This is my take of the indirect heat smoking technique sometimes referred to as the “Minion Method”. The Snake Method differs in the way that the briquettes are laid out to control the temperature for a long and slow cook.
I was first brought to the attention of the snake method back in 2011 via a barbecue thread on a forum I frequent.
One of the great advantages to using the Snake Method is that it is the most efficient way of getting every last ounce of heat out of the briquettes. This makes the Snake Method extremely economical as there is very little briquette waste.
For this article I have shown how to set up my (Amazon Affiliate Link) Weber 22.5″ One Touch Silver to use the Snake Method.
The Snake Method is a 2-Zone Set Up
The Snake Method differs to the traditional 2-zone set up where instead of banking the briquettes to one side of the kettle in a pile, you arrange the briquettes in an overlapping line around the edge of the kettle. Using this technique allows you to avoid the initial heat surge you would see from dumping a fully lit chimney into the kettle. This will allow a fully controlled steady and consistent low heat temperature throughout the cook.
Set Up Your Kettle with the Snake Method
- Start by arranging two rows of 24 briquettes around the edge of your kettle, follow this up with a single line of (Amazon Affiliate Link) 24 more briquettes on top.
- Scatter a couple of handfuls of flavoured wood chips along the briquette line. These will ignite during the cooking process ensuring a consistent non stop flow of smoke throughout the cook.
- Place an aluminium foil tray in the centre as your drip tray. Make sure you fill this with boiling water so that you are not burning precious fuel to heat the water.
- Place 8 briquettes into your chimney starter and light them up. Wait for all the briquettes to fully engage, you will know they are ready once all briquettes have turned white and are glowing orange.
- Once the briquettes are ready, use some barbecue tongs to transfer from the chimney starter to the start of your snake line in the kettle. You can now put your cooking grill in place.
- Give the briquettes at the start of the snake a few minutes to catch fire themselves before placing your meat on the cooking grill and (Amazon Affiliate Link) attaching your thermometers and beginning your cook.