Ok, so first off, a HUGE thanks to Phil for the very generous gift.
Superbowl weekend seemed like an appropriate time to break in the PBC. Unfortunately, that also came with temperatures around 18 degrees and snow in the evening.
I was cooking a brisket for a friend who picked up a monster full packer at RD. It was about 18 pounds with the largest point I've ever seen.
I rubbed it w/ the PBC beef rub, some unsweetened cocoa powder and garlic salt.
I got the PBC going with a chimney starter. I filled the charcoal basket w/ Kingsford blue, then removed about 15% of the briquettes and threw them in the starter. I put the basket in the PBC and then 15 minutes later poured the hot coals on top. 20 minutes later I put the brisket in. Due to the size, I used three hooks.
The PBC was chugging along pretty nicely right from the start.
After about 4.5 hours, I checked temps on the brisket. It was hovering right about 160.
I pulled it out, foiled it, put in the rack and put the brisket on top. It almost didn't fit.
The PBC kept on cooking smoothly with no appreciably decline in heat.
After about another 1.25 hours, I pulled the brisket, separated the flat from the HUGE point, cubed the point, added more rub and some sauce, threw it in a dish and let it get tasty.
Unfortunately, I don't have photos of slices or anything as the brisket wasn't mine. I can tell you that the point was INCREDIBLY moist and pretty tasty. I should have some feedback today from the person I cooked it for. When I do, I'll post an update.
Pros: Very short cook time, easier than the Ronco's 'set it and forget it', extremely moist. The PBC was still reasonably hot after about 12 hours, even in the snow (not too much) and low temperature.
Cons: The smoke ring was there, but wasn't too deep or vibrant. I'm assuming that this is due to the higher smoking temp and the smaller amount of time that the meat was in the right temp for a strong smoke ring. That's about it. Overall, it was very impressive.
I'm looking forward to hearing how the flat was taste wise and texture.
I'm doing some more cooking on it today and I'll post some more updates.