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New Cooker for Christmas!

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    New Cooker for Christmas!

    My wife dun good this year! She knew that I had been toying with the idea of picking up a barrel cooker for awhile and have frequently commented on both the PBC and the Bronco. She clearly assembled the clues and got me a Bronco for Christmas! I assembled it tonight and was impressed by some of the little things that were thought of when they designed it. Simple things like threaded holes in the bottom of the handle and side shelf for bolts and washers to hold them in place.

    I plan to season it tomorrow and can’t wait to start learning the new cooker!!! Any advice/tips/tricks from my fellow Pit Members who already own one? I have never cooked on a barrel cooker, so I know nothing of it operation. Thanks in advance!!!

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    #2
    Nice looking cooker. The closest I've come to barrel cooking is my Orion which I definitely a little different.

    Comment


    • Attjack
      Attjack commented
      Editing a comment
      Jfrosty27 why did you end up with 2?

    • Jfrosty27
      Jfrosty27 commented
      Editing a comment
      My work at the time required two separate residences about 1,500 miles apart. One for each. Then I retired and here we are.
      Last edited by Jfrosty27; December 27, 2021, 10:26 AM.

    • ofelles
      ofelles commented
      Editing a comment
      I am Orion.............okay I'll leave now.

    #3
    Congratulations! I don’t have one, but I have cooked on bullet smokers. IMO the intake vent is superior to most drum or bullet smokers. I think you have a winner there.

    Comment


      #4
      Congrats. I think you will have a barrel of fun with it.

      Comment


      • RickyBobby
        RickyBobby commented
        Editing a comment
        I see what you did there. Lol! 😆

      #5
      Your wife did you right!

      Comment


        #6
        Very nice! Now the fun begins.

        Comment


          #7
          She done good on the gift, and now you get all the fun. In time, if you experiment with various methods you should come to appreciate, even more than you imagine, how versatile this baby is.

          As Sunny has observed temp control is one of it's best features, you have plenty of latitude to make it do what you want, not just what it wants. I've observed that some newcomers let that ability drive them around the bend. Might be like when you first started with choppers, some new pilots were quick to grasp the multiple control options, others were overwhelmed by what they saw as mass complexity. Just work with the intake and exhaust as you feel comfortable and you'll likely figure out how to balance the openings to suit whatever temp targets you choose. Part of what makes the newbs nuts is the onboard thermometer. Like many OE bimetallics it's reliability can be decent or not. And the location has little to do with grate temp usually, but is a reasonable ambient "average" measure. Augment with a separate thermometer via grate clip if that's your style. Add on fan/controllers can be an interesting toy, but the standard hardware is so rock solid and simple one of those set ups is gilding the lilly.

          Starting the fire seems the next hurdle for some. OKJ has a couple YouTube vids specifically for the Bronco that show good methods for starter cube lighting. Personally I only use lump and find lighting with a chimney load (pile size aimed at learned burn length) works as good or better for my choices. I use the half size Weber chimney so it can be rotated within the barrel, but have also started the fire outside the barrel first. Again, a choice made easy by the hardware configuration.

          I have lots of optional pieces of hardware because....................well, I'm a gizmoholic.....gotta have toys to experiment with. A strong recommendation would be to get the second grate, it will open up lots of options for you. In addition to doubling cooking capacity it also can be a base for using a vortex (second on the close to must have list) for ultra hot/close searing and crisping (as in wings). I'm not as focused on using the hanging capability as some. If I've got half a dozen racks of ribs to do then it serves the need. One or two racks..................the grate method suits me better. Some let the diffuser plate confuse them.............it shouldn't. The PBC folks hang their ribs without one, this will work the same unless you're really bugged by the bottom portion of the rack getting "crispier" than the higher up portion.

          If you use imagination and experience (either prior or newly learned) you'll find all manner of cooking styles can be accommodated............it is a beast.

          Comment


          • RickyBobby
            RickyBobby commented
            Editing a comment
            This is awesome! Thanks Uncle Bob! You’ve also confirmed one of the things I thought about which was getting a second grate. If the weather holds today, I plan to do my seasoning burn on it this afternoon. After I let it roll nice an hot for awhile, I will likely start playing with the vents and try to figure out temp control. I’m very excited!

          #8
          congrats........

          Comment


          • RickyBobby
            RickyBobby commented
            Editing a comment
            Lol. HawkerXP, I still haven’t ruled out adding a PBC. …….. MCS is a capital B.

