This is a membership forum. As a guest, you can click around a bit. View 3 pages for free.

[ Lost Username or Password | Pitmaster Club Information, | Join 30 Days Free | Contact Us ]

There are 2 page views remaining.

Meat-Up in Memphis

T-Shirts & More T-Shirts & More
Order men's and women's T-Shirts, Sweatshirts, Aprons, Mugs, Caps, Tote Bags, Flasks, and more, all imprinted with the Pitmaster Club logo. There's even a spiral bound journal where you can make notes on your cooks.

Cool Embroidered Shirt Cool Embroidered Shirt
This beautifully embroidered shirt is the same one Meathead wears in public and on TV. It's wash and wear and doesn't need ironing (really!), but it is a soft cottonlike feel. Choice of four colors and both men's and women's.

Click here for more info.

Support ARC

Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our links and purchase from them. On Amazon it works on everything from grills to diapers, they never tell us what you bought, and it has zero impact on the price you pay, but has a major impact on our ability to improve this site! And remember, we only recommend products we love. If you like AmazingRibs.com, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazon.


BBQ Stars


Some Of Our Favorite
Tools And Toys

These are not ads. These are products we love and highly recommend. Click here to read more about our medals and what they mean.



Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts

Digital Thermometers Are Your Most Valuable Tool And Here's A Great Buy!

maverick PT55 thermometer

A good digital thermometer keeps you from serving dry overcooked food or dangerously undercooked food. They are much faster and much more accurate than dial thermometers. YOU NEED ONE!

Click here for more info on the Maverick PT-55 Waterproof Instant-Read Thermometer Review shown above. It may be the best value in a thermometer out there

If you have a Weber Kettle, you need the Slow 'N' Sear

slow n sear

The Slow 'N' Sear turns your grill into a first class smoker and also creates an extremely hot sear zone you can use to create steakhouse steaks.

Click here for our article on this breakthrough tool

Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet's Dual Tube Burners

the good one grill

The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King's proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Click here to read our complete review

The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One

the good one grill

The Good-One Open Range is a charcoal grill with an offset smoke chamber attached. It is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. The grill sits low in front and doubles as a firebox for the smoke chamber which is spliced on above and behind so it can work like a horizontal offset smoker only better. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.

Click here to read our complete review

Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

Griddle And Deep Fryer All In One

The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, and home fries. Or pancakes, fajitas, grilled cheese, you name it. Why stink up the house deep frying and spatter all over? Do your fried chicken and calamari outside. Blackstone's Rangetop Combo With Deep Fryer does it all. Plus it has a built in cutting board, garbage bag holder, and paper towel holder. An additional work table on the left side provides plenty of counter space.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

The Pit Barrel Cooker May Be Too Easy

The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers in the hardware stores because temperature control is so much easier. Best of all, it is only 9 delivered to your door!

Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them

The Swiss Army Knife Of Thermometers


The smart folks at ThermoWorks have finally done it: The Swiss Army Knife of thermometers, two in one. Start with the industry standard food thermometer, the Thermapen MK4, (Platinum Medal winner) truly instant (2 to 3 seconds) precise (+ or – 0.7°F). Then they built in an infrared thermometer ideal for measuring the temps of pizza stones, griddles, and frying pans (also great for finding leaks around doors and windows in your house).

Click here to read our test results and comprehensive review and why it won our Platinum Medal.

Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater


Char-Broil's Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you're off to the party! Char-Broil's TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted

NK-22-Ck Grill

Their NK22CK-C Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It's hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the NK22CK-C a viable alternative.

Click here for more about what makes this grill special


G&F Suede Welder's Gloves

Heat Resistant Gloves With Extra Long Sleeves Hold The Hot Stuff

If you're using oven mitts at the grill, it's time to trade up. Say hello to these suede welder's gloves. They're heat resistant enough to handle hot grill grates, and flexible enough to handle tongs. The extra long sleeves even let you reach deep into the firebox to move hot logs without getting burned. Our Fave.

Click here to read our detailed review

Click here to order from Amazon

GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone

grill grates

GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, keep small foods from committing suicide, kill hotspots, are easier to clean, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily removed and moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke to whatever is above. Every gas grill needs them.

Click here for more about what makes these grates so special

kareubequ bbq smoker

Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.

Click here for our review of this superb smoker

Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker

masterbuilt gas smoker

The First Propane Smoker With A Thermostat Makes This Baby Foolproof

Set ThermoTemp's dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin'.

