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Unable to do a long cook on a single basket

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    Unable to do a long cook on a single basket

    Did my 2nd brisket and 1st PB yesterday. 10 and 5 Lbs respectively. By hour 5, the PBC ran out of steam and I had to add more charcoal. Had a similar experience with Kingsford Original. This time used Maple Leaf Briquets which are 100% hardwood. I must be doing something wrong. Lighting procedure were the same. 1/2 Weber rapidfire chimney. 2 newspaper sheets. Wait 10-15 minutes for ashover. Dump lit coals in the basket. Wait 10 min with lid off for the whole basket to light then hang meat. Pit temp peaked at 330F. Put foil in rebar holes to achieve a steady temp around 250F. Cracked lid and plugged and unplugged rebar holes to keep temps stable.

    I would hang as soon as you dump the chimney. Then do what you have to do to stabilize temps.

    I cooked a couple roasts yesterday for 6 hours, and still had plenty charcoal. And that was running 350-400 the last 2 hours when they were panned.

    I use the lighter fluid method mostly, 15 minute preheat, then hang. I am at sea level.
    Last edited by Jerod Broussard; August 31, 2014, 12:18 PM.


    • supergas6
      supergas6 commented
      Editing a comment
      Agree with Jerod. I initially resisted lighter fluid--"real BBQ masters don't use fluid"--but after having some inconsistent burns with chimney, I went to it. Not only is it more consistent, but it is easier. Pour all the coals into the basket, put liberal amount of fluid on it, put back into PBC and light immediately (I usually light in three spots). Ten to fifteen minutes later, you are cooking. During that time, I am usually pulling the already prepared meat out of the fridge and placing hooks. Just less hassle than dealing with a chimney, which may/may not have had a good light, etc.

    • IrondeQuer
      IrondeQuer commented
      Editing a comment
      No residual taste? My wife complained about tasting the lighter fluid which is partly why I went to a chimney. That was on fairly short cooks though.

    • Virginia Dave
      Virginia Dave commented
      Editing a comment
      Isn't lighter fluid a bad idea? I use my gasser side burner to get my chimney going.
      Last edited by Virginia Dave; September 5, 2014, 07:28 AM.

    Watch Noah's videos on cooking brisket and PB at the PBC website. The PBC should be "set and forget" if it was set up correctly. Also feel free to contact PBC, they are very customer friendly (the number should be right on your cooker and Noah & Amber have their email information posted on the WEB site). If you are still learning how to use your cooker stay with one meat until you figure things out. The PBC is a great smoker and once you get the hang of it cooking will be a joy. Keep at it!


      You might try opening the bottom up a touch, mine seemed to do this too. I averaged 280 yesterday for 7 hours and had plenty left, my longest cook was 14 hours at 250, all on Kingsford Original. So I know it is possible, there is just a little tweak that needs to be made somewhere.


        Like Bep said learn the basics and the PBC will work for you. Watch their videos.

        - You don't need foil around the rebar holes, or any other modifications. The PBC works great out of the box.
        - If your temps get too low, crack the lid for a few minutes.
        - For low temps, and this may seem counter-intuitive, but you may need to CLOSE your bottom vent a little. Once you find the sweet spot for the bottom vent you don't need to touch it any more.
        - Use Kingsford Original. It's reliable and gives great results.


          I also use the lighter fluid method as it has proven easily repeatable for me. I don't mess with anything other than occasionally cracking the lid as sometimes my temp will fall back into the 240 range especially during a stall it seems. Yesterday I hit the stall and trying to power through it I cracked the lid and got the temp up to 320 - may have been Pit Boss that says that is the sweet spot for cracking the lid. Put the lid back on tightly and temps settled around 280 so the 320 mark did work perfectly. It was still at 280 when I pulled the butt after more than 9 hours. I've left the lid off my PBC after cooks and more than 10 hours have passed - including the cook time - and the coals are still blazing. I am at sea level and have the vent 1/4 open.


            Ok. I'm thinking I might have to play with the intake. Thanks for the advice. I will give Noah and Amber a ring


              According to Amber I should hang the meat as soon as I dump the lit coals into the basket. I will try this next time.


                I've had my PBC for several months, now, and have done whole chickens, pieces of chicken, St Louis and baby back ribs. Nothing else, yet. Results are wonderful and the family raves! Only trouble has been when cooking 8 slabs at one time, some are thicker/longer than others. The thinner and longer ones tend to char at the end near the coals (only the last rib or two). I'm thinking that I might cut the smaller slabs in half and hang the shortened halves separately to keep them away from the coals. Other than that, my ribs taste fantastic. I generally use apple wood for smoke.


                • Ernest
                  Ernest commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I always cut my ribs in half. I ordered extra hooks just in case a situation comes up when I need to cut 8 ribs racks in half or something.

                I've had my PBC since May, cook on it at least 4 times a week. It's pretty much fired up all weekend.
                A few sundays I have fired it up at 10 am for lunch, dinner and snack in between on just one basket. I end up choking the vents at around 10 PM to put the fire out.
                My vent is at the lowest opening setting after quite a few experimental cooks. And that's where it stays.

                I think if you light up a full chimney then you can hang food immediately after dumping the hot coals.
                Half a chimney , you may need to leave the lid off for a few minutes before hanging food. You risk putting the fire out with drippings unless you strategically hang the food slightly away from the lit charcoal.



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