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First cook with my one day old PBC ...

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    First cook with my one day old PBC ...

    Received my PBC yesterday. Today, I cooked 3 racks of St L style ribs. They took 4:45 total time. At 4:30, I added some sauce and put them back for 15 more minutes. They were juicy and I was happy. I do have a question though. Everyone talks about how the pit runs hotter than most smokers. Mine didn't seem that hot and now I'm trying to figure what I did. Essentially I'm at sea level (about 80 feet) so I set the vent to 1/4. Did I let my chimney go too long? Should I have left the barrel open after adding the chimney bricketts to the basket? I'll try to add pics of the temp and vent. I did enjoy the ribs ... so did the neighbors.


    Frank that actually looks pretty good. Just keep doing what you're doing.

    OK one thing, was that basket FULL of charcoal? looks like you may not have filled it quite all the way.


      I think so. I poured them in till I thought it was level, then I took 45 out and started them in the chimney. Then poured them into the basket and put it in. It still had some just now, I had to pull the basket and extinguish them tonight. I started the fire at 11:30am


        Sounds pretty good. Next time if the temp dips lower than you like just crack the lid slightly (1/4") for a few minutes. Watch your temp the PBC can heat up fast.


          I think that temp profile looks pretty doggone good, bergmef , just to echo David Parrish 's comments. In my experience (I've only cooked on 2 different PBCs) each PBC cooks at its own best temperature. I wouldn't want to cook ribs much higher than 280 or so, and your PBC did just that, tapering down as time went on, as expected.

          You may want to open your vent just a bit more than the 1/4 way. I have found on my PBCs that a bit more intake air than specified for my altitude works great. After that, a wider-open lower vent does virtually nothing. As with many things in BBQ setups, there's a sweet spot.

          I don't extinguish the coals; I just let them burn themselves out overnight. For the cost of charcoal, I don't figure I'm saving much by trying to re-use what's left in the basket. That said, a lot of folks here extinguish their coals for future use. One Pitmaster here, as I recall, dumps 'em in to an ash bucket with a lid.

          The ribs sound great. What's next on the list to cook?



            Yours got up to temp fine, but it got too low for my taste and the fact that it spikes so high and so quickly there at the end tells me you have a PBC like mine, go ahead and open that bottom vent to about twice what you have now and try that. Also as soon as you dump the coals let it sit with no lid for 10 minutes, then put the lid on and let it cool down to 300 or less and then hang your food on.


              Considering you were cooking St. Louis ribs, and they were done in 4:45, I would think your temp isn't going too low by any stretch. I can't see you temp profs pics though, but that's pretty quick for St. Louis.


                Kathryn and John

                I think I will open the bottom vent a little more. I think the way it faded in temperature is what made me wonder about how it started, was it hot enough ... etc. It also made me wonder if it would handle the time to do a pork butt or something that would take longer. As for next, I have some chicken thighs (wed) but I hope to try a small (is 6 or so pounds small?) pork butt on Friday.

                On extiguishing the coals, I did it this time because I couldn't leave the cooker there, in the middle of the driveway. I have to get a few pavers to extend the grilling area.

                Thanks for all the responses,


                  The first couple of times I did ribs I didn't monitor the temps, but this weekend I did. Four racks of St. Louis cut ribs were done in three hours. I am at 165 ft elevation, and it was a warm day with low humidity. This is what I saw, with the vent open 1/4. From now on I will probably not worry about the temps and just enjoy the ribs.

                  Start 329o
                  15 minutes 257o
                  30 minutes 233o
                  45 minutes 243o
                  60 minutes 237o
                  1.25 hours 244o
                  1.50 hours 242o
                  1.75 hours 241o
                  2.00 hours 240o
                  2.25 hours 256o sauced ribs
                  2.50 hours 247o
                  2.75 hours 239o
                  3.00 hours 241o ribs are done


                    That looks like a nice solid cook, Yno. How did the ribs turn out?

                    Frank ( bergmef ), makes sense, putting those coals out. The first few months I had my PBC, I cooked on the side terrace, figuring the concrete wouldn't be damaged by the heat coming from the bottom surface of the barrel. I stuck a candy thermometer underneath and monitored the temperatures just to check. I'd store the PBC, covered, in the garage, when not in use.

                    Then convenience won out and I moved the PBC to the screened-in, enclosed deck, just outside the sliding glass doors to the kitchen. MUCH more convenient. The PBC sits, covered and well-protected from the elements there.

                    However, I didn't want to damage the Trex decking, so I made a sandwich of two cement-surfaced mats with a felt-type grill mat in between. I always err on the side of safety, hence the 3 (!) mats under my PBC. It's worth the peace of mind. Inadvertently dropping a burning coal on the deck is a concern as well, so the large mats help avoid that potential problem.

                    I got the mats at Lowe's:

                    Here's the fiber one: Click image for larger version

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                    And here's the cement-covered one:
                    Click image for larger version

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                    P.S. My husband always tells friends that my PBC cost $300 but all the accessories I continue to buy for it cost $1000 . That guy is such a kidder.


                    • Yno
                      Yno commented
                      Editing a comment
                      fzxdoc, I added a post with pictures to my other thread, "Second set of ribs on the PBC". They were great, and so are the leftovers.

                    My area is grass where I am ...maybe was, going to put it. The only drawback on the deck would be the two kitchen windows and the screen door (smoke).

                    So if I get a 10 pound pork butt, I should cut it in half?!?

                    I'm sure he doesn't kid too much, he does get to reap the benefits (good food).


                      How much time do you have to cook the butt? My last 8 pound butt took me almost 9 hours, and that was with trying to crank the temps up so I could eat before midnight I'd think about cutting it in half and getting the extra surface area for bark and smoke.


                      • Jay in Ames
                        Jay in Ames commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Did you wrap it in foil, or just power through the stall? Wrapping (crutch) takes a load of time off. I'm speaking from offset grill experience, but I'm sure a PBC works the same way.

                      Welcome to the PBC club bergmef! The folks hereabouts are a great bunch and full of great tips/knowledge!


                        Thanks PappyBBQ

                        New2Cue I have no time schedule, I plan to put it on early and I can keep it in a cooler if it is done early. How long can I keep it in the cooler before I need to think about getting it in the fridge? I might end up doing the quick cooldown and use it the next day.


                        • Jay in Ames
                          Jay in Ames commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Not New2Cue, but you can wrap it and keep it for a pretty long period. I've finished a prime rib for Christmas dinner, wrapped it, went to Christmas Eve Service with the candles, come back, and served, easily 2 hours. It was still plenty hot. Danger zone is between 40 F and 140F, so outside of that should be good to go!

                        Jay, sorry, I couldn't figure out how to directly reply to your comment. I crutched it after it hit 160 per the PBC website. It was stuck in the high 150s for probably 45 minutes though. I probably should just just crutched it earlier. Now I know!

                        Bergmef, I'm pretty new to smoking so unfortunately I can't answer your question. Hope someone else can!



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