Backyard BBQ Battle Royale

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tbrtt1, May 14, 2016.

  1. "In the red corner consuming charcoal and hickory chunks weighing in at 63 lbs empty being manned by the brutally handsome and muscular(LOL!) Pitmaster tbrtt1...The Pit Barrel Cooker..........and in the blue corner consuming 100% hickory pellets weighing in at ~125 lbs and also manned by the brutally handsome and muscular Pitmaster tbrtt1....The Traeger Lil Tex ......"

    Because I am a chain smoking maniac I thought I would have a battle of the smoke today. See, I don't thinks it enough to have multiple smokers to suite one's particular mood that day. I say why not use several of your smokers in the same day since my mood is always more is better. 

    Gonna do a side my side today because I am a BBQ geek. One rack and half a chicken will go on one and another rack and the other half of bird on the other. I will use the same seasoning on the ribs and ditto for the bird. 

    Its been since I did chicken on the Traeger and the PBC made the best chicken I have ever eaten. My wife agreed. I absolutely love the ribs off my Traeger but let them go too long in the PBC last time. This will be an interesting and fun side by side taste test. 

    I will use a homemade rub on the ribs and some PBC rub on the chicken. My wife loved the chicken off the PBC last time I did it and I used the rubs that came with it so gonna do that again. 

    The lovely wife likes cornish hens so gonna see how they turn out on the PBC

    Will post some during the cook and of course the final results. 

    Fais bon weekend, cher!
  2. Ribs rubbed and resting while a run a couple errands.

  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Sounds like were gonna have some fun today.

  4. mike5051

    mike5051 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I like it!  Y'all gonna have some good eats!

  5. bilgeslime

    bilgeslime Fire Starter

    Sounds like fun, good eating and a great experiment..
  6. The ribs on the Traeger get a ~90 minute head start since the PBC cooks faster and I go 2 hours at 170* on the Traeger for added smoke flavor. 

    So got the PBC ready and put the other rack of ribs in that and prepped the bird and back in the fridge for a while. I am still not sure of precise timing on the PBC since I only have a couple of smokes on it. It is likely that the food will not all be ready at the same time. C'est la vie!

    Last edited: May 14, 2016
  7. 12ring

    12ring Smoke Blower

    Nice. This will be a fun watch.
  8. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I am in for this one! I love the comparison cooks!
  9. Whew, Its a good thing I love doing this. Its a bit of work. But it is like many leisure activities I am drawn to; it requires attention and takes your mind off of work for a day. I travel extensively and work a lot of odd hours when I have heavy travel weeks. Always good to escape for a day to recharge. 

    Any who, by some stroke of dumb luck everything came together pretty much at the same time. 

    The ribs on the Traeger after 2 hours. I do a light spritzing apple cider vinegar and apple juice (2 to 1 vinegar) after hour 1 and hour 2. Then I kick up the heat to 275* for about an hour. 

    The PBC ribs after 90 minutes. My PBC runs hot, but I don't want to get into it too much in this post since its going to be long anyway. 

    The ribs on the Traeger at 2.5 hours. 

    They both get a spritz and wrapped in some foil. I have been using butcher paper but I have been seeing a lot of comp guys doing this: Wrapping in foil mea side down with brown sugar and honey, or some other similar concoction, often with Parkay margarine. 

    I placed them meat side down in the foil in the pic above. 

    Now pulling the PBC ribs for wrapping 

    Wrapped the same way and back on:

    Added the chicken too.

  10. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Everything is coming along nicely! I'll be back for more!
  11. OK, so we have the ribs foiled and chicken going. I then prepped the Cornish Hens:

    The Traeger Ribs after 40 minutes in the foil. I don't like to leave them in the foil much. Just enough to tenderize and enhance moisture. Obviously this would not make a good box for comps with the fat down the middle. Interestingly, this is not evident prior to foiling. 

    The PBC ribs after 40 minutes. 

    Both racks are done now. 3.5 hours total on the Traeger and the PBC ribs were done at 2 hrs and 20 minutes. 

    and the PBC ribs were done at 2 hrs and 20 minutes.

    PBC rib

    Traeger top and PBC bottom. Sorry, not sure what happened with the flipped images

    PBC up top and Traeger on bottom. 

