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Newbie to Cue and the PBC

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    Newbie to Cue and the PBC

    I posted on the introduction board, but thought I'd introduce myself here as well.

    I have been puttering around with grilling for a few years now, and last year I finally upped my game by getting a Weber Genesis with the rotisserie attachment. It wasn't until I talked to a friend with a WSM and watched a marathon of BBQ Pitmasters this Memorial Day weekend that I decided to give smoking a try. After reading the reviews on here and elsewhere, I decided to go with the PBC.

    I have about a half dozen cooks under my belt now, and smoking blows away regular grilling and oven cooking! Started out with pork loin, then I've smoked ribs a few times, pork butt twice, and this past weekend, I tried a ham (I know, I know, pig is great but I'm going to start trying other meats soon!). All have been really good cooks for me, the PBC makes it so simple!

    Since my second cook, I have been monitoring the internal temperature of the PBC. My cooks seem to be settling down around the 230 range or so. That's fine for a short cook like ribs, but my last pork butt at 8 pounds took over 8 hours, and and I had to open the lid to get the temps up to eat by 8:30pm (still came out great). Aside with opening the lid and the bottom vent, this weekend I tried mixing some Kingsford competition charcoal in with the blue and white charcoal, but my PBC still was at the 230ish range. I read the great sticky on how to light the PBC, and I think I might not be letting the coals pre-heat enough. I'm in the D.C. area, so it's possible that the high humidity we have here is causing me issues as well.

    Anyway, just wanted to introduce myself to the board. Look forward to learning from you all, and hopefully contributing as well. This weekend I might try smoking a turkey - wish me luck!

    #2
    Hi New2Cue, welcome aboard! I live 20 miles out of Boston and yes the weather can be a significant factor. fzxdoc 's steps on leaving the thing to heat 10 minutes with lid off and another with lid on and rebar out *should* help. Finally make sure the hot coals you add to the basket (assuming you're using the chimney method) are as well distributed as possible. I've not got it down quite yet, but with the 10+10 Minute wait, the barrel seems to settle in at least in the upper 240's/250's for me which is still a touch lower than I'd like for a PB. If you hang the pb and oven probe from one rebar, and the barrel is tending to run low, pull the other rebar out. It should come up nearly 30 degrees or therabouts. That said, my last 8.5 lb PB took 6-7 hours including the rest period

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      #3
      Thanks JPP for those tips. I've been using the chimney method, but have been doing it according to Noah's videos where you light the chimney, let it go 15-20 minutes, dump the chimney and immediately put your meat on. First couple of cooks, I was closer to the 250-280 range, but more recently, it's dropped. I wonder if humidity is a factor here in DC as it's a nasty swamp during the summer

      One thing I forgot to mention is that I have been adding wood chunks to my cooks. I usually line them up in the basket under the handle before dumping the chimney on them. Maybe i'll try adding them on top after I dump the chimney on the basket.

      My last pork butt, which was 8 pounds, had a very long stall. It was only the second butt that I cooked, but it was sitting at 158 for probably a good 30-45 minutes. Not sure if that is typical or not. I was waiting for it to hit 160 to wrap, but maybe I should have just wrapped it at 158 when I saw the stall hit. I'm still very much a novice and sorta learning as I go.

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        #4
        When I do butts I just monitor the pit temp. I will see where it has settled down at and set my alarm accordingly. When it drops about 15-20 degrees and I can hear them sweating, I crack the lid and try to get it to at least 325. It sets the bark AND powers through the stall. There's no reason to let a pork butt sweat it out in the Pit Barrel, unless things are running fast.

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          #5
          That's exactly what I did Jerod. It helped push things along nicely. Some of the fat cap probably could have used a little more time to render, but man, was that money muscle pure heaven.

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            #6
            Welcome to the Pit New2Cue.

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