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Turkey on the PBC

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    Turkey on the PBC

    Thinking of cooking one up soon to prep for Thanksgiving. Has anybody tried it? I see Noah has a method on the website but I was thinking of spatchcocking it. Thoughts? Stories?


    I'm not a turkey fan at all but I did try it. I wanted to experiment with hanging it like a chicken as opposed to Noah's video. Hang an 11pounder.

    Things went wrong when I decided to cook with lump charcoal that I've never cooked with before.
    I normally use Ozark oak lump and I know exactly how it behave in the PBC.

    It cooked just a little under 2 hours and 15 minutes. And my guess is that the Stubbs lump charcoal ran really HOT!!

    I think Spatchcocked or just downright cut in half will give you a good bird. Consider dry brining for at least 2 days.

    Now I'm fan of turkey legs on the PBC


    • Doublejab
      Doublejab commented
      Editing a comment
      When you made the turkey legs, where did you insert the hooks approximately? Also, how long did they take to cook? My little guy devours Turkey legs every time we go to Disney and I haven't attempted to cook yet in the PBC. I am looking forward to packing a T-leg in his lunchbox..I am sure to get call from his cranky teacher.

      Thanks in advance for your guidance. Cheers!

    • Ernest
      Ernest commented
      Editing a comment
      The legs were a little tricky. I used kitchen twine, wrapped around the leg then inserted the hook through the twine.

      Took about 45 minutes at 350 degrees

    NO way I would pass that turkey up Ernest, or anything else you cook, for that matter.


    • Ernest
      Ernest commented
      Editing a comment
      My 7 year old daughter went to town on that turkey.

    I spatchcock all my birds, never tried hanging one yet though. keep us posted if you do.


    • Papa Bob
      Papa Bob commented
      Editing a comment
      you said spatchcock hehehehe

    I have split all my chickens in the PBC. Wonderful results. Plus I like cutting out the back bone with those awesome scissor thingees and removing all the kidney lobes.


    • Jon Solberg
      Jon Solberg commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh man I hate to ask...

    • BruceB
      BruceB commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm with Jerod on this one. I do one or more chickens every time the PBC gets lit. They all get cut in half and hung per Noah's instructions. And yes, I use those big kitchen shears to cut out the backbone.

    I hang 99% of my birds whole.


      How did the birds come out compared to half bird cooking?


      • Ernest
        Ernest commented
        Editing a comment
        The only difference in taste is the breast is much juicer when the bird is PBCed whole.
        I only noticed that because I cooked whole and half to experiment with.
        Halves cook faster, but whole birds just look fantastic and appetizing. LOL

      • charchamp
        charchamp commented
        Editing a comment
        Ernest do you cook them breast down, rotate or anything to note when hanging in your PBC

      • Ernest
        Ernest commented
        Editing a comment
        No flipping, hang em legs down. They cook and brown evenly. It's magical

      I plan on doing a turkey for my first smoke when my pbc arrives.going with Kingsford as per noah .any first timer tips?


        I've never dry brined poultry but definitely need to try it. I've smoked many turkeys on my traegers. I always wet brine them. Pellet grills work magic on poultry though. I use a salt apple cider and herb brine in a cooler with ice for atleast 24hrs. That turkey will be so juicy you'll never wanna bake/roast a turkey ever again!




            Im a first timer so can I ask what or where can I read or watch a tutorial on pbc. Especially when to open the lid to increase temp.is 225 the temp I always want to be near?


              PBC website has the most informative videos. I don't see that many PBC videos on the tube.

              The first few cooks I'd advise you to monitor temps and behavior of the PBC.
              Yes, the videos are good but that's them cooking.

              225 degrees is a thing of the past with PBC
              I've done low and slow and I've done "as intended" with my own tweaks and I see very little difference.
              Unless I'm doing something that requires low and slow, like bacon, then I cover the bottom vent. Otherwise I just let the PBC be.
              I chose to set my vent to the lowest opening possible, after many experimental cooks
              Mine cooks at 250 degrees when I use blue bag kingsford, around 275 when I go with kingsford competition charcoal.
              For chicken I use Ozark oak lump charcoal and that runs around 300-315 degrees.

