow.

I run the basket on top of the grill grate. I also start the coals at the door side and when I add coals it’s just poured on top of what’s burning. It just kept burning but I had a ton of ash on the left side so I guess the door side was letting enough air in. I’ve only used it twice and the last time was ribs so it wasn’t a long cook.


The coals should be started from the cooker side, not the door side. This will allow a more efficient and longer burn. If the coals are ignited on the door side, the draft will pull the fire through the coals, loosing efficiency and burn time.

Yoder_Herb
November 10th, 2017, 11:19 pm
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: August 31st, 2017, 5:04 pm
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It works just fine starting at the door for me, how high are you filling it? I pour it level with the top.

November 10th, 2017, 11:23 pm
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SteveSmokes wrote:It works just fine starting at the door for me, how high are you filling it? I pour it level with the top.


Yes, it will work fine starting from the door end, but the coal will burn much faster.

Yoder_Herb
November 11th, 2017, 2:39 am
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: August 31st, 2017, 5:04 pm
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  • Location: Maize, Ks.

So what is the best way to add coals when you’re going over a 5-1/2 hr cook?

I can hold and maintain temps by adding coals to left side and keep burning away where I would think adding coals to the damper side closes off air flow without using the ash clean out tool.

I guess I’m lazy... I never clean ash out until the next day.

What is the amount of cook time gained by the efficient method?

I’m pretty happy how the product works for my money spent.

Sorry, all I got was a receipt when I bought it ( no instructions) and I’m pretty happy with it.

And I left a very positive review on my Loaded Wichita for the simple fact it works well with the basket.

November 28th, 2017, 9:53 am
* Abilene ** Abilene *
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  • Location: Maize, Ks.
December 16th, 2017, 9:05 pm
* Abilene ** Abilene *
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Those baskets definitely help/work and the ones from yoder cost 149.00 while they are much cheaper on ebay. I don't mind paying I just don't like being screwed

December 19th, 2017, 10:08 am
* Abilene ** Abilene *
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The Cheyenne basket works, but only for a couple of hours. I've tested it with lump and briquettes and can only get 2 hours at 225 - 235 range. Yoder added handles which you can see in this pic, which may have reduced the amount of fuel that you can fit in the basket. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1osriSU ... sp=sharing

December 19th, 2017, 3:24 pm
* Wichita ** Wichita *
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BryanP wrote:The Cheyenne basket works, but only for a couple of hours. I've tested it with lump and briquettes and can only get 2 hours at 225 - 235 range. Yoder added handles which you can see in this pic, which may have reduced the amount of fuel that you can fit in the basket. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1osriSU ... sp=sharing

Wow, that design is quite different from the one I have. I think you're right, the flanged handles were probably not a good idea because of the amount of space they consume.

I would probably opt for a simple rod-based handle approach to save space, something like this:
Image

However, I can get over 5 hours at 225F with my original Wichita basket, and I never lamented not having handles. I also prefer the air gaps in the dividers, but maybe Yoder has determined through testing that the air gaps aren't necessary.

This bad boy fills up the fire box, and it's super heavy duty:
Image

Yoder Loaded Wichita 2016
Large Big Green Egg 2014
December 24th, 2017, 3:19 pm
* Abilene ** Abilene *
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  • Joined: September 23rd, 2017, 9:47 pm
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:D It works just fine for me and helps contain the mess. I don't use it as a overnight cooking tool. All that lump or whatever would be a ton of ash it seems. I just add my wood sticks and it burns nice and clean and maintains my temps nicely. Will be doing 2 pork butts on Xmas day. My issue was maintaining a descent fire without the HM plate in. Now I put the plate back in and it just helps me maintain a better fire. Cannot Load a Pic of it in action. Load pic seems to not be working right now. Thanks for all your help with this learning experience. I now love this Bad Boy and the cook is just awesome!! :D

December 24th, 2017, 5:10 pm
* Wichita ** Wichita *
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I've been using a smaller basket for wood, and it helps contain my coals in a pile instead of letting them spread out and fall through the grate. Another benefit is the ability to move the basket closer or farther away from the cook chamber while the fire is burning.

Yoder has said these cookers were designed to use a very small fire, and I've been able to maintain small fires easier with this little basket.

Our cookers are designed to be very efficient and utilize a very small, hot fire. Any sized fire may be used, but if a fire is larger than required for the cooker to function as it was designed, the door may need to be opened to allow for fire management.


12" x 12" x 6" basket in the Loaded Wichita:
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Yoder Loaded Wichita 2016
Large Big Green Egg 2014

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