After reading the review and first cook postings by PatioDaddio and seeing the various questions about the Pit Barrel Cooker I decided to start a thread about my first 2 cooks on my PBC. I won my PBC on the Barbecue Central Radio Show and it was FedEx'd to my house from Colorado and I had it 7 days after the show. From what I saw on their website the price is 269.00 which includes free FedEx shipping to the lower 48 states. As far as the bottom vent adjustment that is adjusted according to the elevation that your location is so for me here in Indiana we are at 972 feet above sea level so my setting is 1/4" open
I had never cooked on a barrel before so this was my first experience with any type of barrel cooker and I have to say this thing is absolutely awesome to cook with and the 2 cooks I have done (Ribs, Brisket) were extremely successful. For my first cook I decided to do ribs which I cut down to St Louis style. I had 1 full rack and 2.5 already cut racks which I also cut down to St Louis style. 1 of the racks I used Dizzy Pig seasoning and the other I used Emeril's Essence on.
I started the charcoal basket using a chimney instead of using lighter fluid which basically creates the minion method since it then burns from top to bottom and added 3-4 chunks of apple wood to the basket. I went back out and checked the grill some 9 hours after I had started cooking and the charcoal basket was still glowing cherry red and I could have still cooked another couple hours at that point almost 10 hours later.
After the coals were going I went ahead and hung the ribs and then checked them after 1 hour to see how the color and tenderness was coming along.
After about 2 hours and 45 minutes I took the finished product off and we chowed down.
With this being my first ever experience with any type of barrel cooker I found the Pit Barrel Cooker to be extremely user friendly with the way everything is boxed up and in the setup of the grill. I also like the set it and forget it style of cooking because I have done a lot of fighting with my offset smoker to keep the temperatures up and cooking right. With this grill I didn't have to worry about anything and the end result was absolutely delicious. I will add my brisket cook later which also came out great and I have lots of pictures from that cook as well.