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50 minutes PBC chicken

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    50 minutes PBC chicken

    One thing that I do not get is how folks PBC a chicken for 2 hours.
    Here is how I cook mine. By the way my longest PBC chicken is 1 hour and 15 minutes.
    I use Ozark Oak Lump charcoal, fill up the basket about halfway. I'm only cooking one chicken, there's no need to use a full basket.

    PLEASE NOTE: SECOND REBAR WAS LEFT OUT. I always leave it out when doing 1 or two chickens.

    Outside temp was 57 degrees.






    It's probably less than half.
    My bottom vent stays almost closed



    Next I fill up the weber compact chimney, light it using the weber cubes. Let that get red hot



    While that's going on I prep my bird. This was dry brined uncovered for 2 days. I used about 3/4 teaspoon of sea salt per pound of the bird. See how dry that skin is?! OH YEAH!!



    Let me dump the lit coals in the basket before I moisturize the bird. Spread the lit coals and leave the PBC uncovered for about 10 minutes. If I hang food here, the temp will drop drastically, NO BUENO!



    Meanwhile, I get back to the bird. Rub it down with a paste of melted duck fat, herbs De Provence, a touch of smoked Paprika.





    Back to the PBC, coals have ignited nicely. At this point I put the lid on BUT not hanging the bird yet. I started doing this recently when I noticed that as soon as I hang the food I'd get a bunch of smoke. Not desirable, so I it go for another 10 minutes, covered without food in it.



    This is what I'm looking for when I hang a chicken.



    Temp



    Bird goes in



    50 minutes later.......

    Last edited by Ernest; December 3, 2014, 09:21 AM.

    #2





    All cut up



    Juices are clear

    Plated



    So moral of the story is 2 hours cooking chicken....not necessary.
    Thank you for looking

    Comment


      #3
      That looks great! I'll give your lighting technique a try; I've never hit an internal temperature of over 320 following the PBC website instructions to the letter. I have cooked a great chicken, but it took about 1.5 hours – not 2. I'm at sea level and have my vent open wider than yours.

      Comment


        #4
        Give it a shot. I say 50 minutes coz I cook it that way every time. Start really hot.
        Last edited by Ernest; December 3, 2014, 08:53 AM.

        Comment


          #5
          Awesome post Ernest! I was wondering what technique you were using to light your lump and the temp profiles you were hitting. This is perfect. Those temps you're hitting sound ideal. That's how I'd do it for sure.

          Comment


            #6
            I do two hours, roughly, on my offset...but yeah I thought the PBC was supposed to be quicker. Maybe since most use Kingsford it's not as hot as ozark lump, therefore not as quick a as yours? Great post by the way!

            Comment


              #7
              I hit about 90 minutes on my PBC for chicken now, having refined some of my original techniques. I don't have access to Ozark Lump Charcoal locally, although I did order some from Amazon. It's pretty expensive compared to Kingsford Original that I always get on sale.

              I'm going to give some of your techniques a try, Ernest, using the Kingsford charcoal I have available and see how that works. It will be a while, though, since we're pretty much on poultry overload since Thanksgiving.

              Thanks so much for your excellent post!

              Kathryn

              Comment


                #8
                A few of questions, Ernest--
                1. At what elevation do you live?
                2. Do you leave the vent cover closed that much for all your cooks or just for your Hot n Fast Chicken?
                3. Do you ever leave a rebar out?
                4. Do you use Ozark Lump exclusively?
                5. Do you know if Ozark Lump burns hotter than Kingsford Original under the same conditions?

                Thanks in advance for letting me pick your brain! With your help maybe I'll get to be a better chicken cook.

                Kathryn

                Comment


                • Ernest
                  Ernest commented
                  Editing a comment
                  1. I believe I'm at about 750 but I couldn't be bothered about that from day one. Yes, I'm a rebel. My first cooks I used a thermometer and played with the vent.
                  2. Vent has stayed that way since my second week with the PBC. The only time I open it is when I'm doing 4 whole chickens. Then I open it 100%.
                  3. I missed that detail in my post, yes. 1 or 2 chickens, the one rebar is left out.
                  4. Yes I use Ozark exclusively. For longer cooks, >6 hours, I use kingsford competition. Honestly, the heat difference is minimal, major difference is lump charcoal burns out faster than briquettes. So I wouldn't use lump for any cook that would take longer that 6 hours.

                #9
                I dont think I can get Ozark Lump... but I might be able to get Kingsford Competition, I wonder if that would do it?

                Comment


                • Ernest
                  Ernest commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I use kingsford competition for longer cooks.
                  I have used the blue kingsford maybe 3 times. I use competition when I'm out of lump. I got some blue bags that I bought during the Holiday sales but those are just sitting in my garage.

                • Spinaker
                  Spinaker commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thats what I use to do chicken in my PBC. Works great. My chicken cooks are a bit over an hour.

                • fzxdoc
                  fzxdoc commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I did a two-chicken cook with Kingsford Competition exactly the same way I had done the previous two-chicken cook with Kingsford Original. Neither the temperature of the PBC nor the time to cook the chickens were significantly different. The only difference was that the Competition burned longer, as in several hours longer.

                  Kathryn

                #10
                Hi Ernest - great post!
                Joining others in creating a litany of questions(!):
                I'm sure the vent opening has many puzzled it that it looks too tight, and the temps are so hot. But then in the pics there is no second rebar - do you typically leave it out? That would make a significant difference to the running temp - far more than a wider aperture at the bottom.

