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Beef ribs on the PBC vs the Smoke Vault

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    Beef ribs on the PBC vs the Smoke Vault

    Got the PBC Friday, set it up Saturday, and Sunday I was ready to go to see what all the fuss is about. I only made beef ribs one other time so I thought it would be a good idea to try making one in my regular smoker, and one in the PBC for its inaugural cook. I used applewood chips for the smoker and applewood-infused charcoal briquettes for the PBC (didn't know those were a thing until I bought them, but I wanted to cut down on differences to make the two cooks as comparable as possible). After they came off, I wrapped them in foil and faux cambroed them for about 2.5 hours, then put them in an oven at 170 about half an hour before we ate to warm them up more.

    Long story short: both turned out fantastic, just look at the pics below. Of the four people who ate the ribs last night, two preferred one, two preferred the other, but everyone enjoyed both. Personally, I slightly preferred the taste of the PBC ribs more, but only a smidge.

    My first impressions of the PBC are relatively favorable, and I look forward to cooking on it again, but I need more experience before I can fall in love with it. The charcoal only lasted about three hours before it started smoldering, and it took me 25 minutes of running around dumping ashes and relighting coals before I got the meat back on. I thought a full basket would last me eight hours, so I'm wondering if it died so quick because of the type of charcoal I used. Or I probably just need to start with more charcoal.

    I remember towards the end of the cook thinking about how my Smoke Vault was acting more "set and forget" than the PBC claims it is. I only have one set of meat/grill temperature probes, and I probably should have used them with the PBC since it's new to me. As it stands I was poking my Thermapen into the PBC next to the rebar and holding it there for couple minutes to get the inside temp. Eventually I just stopped checking and poked the meat instead. Constant reopening/closing probably caused the temp to spike, so when the Smoke Vault finished the ribs first I moved the probes over to the PBC and I was able to monitor the temp much more easily.

    I attached my notes of temps/times if you can read my chicken scratch.
    The pic where I'm lifting the bone in the back: Smoke Vault
    The pic where I'm lifting the second bone: PBC
    Attached Files

    #2
    Wow! Those looks great! I too am a huge fan of the PBC ribs.

    I found that starting with about a 1/3 of the coals lit, in the center, is the way to go. I make those coals are piping, white hot. Then it will spread from there. The PBC might not really be "set and forget" but I think you will find that it makes better food. And the more you use it, the moe stable it will run.

    Were you using Kingsford Blue and White bag for the fuel. It should last way more than 3 hours. Make sure to fill that basket all the way up to the top, heaping is just fine.

    Comment


    • MattSayar
      MattSayar commented
      Editing a comment
      I was using Kingsford's applewood-infused charcoal. Would it be better to use the blue and white bag then just throw a couple handfuls of wood chips on top of the coals?

    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      There really should be no difference. You don't need to add wood chips either way. You will get plenty of smoke flavor from the charcoal itself. That is strange that it all burned up so fast. @MattSayer

    #3
    Looks awesome. I need to do beef ribs.

    For the PBC, I use KBB and fill the basket till its overflowing and then take out enough to just slightly overfill my half-size chimney which is around 40 briquettes. WI have gotten at least six hours this way with still some briquettes left over - haven't done a cook longer than that so not sure how long they maintain cooking temps

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      #4
      Both look pretty darn good.

      Comment


        #5
        Both of those plates of ribs look amazing! The PBC ribs in the second picture appear to have more smoke ring, not that it means a lot - flavor it what matters.

        Comment


        • MattSayar
          MattSayar commented
          Editing a comment
          Yeah it's weird just how little the smoke ring matters, yet I feel disproportionately proud of it

        #6
        Great lookin' ribs!

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          #7
          They both look good, but my smoke vault is my go to for smaller long cooks. Top off water and wood chunks every 4 hours or so, and you're good.

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