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Seperate meats and/or seperate cooks?

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    Seperate meats and/or seperate cooks?

    When doing different types of meat, say ribs and chicken, is it better to do them separately or together? I realize that there many variables to this question, like meat types, or cooking to doneness time etc. But, for instance, if ribs and chicken are started together, how do you remove the one without blasting the other with a huge lid off temp spike? Can foil blocking throttle the temp back to the original range quickly enough to avert damage? I ask because I did chicken after a tri tip and the temp spiked from 280 to 340 while removing the beef. About 10 minutes later, I brought the chicken halves out and hooked them one the same bar and when I closed the lid is was at 350. I foolishly cracked the lid ever so slightly, and I do mean ever, and when I came back shortly thereafter, temps were 440 and the breast probe was already reading in the 120s. So when the alarm went off at 160 degrees the chicken had been on only 35 minutes or so. I pulled the halves off and when I moved the probe the breast temp lowered to 152 and a quick check in the thigh registered at 140. So probe placement was also an issue. I didn't want to put the chicken back in the PBC because, of course, the temps went back up while I was unhooking, so into a 350 degree oven it went to finish. It is nice and moist, with a somewhat odd looking skin, but we'll eat it anyway. Let the comments fly... Nailing my first two cooks led to an arrogant failure of the third.
    Last edited by Munch; July 6, 2015, 04:42 PM.

    #2
    Almost sounds like it is starving for air, maybe the bottom is closed too much? When I lift the lid their is an immediate drop in temp, if I get it back on in 30 seconds or so it only spikes maybe 10 degrees.
    Another thought, related to the air, is how you light your coals. I have found that if I dump them in a corner in sort of a fuse method I get much smaller spikes, when you light the coals and spread them evenly all over, they light the ones beneath them and half the coals are lit at once, which starves it of oxygen as well. Then when you open the lid, instead of a small portion of the fuse that is lit catching fire, nearly the whole thing does, I remember having flames coming up pretty regularly when I used to light that way.

    Not totally sure, but maybe that will give you something to try.

    Comment


      #3
      Munch , I agree with John in that you probably need to open your lower vent a bit. Cooking on a fire that is starving for air can affect the taste of the meat (because of the type of smoke being generated), according to Dr. Blonder, and when that guy speaks, I listen.

      I often cook multiple meats either together or one after another. Ribs and chicken is a fav, as long as I don't care if the chicken skin is rubbery (it happens at the 225 to 270 deg pit temp that works best for ribs on my PBC ) or needs to be crisped up just before serving by tossing on the gasser or letting the PBC temp spike. And I've done tri-tip followed by chicken on many an occasion, just as you did. Personally, I like high temps on chicken--325 to 370 or so--if I can maintain that high a temp. The skin turns out awesome that way.

      I also honestly think that chicken tastes better when cooked with a pork of some sort. Usually I do hot Italian sausages along with chicken if it's not a chicken 'n ribs cook.

      And, to answer your question, when I foil around the rebars, the pit temp drops very quickly. Harry Soo has said in his seminar here that the believes that adjusting the air flow at the exit vents is far more effective than adjusting the intake vents at the bottom of the smoker when it comes to maintaining the desired smoker temperature. That certainly proves to be the case with my PBC.

      Also, I never totally trust the Maverick meat probe for accurate temps. When it gets to within about 10 to 15 degrees of my goal, I use my Thermapen to probe in several different places in the meat for "true temps". Very, very seldom has the "one place" Maverick temp agreed with the several Thermapen temps. As you said, it's all about probe placement, and essentially you're testing one spot instead of several quick temp readings throughout the meat.

      It doesn't sound like you had a fail with your 3rd cook; the chicken was on long enough to absorb some of that delicious smoke, and finishing it up in an oven is not a bad thing in the least. Look at it as a valuable blip on your learning curve.

      Kathryn

      Comment


        #4
        The chicken was Amish, not quite as plump as a USDA bird. I had a hard time telling if the probe from my DOT was properly placed. With 40 coals started in a chimney and poured @ the 20 min mark, 2 rods in place and food hung immediately, my temps stay between 275 and 290. Cracking the lid was the "Kiss of Death" I think. I'm at 637 ft above sea level and the lower vent is open 1/4. Since the common thinking is that the top holes have more to do with the heat overall and my temps hold within Noah's advertised limit when started with one of his prescribed methods... I am sure I was the cause of the high temps. I wanted to know how much control there is foiling the bars if the lid is opened to remove something before the rest is done. Or, should the temps be lowered to the 250 point before starting an additional cook, so the temps can mimic the original starting temps.

        I can assure you I will reverse the Alpha PBC - Beta PBC user roles.