          #9
          Ricky Bobby Congrats on the new Bronco. You’re really gonna like it. I seasoned mine with a spray can of canola oil, just sprayed it all over the inside and on the cooking grates as well. I’d start with a full basket of hot coals for the burn in. This would also be a good time to play with the vents a little to start learning the temperature management. It’s not really hard to do on the Bronco.

          You might also want to put something under it, just in case of any grease that might leak out during the burn in…if you want to protect your underneath surface. One thing I did on the 2 legs that contact the surface, I bought some stick on furniture padding to protect the garage floor paint. The type you can get at HD or Lowes to put under the legs of furniture to protect the floor. I cut it to size and put it underneath the 2 legs. I don’t know if you actually need that or not, but it helped me also when moving it, when I might need to slide it a little in place.

          Uncle Bob has given you some good advice on using grate probes instead of relying on the built in thermometer. I found mine was actually showing 25-50 degrees hotter than my ThermoWorks probes. Make sure to double check the factory installed bolts on the top barrel and hinge, mine were just a little bit loose.

          When you do your first slow cook I’d recommend using B&B Charcoal briquettes, if you can get them. A lot of us prefer them over KBB, especially for longer cooks. When I did my first brisket on the Bronco, I got 9 hours of cook time from them and actually had enough left for another 2 hours.

          There’s some great advice from people about starting the coals, here on our OJ Bronco channel. Good luck, you’re gonna love this thing.

          EDIT: Here’s a great link from FishTalesNC on lighting your coals in the Bronco.

          https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...761#post817761
          Last edited by Panhead John; December 27, 2021, 09:20 AM.

          Comment


          • RickyBobby
            RickyBobby commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks PJ! I appreciate the heads up on fuel. I primarily use KBB for everything, but given everyone else’s experience, I will try and find some B&B to run in it. I have a small bag of generic Kroger brand charcoal that I plan to use for the initial burn in and I bought some canola oil spray. Also, thanks for the heads up in the factory installed bolts. I hadn’t checked them but was thinking I probably should.

          • Soonerpop
            Soonerpop commented
            Editing a comment
            Don’t know if you have them up there, but I get my B & B at Academy.

          • RickyBobby
            RickyBobby commented
            Editing a comment
            Soonerpop, we do have Academy, But the closest one is a touch over an hour away in Terre Haute. I used to shop there a lot before I left Texas.

          #10
          I struggled with the Bronco for awhile but have it dialed in now. In short here are my sugestions

          1 The temp gauge on my is about 25 degrees cooler than my Thermo temp sensor.
          2. If you want a good long burn use good charcoal. I started out using Kingsford, Full pan only got me about 7 hours of real cook time if i was lucky and created a bad smoke taste. Now I am useing B&B a 50% mixture of charlogs and briquettes. 10 hour cook on full pan is no issue and no bad smoke flavor.
          3 Only use a 1-3 wood chunks, bury them in the charcoal. Any more that 3 and you get over smoke flavor. I've been putting them in the pan before i put in the charcoal. Method seems to work well.
          4 watch the vids online about lighting it. It works well.
          5 looking for the long cook? Take time to place the charcoal instead of dumping it in. you can pack more in.
          Last edited by CaptGreg; December 29, 2021, 02:54 PM.

          Comment


          • Uncle Bob
            Uncle Bob commented
            Editing a comment
            Very good comment on the smoking chunks at 1-3 depending on preference and wood species, more than that is too much usually.

          • RickyBobby
            RickyBobby commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for the notes! Hopefully tomorrow or the next day I will actually have the opportunity to season it up and possibly go for my first cook this weekend.

          #11
          RickyBobby Congrats! She made the correct choice IMO. I’ve assembled mine, but haven’t yet done the burn-in. I’m looking forward to comparing notes with you and the other Bronco owners. It sure seems like a quality piece, and miles ahead of the PBC in features and quality.

          Comment


          • RickyBobby
            RickyBobby commented
            Editing a comment
            Looking forward to learning the new cooker along side ya’ and sharing notes!! I hope to season it up tomorrow!

          #12
          Once you do your burn-in check the bottom of the barrel before you cook. I had a boat load of canola oil left in the drain plug.

          Comment


          • RickyBobby
            RickyBobby commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for the heads up on that! I don’t know that I would have though about that honestly.

          #13
          I guess you won’t be in a hurry to use my boring Christmas present then….😢

          Comment


            #14
            Au contrair Thunder77 !!!! I already have used the bread baker for a loaf of Sourdough and it was AWESOME!!! Actually turned out one of the better loaves I’ve done yet! Thank you so much again!

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            Comment


            • Thunder77
              Thunder77 commented
              Editing a comment
              Looks great!

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