    Opposite angle: Traeger on top and PBC on bottom.

    Threw some corn wrapped in foil and some wrapped in bacon

    The game hens and chicken halves were done about 20 minutes later and both birds hit 165* in the breast within 2 minutes of each other. Total luck. 

    Traeger bird

    PBC bird

    Fresh green beans for something green. Family likes them with bacon and garlic and cooked down just a bit so they don't taste so "healthy". I have to agree, they are mighty good this way. 

    Final verdict next post. 
    worktogthr, mike5051 and GaryHibbert like this.
  12. Final Verdict Post:

    Both ribs and birds were really good. I have learned enough about smoking in general over the last couple of years to get the meat cooked properly (for the most part) time and temp wise. Still feeling my way with the charcoal smoker and with the Traeger as well as far as flavor and seasoning and smoke levels. 

    The winner of the chicken goes to the PBC, but not by as much as I thought. In fact my wife initially thought the Traeger bird might be the PBC bird when she first tasted it. But when tasted back to back and alternating, the PBC by a little. I think poultry is well served with have the juices dripping in the coals. Something about that really does a bird some good. Both were very juicy in the breast and downright sopping inside the dark meat. Luscious. 

    The ribs winner was the Traeger, but again not by a significant margin. The second judge of the ribs is my son and he will eat a little later. Can you believe my wife doesn't really like ribs??? She waited until after the wedding to tell me that. Ha!

    I tried very hard to make sure they were done the same amount, doing the poke test and even taking the temp as these were thick enough. The PBC were closer to pulling off the bone than the Traeger. I don't like fall off the bone and neither one had that, but the Traeger had just a tad more tug to it. Really nice. 

    The flavor was excellent with both. I suspect the 100% Hickory pellets along with Todd's Pitmasters blend pellets in the tube really accentuate the pork. I like the more woody smoke profile of the Traeger for the ribs. 

    The only down side is that I thought maybe a scratched an itch doing it this one time, but I kinda wanna do this again. Like with butts and briskets. Hmmmm...........there's always next weekend. 

    P.S-Sorry for the multiple posts at the end. Just too many photos to manage in one post!
  13. mike5051

    mike5051 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I enjoyed the battle!  Points for doing that!  I think you've proven that you can produce good Q with any smoker if you know how it likes to roll.  Some may need more attention then others, but that is part of the game.

  14. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Points for sure!!! This was really fun to watch unfold. The more cookers you get, you develop a favorite one for certain meats. My cookers are in the double digits so I am always messing around with trying to out cook myself with another cooker but it always seems like I go back to the same one for the same meats. PBC is my go to for brisket, WSM for butts, Use MES 30 almost exclusively for lower temp smokes like sausage, bacon, etc. This thread is going to inspire me fire a bunch of them up at once... Maybe Father's Day! Haha now you got me all riled up. Great post!!!
  15. Looks like a fun experiment. Pics look really good. What are you going to do for your next battle?
  16. Thanks. The PBC is supposed to be a walk away kind of smoker but for some reason the temps get really high on mind. I am gonna stay with it and I am not a temp chaser but the ends of the ribs were definitely close to burned. You are supposed to be able to get them within about 2 inches of the coals and they won't burn, but the PBC is also supposed to run between 290 and 315. I was getting over 350 and climbing. Then you gotta plug a couple of rebar holes. Not a big deal really and easy to do. I just keep thinking I am doing something wrong. 
  17. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    That was interesting and entertaining at the same time.  Nice to see side by side comparisons of two totally different smokers.


  18. I am dying to do a brisket in it. I hear butts are good cause of the fat dripping in the coals. I see you like the WSM for butts. I already modified my PBC (ssshhhh don't tell) so I can put a waterman/defuser just above the coals. Did it once and worked OK. 

    I am having temp issues with mine. 4th time cooking on it and each time it got above 350*. I even tried starter fluid once like the website says. Yikes!!!!. But I actually didn't taste any of the starter. But it still got over 350 in a hurry. 

    Thanks for the points. Happy Father's day to you too!
  19. Ha!. I wanna do Brisket. But I can barely justify cooking one brisket. I would actually have too much leftover brisket if I did 2!. I'm thinking 2 small butts. 

  20. Thanks. Love your antidepressant anecdote in your sig, BTW. 

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