喫煙者
The BBQ BRETHREN FORUMS.


Forum Portal Recipes Smoke Signals Magazine Welocme Merchandise Associations Purchase Subscription Brethren Banners
Go Back   The BBQ BRETHREN FORUMS. > Discussion Area > Q-talk

Notices

Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


Reply
Thread Tools
Unread 03-31-2012, 12:06 AM   #1
PatioDaddio
Babbling Farker
 
Join Date: 05-04-08
Location: Boise, Idaho
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default First Cook: Pit Barrel Cooker (pics)

First Cook: Pit Barrel Cooker

I posted last weekend that I had received a Pit Barrel Cooker (PBC), and I
gave my initial thoughts. Well, the proof is obviously in the pudding, or the
meat in this case, so here I'll tell you about the maiden voyage.



I'd seen the videos on the Pit Barrel Cooker Company site that extolled the
virtues of chicken and tri-tip cooked on the PBC. Being a huge fan of both,
I decided that this would be a great first cook. Each are great barbecued
meats, but they are also sensitive to overcooking.

The PBC comes with a 4.7-ounce shaker bottle of each of their
"All-Purpose Pit Rub" and "Beef & Game Pit Rub" seasonings. I tasted the
rubs, and they seem well-suited to their advertised purposes. The
all-purpose rub was a little on the spicy side, but I love spicy.

For my first test cook I decided to use seasonings with which I am very
familiar. The thought here is that I would eliminate the added variable of
seasoning and focus on the cooking. I felt that it was important to start
from a somewhat known baseline of flavor profile.

I started by splitting the chickens (4 1/2 lbs each), trimming the tri-tip
(about 3 1/2 lbs each), dusting all of the meat evenly (the chicken more
heavily) with seasoning, and refrigerating them for two hours.

Note: I inserted the hooks while the coals were starting.



Next, per the instructions, I filled the charcoal basket level with Kingsford®
Original (blue bag) charcoal, doused it with Kingsford® lighter fluid, put it
on the PBC and lit it.

I'll admit that using lighter fluid is not as demonic as most of my barbecue
brothers would argue. However, letting it burn for only 20 minutes is a little
unsettling. In the future I'll light about a third of a chimney of coals outside
the cooker, let them ash over/gray, and then add them to the unlit coals in
the basket. That's the process that I use in my UDS cookers (a quasi-
Minion method).

Here's how the coals looked after 20 minutes.



The instructions indicated that the chicken would take somewhere
between two and 2 1/2 hours. The video at their site states that two
hours is fine for young or full-size chickens, but the instructions in the box
state 2 1/2 hours.

This left me wondering when to plan to add the tri-tip to the cooker. I
figured I'd just wing it (pardon the pun) the first time and try to time it by
internal temperature. I was cooking for another family and I had a set
delivery time, so I didn't have a lot of margin for error. This, by the way, is
not a good plan for a first cook on a new cooker.



I let the chickens cook for about an hour and five minutes, then I added
the tri-tip.



The way the PBC held an even temperature really impressed me. I stuck
the probe of my Thermoworks TW8060 in the hole next to one of the rods
and it held 290º +/- 10º for the entire cook and then some.



The chicken was done in an hour and forty minutes (165º breast/181º
thigh), and the tri-tip was done after only 35 minutes (135º in the thickest
portion). The chicken would have been way overcooked if I'd have followed
even the video instructions (two hours). I think that perhaps I was using
smaller chickens. I can see where a larger chicken (say 5 1/2 lbs, pre-trim)
would probably be just about perfect at two hours.

In the end, the PBC produced great results, despite a little bit of cooking
time cipherin' on my part. The tri-tip was just about edge-to-edge
perfectly medium-rare.



The chicken had great color and was generally moist and juicy, with
slightly crispy skin. Both my delivery family and I felt that the breast was
dry, but not so much that it was bad. We both thought the flavor was
outstanding all the way around.



Overall I felt that my first cook on the PBC met my lofty expectations. It
lived up to its set-and-forget goal, and the results were great. Of course
there is always a learning curve with any new cooker, and I greatly look
forward to putting this thing through its paces.