Click here to read our detailed review

Professional Steakhouse Knife Set

masterbuilt gas smoker

Our founder, Meathead, wanted the same steak knives used by steakhouses such as Peter Luger, Smith & Wollensky, Morton's, Kobe Club, Palm, and many others. So he located the manufacturer and had them stamp our name on some. They boast pointed, temper-ground, serrated, high-carbon stainless-steel, half-tang blades with excellent cutting edge ability. The beefy hardwood handle provides a comfortable grip secured by three hefty rivets. He has machine washed his more than 100 times. They have never rusted and they stay shiny without polishing. Please note that we do not make, sell, or distribute these knives, they just engrave them with our name.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order

PK 360 grill

Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?

The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it's easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado. Beautifully designed and completely portable. Meathead says it is his preferrred grill.

Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

Click here to order it direct from PK and get a special deal for AmazingRibs.com readers only

Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

fireboard bbq thermometer

With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.

Click here to read our detailed review

Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

Green Mountain Davey Crockett Grill

Green Mountain's portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order



Meat-Up in Memphis 2020

Join us in Memphis for our Meat-Up! Click here for details. (https://amazingribs.com/memphis2020)
See more
See less

Light my (PBC) fire: tips on lighting and maintaining temperatures

This is a sticky topic.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Top | #226
    LOTS of great information in this thread, and I'm just getting started in it! Apologies in advance if this is already a thread (couldn't find it) but has anyone used lump charcoal in their PBC? I used to use it in my Weber Kettle and liked the flavors. I only see Kingsford or other brickets referenced here.



    • Top | #227
      It's not recommended to use lump as the temps may or may not be consistent. The PBC is specifically designed to be used with KBB. I do know that on UDS (drums) you can use either, but that barrel is a whole different animal.


      • MichaelJB
        MichaelJB commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for the response Tim.

    • Top | #228
      One PBC user I know used Ozark Oak Lump to great success on the PBC. Some who have used Stubbs lump did not report such good results. You can always give it a try, MichaelJB , to see how it works in your PBC but be prepared, as SoCalTim says, for some inconsistencies. Personally, I strive for consistency with my PBC and use only KBB for all cooks except poultry where Kingsford Professional (formerly Kingsford Competition) shines for those higher temps (325-400) that I like to smoke chicken and turkey with.



      • phoccer
        phoccer commented
        Editing a comment
        Yep, my PBC runs in the 350-380 range using Kingsford Professional. I plan to tinker with B&B briquets one day but for now I cook everything at those temps and it works for me. Gotta try whole chickens one of these days.

      • fzxdoc
        fzxdoc commented
        Editing a comment
        Jerod Broussard keeps those B&B briquet folks in business. You'll probably like the results, phoccer , especially since you like high heat smoking for all meats.


      • phoccer
        phoccer commented
        Editing a comment
        Adjusted my PBC intake to the default hanging position so there's a 1/8(?) opening. I'm puffing away in the low 300's today with two boneless pork shoulders. I think I finally found the sweet spot

    • Top | #229

      Is 1/8 lower vent opening recommended for your altitude, phoccer ?

      With my lower vent opening set close to recommended and Kingsford Professional, my PBC runs happily in the low 300s as well. With KBB, it likes to run at 275.

      Now that you've found the sweet spot for your PBC/type of charcoal, that PBC should run more like an appliance for you.



      • phoccer
        phoccer commented
        Editing a comment
        Their recommendation from 0 to 2000' is 1/4 open. Mine seems to run too hot at that setting so I decided to try a little lower today and I like how it runs like this so I'll run with it. Definitely running more like an appliance the last couple of cooks.

    • Top | #230
      Great, phoccer . Knowing the best setup for your own PBC is golden. That setup includes charcoal selection (type and amount), lighting method, and lower vent setting. Next comes knowing the optimal load of meat. Loading the PBC to the max certainly can be done, and I do it often, but fire (temp) management for a big load is more hands-on. Knowing that going in to the cook makes it a more pleasant experience.



      • Top | #231
        So my PBC came yesterday, and I gave the fzxdoc method a whirl, and read through the thread. Thanks for all the information shared! I'm at sea level, so I have my vent 1/4 open, and did 10-10-10 (chimney-no lid & bars-no bars). I attempted a dry run with no meat. Outdoor temperature was in the low 70s.

        At the point where the meat should be added, I popped a probe in, and the temp spike to 460. After 45 minutes, it was still 390. I re-read the instructions, and I think I followed them accurately. What is the first thing you would change to try get the temp spike more under control? My lid seems to fit perfectly, but perhaps I will spray it with cooking oil to try build a seal. I'm planning to try some pork ribs today. Thanks!


