Mastering the Minion Method on Weber Kettle Grills – A Comprehensive Guide

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In the grilling culture, the minion method is one of the unique and effective ways of using charcoals without adding afterward in the weber kettles.

It is the ideal way of longtime slow cooking at low temperatures. After getting through this whole article, you will be aware of the topic- minion method on your weber kettle.

To ensure and slow and long time grilling and smoking, one should use the minion method. We all know that weber kettles are too friendly with charcoals. That is why I am going to discuss how you will apply the minion method in the weber kettles effectively. 

Let’s not delay more and start knowing about the procedures.

Things You’ll Need to Start Minion Method on Weber Kettle

As a matter of fact, slow and low-temperature cooking is the best way of smoking any food because it enhances the taste as well as makes the most tendered smoky food you can ever have. To know how to use the minion method on weber kettles, you will need to know what items or products are needed to do so. 

Let me introduce you to the products that are needed to start the minion method on the weber kettle-

  • Minion Method Charcoal Basket

There are many charcoal baskets in the market but you will need the one that is specially made for the minion method. Inside a kettle grill, you always need a basket to arrange the charcoals according to the need. 

The minion method is a long-lasting smoking process where you will not need to check or add fuel or coal during the cooking. Once you set the coals perfectly, you are free for loads of hours.

There is a special charcoal basket named the Minion Method Charcoal Basket by LavaLock that is specially made of cooking with the minion method. This basket is needed to keep the coals right at the place through the whole smoking time. 

It will lock the coals at their place and keep the whole thing constant. 

  • This basket is metallic that enhances its durability.
  • It has 2 individual minion bars that maintain the positions of the coals.
  • The bars maintain the distance between the coals and keep the consistency of the temperature till the end of the cooking.
  • These fairly distributed charcoals spread the heat outwards of the kettle when they get lightened up.

So, you can see that a charcoal basket specially made for the minion method to apply on the weber kettles is much needed to start the famous minion method on the Weber kettles. 

  • Chimney Starter

You can only apply the minion method perfectly on a weber grill when the charcoals will be flared up. A chimney starter is needed to ignite the coals to make the coals hot so that they can spread the heat outwards right from the middle. The  Charcoal Chimney Starter by Kingsford is an easy-going product for BBQ lovers. 

In the minion method, the grill or kettle needs to get heated up fast and for this, it needs an igniter that will start the kettle heating up quickly. If the kettle takes a too long time to get hot, the whole process of smoking will get slower. 

That is why you will need a chimney starter that works fast and through this, you will be able to start the cooking soon.

  • This chimney starter helps the coals heat up faster.
  • This rust-resistant product will be good to use and durable enough.
  • It has a shielded handle that makes your work safe and easy.

The coals are needed to be placed at the center of the kettle at first and it is harder to let them catch the fire when they are gathered. So, if you will use a chimney starter to make the process faster, then you will have extra time to use in smoking effectively.

Instead of buying a new one, you can make it easily. Here is the guide on how to make charcoal chimney at home. 

  • Charcoal Briquettes

Charcoal briquettes are a hard and rocky thing that devours less fuel in grills. It improves the quality of heat distribution. Without briquettes, the minion method is nothing to be applied. The smooth distribution that is made by the charcoal briquettes is cannot be compared. 

Organic Charcoal Briquettes from OLIVETTE are well-known briquettes that go well weber kettles. These briquettes catch the fire faster than any other regular briquettes. 

Charcoal briquettes are a good source of fuel for smoking and are full of various advantages. 

  • Absorbing the high heat for a long time to make the food palatable, these briquettes are the best. 
  • These briquettes create the accurate amount of smoke that is needed to apply the minion method.
  • Charcoal briquettes should be eco-friendly and these are just the same. 
  • They ensure a stable burning for a long time.

Briquettes are generally organic and eco-friendly to use. They are both reusable and recyclable. Catching the heat fast, creating a handsome amount of smoke, and being hot for a long time- what else you can ask for from charcoal briquettes, right? So, these are very much needed.

These are the essential products you will need to start the minion method on Weber kettles. 

How To  Do The Minion Method on Weber Kettle

The minion method is one of the traditional and effective smoking methods for smoking and grilling. Though it is not too trendy, it is one of the easiest methods of smoking you will ever apply. 

So, let’s not delay and jump on to the steps on how you can apply the minion method on weber kettles-

Step – 1: Filling the Charcoal Basket: At the beginning, you should start just from the middle of the basket. Do you want to know why? It is because the minion method prefers piled or accumulated or lump charcoals that burn faster. The passing of the heat will be from middle to outwards.

Step – 2: Lighting up the Briquettes: After placing the charcoals right at their place, you may use a fire igniter to light up them. Using a charcoal chimney for this purpose would be a great choice. Just light up a few of the charcoal pieces placed by you.

Step – 3: Assembling the Coals: Once the coals have caught the fire, you can move the charcoals inside the basket according to your need cautiously. Start to dump them on the top and proceed towards your goal. You just need to spread the coals evenly on the grilling grate.

Step – 4: Venting Method: Normally, the weber kettles have their own attached vents to pass the air and continue the cooking. But still, you need to know the procedures of using them to use the minion method on the Weber kettles. The small fault in adjusting the vents can vary your cooking time around 15 to 20minutes extra. 

There is a small vent on the lid of the Weber kettle that allows the air to pass smoothly. Do not close it fully because the opened vent will allow air movement and make the food covered with the smoky flavor you want. 