        BTW... I do know how to spell separate... Despite the evidence in the title to the contrary. 😜
        Last edited by Munch; July 6, 2015, 06:37 PM.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Munch View Post

          BTW... I do know how to spell separate... Despite the evidence in the title to the contrary. 😜
          Munch , you can edit the title by going back to your first post on this topic and clicking "Edit". The title field comes up in addition to your post and I think it's editable as well. Give it a try if the spelling still bugs you.

          Kathryn

          Comment


          • Munch
            Munch commented
            Editing a comment
            Nope... As soon as I click in the box, it tells me that I'm about to navigate away from the site. Oh well.

          #6
          Chicken is best cooked at a higher temp so I never cook it anything that cooks better at lower temp.
          I have done pork and beef together.

          Strange thing about the PBC is that the bottom vent does next to nothing for dialing in cooking temp. The lid and the rebar vents should be used to dial in cooking temp.

          Comment


            #7
            I agree with you, Ernest , but sometimes when I only have a couple racks of ribs on, I like to toss in a chicken or two. The bird(s) cook(s) up so moist, even at the lower temps. Then I pull the chicken meat for Enchiladas Verde or to toss in a Mulligatawny Soup. I don't need crisp skin for that.

            Ditto about the bottom vent for me as long as it is opened a certain amount on my PBC. If I close it smaller, the fire starts to die, but if I open it more (past the sweet spot), it doesn't seem to have much effect. I ran my first PBC with the lower vent opening much smaller than it seems to want to be on this newer PBC. I figure that I must have gotten two slightly different PBCs (with respect to sensitivity to vent opening) in the exchange.

            I seem to recall that sometimes you run your PBC with the vent totally closed. You always have great results. It must be Maverick Magic!

            Kathryn
            Last edited by fzxdoc; July 9, 2015, 05:43 AM.

            Comment


              #8
              I have done ribs and chicken together a couple times and have had great results. I tried to time the chicken to leave it on about 15-20 minutes after the ribs come off...this gave me the chance to crack the lid and crisp up the skin.

              In my early cooks I had the vent open to what looked like the 1/4 that Noah recommends, I found that my temps were dropping pretty low and when I looked in the PBC the following day I had more briquets leftover than expected. fzxdoc suggested opening up the vent a touch more to find the "sweet spot" and I think I have. My last few cooks have been pretty consistent with the temps that we look for with the PBC and I have 0.0 briquets left when it burns out...nothing but ash.

              Comment


              • Munch
                Munch commented
                Editing a comment
                Both times I used the PBC my temps were 270-290 and no coals left the first time. My problem was with a 2nd round of cooking on the original coals, the 1st round was 270-285 and the 2nd round was 340 with a big jump into the mid 400s because I thought a lid crack may help hold in the mid 300s. The 2nd basket of coals was moved into my Smokey Joe, so the kids could make s'mores. Big thanks to Kathryn for the "foil on the bottom" tip. It's genius.

              #9
              Originally posted by JTK View Post
              I have done ribs and chicken together a couple times and have had great results. I tried to time the chicken to leave it on about 15-20 minutes after the ribs come off...this gave me the chance to crack the lid and crisp up the skin.
              Good way to do it, JTK . That way you have the best of both worlds!

              Munch , I got to thinking--one time the PBC temp ran away from me (I think it was my second cook, and it scared the peewaddin' out of me!), and Pit Boss suggested that my lid was not on tight. Sure enough, that was the culprit. Dave says he whacks the lid rim with a rubber mallet, but my PBC lid does fine if I just press it down firmly and then check to make sure no smoke is leaking out under the lid's rim. Sometimes with the smoke coming out the rebar holes it's sort of hard to see, but if you look closely enough all around that rim edge, you'll spot it.

              Kathryn

              Comment


              • Munch
                Munch commented
                Editing a comment
                Had smoke come from the lid doing my ribs. A quick turn and it stopped. I guess my lid has a sweet spot?

              • fzxdoc
                fzxdoc commented
                Editing a comment
                Sounds like it does, Munch . At least now you know that a quick turn solves the problem.

              #10
              I've had great results cooking six racks of ribs and two chickens... Since the chicken is split as Noah recommends, once done in the pbc, I put the half chickens , skin side up, on the middle rack of the oven set to broil. Five minutes is all it needs.

              People tell the most pernicious lies about radiation...
              Last edited by JPP; July 9, 2015, 12:33 PM.

              Comment


              • JPP
                JPP commented
                Editing a comment
                I forgot to mention the best part... I had two half-chickens frozen away for later... Well I had a cousin come up to boston (she was flying overseas and was leaving her car at our place for a bit)... I pulled them out of the freezer, heated em in the microwave and then gave them the 5 minute broiler treatment... judging from the amount of chicken she put away... well suffice it to say that a pbc cooked chicken stays quite edible regardless of how it's stored!

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