        • Top | #232
          I have never seen a point to a dry run, as when you ad the meat the temperatures change. So light he up and throw a couple of chickens in and tray that, chickens are cheap good luck.


          • Top | #233
            I agree with JohnF , dustbuster. . There really is not much point to a dry run, as the amount and type of meat is the game changer. Toss some chickens or ribs on using PBC's All Purpose Rub as Noah instructs in his videos. See how you like the results.

            Remember there is a lot of salt in the PBC rubs, so use them for the dry brine step instead of salt. If the meat has been brined at the packing house, go lightly with the PBC AP rub, or make up a salt free rub of your own and use it.

            Tweak your method from there, based on the results, for the next cook if you like.

            Question: at the end of 10 minutes, were the topmost coals in the chimney starting to ash over? That's what you have to go by for that first part of the lighting procedure; giving the chimney coals time for the uppermost ones to get some ash on them.

            Last edited by fzxdoc; September 16th, 2017, 12:14 PM.


            • dustbuster
              dustbuster commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks fzxdoc and JohnF I picked up a chicken and will give that a whirl this afternoon. I look forward to sorting this thing out, the capacity and stabilization the PBC achieved post-spike give me something to look forward to!

              The top sides of the uppermost coals in my chimney were about 20% ashed over I would estimate.

          • Top | #234
            Have a great cook, dustbuster . Let us know how it turns out.



            • Top | #235
              Well imagine that, following the rules (aka adding meat) nets much better results! Here's my chart for the first hour of my current chicken cook. My dry run was a bit discouraging, so current cook this makes me feel much better about my purchase. (X is minutes from start, Y is pit temp in degrees F). Thanks for the help fzxdoc & JohnF
              Click image for larger version

Name:	Chicken.jpeg
Views:	1
Size:	57.7 KB
ID:	380982


              • Top | #236
                That's a great PBC temperature profile for your chicken cook, dustbuster . Was the chicken done in about an hour? How did it taste? How many chickens did you smoke?

                For your rib cook, you'll want the temp lower, in the 260 to 290 range within the first 20 minutes or so after adding the meat. Maybe you'll want to try a 10-5-5 lighting method for it to get that temp not to peak quite so high. Is your pit thermometer placed about mid level of the meat? Are you using Kingsford Original?

                Last edited by fzxdoc; September 17th, 2017, 07:30 AM.


                • Top | #237
                  Hello to all-relatively new here and loving the AR! Since I got the Smoke thermo I have seen that my PBC is running hotter than I would like, somewhere north of 300. I put some concrete blocks on the lid-temps started dropping immediately. Took them off-temps started climbing. Lid has never been dropped or banged against anything. Seems to fit evenly on the drum, with no warp or bend noticeable. So I have decided I'm going to try a gasket as I've seen others do. Question for those who have put a gasket on their lid-what do you use to clean the lid prior to sticking the gasket on? I've tried hot soapy water and some vinegar and there is still a buildup there which doesn't want to come off. Appreciate any suggestions.



                  • Top | #238
                    Tax Man Tim, I cleaned mine with Krud Kutter degreaser and a 3M scrubber square. Then I rinsed and dried it well. Then I let it sit overnight before putting the gasket on. Worked just fine.



                    • Top | #239
                      Thanks Kathryn


                      • Top | #240
                        When I looked at the lighting instructions from the Pit Barrel Cooker website, that seems a lot simpler than some of the other steps mentioned in these posts. Are additional steps monitoring the temperature like cracking the lid or stuffing foil in the re-bar holes really necessary? What if you just followed the PBC website instructions?

                        I always thought one of the upsides to the PBC was that you set it according to the instructions and it's built to have the right temperatures on its own.

                        On y'all's PBC cooks, how often are y'all making adjustments to the lid or holes for temperature adjustment vs. letting it do its thing? And if you don't really do many adjustments, are the results just as good or not that much worse?


                        • RobertC
                          RobertC commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I used to brew beer. It's quite easy to brew very good beer; what's hard is brewing the same beer consistently batch after batch.

                          That applies to most drum cookers. You absolutely can make great food without careful fire prep or monitoring. What's harder is consistent results, with predictable timing. Consistent protocols and monitoring help (but don't guarantee) you get consistent results.

                        • Psinderson
                          Psinderson commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I agree RobertC. I used to brew beer a lot several years ago. That was the challenge - make the same thing each time, which almost never happened. That why I love both brewing and BBQ. The challenge of tinkering around. That's why I've shied away from temp controllers and other devices that make it too easy. But, in the end, great food is always worth it no matter how you got there.