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Cooking Low ‘n’ Slow – the Snake Method

Low ‘n’ Slow BBQ is emerging as a favourite way to achieve smoky, tender meat – and setting up your kettle BBQ to cook in this style couldn’t be easier! The video uses Heat Beads® BBQ Briquettes to set up for the low and slow Snake Method – safe, easy and the best way to get fall-apart tender meats. Watch the video, or follow our simple step by step guide to cooking with this method.

The Snake Method is an indirect method of low n’ slow cooking using briquettes or coal. A favourite amongst lovers of slow barbecue and smoking, the Snake Method provides a stable temperature over a long period of time. It’s the ideal set-and-forget cooking technique, guaranteed to produce a succulent and flavourful end result every time.  Another great article – Chris Girvan Brown Snake method article

As simple as these 10 steps...


Start with at least half a bag of Heat Beads® Briquettes. This method best done using a kettle barbecue.


Arrange your briquettes by laying two briquettes side by side on the grate, snaking half way around the wall of the kettle. The configuration of the briquettes dictates the amount of heat, and the length dictates how long the burn will be.


Be aware that the width and length of your snake can vary depending on the size of your barbecue and what you are cooking. We’re using a standard method for this how to.


Place a second, single layer on top. This ensures that lit briquettes will fall towards, and not away from, unlit briquettes.


At the start of the fuse leave four unlit briquettes without the top layer.


Grab your chimney and light six or so briquettes. Once they’re burning brightly place at the start of the fuse, where you’ve piled the four unlit briquettes.


Add a drip tray with water in the bottom of your kettle, and place the top rack in your barbecue.


Adjust your vents to suit your cook time and the amount of heat you require. The more open your vents are, the more air will circulate through your barbecue, feeding the fire and causing the briquettes to burn faster and hotter. Take note of this, particularly if you are fighting extreme weather conditions.


After around an hour the fuse will be alight, and the temperature should be stable.


Now add your chosen low n’ slow meal and let it cook. Cook time will vary between 6 and 10 hours or more, depending on the size of your snake.
Tip: place some wood chips/chunks or herbs along the fuse to provide more flavour.
Tip: increasing the amount of fuel in the fuse does increase the temperature. As a rule of thumb, one briquette is equivalent to adding roughly 25°C.