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Light my (PBC) fire: tips on lighting and maintaining temperatures

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  • fzxdoc
    replied
    Tman4024 , take a look at this topic, where we discussed how to load a basket for shorter cooks.

    I seldom reduce the basket below 1/2 full, evenly distributed, and then put 40 lit coals on top of that.

    Others, however, have other methods. The topic will provide you with a lot of good info so you can make the choice that best fits your needs:

    https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...-shorter-cooks

    HTH,
    Kathryn

    Leave a comment:


  • Tman4024
    replied
    I’m adapting this recipe and just smoking two duck breasts.

    https://pitbarrelcooker.com/blogs/food/tea-smoked-duck

    my question is what is the best way to setup the charcoal basket with smaller cooks like this? Should I use less coals overall (still 40 briquette in chimney) spread evenly across the whole basket or should I just put everything on one half of the basket?

    Leave a comment:


  • phoccer
    commented on 's reply
    Decided to give this a try today and made one little "mistake". For the last 10 minutes I had the lid on AND the rebars in but it's worked fine. My PBJ is chugging along right around 250 which is simply awesome. Thanks for the post and giving me a new idea to try.

  • jpsep
    commented on 's reply
    Adjusted the probe location and everything started to settle down. Super excited for the first cook!

  • jpsep
    replied
    Hey @fzxdoc the sticky here, thanks for the details! I just put the meat and probes in, I’m showing 435° ambient - I know it starts hot. 347° internal seems oddly high. I’m going to stuff the rebar holes with foil per your instructions.

    Leave a comment:


  • Byrang
    commented on 's reply
    Thanks! I just didn't want to create a flame thrower in the backyard.. but eh.. could be fun

  • fzxdoc
    replied
    That's how the Oklahoma Joe Bronco folks light their coals as well. I know from experience that, due to the PBC design, the better one gets the coals lit, the more stable the temps throughout the cook. For that reason I don't mess with the 40-(or 42 ) well-lit coals-in-the-chimney approach.

    But hey, tradition is meant to be broken, so try the tumbleweeds and let us know how your cook goes, Byrang.

    Kathryn
    Last edited by fzxdoc; April 6, 2020, 03:34 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Byrang
    replied
    Just had a thought, has anyone tried filling the charcoal basket, and lighting them with a couple of tumble weeds and then let the coals ash over? Watched a Malcom Reed video and that's how he lit his Gateway. Do you think the temps would get way too high with the lid off the entire warm up period?

    Leave a comment:


  • fzxdoc
    commented on 's reply
    Sometimes new barrels have leaks around the rim of the lid. That will make the temps run at 300 or more for a few hours. Put something heavy on the lid, but protect the finish with a soft cloth under the object.

    After the first few cooks, the lid should stop leaking.

    Let us know how it works out for you in coming cooks. You've got a nice cooker there. Enjoy using it.

    Kathryn
    Last edited by fzxdoc; March 23, 2020, 06:14 AM.

  • mnavarre
    replied
    lannylautenschlager The PBJr. seems to light up a bit different than the big PBC. I do more like 15-5-10 for low and slow cooks, but I don't really time it. I usually light 20 briquettes, fill the basket with unlit charcoal and once my lit coals are pretty well going dump them into the basket and put the basket in the pit. Then I let it burn for 5 minutes or so, until I can see unlit charcoal lighting up. Then put in any wood I'm using, the grate if I'm using it, and the rebar, and put the lid on. Then I go do any final prep, grab the food, whatever, not worried at this point. Hang the food and... don't worry too much. My PBJr. likes to run about 290, but it also matters how much you load it up, how drippy the food is, and, yeah, the temp it runs at. But once you get it down, it really makes you realize that you're cooking the food, not time and temp. There's a learning curve, especially if you're used to other cookers; but once you get the Zen of the thing, it's a great cooker.

    Also, spray the rim of your lid with PAM, and cook some chickens. Once it starts to gunk up a bit it get better and the temps stabilize.

    Leave a comment:


  • lannylautenschlager
    replied
    I followed these instructions (as outlined on the first post in this thread) on a PBC Junior today. It was the cooker's maiden voyage and the temperature seemed to hold at 300 for the majority of the cook time for the ribs (which means they were a little dryer than I had hoped). Should I reduce the number of briquettes I initially put in the cooker?

    Leave a comment:


  • fzxdoc
    commented on 's reply
    Agreed. At least it's a good possibility.

    Kathryn

  • stickbit
    replied
    fzxdoc thanks for the feedback. I was going to say - when I've had the heat higher (325-350 range) my split chickens would be closer to 1 hr-1 hr 15 mins....these took over 2 hours - so to your point my probe must have been reading a bit higher than the actual barrel temp...which means my pbc is most likely running ...dare I say right where it was designed too?

    Leave a comment:


  • N227GB
    commented on 's reply
    I usually use Smithfield Extra Meaty baby backs. They can take the heat if Stubbs runs hotter. I've only use KBB because that what Noah (PBC inventor) recommends, but nothing wrong with experimenting.

    I, too, have stopped monitoring the drum temp when doing ribs.

  • fzxdoc
    replied
    stickbit , if my temps are much below 300°, my chickens take closer to two hours as well. They take an hour or so at temps 350°+ and about 1.5 hours around 325°, depending, of course on how many chickens are in the barrel. Nothing douses a fire as quickly as a bunch of chickens can. They drop off a lot of moisture but always have plenty left when smoked in my PBC, no matter what the temp between 270° and 350°.

    Kathryn

    Leave a comment:

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