Originally Posted by YardBurner
Try a Minion burn with eight or ten lit coals on top of a half
to 3/4 chimney of unlit and run your test again.
Should be good for at least 2 1/2 to 3 hours without
having to mess with it to much.
Again just on one side as before.
With my respect to YardBurner and to qualify by saying I haven't tried it, I would be cautious about trying the Minion Method (MM) in a kettle. Not to say it can't be done, just that it might be difficult to do. I thought you said your kettle doesn't really have bottom vents to speak of Cruisin. (I have a kettle 'cousin' that DOES have bottom vents).
Unlit charcoal, when lighting up can impart a bad taste to food. As I recall Jim Minion saying 'only when there is a flame on the unlit charcoal' or in other words, in an abundance of oxygen.
This problem isn't a factor using the Minion Method in the WSM you may order because if you do it right, the combustion air is restricted. Many of us use it without issue in our WSMs.
I'll add another Jimism in here 'backpressure on exhaust venting can lead to creosote formation'. This would apply moreso when using smoking wood, but I think it may also apply to trying the Minion Method with only briquettes, no smoke wood and too much airflow. You don't want creosote on your food so you should probably leave the top vent open at all times.
So, when you try MM in your kettle, see if you notice 'that smell' of igniting charcoal.
On Edit: damn typos ....