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PBC in the cold

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    PBC in the cold

    Anyone cooked in the cold weather with the PBC? Just curious as to how it affects it. I have only cooked on a ceramic kamado in the cold and only a couple of cooks with the PBC in warm weather so I don't know what to expect. It is supposed to get to a high of 35F today and I have 2 racks of St Louis spares to cook. Rather than go with the sure thing I want to get more experience with the PBC.

    #2
    I did a turkey for Thanksgiving, the air temp was around 30ºF To crisp up the skin I wanted to keep the cooker in the 325-350 range. I had to feed it a lot of extra charcoal to do that. Your cooking time will probable be longer than normal at 35º but staying in the low and slow range for two racks you should be fine.

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      #3
      I just did one on Thanksgiving on the PBC. I was in Central Illinois at my parents and there was 2" of snow on the ground. I did not hang it. It was an 8 pound bird and I also cooked a 5 pound boneless pork roast. I did not hang them but used the rack. Turkey cooked much faster than anticipated on the rack and the skin was crisp. All in all, with two racks of ribs hanging and the correct amount of charcoal, you shouldn't have any problems. If it seems like the temp is dropping, crack the lid. Hope this helps.

      Comment


        #4
        I did a 13.5 lb turkey on my PBC on Thanksgiving. The ambient temperature was 31 degF and falling.

        I pulled one rebar for the entire cook to keep the temperature at an average of 331 deg F. That turkey (spatchcocked) was done in 1.5 hours! I was surprised. It was the best turkey ever.

        Method: Spatchcocked, dry brined for 24 hours with PBC All Purpose Rub (rub and oil under the skin, rub mixed with baking powder--no oil-- on top of skin), rubbed skin with oil and lightly sprinkled with more PBC AP rub just before hooking and hanging in the PBC. Added oiled foil booties to keep the lower leg bones from burning, since the legs hung about 4-5 inches above the coals.

        Here's how I did the temperature maintenance.
        • Kingsford Original full basket; took out 40 coals and put into chimney and lit one of those wax dealies under the chimney.
        • Let chimney burn for 15 minutes (I'm at 3700 feet elevation)
        • Took both rebars out
        • Poured the hot coals on the cold ones in the basket and used a rebar to evenly distribute them over the surface.
        • Let the coals burn with the lid off and the rebars out for 10 minutes.
        • Put one rebar back in and hung the turkey. Added a 4 oz chunk of applewood. Put the lid on tight. Left the other rebar out for the entire cook.
        • After 5 minutes the temperature was 300 degrees and started to slowly inch down
        • Cracked the lid for 18 minutes until the temperature came up to 397
        • Lid back on securely and over the next hour the temperature gradually but steadily decreased to 303.
        • Cracked the lid again for 11 minutes; temp only rose to 319 but stayed very close to that for the next half hour. By then the turkey was close to being done
        • Cracked the lid for the last 10 minutes to help crisp the skin. (and boyohboy was it crispy!)
        • Total cook time: 1.5 hours

        Suffice to say that PBC cooked like a champ despite the below freezing temps.

        From this action shot you can see there were still plenty of coals left at the end of the cook:

        Click image for larger version

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        Kathryn
        Last edited by fzxdoc; November 29, 2014, 01:53 PM.

        Comment


        • skrose
          skrose commented
          Editing a comment
          That looks amazing! Great job, Kathryn!

        • mtford72
          mtford72 commented
          Editing a comment
          Nice hook placement and superb spatchcocking, Kathryn!
          Seriously, great post! Looks like a fine turkey!

        • fzxdoc
          fzxdoc commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks, Matt and skrose!

          Kathryn

        #5
        I smoked with mine at 5 F here in Minnesota. It did fine, I cracked the lid just a bit to allow a slightly hotter fire. Still worked great. I was cook a whole chicken at the time. If you are going to do something that will take longer than 3 or 4 hours you may want to add some fuel if the lid is slightly cracked. Good Luck!!

        Comment


          #6
          Wow... thanks for all the details, Kathryn!

          Comment


          • fzxdoc
            fzxdoc commented
            Editing a comment
            You're welcome, Steve. Happy to add my two pennies' worth.

            Kathryn

          #7
          Awesome post Kathryn.

          Comment


          • fzxdoc
            fzxdoc commented
            Editing a comment
            Wow, thanks, Dave! Coming from you that means a lot.

            Kathryn

          #8
          OK, hoping to learn something here - why the baking powder? First I recall hearing this.

          Comment


            #9
            good looking bird, bet it tasted good also

            Comment


            • fzxdoc
              fzxdoc commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks, and it sure did. I'm regretting giving so much of it away to my guests so they could enjoy leftovers. In fact, my DH is saying the same thing. As he sat down to supper tonight he said he wanted more of those PBC turkey leftovers!