Do not make huge changes with the bottom vents as they are already set with proper adjustments. When you will find that the temperature has reached 200F, just cover one vent so that the increasing rate of the temperature will slow down a bit and it will keep the smoke accumulated near the food for a long time. 

In case if you are uncomfortable with the venting processes, you can use a hot water pan that will help you to hold up the smoke inside the kettle for a few hours at least. 

So, these are the steps to how you can apply the minion method on the Weber kettles.

Also Read: Firedial Vs Vortex Plate – Which You Need?

How to Control Temperature on Minion Method on Weber Kettle

The weber kettles are pretty straightforward in controlling the temperature while using the minion method. 

There are 2 ways to control the temperature of the kettle. They are-

  • Choosing the amount of the coals

The right amount of coals makes a huge difference in the temperature. The more coal you use, the hotter the grill will become. So, choose the correct portion of coals and lay them out in the middle of the briquette case. 

Moreover, the chimney starter affects greatly on adjusting the temperature of the kettle. It understands how much coals will be needed and thus you can control the temperature.

  • Positioning the vents

The half-covered vents help reduce the excessive flare-ups. Placing the lid of the kettle will also help in controlling the heat. The vent of the top should always be open for proper smoking. Change the venting door of the bottom thoroughly when need to maintain the air circulation. 

This is how you can quite easily control the temperature while using the minion method on the Weber kettles. So easy! Right?

Also Read: Smokenator Vs Slow N Sear – Which Is Better?

Advantage and Disadvantage of Minion Method

No process is 100% accurate and flourished in this world. Everything will appear to you with some unwanted mixes. Just like that, the minion method has some advantages and disadvantages too. 

Let’s discuss that-


  • The best system for cooking overnight.
  • No tension of adding fuel during cooking.
  • You will not need to supervise now and then.
  • Easily starting up and smooth smoking experience.
  • The kettle or grill does not get too much hot in this process.
  • The minion method can last the smoking up to 12 to 16 hours. 


  • In this method, you cannot smoke over 320F. So, that is a noticeable point.
  • This method may not be accepted by those who want to cook faster or for huge parties.

Keeping the cons aside, this method is traditional and full of appreciating reviews. Just give it a try at least.

Also Read: Weber Charcoal Rails Vs Baskets – Which Is The Best Option

What Are the Best Recipes That Need a Minion Method to Be Prepared

As the minion method is a traditional and technical method of cooking, you can enjoy delicious meals using this method. 

For example, you can cook-

  • Smoky steaks
  • Smoky chicken
  • Grilled chicken
  • Beef short ribs
  • Smoked turkey
  • BBQ meat dishes
  • Grilled or smoked pizza
  • Rotisserie chicken and beef dishes

These are the delicious and best recipes that need a minion method to be prepared.

Also Read: What Size Vortex For 22.5 Weber Kettle Grill? Sizing Up Your Vortex

Lump Charcoal Vs Charcoal Briquettes for Minion Method

Technically, charcoal briquettes are the best for the minion method. do you want to know why? Let me explain it to you. 

What is lump charcoal? Lump charcoals are more natural form of regular charcoals that burn faster and get hot faster too. But unfortunately, the minion method cannot take so much heat at a time. The minion method is known for longtime cooking. 

If the smoker or kettle gets way too hot, then the minion method will not be able to be applied there. Moreover, they are expensive and their consistency is comparatively lower.

On the other hand, charcoal briquettes are budget-friendly and reusable. You may find these everywhere. Through they are not too attractive but their advantages touch the sky. 

Charcoal briquettes ensure a stable burning of the food and also ensure a longtime burning. With these, you can maintain a stable and constant temperature too.

That is why I must say that charcoal briquettes are suitable and best for the minion method.

Also Read: Weber Extension Ring for 22.5 Kettle Grills: A Must-Have Accessory

How many briquettes light for the Minion method?

Answer: In the minion method, if you want to end the cooking session shortly, you can use 7 to 8 pieces of large size charcoal briquettes. But, if you want to cook for longer, you should use 1kg briquettes at least to ensure a couple of hours of cooking.

Does the Minion method work with lump charcoal?

Answer: Yes, you can use lump charcoals for the minion method. Lump charcoals catch fire easily and raise the temperature high gradually. Though the minion method is about longtime cooking, you should be aware of using lump charcoals because you may then check the grill or kettle from time to time.

How long will the Minion method last?

Answer: The temperature in the minion method ranges from 200 to 250degree F. Meanwhile, the coals catch the fire and increase the temperature slowly. It works at low temperatures and can last about 16 to 18 hours. This gives a proper smoky taste to the food.

How much charcoal do you use for minions?

Answer: The minion method is related to longtime cooking hours. Here, you will not have to add coals or fuel during the cooking. To make sure a few hours cooking, you may use up to 1 or 2kgs of charcoals for the minion method so that you will not have to check later.


I hope, through this article, you are now familiar with and want to try the minion method weber kettle. Once you set the coals and the kettle accordingly, you may easily take a break meanwhile or you can even set it overnight to get cooked. It lets the food getting cooked slowly and maintains the temperature till the end. 

The Weber grills or kettles are the best for longtime burnings. So, using the minion method on it will not be any big deal. To enjoy the traditional and actual perfect smoky taste of meats, try minion method cooking at home. Enjoy!

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