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Still tinkering with temps

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    Still tinkering with temps

    I thought I had the vent/temps of the PBC worked out on my last few cooks but I think i have some more tinkering to do. I threw a rack of ribs in this weekend and the temp was of course high at the start and then started its steady decline to 260...it hovered there for a little while, but around 2.5-3 hour mark it started dropping more. It hit 230 and that's when I decided the crack the lid and bring it back up. It didn't worry me for the shorter cook because I knew the ribs were fine, but it would concern me if I was doing a longer cook and the temp was dropping...i don't know what that would have done on a 10 hour pork butt. I have no complaints with the PBC or the food that comes out of it, the ribs were awesome, I just want to get that consistent 260 that I hear such wonderful things about.

    The important stuff...the ribs with Meathead's Memphis Dust were once again fantastic. My family prefers the ribs "dry" so I didn't sauce them and left it up to them if they wanted to add some sauce on their own. I used the double hook method I saw someone mention last week because I could only get under one bone at the top, it looked like one was ripped out when it was butchered.

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    NICE looking ribs! I bet those were a hit.

    Originally posted by JTK View Post
    ...it would concern me if I was doing a longer cook and the temp was dropping...i don't know what that would have done on a 10 hour pork butt. ...[ATTACH=CONFIG]n98217[/ATTACH]
    You don't need to worry about this. If the temperature drops and you need to crack the lid at the 2 hour, 3 hour, or 5 hour mark you still have plenty of charcoal left so you have plenty of potential burn time left. There's something a little off in your lighting process I suspect that's causing your temp dips. Tell us how you light your charcoal. And the Weather conditions during the cook.


      I use Noah's method, I fill the basket up to the top outside of the cooker, hit it with a healthy amount of lighter fluid, put it back in the cooker and light it. I let it burn for 15 min then add my bars, meat, and lid. 15 minutes usually turns into 20 by the time I get everything in and the lid on.

      I have read through all of the lighting suggestions and will probalby give them a try, I was just trying to stick to Noah's methods at first.

      The weather for my cook on Saturday was 83, humid, and the wind the swirling pretty good for most of it.


        I'd stick with Noah's process a few more times until you get it down. The wind could have been a factor. Do you recall what you max temp was about 5 minutes after you closed the lid?


          I think Pit Boss has it, need to let the temp spike pretty high using that method, then put the lid on and wait for it to come down (throw your wood on now too!) and have a good smoke and then hang away.


            I was having similar behavior as you describe for my cooks... and for longer cooks I would sometimes need to add coals, or if wrapping a brisket or PB, finish in the oven, as the coals were burning out. And I generally light as you do, although with a chimney rather than fluid. This last cook, I closed the intake vent by some minuscule amount (1/8-1/4") and the temps held around 270, and went for at least 7 hours. I am hoping the improved temps were the result of the change, and not some other random factor, but thought it was worth sharing.


              Meat hung and lid on 475.
              One hour 278
              1.5 hours 261
              2 hours 252
              2.5 hours 240
              3 hours 10 min 229 (cracked lid)
              3 hours 20 min 300
              3.5 hours 263
              3 hours 45 min 260 (ribs done)


                Ah ha! You let your coals get too hot. 475 is too hot for the spike temp when you first start cooking. I shoot for 380F to 420F. Seems counterintuitive but the high heat spike causes the temp dip.


                  How do you prevent that? I let the coals burn for 15 minutes then close it all up with the meat


                    Originally posted by JTK View Post
                    How do you prevent that? I let the coals burn for 15 minutes then close it all up with the meat
                    Given that procedure your temps should not spike to 475F. I suspect it was more than 15 minutes OR you're not getting a good seal with your lid.


                      So you let the coals burn 15 minutes in the chimney and then add them to the unlit coals in the basket and the temp spikes at 475 then, JTK ? Or do you let the coals in the basket burn with the lid off for 15 minutes after adding the chimney's coals?

                      Where is your smoker probe hanging during this time?

                      Sometimes I get a scary spike if the smoker probe is hanging right over the chunk of wood that I added just before pouring the chimney coals in. I'm always careful now to make sure the probe is not hanging over or near that chunk of wood during the burn in phase of lighting the PBC.

                      If the pit temp is 475 AFTER you hang the meat, that's a puzzle, because usually the meat makes the temp drop like a rock right away, and then come back up within 5 to 10 minutes.

                      To me, one of the most critical times to check temps is within 10 minutes of hanging the meat. You want to get the temp back up over 300 (or more, depending on the final temp you're wanting) pretty quickly after hanging the meat, then let the smoker settle back to it's happiest temp for that particular cook. Sometimes my PBC is happy running at 270-290, other times it likes 260 better. I let it do its thing for anything but poultry, where I keep a close eye to keep the temps 325-360.



                        Originally posted by Pit Boss View Post

                        Given that procedure your temps should not spike to 475F. I suspect it was more than 15 minutes OR you're not getting a good seal with your lid.
                        Pit Boss raises a good point here about the time... during the lighting process, I find the timing to be crucial. I set a timer to make sure I get it exactly right each time... if I try to guess and miss it, the difference in how the cooker behaves is pretty amazing...


                        • fzxdoc
                          fzxdoc commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I do the same as you, Hondo . I time each portion of the lighting process so that I get reproducible (and expected) PBC temperatures for every cook.



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