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Dry chicken on the pbc jr

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    Dry chicken on the pbc jr

    1st cook on the pbc Jr. 2 halfed chickens. Took 3 hrs for the breast to temp 165. Then they were dry. What did I do wrong?

    Three hours for a half a chicken? How big were those chickens because three hours seems at least an hour more than it should take. Are you sure your thermometer is working right? I also think 165 degrees is too high for breast meat - I usually go for 155 degrees in the breast


      They were a little for 5lbs. I used different 2 thermometers they both read the same thing


        PBC usually cooks faster then the "normal" cooker. What was the temp in the barrel? I like to remove one rebar to allow more airflow and this increases the temp into the higher 300s. I see anywhere from 1.5 to 2 hours for chicken in my book. I don't normally split my birds.


          Dry chicken? Try BBQ sauce or gravy.


            I pull chicken breasts at 158°. Any higher and it tends to dry out. All the nasties are killed instantly at 158° according to the gu'ment.


              Chicken can cool the barrel something fierce. It takes a good lighting and airflow to keep things over 300. Two birds in the Jr. is a lot of water dripping on those coals.

              165 is the proper internal for the breast, and hanging in the PBC should have the leg quarters a bit higher. Never had dry birds from the barrel, but I always run 350-400+.


                I have a PBJ. That seems like a long time to get to temp. Perhaps crack the lid or pull a rebar as suggested.


                  I haven't read all the above so I might be repeating some... but my advice is cook them hotter, 350+, then they will cook quicker and dry out less. Pull them when the breast meat is 150-155, carryover cooking will allow it to rise further but in a normal cooking environment 150-155 will be fine regardless. No, it's not heresy.

                  Pasteurization is a product of both time and temp, or more properly time spent at a specific temp, so it doesn't have to hit 165, that's just the instant kill zone for poultry bugs. To illustrate, you can eat it at 145 if it's been there 9 minutes. The texture might not be pleasant but it's safe. 150 = 3 mins, 155 = 1 min. The point is with that slow of a rise in temp of the meat you don't need to go to 165. In fact as you discovered quite often 165 is too dry for breast meat.


                    I’ve run them up to as high 165* in my WSMs without much drying. Something else is wrong. That amount of time is way too much. I do 275-300* hanging half chickens and never exceed 1.5 hours. I’ll bet the OP’s cooking temps were too low.


                      I cooked a couple hanging in the junior a while back. Was at my Mom's house and forgot my thermometer. Had to rely on a couple of old gas grill thermometers which I was not very confident with as they are known to be inaccurate. Pulled them off at a couple hours. I had read the information Huskee posted about 150 for 3 minutes, so I usually get them off around after a few minutes at 155ish. Mom and brother said it was great. I was happy with the chicken too.

                      Recently, I have been grilling chicken and other things the the junior, so I shifted from hanging the chicken (although, so hang traditional at times)I use a part of a cinder block to raise the coals closer and cook fast on the grill grates. Don't have a kettle, so I made the junior work. Now, not in a rush for a kettle. Very juicy and delicious.

                      Edited a couple typos. Click image for larger version  Name:	16279507238341457942597741807804.jpg Views:	0 Size:	7.31 MB ID:	1071568

                      Last edited by saneric38; August 2, 2021, 06:41 PM.


                      • Huskee
                        Huskee commented
                        Editing a comment
                        At first glance I thought this was the chicken in question

                      • FireMan
                        FireMan commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Yup! Cookin cinder block on wood. 👍

                      Thank you for all the help. Going to try again this weekend


                        Let us know how it works out. Chicken in a PBC cooked at 350+ish should be done in 1 to 1.5 hours tops. I don't have experience with the PBJ, though.

                        Try a single chicken cook next. Make sure your charcoal basket is full and well lit to start with, use one rebar or crack the lid to keep the temps high, and you should sail right through it and end up with a tasty bird with crispy skin.

                        Jerod is right--two chickens dump a ton of moisture onto coals, which is why you need to start the coals high and hot in the basket before adding the birds.

                        Hope you are happy with your next PBJ chicken cook!

                        Last edited by fzxdoc; August 3, 2021, 09:10 AM.


                          You can inject the breasts ahead of time either with a commercial one or make your own. Derrick riches .com has a lot of good recipes. You can also dry brine with 1/2 tsp of kosher salt.


                            Check your probes to see if they are failing.



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