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Second cook with PBC

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    Second cook with PBC

    Hi everyone, so I finally got around to doing my second cook with the PBC, chicken again. However this time the cooker didn't run as hot, and it took an hour longer for the chicken. The weather was similar to my first cook actually, breezy and in the low 50's. My first cook it ran at 280 or so, this last one was 253. I think where I went wrong was I got in a hurry when starting my chimney. I let it get going and only 3/4 of the charcoal was ashed over. I guess I should clarify, I only had the chimney filled about 3/4 full, and after lighting, let it burn until 3/4 of that was asked over. Anyway, hoping that was it because my next cook is a turkey for thanksgiving and I am hoping to run it hotter. Also, I know some on here recommended a welding blanket for cold breezy cooks, I recall hearing a few years ago people using hot water tank covers on WSM's. Would that work for a PBC? Thanks, Jim

    Not sure about the insulation. I never worried. Course I have only cooked down into the 30's.

    I don't plan to ever wrap. I just use a hotter burning briquette and more air flow up top.


      Thanks Jerod. That was my thoughts. Maybe crack the lid a bit? Jim


        PBC loves lighting consistency. Get the weber compact chimney. It takes exactly 40 briquettes.
        That PBC will love you for that.


          Oh yeh, lid cracking does wonders. With Kingsford let it climb above 300, especially with chicken. I like it 325+ for chicken, whatever it takes.

          Like Ernest said, I have the lighter fluid method down well. I use my B & B with a layer of Kingsford on top. 15 minutes for medium well heat, 20 minutes when she is loaded down with briskets.


            Chicken + 325 PBC = MONEY every time
            I haven't used lighting fluid in years. Weber compact chimney. I'm even getting away from briquettes, lump charcoal is money!!


              Hey earnest, you think that's a good temp for a turkey too? Funny, I only ever used lump, until I bought a PBC a month ago, I never ever have purchased briquettes, but I thoguht I better follow the directions. Do you use lump? Have you also used briquettes? What do you think are the differences with the PBC? Thanks! Jim


              • mtford72
                mtford72 commented
                Editing a comment
                3DJ - I wrote up my turkey on the PBC below. It has temperature graphs for the PBC. The experience with the PBC seems to be consistent with everyone. Get the temp high at the start of the cook (360+) by cracking the lid if necessary. It falls back to a good cooking temp. I strongly recommend the spatchcocking approach - especially for bigger birds. Much faster cook time, more even application of heat. You might try ramping the temp up right at the end for a crispier skin - but as you can see from the pics, it's probably not necessary.

              • Ernest
                Ernest commented
                Editing a comment
                I used Briquettes first few cooks then I decided to rebel.
                Now I used ozark oak lump charcoal 99.9 percent of my PBC cooks.
                Started using it in my WSMs as well.

                As for temp, 325 is great for birds. Duck, turkey, chicken.
                My chicken is done in an hour and 15 minutes like clockwork.

              What does it mean to "wrap" what you're cooking? I've seen the term used several times, but have yet to divine its meaning. Oops. Upon further reflection, perhaps "wrap" means to wrap the barrel with some kind of insulating device?


              • Huskee
                Huskee commented
                Editing a comment
                What Jerod is referring to above is covering/insulating his smoker for winter time use, I believe.

                More often we use 'wrap' to mean wrapping your meat in foil, otherwise known as the "Texas Crutch" to help power through the stall, the point where the meat temp ceases to rise for extended periods of time. In this context, wrapping, or crutching, helps the meat power through the stall and reduces cooking time.

              Well, usually, we're talking about wrapping the meat (the Texas crutch)- usually a pork shoulder or a brisket - to get past the stall. {Click the links for some reading). But here, Jerod was talking about wrapping/covering a cooker with an insulation blanket to keep temperatures up in the winter (or in his case, not wrapping).


              • droszel
                droszel commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks. Appreciate the feed back. I'm leaning towards replacing my aging Weber Summit (came with the house we bought several years ago, and it was old then) with a PBC. Problem is, I may have read too much over on the PBC comment forum. All those posts on how to start the fire, what fuel to use, where to place the charcoal basket, whether to start the fire top down of bottom up, what kind of internal temperature to expect and for how long to expect it. Long story short? I'm just a bit intimidated. I've emailed the PBC company folks several questions, and I must say, I'm very impressed with their response time and with their patience with the neophyte that I am

              • bep35
                bep35 commented
                Editing a comment
                Droszel. The Summit and PBC are two different animals. The Summit is a grill and the PBC is a smoker/cooker. You need to know what you want to cook and how you want to cook it. If you are looking to cook steaks, chops, etc. then look for a grill. If you are looking to smoke ribs, chicken, butts, etc. then look for a smoker/cooker. If you want to do both then possibly look for a pellet smoker/grill. Meathead does a great job explaining all this so you can make an informed purchase.

              • Clarkgriswald
                Clarkgriswald commented
                Editing a comment
                Droszel. Take it from me. I am as green as grass on any charcoal grill and the PBC is pretty easy to use. I have used it three times and everything has turned out good.

              Droszel, it is understandable you may feel intimidated at the wealth of information and techniques available regarding the PBC. Try not to let that intimidate you though. View it as a troubleshooting manual that's there IN CASE you need to help. Never has anyone who uses a PBC had a negative thing to say about it.


                Droszel - A lot of the stuff you mentioned is just nitpicking, i.e., trying to obtain more perfect Q. Just about everything comes out great in the PBC - even with lighter fluid.


                  Droszel, as W.A. Put it, it is nitpicking, the PBC is by far the easiest thing to use. In fact, all the nit picking I think is to see who can find a weakness in it lol. None so far!


                    Droszel, the PBC is the easiest cooker/smoker and sometimes grill on the market. Get it, get a weber compact chimney and you're on your way to great Q.
                    Last edited by Ernest; November 11, 2014, 02:28 PM.


                      Drozel, I have a Summit and a PBC and think I have the best of both worlds. The Summit is a great grill but a (relatively) poor smoker unless you fix it up like Meathead tells you to do. Even then it has a ton of openings for the smoke to leak out of. However, the temperature stays rock solid where you want it to. It's great for grilling and for lightly smoking meats or fish. But for that amazing smoke flavor, you need a PBC as well.

                      The PBC is a sweet piece of equipment. Everything on it is easy. Just start by following Noah's videos on the Pit Barrel Cooker site. Then after a while if you want to get fancy, look at some of the tips/tricks here in this PBC forum and on the general forum outside of the Pit. Every little bit of information is helpful, but don't overthink it. Every single thing I made on that PBC has tasted great!

                      Just get a PBC, fire it up, and have a good time!



                        Droszel - to echo everyone else and expand, there's a lot of information about techniques for a variety of equipment on here. There are a lot of us into tweaking and searching for the often elusive perfect cook. And some of us who are into a very hands on approach to cooking and fire management. On the other hand, with a little knowledge it's not hard to put out good grilled or smoked food. I don't have a PBC, but the comments I read suggest that it can be a "set it and forget it" unit and you wouldn't go wrong in getting one. Heck, I've got a Weber kettle that I grill and smoke with, and a gas smoker, and even I think about a PBC from time to time.



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