foodbrewedbbqd:

Behold the Pit Barrel Cooker!

Here are links to my experiences so far with this wonderful outdoor smoker:

First Two Sessions - PBC out of the box overview, whole chicken and pork spare ribs

Third Session - Baby Back ribs (read about the importance of making sure the barrel’s lid needs to be on tight.  I had a little issue)

Fourth Session - Wings

Fifth Session - Pork Spare Ribs

Sixth Session - Pork Baby Backs

Seventh Session - Tri-tip beef

Eighth Session - Whole Chickens

Ninth Session - Pork Spare ribs (first full capacity cook)

Tenth Session - Meatloaf

Eleventh Session - Whole chickens and potatoes

Wet, cold, spring day in the Mile High City so thought some homemade chicken noodle soup would be the ticket.  Making stock with last night’s smoked chicken carcasses.  For the soup will use the left over chicken, egg noodles, celery, onion and mushrooms.

Wet, cold, spring day in the Mile High City so thought some homemade chicken noodle soup would be the ticket. Making stock with last night’s smoked chicken carcasses. For the soup will use the left over chicken, egg noodles, celery, onion and mushrooms.

Pit Barrel Cooker - Session 11 - Whole chickens and potatoes.

This session went great. I did the charcoal chimney starting method. The weather was perfect at 70 degrees with no wind. I prepped the chickens with olive oil and PBC All Purpose Rub. Also, I rubbed the potatoes with olive oil and applied a 50-50% mix of cracked black pepper and Emril’s Essence spice mix. (A secret ingredient I often use on grilled potatoes). Of course, all were hung in the PBC. The internal barrel temp held nicely in the 250-260 degree range for the entire cook which took about two hours and twenty minutes until the internal chicken temp was 165°. Some of the potatoes fell off the scewers despite the fact I bent the ends. Regardless, they turned out great as did the chicken. I used some apple wood at the beginning of the smoke.

DIY Rockies Opening Day. Jalapeño, cheddar brats (Tymkovich brats) simmered in beer, sauerkraut and onions, then grilled. Plus, homebrew. Rockies win 12-2!

Pit Barrel Cooker - Session 10 - First meatloaf on the Pit Barrel Cooker!

Have done meatloaf before in my old smoker, but this was really easy. Just make your fave meatloaf recipe, pop them on the grill grate and monitor internal temp of the meat until it goes over 160 degrees. Serve with your fave BBQ sauce.
Pit Barrel Cooker - Session 9 - Pork Spare Ribs

For some reason I offered to cook for my 50th birthday party.  Well, at first the party was going to be small, so a rib cook wouldn’t be very daunting, but the guest list eventually grew to about 18-20 friends, which meant I was about to do my first full capacity cook on the PBC.  Happy Birthday to me!   lol   Uhg.

I got 22 lbs of spare ribs from Tymkovich the butcher which was seven full racks.  Was figuring about a pound per person should do and would leave some extra just in case.  Since the cooker comes with eight hooks I decided to cut one rack in half.  I prepped them with Amazing Rib’s Memphis Dust dry rub and hung them in the cooker.

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Not sure if I didn’t light the charcoal correctly (did the lighter fluid method) or if it having so much meat in the cooker caused the problem, but the internal temp of the cooker dropped to about 200 degrees.  I had to crack the lid open a few times during the cook,  which isn’t a big deal. About three and a half hours in I added about a dozen more lit coals just to boost the temp.  It worked well.

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I added a handful of hickory wood chips at the beginning too.

imageAfter about four hours in they were looking real nice so I pulled them out and slathered on some KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce.  Some of the bottoms of the racks were a bit burned due in part by cracking the lid which creates too much air flow in some areas. Next time I do a full capacity cook I may rotate the racks about halfway through.  After saucing they went back on for a half an hour.

After four and a half hours total time they were done!  One rack did fall into the coals, but it was salvageable.  (When I checked them at four hours I accidentally pulled one of the hooks out so I flipped that rack around, re-hooked and due to the tenderness of the meat the bone fell apart from the meat right near the end of the cook)

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I cut them all up and served with all the yummy pot luck dishes everyone else brought.

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Delish!  Overall, it wasn’t the easiest cook, the smallest rack got overcooked a bit, but  the rest turned out perfectly.  Everyone was very impressed with the flavor, juiciness and tenderness of the meat.  We ended up with  leftovers so a bagged them up and sent some guests home with some meaty goodness.

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Sunday brunch. Asperagus frittata with a simple tomato, garlic and basil sauce. This frittata has eggs, cottage cheese, Italian cheese blend and a little bacon. Have to take advantage of all the asperagus sales at the grocery stores right now, like $.98/lb at Sprouts. ‘Tis the season!

Fifty degree temp drop between yesterday and today here in Denver, with snow. Seemed like a good time for Finnish mushroom soup with onion bread smoked cheese melts!  Was my first time making this soup recipe, it won’t be the last!  I doubled the batch and used  3/4 baby portobellos and 1/4 white button mushrooms. 

Pit Barrel Cooker - Session 8 - Whole Chickens

This was my first time doing chicken since the first time I used the Pit Barrel.  This time I added some alder wood chips for extra smokey flavor. 

