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

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  • fzxdoc
    commented on 's reply
    impishgrin , you're right--rain pelting on the PBC will cool it down for sure. Enjoy your tri-tip when the skies clear.

    Kathryn

  • impishgrin
    commented on 's reply
    Thanks fzxdoc , I had mine on a clip on a spare hook so it was very near the top of the barrel, will have to reposition for next time and see how that affects my readings. Was going to do my tri-tip this evening but it's lashing down here and I've read the PBC isn't a big fan of rain.

  • fzxdoc
    commented on 's reply
    impishgrin , I loop the probe's wire once around the rebar and then let the probe dangle at mid-level of the hanging meat, an inch or more away from the meat so they're not in the meat's "thermal shadow".

    HTH,
    Kathryn

  • impishgrin
    commented on 's reply
    fzxdoc do you place your probes high up, like around rebar level, or further down the barrel?

  • BruceB
    commented on 's reply
    Did you change your brand of charcoal? Seattle weather was perfect yesterday, shouldn't have been an issue.

  • fzxdoc
    commented on 's reply
    I learned to move more easily to a "set and forget" mode with the PBC after I began using 2 ambient probes for every single cook, one on the vent side and the other on the opposite side. Those two probes almost always read significantly different temps--on the order of 40 to 60 degrees different. And almost always the average of the two is where I want to be.

    The probes are placed 1-2 inches away from the wall of the barrel and away from the meat, hanging at about mid-level of the meat.

    K.

  • Green Caribou
    commented on 's reply
    Thanks. I opted not to wrap it. I nursed it along at a good temp range (260-275) to 200 degrees and after 10 hours the results look (and taste) incredible, so no harm done.

    But my bigger concern is why the generally "set it and forget it" nature of the PBC really let me down. I was not expecting to have to manage it as much while cooking. It's a big reason I bought the PBC, and it sometimes does, but other times seems to need a lot of babysitting to keep it from dropping too low.
    Last edited by Green Caribou; July 2, 2021, 08:27 PM.

  • fzxdoc
    commented on 's reply
    ...and also, you could kick the temp up to power through the stall. Maybe leaving the lid cracked slightly for the rest of the cook might work.

    Kathryn

  • fzxdoc
    commented on 's reply
    Have you wrapped the meat? Once wrapped, you can put it in a 270 degree oven to finish it up. Once wrapped, the meat doesn't care if the heat comes from coals or from an oven.

  • Green Caribou
    commented on 's reply
    Update: It settled for a while, but is sure seemed to go thorough charcoal and temp dropped again. Almost out and temp dropped pretty fast at about 6 hours. Added some charcoal and it went back up again pretty quickly, but it's been 8 hours and it's still in the 170s, where its been for a very long time. This stall has been going for a couple of hours.

  • Green Caribou
    replied
    Today my temps are not holding and I have no idea why. I lit using the ash + 10 min + 10 min technique. When I got the meat in the temp was a little over 400. So far so good. It dropped slowly over the next 40 min or so to around 270, so all good.

    But it kept slowly falling, so by around 2 hours it was down to under 225 and still falling. I cracked the lid up to about 260, put the lid on, and it slowly dropped again over 20-30 min. Cracked the lid to 275, put it back on, and it's continuing to fall again. I've moved the probe location a bit. It's about 70-80 degrees outside, so ambient temperature shouldn't be an issue.

    I just pulled one rebar out of one hole and rotated the charcoal basket relative to the vent to see what that does.
    Last edited by Green Caribou; July 2, 2021, 02:35 PM.

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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!

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2021 Meat-Up In Memphis Canceled - Rescheduled for March 2022

This summer's 2021 Meat-Up in Memphis IS OFFICIALLY RESCHEDULED FOR March 18-20, 2022. More details and re-booking info here!
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