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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.


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Unread 01-24-2013, 05:22 AM   #1
Freddy j
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Default Pit barrel cooker help

Hello everyone, I know that there are a lot of opinions on these units and I'm considering buying one.

To help me decide, I have some questions for the people who are cooking on them:

1. How do you keep the meat from falling off of the hooks (meat gets very tender as you cook)?

2. If you prefer not to use hooks, could you add a second grate?

3. Is the PBC much different from an ugly drum (I like the drums, but don't really care to build one and the PBC is a great price at $225 shipped).

4. Is it worth having a 22.5" wsm AND a PBC and a mini wsm?

5. Can you grill a burger on the PBC?

Thanks for the help.

Again
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Unread 01-24-2013, 05:33 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddy j View Post
3. Is the PBC much different from an ugly drum (I like the drums, but don't really care to build one and the PBC is a great price at $225 shipped).
It's pretty much a slightly smaller UDS with set air vents (adjustable, but i think it requires a screwdriver), and it utilizes the hanging meat which you could do on a self build uds or even on a wsm. This comes already assembled and there's no fuss with making it. The hanging meat and the preset air vents seem to make it fairly idiot proof. The hanging thing also seems to cook a lot of cuts more evenly.

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Originally Posted by Freddy j View Post
4. Is it worth having a 22.5" wsm AND a PBC and a mini wsm?
A lot of guys on here have both uds's and wsm's and a few have both wsm and pbc's. You could always hang your meats on your wsm or uds though. Another alternative would be just to to remove the water pan from your wsm.

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Originally Posted by Freddy j View Post
5. Can you grill a burger on the PBC?
Yes you could, but I would stick with a kettle, WGA, or SJ for direct grilling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddy j View Post
2. If you prefer not to use hooks, could you add a second grate?
If you don't want to use the hooks ever, I wouldn't get a PBC. But the grate can be used as you would on a regular uds/wsm.

I personally would like to see a temperature guage and a slightly more easily adjustable air intake (with a marking to show the preset opening so that it can be easily returned to the original opening. The former of the 2 would likely either increase cost too much or would be poor quality.
I don't own one, but I've checked it out and I'm pretty sure that all my statements are accurate.
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Unread 01-24-2013, 06:47 AM   #3
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There probably isn't room for a second rack, you get your volume from hanging.

Most meats are fine on the hooks for the entire cook, but for brisket and pork butt it is recommended that you wrap and place on the grate to finish them off. However, I have read on this forum about cooking a brisket on the hooks the entire time and it turned out great.

I have several smokers, but default back to the pbc for quick, no fuss cooking. It is ready to roll in 20 minutes. It is also very hard to beat for the price.
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Unread 01-24-2013, 07:42 AM   #4
Freddy j
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ok, thanks for the reply's guys.

i should clarify that im also insterested in the smaller size of the PBC. I have a 22.5" wsm so i dont quite need a 55 gal uds (or a second grate in a pbc for that matter) but thought i would ask.

also, because of busy life commitments i like that the PBC shows up ready to cook, is a great price (cheaper than 18" wsm) and a slightly different pit to cook on.

I'm pretty comfortable adding a temp gauge of my choice so taht isnt a problem.

How high can you get the temp in a PBC? i like to cook chickens and turkeys at 325 F. Also, id like to make pizzas on it if possible.
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Unread 01-24-2013, 09:30 AM   #5
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I recommend the PBC because it is a fantastic cooker, but you must realize that it is a cooker designed to cook at a single temp range of about 270 to 310. It is designed to not be adjusted and messed with and is a cooker designed for volume. As an owner of one, it is slightly lacking in the versatility department in that you can't get higher temps to cook steaks or pizza
With that said though, it is still great for doing all sorts of Q. Its relies more on a fast "low and slow" cook style, which to some people could be a hindrance.

With all that said, I do use mine a lot. It is great for doing ribs or chicken when I don't really have the time to sit and manage a 6+ hour cook. If and when I have the time to do that, I pull out the UDS and set her at 225 to roll all day.

Hope that helps.
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Last edited by flyingbassman5; 01-24-2013 at 11:17 AM..
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Unread 01-24-2013, 09:34 AM   #6
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The biggest Issues I have with a PBC are The Price... Way to expensive for what it is! Once you light it it has to burn until it's ash unlike a UDS that you can snuff out and save your fuel for the next time. I'am real Frugal guy and I can use 400.00 and build one that won't waste fuel for less that a 1/3 of the asking price. and spend the rest on beer and meat.
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Unread 01-24-2013, 09:46 AM   #7
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I wonder hot hot it would get for pizza if you kept the rebar out? May have to test that next time use it.
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Unread 01-24-2013, 11:22 AM   #8
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Also just to clarify. You CAN "grill" on the pit barrel. I have done a good amount of chicken thighs on the grate of mine and they turn out great. They take about 45 minutes to an hour to cook but turn out tender and juicy
Its basically a slow cooking grill which gives you control of not overcooking the meat.
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Unread 01-24-2013, 11:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgarcia View Post
I wonder hot hot it would get for pizza if you kept the rebar out? May have to test that next time use it.
Here's what I do:
  1. Start it as you normally would (full basket of Kingsford blue, lighter fluid, and wait 20 minutes)
  2. Leave the rods in, set the grill grate on top of the rods with the handles up as they normally would be.
  3. Put a 16" pizza stone on the rack and let it heat up for about 20 minutes.
  4. Put the pizza on the stone and rest the lid on the grate handles.
This essentially turns the PBC into a simple pizza oven, and it works great. I do the same with garlic bread.

WARNING: This method will burn/peel some of the seasoning off of the inside of the barrel, but it comes
back with continued use.

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Unread 01-24-2013, 12:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
I'am real Frugal guy and I can use 400.00 and build one that won't waste fuel for less that a 1/3 of the asking price. and spend the rest on beer and meat.

Actually, it retails for $329.00 and there is a promotion on their website home page http://pitbarrelcooker.com/ to get over $100.00 off so you can get it shipped to your door for $225.00.

I already own a 22.5" WSM so the smaller size and different cooking of the PBC is attractive to me. Ive always liked the drums but to be honest, i dont have the time or desire to commit to building one. PBC seems like a pretty good fit for me.
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Unread 01-24-2013, 02:02 PM   #11
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Thanks Guys, Done


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Unread 01-24-2013, 06:32 PM   #12
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The hole hanging meat thing had me skeptical at first.. then I cooked ribs, and a butt, then a brisket all just by hanging. I was a little sketchy and peeked a few times during my butt cook but no worries now. You can check out my "simple pbc review" and look at the brisket i cooked and see the results yourself.
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Unread 01-24-2013, 08:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate749 View Post
The hole hanging meat thing had me skeptical at first.. then I cooked ribs, and a butt, then a brisket all just by hanging. I was a little sketchy and peeked a few times during my butt cook but no worries now. You can check out my "simple pbc review" and look at the brisket i cooked and see the results yourself.
Sounds good Nate, great info and thanx for posting ..... I'm gonna go read your review right now.
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Unread 01-24-2013, 08:57 PM   #14
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Burn lump instead of the recommended Kingsford and your temp will go up as well. Mine runs at around 350 that way. As for installing a thermometer, why? They just go bad anyway. Clip a probe where you hang your meat if you are curious about temperature.
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