It’s the morning after the smoke and I thought I’d share some things I learned, good and bad:
* I controlled the temp just fine. The Minion Method is perfect for using just the right amount of charcoal. This was a short cook (4 hours) and the Minion Method worked well since the internal temp of the cooker was over 110˚F before lighting. I could see a situation when the slow temp climb wouldn’t work in my favor, but it’s darn near foolproof for keeping the temp low and controlled.
* Large meat cuts need to sit out for an hour or more. I pulled the meat from the refrigerator and it sat on the counter for only 30 minutes before heading inside the smoker. The internal temp was 42˚F and that meant the smoker had to work harder to bring things up to serving temperature. At the four hour point, the temp had risen to 149˚F which I wouldn’t call idea for safety. Before serving, I reheated the 1/2 inch thick pieces I’d sliced in the microwave to 160˚F to ensure food safety. Oddly, this particular roast was very juicy but lacked flavor. That brings me to…
* Not enough barbecue/smoke flavor. I used maple wood from the yard (gasp!) and got a very small smoke ring. I think I’m a hickory person or even pecan like [Matt](http://kerner.net) uses.
* I’m ready to try the big three: ribs, brisket and pork shoulder.
* Always put the charcoal away in case it rains unexpectedly overnight.