Here are some notes that I made throughout the cook:
  • The side handles stay cool enough to rest your thermometer on.
  • The lid handle stays at about body temperature.
  • The feet stay cool to the touch.
-----
John
PatioDaddio is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 03-31-2012, 10:12 AM   #2
Team DD
Full Fledged Farker

 
Team DD's Avatar
 
Join Date: 07-16-11
Location: Trinity, NC
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

The food looks good!! How do you like the Thermoworks thermometer? I was wondering if they had a wireless unit to go with it?
__________________
SteelCraft Products Custom Smoker
UDS
Phoenix Gas Grill
Weber One-Touch Silver
Custom Red Thermapen
Team DD is online now   Reply With Quote


Thanks from:--->
Unread 03-31-2012, 10:19 AM   #3
Skidder
Babbling Farker
 
Join Date: 02-02-08
Location: Westfield,Ma.
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

John did you buy this or was it a review pit? I don't understand why u didn't just make one. Confused!
Skidder is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 03-31-2012, 10:32 AM   #4
thirdeye
somebody shut me the fark up.

 
thirdeye's Avatar
 
Join Date: 01-14-06
Location: At home on the range in Wyoming
Downloads: 2
Uploads: 0
Default

John,

Good write-ups on both the "First Look" and "First Cook" threads. This cooker appears to be a convenient size, well made, affordable (more on this comment later), and has a very BDS/UDS like design which is user friendly. For what it's worth I've been cooking on BDS's for 6 years, love the "drum flavor", portability, ease of operation...I just like drums. And for the folks that want a custom model they are easy to build. (more on this later)

I like the coal basket design, but would not even consider using lighter fluid. The use of pony shoes and rebar is clever and it keeps the cost down. I'm curious what the dimensions are, I thought 30 gallon drums were something like 20 X 30?? At one time I thought this would be too small for me, but after I did the Smokey Joe Tall Boy mod, a smaller cooker has some advantages. After seeing your photos of hanging meats, I want to give that a try since I have a hanger mod for my drum. I thought the video on the website showing the turkey hanging horizontal was clever.

They are built in Colorado.... Colorado is close-by, (I'm in Wyoming) so this is a bonus. Of all the folks that have seen my drums in action (in the thousands) at least 100 have said "heck I could build one of those.... none have to my knowledge. So the Pit Barrel price is a good value for a cooker you could unpack in the afternoon and have dinner off of that night. I especially like the shipping price of $30. This might be something to look at for a Christmas present for one of my buddies that is retired, loves smoked foods but does not want a huge smoker.

However, in the FAQ on the website they say the PB is not a smoker. I'm a little confused at this statement. They also shy away from using wood chips, which doesn't make sense to me either. Is this because this cooker is designed to be more for grilling raised direct? Or is it a drafting issue?

Like you I cook in the 275* +/- range, but I always start off near 200* for smoke flavor and ring formation. Please let us know how the intake performs.

As far as owners manuals, cooking instructions, and recipes... I take all of them with a grain of salt and make my own adjustments. My BDS instructions were good and 1 page long. The older book that came with Big Green Eggs years ago was so bad at one point everyone said "read the page on how to light your Egg, remove the registration/warranty card, then throw the manual away.
__________________
~thirdeye~

KCBS - CBJ
Big Green Eggs, Big Drum Smokers, Big Chiefs, Weber Smokey Joe "Custom Tall Boy"
Oil Patch Horizontal

Visit my Cookin' Site by clicking HERE
Barbecue is not rocket surgery
thirdeye is offline   Reply With Quote


Thanks from:--->
Unread 03-31-2012, 11:20 AM   #5
PatioDaddio
Babbling Farker
 
Join Date: 05-04-08
Location: Boise, Idaho
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidder View Post
John did you buy this or was it a review pit? I don't understand why u didn't just make one. Confused!
Thanks for the heads up. I had my standard disclaimer in my "First Look" post,
but forgot to include it in this one. I've added the following.

Quote:
Disclaimer: The Pit Barrel Cooker was provided to me free of charge
for the purpose of this review, but the thoughts expressed are entirely my
own.
John
PatioDaddio is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 03-31-2012, 11:27 AM   #6
PatioDaddio
Babbling Farker
 
Join Date: 05-04-08
Location: Boise, Idaho
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Thanks for your input and observations, Thirdeye.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdeye View Post
I'm curious what the dimensions are, I thought 30 gallon drums were something like 20 X 30?
H (w/o stand): 28.75"
H (w/ stand): 32.25"
ID/OD: 18.25" / 19.25"
Rack Diameter: 17.50"

Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdeye View Post
Please let us know how the intake performs.
I'm not sure what you're asking here. I left it in its factory-set
position and it held temps very well, as I indicated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdeye View Post
They also shy away from using wood chips, which doesn't make sense to me either. Is this because this cooker is designed to be more for grilling raised direct?
I have no idea, but I'll be using wood in mine. I see absolutely no
reason not to, and I will ask Noah about it today.