              The beauty of the PBC is that temp will settle where it wants and it will cook like a champ.
              All you have to do is keep notes on cooking times. That way next time you cook that very meat you know exactly how long it will take. I'll give you an example, I cook chicken with lump charcoal and I know that it will be done at 1 hour and 15 minutes after hanging, give or take a few minutes due to weight.

              Few extras
              Weber makes the compact chimney which is perfect for the PBC. It takes exactly 40 briquettes.
              Do not put the lid on when you dump the lit coals into the PBC. Leave it uncovered for about 10 minutes
              You want low and slow, light about 12 briquettes, dump them as close together as possible in the basket. Sorta like the Minion method
              PBC responds to airflow like a champ, so if you keep opening that lid it will crank up the heat and stay hot.


                ok great stuff,so basically use the 732 both probes one in the breast the other one I hang near the bird and when the breast hits 165 open up the lid and check? and take notes in a log book.


                  did you wash off the salt after dry brining? and is it ok to put olive oil on before the rub?


                  • Ernest
                    Ernest commented
                    Editing a comment
                    No, I don't wash it. It never gets salty.
                    you can rub oil on it but I prefer mixing the rub with the oil to form a paste and rub that on the bird.

                  Kranknhank, no you don't wash off the salt after dry brining. You're hoping that it's begun its migration into the muscle in the 24 hours or less that you let it sit on the bird.

                  And yes, Meathead highly recommends that you put oil (olive or other vegetable) on the bird before the rub because many of the spices are oil soluble. Noah recommends it in his Pit Barrel Cooker video as well.

                  I'm doing my first turkey in my PBC tomorrow, so I'm feeling my way along as well. I've done several chickens, so this shouldn't be a whole lot different except for the time. Plus I usually halve the chickens lengthwise like Noah shows on his chicken video, and I'll leave the turkey whole. For the first time, I'm going to hang it just like Noah does in the video and see how it turns out. I always like to start with the basics before getting fancy.

                  I'm going to put the pointy probe in the thickest part of the breast and dangle the smoker probe from the rebar at the mid level of the bird and watch them both. With the lighting method I use for the charcoal I don't usually have any trouble keeping the PBC at 270-290 and can push it higher by periodically cracking the lid for a little bit. Follow Ernest's comments and you won't go wrong. He's a marvelous cook.

                  Just remember that the temp can really take off if you don't pay attention to it while you leave the lid cracked. When you first crack the lid, the temp goes down, then it starts to climb and can shoot up quickly so stay alert and fit it back on tightly when you're above your desired temp.

                  Right now I've got my turkey sitting nekkid in a pan in the refrigerator. I've removed the gizzard etc. bag and the neck from the cavities and have dried it thoroughly with paper towels. I'm letting it sit uncovered in the refrigerator because Meathead says that it will help dry the skin out to make it crisper. I read all that Meathead wrote about making The Ultimate Turkey, but some of his recommendations can't be followed due to the design of the PBC. Even so, it's really an excellent treatise and I highly recommend that you take the time to read it, if you have the time, that is. Here's the link:


                  I did not dry brine my turkey it because the label (I'm using a 13 lb Butterball) says it's brined in a 8% salt solution (with spices, etc) which works out to about 220 mg per 4 oz serving (from the nutrition label). That's plenty of salt.

                  Tomorrow I'll inject it with butter, put the oil and then the rub on, insert the hooks and hang it in the cooker. Then I'll pop the cap on a cold one and wait for all that turkey deliciousness to happen.


                  P.S. You can watch Noah cook turkeys, etc. on his How-to-Videos page on the Pit Barrel Cooker website. Here's the link to those videos. Just scroll down and click on Turkey and you're good to go:


                  I always watch the pertinent video before doing a cook. It's like being in the locker room with the coach before the big game.
                  Last edited by fzxdoc; September 20, 2014, 01:17 PM.


                  • smarkley
                    smarkley commented
                    Editing a comment
                    hmm... turkey is on the brain around here. I am planning a PBC turkey late this week too. I will use oil and a poultry rub (no brineing, since I have one of those 'pre brined' ones too)

                  • Obi-Dan
                    Obi-Dan commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Hilarious. I too always watch Noah's videos, sometimes both old and new, no matter how may times I've cooked something before I fire up my PBC. I've never thought of it like a coach giving a pep talk but that's exactly what it is like. Coach Noah.

                    P.S. Just saw the date on this zombie thread. Oops.


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