                The final internal temp of the chicken? The temp curve of the cooking meat usually shows the birds hitting 140 - 150 at a bit over an hour, then roughly the remainder of the 2 hours to get to 165 - 175 (temps / times are approximate, using the standard 275 - 310 PBC temp range.) My observations have two hours at a bit too long, but it covers for a more drastic drop in temp in the PBC. Are you monitoring the internal temp, or using the 'juices run clear' approach? I ask because the high temp and a lower finish temp would bring down the cooking time.
                Great plating - looks terrific!

                Cheers,

                Matt


                Comment


                • Ernest
                  Ernest commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I did forget to point out the rebar detail. I'll edit my post.
                  I did monitor the bird IT the first few cooks while I was experimenting. That's how I came up with the 50 minutes. As you can see in the pictures I only monitored the PBC temp for reference. I knew that I'd be taking the bird off at the 50 minute mark. This is from my past experiments.

                  There is no drastic drop in temp if you start hot and your coals are well ignited.
                  When the drippings hit hot coals they immediately evaporate. Now if your coals are not well ignited guess what? Drippings will cool 'em down (Bro-science).
                  Last edited by Ernest; December 3, 2014, 09:25 AM.

                #11
                Come to think of it, maybe Harry Soo is right about controlling temps using the exhaust vent? My rebar is left out, look at the temps..................

                Comment


                • mtford72
                  mtford72 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  that was just the comment I was going to make! IMHO, the leaving the bar out is probably 75% of the explanation for the extra heat. I've cooked at very steady higher temps with either the bar out or a slight lid crack.

                  I'm seriously considering drilling a hole in the top of my PBC to create a very small vent, then adding a disk to enable adjustment of the aperture.

                  All the PBC graphs I've produced from my cooks shows the temp hovering in the 275 - 290 range for a while, then falling off. The difference between 310 and 225 is considerable in terms of cooking time. Trimming the vent to keep it higher shouldn't require much of a hole, as the airflow increase should only need to be marginal. I'm hoping that it will be small enough to maintain the moisture characteristics of (what I'm guessing is) nearly static airflow that (I think!) is the reason the PBC works so well. (Did I hedge my comments enough?!?)

                  Hopefully that will add to the predictability of the timing. As an aside, I've cooked two 14 lb turkeys, using the same coals, venting and lighting. The time difference was quite considerable.

                  Matt

                • fzxdoc
                  fzxdoc commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Matt, you've noticed many of the same things that I have. I've recently begun to suspect that keeping the heat up is more a function of pulling that second rebar (if possible) than with the two charcoal types that I have tried so far. And of course the higher the heat, the quicker the chicken cooks.

                  Letting the charcoal burn for 10 minutes after pouring the burning coals into the basket (and before adding the meat) and leaving the rebar out has made a huge difference in the cooks where I want to maintain the higher temps.

                  The proof in the pudding was in my last spatchcocked turkey cook. Fourteen pounds and it cooked in 90 minutes. That's the average time of my two-chicken cooks. I scratched my head and figured that I'd use exactly the same setup for my next two-chicken cook and see if the time to cook them drops down closer to an hour.

                  I'd love to be able to do two-chicken cooks in a predictable amount of time, say one hour, reproducibly time and again. That's my goal. Oh and with crispy skin.

                  The next thing to research is whether the chicken cooked in such a short time is as flavorful/smoky/juicy as those cooked during longer times at lower average PBC temperatures. I've cooked chickens at as low as 230 ave (2.25 hour cook time) PBC temps and as high as 290 (90 minutes cook time) and have not discerned a difference in flavor, smokiness or how juicy the meat was. The meat is always pulled at 160 breast temp.

                  Kathryn
                  Last edited by fzxdoc; December 3, 2014, 11:57 AM.

                #12
                Kathryn, most of the comments after the 2 hour chickens is skin is not that crispy. Part of that could be prep, part low PBC TEMP.
                Now, as for my experiments, I did not see any drop in quality of the chickens cooked faster. So I say to myself why wait >1 hour for chicken when I can have it at the table in a shorter period and taste great?

                I think Jerod added some alien contraption to his PBC to act as an exhaust. Or maybe I saw it somewhere on the interwebs, nah, it was Jerod.

                Comment


                  #13
                  Yes, you're right, Ernest it was Jerod who added those great-looking exhaust pipes with valves.

                  And I agree that the skin on my earliest, low temp, longer cooks was not crispy but that's before I started drying it out in the fridge, using a salt/baking powder rub on it, and amping up the PBC temperature.

                  Cooking chicken in the PBC has been my most interesting learning curve--each time I do another one I change another parameter and see how the bird turns out. Good thing every chicken turns out tasty thanks to the forgiving nature of the PBC design. I'm at the fine tweaking stage now. Thanks to some of your recommendations, I'm going to have a great time with my next chicken cook.

                  Kathryn

                  Comment


                    #14
                    Ernest / Kathryn - I'm going to have to find Jerods customization post!

                    Comment


                      #15
                      Great instructional post Ernest! I have learns a lot about PBC cooking from you, Kathryn and smarkley. Actually, reading you guys' posts help me pull the trigger on the PBC purchase. I just wish I wasn't such a working stiff and had more time to play with it. Thanks again for the post!

                      Comment

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