              Kathryn

            #10
            Richinlbrg, I first heard about adding baking powder (I use the aluminum-free kind) to salt (or in my case a salty rub like the PBC All Purpose rub) when dry brining from Cooks Illustrated which had some interesting methods to produce a more crisp skin on oven-roasted chicken. First they loosen the chicken skin from the meat and poke any areas of the skin that have fat deposits to let the fat out more efficiently during cooking. Then they add baking powder to their salt and pepper rub (1:3 baking powder to salt). Next let the rubbed chicken sit uncovered, breast side up, in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours to dry the skin out. The skin begins to crisp at temps above 300 deg F they say. They roast the chicken in a hot oven (450 deg F) until the breast is 135 deg F, then they amp up the oven temp to 500 deg for the remainder of the roast. I figured if it worked for chicken, it would work for turkey.

            Dr. Greg Blonder, our food science guru, also has a post about using baking powder to help crisp up poultry skin here.

            And Chef Kenji Lopez-Alt from SeriousEats.com also recommends using a baking powder/salt mixture on poultry skin to help dry it out so it will be crisp when roasted. Here's what he says:
            Adding baking powder to a dry brine can also improves your turkey skin. Not only does the baking powder work to break down some skin proteins, causing them crisp and brown more efficiently, but it also combines with turkey juices, forming microscopic bubbles that add surface area and crunch to your skin as it roasts.

            I like a 1:2 ratio (baking powder:rub) when I use the PBC All Purpose Rub. For a 13-15 lb turkey I use only a tablespoon of rub and half a tablespoon of baking powder for this step since I will be sprinkling on more rub right before I smoke it and I don't want the skin to get too salty.

            I find that leaving the bird uncovered in the fridge longer than 24 hours makes the skin leathery, so I stick to 24 hours or fewer.

            Our PBCs have a lot of humidity in them, so to counteract the rubbery poultry skin that can result in a cook, I like to add baking powder to the skin's rub, let it dry overnight in the fridge, and amp up the temp in the last ten minutes of the cook (after the bird reaches 150 deg F) to bring it home to 160 deg F with a crisp skin.

            From a crispy skin viewpoint, I didn't always succeed but I always tried, and I must say I'm getting better at it. With this turkey, it was a home run.

            Kathryn
            Last edited by fzxdoc; November 30, 2014, 07:05 AM.

            Comment


            • smarkley
              smarkley commented
              Editing a comment
              wow good stuff... I need to bookmark this post, but do not know how!

            • fzxdoc
              fzxdoc commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks,Steve. When I see posts I like, I copy them and paste them into a Microsoft Word document. It has headings for various meats, fire maintenance tips, etc. That way, when I'm ready to cook, say, pork butt, I just refer to the pork butt section for extra tips or great ideas that I get from everyone here.

              Kathryn

            • FLBuckeye
              FLBuckeye commented
              Editing a comment
              smarkley, when I want to bookmark something I hit "control d" and I can save it to a folder in Firefox I have set up food links. I can rename the link to whatever I want. You can also hit the follow button at the top of the post

              Good stuff Kathryn!!!

            #11
            Geez that Pit Barrel looks awfully clean.

            Comment


              #12
              Excellent post on your turkey cook Kathryn. Nice tip on the baking soda .

              Comment


              • fzxdoc
                fzxdoc commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks, Deuce. Be sure to use baking powder and not baking soda!

                Kathryn
                Last edited by fzxdoc; November 30, 2014, 06:07 AM.

              #13
              Originally posted by Deuce View Post
              Excellent post on your turkey cook Kathryn. Nice tip on the baking soda .
              I think there is some confusion, well I know there is on my end! The Blonder article specifies baking soda not powder, and the serious eats article tests both with great results, but doesn't declare a winner.

              Sounds like either one would work.

              Comment


              • fzxdoc
                fzxdoc commented
                Editing a comment
                You're right about that, John. Thanks for pointing that out.

                I haven't tried baking soda since I've had good results so far with baking powder.

                Kathryn

              #14
              Thank you, Kathryn! Explained well........and I understood it, too!! First I'd heard of this. Think I'll wait until my second turkey smoke to try it. Going to try my first turkey smoke this weekend.

              Comment


              • fzxdoc
                fzxdoc commented
                Editing a comment
                You're welcome! Let us know how your first turkey smoke turns out!

                Kathryn

              #15
              I shall!! And then ask for help in correcting the issues. LOL. Although, the temp is 41, it is pretty windy, so the temp is a bit of an issue. Haven't go e to the blanket, yet.

              Comment

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