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Thanksgiving Dress Rehearsal - First Smoked Turkey in the PBC

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    Not sure if I should post the follow-up here or start another thread. Probably here so that they stay together.

    This is a follow-up post for Turkeys 2-4. There is definitely an issue with my PBC (which I will describe below) so I don't know how useful my observations will be.

    My PBC lid has been leaking smoke since I got it. I have tried cooking spray, gaskets, bricks, you name it. I just wrote to them today describing the issue and asking them to send me a new lid. Anyhow, as a result of this issue, the PBC just runs hot. In the 370 range. I watched birds 2-4 like a hawk, probing with an instant read every 30 minutes or so in addition to the probes. Each one got better and better - same method, mostly, just pulling earlier. I pulled the 4th one at 155 and it spent a good few hours in the cambro. It was by far the best of the bunch.

    Turkey #3 was 18 pounds and cooked in under 3 hours. This is not typical at all, and was kind of stressful. Nevertheless, all of the birds ranged from good to great.

    I will report back on what I hear from PBC. I have a cook planned for later this month and hope I will get a resolution or workaround from them.


      Talk about a company that puts customer service first! Dave from PBC called me about 30 minutes after I sent my email. I'm going to report what he said here, as well as post an addendum on the Light My Fire fzxdoc thread.

      I had told PBC that the smoke coming from the lid was wispy, not overwhelming. He asked, and I told him that the lid does not rock, seems to fit OK. The gasket made it feel even more secure, but still smoke.

      I told them I used KBB for fuel. I then told him about the lighting method - 15-10-10. He informed me that he was unaware of amazingribs.com nor of the Light My Fire thread, nor of the x-10-10 method (scandalous!). When I described it to him, he told me this:

      The 10 minutes with lid off (Step #11) is over-igniting the coals and causing both the high temps and the excess smoke. More precisely, putting the lid on after the 10 minutes damps the fire to the extent that more smoke than desired is produced from the coals. He strongly urged me to try the PBC-recommended method of 13 minutes in the chimney, then dump and cook.

      I will try this on my next cook and report back.


      • Craigar
        Craigar commented
        Editing a comment
        Good luck!

        Dave had better brush up on his knowledge of this place since the company he works for is a sponsor for the monthly gold medal giveaway.
        Last edited by Craigar; December 10, 2019, 02:51 PM.

      Since you double posted, Sandpaper , I'll repeat my response from the Light My Fire topic here:

      It's a good thing that you are going to try another lighting method, Sandpaper --perhaps it will provide you with a solution. Please report back to us after your next cook with the new approach, to let us know.

      FWIW, I didn't have a lid leak when I first bought my PBC. It developed over a year after I had used it, pretty heavily, in the area between the rebars where the barrel's seam is. Like you, I began to experience abnormally high cooking temps, even though I had used the same x-10-10 lighting method from close to the very beginning of my PBC use.

      I verified that the lid leaks were the problem because if I crimped a skinny length of heavy duty aluminum foil on top of the lid, wrapping it around to the underside of the barrel's rim in the area where the smoke was coming out, the smoke would stop coming out and the pit temperatures would stabilize. That's when I decided to insert a gasket into the indentation of the lid's rim, and my wispy leaking smoke problem (and concomitant high pit cooking temperatures), went away for good.

      May I ask, how is your gasket installed, and which gasket did you use?


      P.S. And yes, the PBC company has amazing customer service. I'm a huge fan.
      Last edited by fzxdoc; December 10, 2019, 04:32 PM.


      • fzxdoc
        fzxdoc commented
        Editing a comment
        Another Question, Sandpaper , are you running the remote thermometer probes over the top of the barrel or through the rebar holes?


      • Sandpaper
        Sandpaper commented
        Editing a comment
        fzxdoc - I used LavaLock 1/2 inch. And the probes were run through the rebar holes.

      Great looking bird! I need to stop looking at all these cooks in the morning. I am STARVING now.


        I finally got around to doing another cook on the PBC. Very interesting, though not surprising, results. As per official PBC instructions, I just lit a chimney of 40 KBB briquettes for 13 minutes and dumped in the basket, hung the meat and go.

        Temps were remarkably stable- staying between 260 - 280 for around 6 hours. Two chickens, halved, cooked in just over 2 hours. Next was 3 racks of baby backs. The baby backs never really developed the bark I was looking for and were close to done at 3 hours. I ended up finishing them in a hot oven for about 20 minutes. They crusted and were great.

        No smoke leaked from the lid during the cook. I'm glad I did this experiment - and I should have done that for my very first cook so that I could see how it was "intended" to work. This was not my best cook on the PBC. I think I prefer it a little bit hotter, but now I have a baseline to experiment against.



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