John
PatioDaddio is offline   Reply With Quote


Thanks from:--->
Unread 03-31-2012, 11:28 AM   #7
PatioDaddio
Babbling Farker
 
Join Date: 05-04-08
Location: Boise, Idaho
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Team DD View Post
The food looks good!! How do you like the Thermoworks thermometer? I was wondering if they had a wireless unit to go with it?
I love the Thermoworks TW8060!

John
PatioDaddio is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 03-31-2012, 12:04 PM   #8
thirdeye
somebody shut me the fark up.

 
thirdeye's Avatar
 
Join Date: 01-14-06
Location: At home on the range in Wyoming
Downloads: 2
Uploads: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatioDaddio View Post
Thanks for your input and observations, Thirdeye.

I'm not sure what you're asking here. I left it in its factory-set
position and it held temps very well, as I indicated.

John
Oh, for some reason I got the impression the vent was not adjustable.... so it sounds like they recommend a particular setting, but you can fine tune that as needed?

One more thing, will that lower vent allow a wiggle rod to fit in?
__________________
~thirdeye~

KCBS - CBJ
Big Green Eggs, Big Drum Smokers, Big Chiefs, Weber Smokey Joe "Custom Tall Boy"
Oil Patch Horizontal

Visit my Cookin' Site by clicking HERE
Barbecue is not rocket surgery
thirdeye is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 03-31-2012, 12:09 PM   #9
PatioDaddio
Babbling Farker
 
Join Date: 05-04-08
Location: Boise, Idaho
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdeye View Post
Oh, for some reason I got the impression the vent was not adjustable.... so it sounds like they recommend a particular setting, but you can fine tune that as needed?

One more thing, will that lower vent allow a wiggle rod to fit in?
Yes to both. I covered that in my "First Look" post.



Quote:
You load the same amount of coals each time, and the intake is
pre-set (though still adjustable — see the picture above).
John
PatioDaddio is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 03-31-2012, 04:38 PM   #10
pigdog
Full Fledged Farker
 
pigdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: 01-15-10
Location: Cody WY
Downloads: 1
Uploads: 0
Default

How was the taste vs your barrel? Any noticeable difference?
pigdog is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 03-31-2012, 06:15 PM   #11
PatioDaddio
Babbling Farker
 
Join Date: 05-04-08
Location: Boise, Idaho
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pigdog View Post
How was the taste vs your barrel? Any noticeable difference?
Well, I try to use red oak chunks for tri-tip, but aside
from that it was right there.

John
PatioDaddio is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 03-31-2012, 06:21 PM   #12
pigdog
Full Fledged Farker
 
pigdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: 01-15-10
Location: Cody WY
Downloads: 1
Uploads: 0
Default

Does one hang ribs? Brisket?
pigdog is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 03-31-2012, 06:34 PM   #13
PatioDaddio
Babbling Farker
 
Join Date: 05-04-08
Location: Boise, Idaho
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Angry

Quote:
Originally Posted by pigdog View Post
Does one hang ribs? Brisket?
Yessir, I'm told yes, and I plan to try it.

John
PatioDaddio is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 03-31-2012, 06:38 PM   #14
PatioDaddio
Babbling Farker
 
Join Date: 05-04-08
Location: Boise, Idaho
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Just to try to head off an obvious question, I don't know if you
have to cook differently when there's a full moon in a month
with an R in the name.

John
PatioDaddio is offline   Reply With Quote


Unread 03-31-2012, 06:41 PM   #15
thirdeye
somebody shut me the fark up.

 
thirdeye's Avatar
 
Join Date: 01-14-06
Location: At home on the range in Wyoming
Downloads: 2
Uploads: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatioDaddio View Post
Just to try to head off an obvious question, I don't know if you
have to cook differently when there's a full moon in a month
with an R in the name. :happy:

John
I would think only if you are cooking oysters and rabbit at the same time. Now a left handed brisket is a different story.
__________________
~thirdeye~

KCBS - CBJ
Big Green Eggs, Big Drum Smokers, Big Chiefs, Weber Smokey Joe "Custom Tall Boy"
Oil Patch Horizontal

Visit my Cookin' Site by clicking HERE
Barbecue is not rocket surgery
thirdeye is offline   Reply With Quote


Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Loading



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise v2.6.0 Beta 4 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
2003 -2012 © BBQ-Brethren Inc. All rights reserved. All Content and Flaming Pig Logo are registered and protected under U.S and International Copyright and Trademarks. Content Within this Website Is Property of BBQ Brethren Inc. Reproduction or alteration is strictly prohibited.