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Beef Back Ribs on PBC

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    Beef Back Ribs on PBC

    Just cooked back ribs on the PBC. I thought I would share the cook parameters.

    I had a 2 standard racks of shortish (4") long back ribs, about 8 bones in each. I removed the membrane, oiled lightly with olive oil and seasoned (with the new 'Shabbos Goy' seasoning - top notch!). Put them to one side and lit the PBC.

    I followed the standard procedure, 8lbs of kingsford, a liberal dousing of lighter fluid, the basket put immediately back into the PBC and lit. I let it go for just over 15 minutes. The rib racks tapered slightly, so I hooked in the thicker end, the thinner end was probably 8-10" above the fire. I tossed in a cherry and hickory chunk, hung and immediately lidded the PBC.

    As usual, the PBC climbed and then started to stumble at 300 degrees (see graph) after about 10 minutes. I cracked the lid by 1/4" and drove the temp to 380 over the next 20 minutes. I reseated the lid, walked away. It dropped back as expected, and leveled out around 280 or so. (note the graph is much longer than the actual cook. I just wanted to monitor the coals)

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    An hour twenty in, (4.50 pm) I checked the ribs. The temp lifted back in the 290 range immediately after. Here are the ribs at that point.

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    They were getting surprisingly close. (The pic was taken for this purpose at (5pm - that's the second big spike in the graph) As you can see, they were pulling back from the bone. I checked them again at about 2 hours - 5.25pm. One rack was done at this point. The second had the thicker (upper end) about done, but the lower, thinner end (closer to the basket) still was only in the 180's. So I hooked that end, and turned the ribs over. I checked them every 5 to 10 mins, and took them out after about 20 minutes. (just shy of 6pm).

    So they had taken about 2.5 hours.

    The two pics below are of the final product. They were exactly as you would hope they would be. They could have stayed another 30 minutes without harm in the PBC I think. They were still that juicy (note that no saucing / spritzing occurred. The sheen is just the moistness of the rib).

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    Finally in section:

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    Hope that helps!


    Attached Files

    Looks great, I left the last ones I did on too long, but those look just about right.


      I loves me some beef ribs. Mmm mmm MMM!


        I don't understand why you cracked the lid when you were already over 300F. Why did you desire that 380F spike? Ribs looked great btw.


          Originally posted by GlenMoss View Post
          I don't understand why you cracked the lid when you were already over 300F. Why did you desire that 380F spike? Ribs looked great btw.

          The PBC cooks more stably when it spikes 380 to 420 about 5 minutes after the lid is closed. Check out this Amazon review.


            Glenn, as Dave says, the PBC seems to work better with that initial spike. The temp quickly drops to the preferred cooking range of 275 to 310. Without the temp spike, it falls back to 225 to 250, which affects the cook significantly.

            My best guess at the explanation is that the airflow through the barrel is just enough to keep about 40 or so (kingsford) coals going, and 40 coals give the optimal operating temperature range, and the PBC can handle the cooling effect from the cold meat.

            I suspect that the initial temperature spike is a good indicator that you've got the equivalent of 40 or so coals going properly.

            I also suspect that without the spike, not enough of the coals are lit well enough and the low airflow means the ability to burn the additional coals (e.g. going from the equivalent of 25 well lit coals to 40 well lit coals) is only marginal . Unlike with a weber kettle, for example, where the airflow is just increased to get to the desired temp.

            A couple of potential reasons for this: 1) It's tightly sealed, with very small outlets at the top. With limited exhausting, the typical BBQ convection current is greatly inhibited. 2) the meat probably creates a cooler 'cap' inside the barrel. This might not create a complete temperature inversion, but perhaps something close to it, again inhibiting that airflow.

            So I presume that with those two effects, the air intake becomes only marginally more than required to keep the coals lit, so it takes long time for the temp to rise to the right range - if ever.
            Last edited by mtford72; November 12, 2014, 10:11 AM.



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