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Bronco - Competition Lighting Method

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    Bronco - Competition Lighting Method

    I'm thinking of cooking a spatch'd chicken on the Bronco at 300 or 325. OJ has a video in which they show three ways to light the Bronco. One method is called the competition method. They basically put two or three starter cubes down the center of the charcoal bin. Would this be the one to use to hit that 300 - 325 range? Anyone know how long it will burn because I'll probably use this for the Thanksgiving when it's turkey time.

    Okay, Practice and see which you like best. That is the fun of BBQ.
    My self I use a Traeger,
    I just cook a spatchcock chicken at 375*F, 20 minutes meat side down for a little char, flipped and finished at 165*F internal breast.
    Last edited by bbqLuv; October 21, 2021, 08:09 PM.


      I've not got a bronco but in my kettle the temp is more controlled by the airflow (how open the vents are). Someone with bronco experience will likely come by, but I'd bet that it's similar for that thing.


        The issue with the Bronco is that I want to avoid adding coals because the charcoal bin is basically at the bottom of the barrel.

        Lighting it for low and slow will give me a long cook time. I’m wondering if the competition method will give the 300 - 325 range for three hours or so.

        A better question for me to ask is how folks light the Bronco to get a 300 - 350 temp for several hours.


        • DTro
          DTro commented
          Editing a comment
          My first cook on the Bronco was a pork butt. I used two tumbleweed starters and a full basket of charcoal. Once the fire was hot I dropped it in the barrel. It took a bit of time to get it under 300º. The meat was done in 10 hours (225-260). I opened the baffles after I took the meat off to see how hot it would go. I remember it was in the 375-400º range. I closed the baffles again and got about 5 more hours of cook time. You will achieve more than enough cook time at 300-350 with a full basket.

        fzxdoc has two nice threads out there. One is on lighting the Pit Barrel Cooker (PBC) and the other has cook times for various foods on the PBC. Check those out for lots of good suggestions on lighting and cooking on a barrel cooker. I would assume the Bronco would be similar to the PBC. The main thing is you don't want your chicken or turkey in the smoker when the white/gray smoke is rolling through it. Wait for the blue/clear smoke for a better flavor profile.

        I cooked a thanksgiving turkey on the PBC a couple years ago. A basket full of charcoal kept the barrel at the right temperature and it was cold out (10 degrees). You can hang or spatchcock the turkey. Have fun!


        • hogdog6
          hogdog6 commented
          Editing a comment
          I have a bronco pro and light it the same way I light my PBC using the above fzxdoc method. IMHO it's fool proof for both. Side note I can easily get 250* for 16 hours, I've never checked for longer but with the amount o unburned charcoal 20 seems very doable. I use B&B oak lump in both.

        I use lump, so no idea if it is same/similar for briq. I've gotten a few hours at 400 (wide open vents) by dumping a small chimney (the Weber short one, roughly half of normal chimney) on top of a bed of unlit resulting in a full basket. I was aiming for a high temp test, but throttle back should get into your desired temp range.



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