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Wood chunks not burning

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    Wood chunks not burning

    First I gotta thank everyone on this site. When I got my PBC and started cooking on it I already felt like I'd cooked on it many times thanks to the wonderful information being shared here.

    Now, my question. I just cooked a beautiful port butt. Lovely bark, super juicy, cooked perfectly. I put two chunks of pecan and one chunk of apple wood on top of the coals at the start of the cook. 6 hours later when I opened the lid and removed the butt (no wrapping - cooked to 196 internal) the wood was still there only partly consumed. I don't soak the wood, i just toss it on dry right outta the bag. Anyone else see anything like this?

    Here's the butt - ain't it purdy?

    She's purdy! And yes, the PBC has a unique effect on wood. Check out Pit Boss' PBC chuck roast post from back over the winter


    • PappyBBQ
      PappyBBQ commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Huskee. Read the post. Made me want to do a chuckie next. lol. Not sure it answered my question though. Thinking of chopping up the larger wood chunks a bit...

    Your questions were "anyone else see anything like this?" and "ain't it purdy?" I'm just trying to show you that wood lasting in the PBC happens, and Pit Boss briefly explains it. If you do a chucky, you'll love it too!


    • PappyBBQ
      PappyBBQ commented
      Editing a comment
      Huskee - that you did brother! Guess I was just looking for some long winded explanation. Pit Boss certainly explained it. And I'm definitely trying a chucky! :-)


    @JerodBroussard doesn't even bother with wood when using the PBC. He's content with the smoke that generates from the drippings hitting the coals. When another Pit member commented that the PBC doesn't seem to deliver a lot of smoke, Ernest said it's not a smoker and it's not a grill - it's a cooker, so just let it cook. From what I've read it has a tendency to run hot (in the 270-280 range) which really speeds up cook times. It's not really designed for low/slow (220-230) although some have tinkered and fiddled with it to get it to cook in that range.

    I know this doesn't really answer your question about the wood chunks. I just thought I would share the approach that a couple of experienced Pit Barrel people have employed with that particular cooker.


      That's common with the PBC, bury the chunk under lit coals.


        I cut my chunks to 4 oz size and get pretty good burn-through, except for the very short cooks (chicken and bacon-covered meatloaf, for example). I put them on top of the unlit coals and pour the lit coals over them. I then let the fire burn for 20 more minutes (10 minutes lid off/rebars out and 10 minutes lid on/rebars still out) before sliding in the rebars and adding the meat.

        Here's what David Parrish had to say about it in the link that Huskee provided. He used a large chunk of ash wood. His rationale makes perfect sense to me:

        At the two hour point I also took out the chunk of ash, figuring I had enough smoke flavor. In the pic below you can see the wood chunk barely burned at all, even though it was flaming high when I started the cook. The charcoal in the PBC does an excellent job of hogging all of the oxygen and forcing the wood to carbonize. This results in very clean smoke coming from the wood.



          Excellent responses all! Thank you. I'll definitely play around with the wood. fzxdoc, when I let my PBC "warm up" like that it gets VERY warm - 350 - 400 range and it tends to stay hot even with the rods in. This is GREAT for chicken, but for stuff I'm trying to cook around 250-270 I don't let it warm up much at all - maybe 5 minutes after adding my 40 lit coals. Even that can get a bit warm. I AM getting good at foiling the rod holes closed! :-)

          On this cook I got nice smoke flavor and a nice smoke ring. I like a light smoke touch so this works out quite nicely actually. Was just curious more than anything. Thanks again!!


            I usually use a couple of one-inch sized cubes of hickory and a 3 oz. chunk of applewood these days for chickens. For ribs I'll use more hickory. The smallish cubes do get consumed more or less totally for me. The applewood chunk will leave about a 3/8" thick, "crescent shaped" unburned portion (I usually put in a half-round of three inch branch of applewood, flat side down more or less under the basket handle.) I've even had a few briqs (near the perimeter of the basket) not burn... but not often.



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