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Second PBC Pork Butt failure

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    Second PBC Pork Butt failure

    First attempt I ran out of coals before reaching 160 degrees. I had to fire up another cooker. Today, I got to 160 after 4.5 hours with a 9 pound pork butt. In 13 minutes it will be 7.5 hours and I just reached 190 in 2 spots and less than that in a third even though the rebars have been out for just about an hour. I adjust the vent and light according to instructions. I filled the basket completely level with the top and took out 40 briquettes for the chimney starter. I even waited several minutes longer today before putting the meat on and still having problems. This is pissing me off because I am doing what they show to be an easy method and it is not working. I just took the top completely off and will see what happens. I might have to finish in the oven because I am not firing up the kamado now just to finish.

    #2
    Irrivirsible, I'm sorry you're having a challenging time with that PB on the PBC.

    Are you using a smoker probe to monitor the smoker temp? That's the best way to see if you got a good light on the coals and if your smoker is maintaining a temp above 225. I like to smoke PBs at about 260 or so. I take them all the way without wrapping and they are delicious.

    I've had two PBCs, and the first one ran just fine with the vent opening set at the proper position for my altitude. With my second PBC, I have to open that vent wider to maintain good smoking temps. That taught me that there are variables, even in as simple a design as a PBC has.

    It sounds as though you're hitting 190 in good time. I've done a 7.5 lb PB in a PBC that took 10 hours to get to 203. It was 190 in some spots and 203 in others. I took it out and let it rest (faux cambro) for an hour and it was amazingly delicious. I did not wrap it but did put it on the grate after it hit about 170 so it wouldn't fall off the rebars as the fat continued to render. The PBC ran in the 250-270 range for the first 4 hours or so and then I had to pull both rebars and crack the lid occasionally to keep the smoker temp at 260 or so.

    Depending on the temperatures you run it at, the PBC will do well for 8 hours or so, and I've had mine go upwards of 11 hours, but 8-9 hours is my norm.

    Now I don't do pork butts that large. I cut them in half (thanks for that tip, Huskee ) because they cook a little faster--at least the smaller piece does--and I get a lot more bark with the increased surface area.

    Hang in there--it's not the end of the world if you have to finish it in the oven. Just double wrap it in aluminum foil and put it in a 225 deg oven until it's done. It will still taste great.

    Kathryn



    Last edited by fzxdoc; May 17, 2015, 06:20 PM.

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    • rmesagna59
      rmesagna59 commented
      Editing a comment
      Kathryn,
      Amazing, I am ready to smoke my first pork butt on the PBC tomorrow and had questions. Now I find them all answered in your one post. Thanks and now I am really looking forward to it.
      Rocco

    #3
    7.5 hours to get to 190 doesn't seem unusual to me for a 9 pounder. That's big!

    Comment


      #4
      What temps are you running? From a temp/time perspective you seem to be right on course. Without wrapping, and running 275+ you will likely have to add coals to get the 10 or so hours you need for a butt that big. I wrap mine and prefer it that way, but I usually have to add coals if I go unwrapped.

      Comment


        #5
        I wonder if part of the problem of losing heat on long PBC cooks is ash buildup under the basket cutting off airflow to the charcoal. On those long cooks I notice a lot of ash after lifting the basket out. Food for thought.

        Comment


        • Drbearsec
          Drbearsec commented
          Editing a comment
          I've thought the same thing

        • (John S)
          (John S) commented
          Editing a comment
          which is why i always shim the feet of my coal grate up 1/4. it prevents the struggle i was having with maintaining temp.

        #6
        Thanks, It is still in the PBC but never got above 190 and I am not going to have time to finish it in the oven. Can it be finished tomorrow? I guess I need to do as suggested and monitor the cooker temp.

        Comment


          #7
          I actually looked for a 7 pound butt but no luck. Maybe I will need to go smaller next time also or cook it in the kamado longer.

          Comment


            #8
            Originally posted by Irrivirsible View Post
            ...Maybe I will need to go smaller next time also or cook it in the kamado longer.

            No Sir. The PBC makes excellent pork butt. You just need to get some experience under your belt. Keep trying.

            Comment


              #9
              Originally posted by Meathead View Post
              7.5 hours to get to 190 doesn't seem unusual to me for a 9 pounder. That's big!

              I agree... I just did 2 8lb butts in my PBC and I hit 190 about the same time... not unusual at all.

              One thing you can do, that has helped me a couple of times on REALLY long cooks... (note you usually dont need to do anything like this), is pull the meat and grill if it is in, take a shovel and pull the briquets on the outside more towards the center where the hot coals are... my PBC usually responds well to this and will last for a lot of hours after that.

              Comment


                #10
                Originally posted by Irrivirsible View Post
                Thanks, It is still in the PBC but never got above 190 and I am not going to have time to finish it in the oven. Can it be finished tomorrow? I guess I need to do as suggested and monitor the cooker temp.
                You may have hit the dreaded second stall. Take it out, double wrap it, put it in a 275 degree oven (higher than I normally do) and I bet it will be up to the temp you want in under an hour.

                Look at it like this: sometimes smoking a PB is a big a pain as raising a teenage child, but if you show some patience, they turn out marvelous!

                Kathryn

                Comment


                  #11
                  Originally posted by Irrivirsible View Post
                  I actually looked for a 7 pound butt but no luck. Maybe I will need to go smaller next time also or cook it in the kamado longer.
                  It's not so much the weight as the thickness. I've had 7 pounders go 9 or 10 hours in a 260-270 PBC cook. Heck, I've had thick 3.5 pounders take that long.

                  Kathryn

                  Comment


                    #12
                    Ya know... I think Kathryn fzxdoc is right... you prolly hit the dreaded second stall. Aggravating, but yes it happens occasionally, but also there are times when you barely stall at all.

                    Comment


                      #13
                      I tried cooking two on my new PBC… ran into the same problem. Had to finish them off in the oven as I was running out of time. Next time I start sooner. good smoke ring and all but not very tender.

                      Comment


                        #14
                        Try not to get flustered. You can't rush good BBQ. A 9 pounder is pretty big (assuming it's appropriately thick). In a WSM it takes me about 11 hours. The PBC runs a little hotter but you just need to wait it out. Don't give up, it's worth getting it dialed in to where you are happy with it.

                        Comment


                          #15
                          I usually cook two 7-9lb shoulders on my pbc at one time. I don't hang them at all, just sit them both on the grate. I wrap in foil at 165 and take off to the cooler at 205. Time varies, but my average cook time doing it this way is about 5.5-6 hours. The pbc stays at 260-280 the whole cook (maybe a little hotter than it should be), of course I may have to crack the lid once to get it back up.

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