I had a little issue keeping the internal barrel temp going, my thermometer probe got knocked out of the center position and more towards the wall of the barrel so it looked like the temp was hotter than it was.  I then made sense why the meat thermometer got stuck at about 138 degrees for quite a spell. I simply had to crack the lid open to get the barrel’s temp back to the 270-280 range.  So, the cook took about an hour longer than it should have - it’s supposed to take two hours.  Regardless, the meat was juicy and the taste was wonderful!   I did an extra chicken to use for making Sunday dinner, white chile.  Thought some smokey meat would be a nice addition.   Served the chicken with coleslaw and Olympic (onion) Rings. 

Pit Barrel Cooker - Session 7 - Beef Tri-tip

This was my first time cooking Tri-tip, which is sometimes described as the poor man’s prime rib.  I purchased a 3.5 pounder from Tymkovich the butcher

First, had to trim off the fat, which was obviously the first time doing that also, think I did a good job?

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Next, I seasoned with PBC Beef and Game Rub.  I coated the onions in olive oil and hung them from skewers like I had done with potatoes.  (thanks Ballistic BBQ).  Note:  Next time need to put more of a bend in the skewer because they fell off right at the end of the cook.

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Beef and onion where just hung.

imageAlright! Ready to take off the cooker!  Overall, it took about 50 minutes.  Initially, the barrel’s internal temp was just over 400 degrees, but dropped to the normal 270-290 range soon after.  I went to 142 degrees internal on the meat which is in the medium beef cooking range.  The folks I was serving it to get squeamish when the word “rare” is mentioned so I went a little longer than some may like it at 135 and just under which is medium rare.  (Notice the onion sitting in the coals.  Believe it or not they did not burn)

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Even though it was cooked to medium it was still plenty juicy and pink.  I still managed to salvage most of the onions too.

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I served the beef and onion with homemade fries, asparagus,  onion rolls and homemade horseradish sauce. 

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After eating it was decided, Tri-tip will be inserted into the regular meat smoking rotation from now on!

Valentines Day goodies.

Behold the Pit Barrel Cooker!

Here are links to my experiences so far with this wonderful outdoor smoker:

First Two Sessions - PBC out of the box overview, whole chicken and pork spare ribs

Third Session - Baby Back ribs (read about the importance of making sure the barrel’s lid needs to be on tight.  I had a little issue)

Fourth Session - Wings

Fifth Session - Pork Spare Ribs

Sixth Session - Pork Baby Backs

Seventh Session - Tri-tip beef

Eighth Session - Whole Chickens

Ninth Session - Pork Spare ribs (first full capacity cook)

Tenth Session - Meatloaf

Eleventh Session - Whole chickens and potatoes

Pit Barrel Cooker - Session 6 - Pork Baby Back Ribs

Took advantage of the warmest weather we’ve had in well over a week.  BBQ area thermometer said 57 degrees in the sun at start time..  It had been below or around zero degrees all week.   Brrrrr.

In my mind I took home the Gold medal!  Well, at least a Bronze.  (we’re watching the Olympics). The ribs turned our perfectly.  I used the lighter fluid starting method.  I added a handful of alder wood chips both at the start and an hour in.  I did have to crack the lid for a spell when the barrel’s internal temp got below 250 degrees after about 20 minutes.  Then, I got it to maintain in the 270s for most of the cook.  An hour in I hung some potatoes.  Two hours and twenty minutes in the ribs looked great, so I removed them and slathered  with BBQ sauce, then put them back on for 25 minutes.  Boy, they were tender and very juicy with a great bark crunch and smoke ring.  The potatoes where just on the verge of perfect tenderness, and note for next time, they probably need about two and a half hours in the cooker.   Served them with asparagus.

After six sessions with this cooker, making four rounds of ribs, one whole chicken and wings, I’m feeling very comfortable using it!  Can’t wait to try more!

If interested, click here to read about my first overview using the Pit Barrel Cooker.

Was time to make another batch of kahlua.  Here’s the very easy recipe.

Homemade Kahlua:

6 cups fresh brewed coffee (used freshly ground Colombian beans)

1 lb brown sugar

3 tbsp vanilla extract

In a pot combine coffee and brown sugar,  bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 90-120 minutes.   (Don’t let coffee get that burned smell when heating)   Cool  mixture, add one liter (about 32 oz) vodka and vanilla extract, mix.

Makes about 1.75 liters

It’s drinkable right away, but the more it sits, at room temperature, the better the flavors blend.

Pit Barrel Cooker - Session #5 - Pork Spare Ribs

This was the next rib cook.  Had to get back on the horse after blowing the last one.  (read my blog entry about the lid of the barrel getting dented unbeknownst to me)  They turned out great!

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Again, rubbed the Tymkovich ribs with PBC All Purpose Rub.  I used the charcoal chimney starting method this time.  Shortly after putting the ribs on, I did have to crack the lid for ten to fifteen minutes when the internal barrel temp got stuck around 230 degrees, then the temp got up to over 300 and I secured the lid tightly and the temp normalized at 290.

Some nice smoke coming out of the hanging rod holes.  I added a handful of alder wood chips for some extra smokiness.image

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The looked like they were finishing too fast when I check at two hours.  I took their internal temp and it was only 160. Cool.  Still a ways to go.image

After three hours I slathered some KC Masterpiece on to them and placed them back in the cooker for 25 minutes.

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And here’s how they turned out.  Perfect pull off the bone goodness!

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