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Pit Barrel Cooker – Smoker

Pit Barrel Cooker: Smoked Meat So Easy It Feels Like Theft

The Pit Barrel Cooker is an astonishingly easy path to the sorts of smoked meats that you would expect from competition cookers and pricey restaurants. It’s not fool-proof, but it’s close.

The raw genius of the cooker is that it eliminates the bells and whistles. Back at the basics, it smokes a really mean meat.
Pit Barrel Cooker -- smoker

How It Works

The design of the Pit Barrel Cooker is astonishingly simple. It has no water pan. No offset chambers. No 3-story stack of grates. And unbelievably, no temperature control.

The Barrel has a single smoke chamber, with a single air inlet. You calibrate the air inlet once to adjust for your altitude. Fill the basket with charcoal briquettes. Light them.

And then comes the cunningly simple step: you hang your meat. Hanging the meat allows it to cook evenly, heating it on all sides at once.

Pit Barrel Cooker -- The Science

“Hanging the meat vertically reduces the radiative heating contribution significantly, for the same reason turning your face away from the sun is cooling, or holding your palm perpendicular to the grill doesn’t feel so hot.” ~Dr. Greg Blonder

But sometimes you want to use the grill grate. Fine. It’s about 20″ away from the heat source, and less likely to have the hot spots that plague conventional charcoal grills.

A Brief History

Noah Glanville is the founder of Pit Barrel Cooker. After he returned from his overseas tour of duty, he decided to work at developing a cooker that would be unique. Short version: it worked. Astonishingly well.

But not without extensive product development first. Glanville tested 29 prototypes over the course of a year before he was satisfied that everything — charcoal basket, airflow, drum size — was perfect.

And then he went into production, bringing a “set it and forget it” cooker to the public. And the public is eating it up. Don’t take our word for it. Check the reviews.

What’s in the Box

The PBC comes ready to go. Here’s what’s in the box:

  • The barrel. Obviously. But you’ve got to love the horseshoes for handles.
  • Grill grate. Once you get the hang of hanging, you’ll use it less than you think.
  • Charcoal basket. Heavy duty. This thing will last a long time.
  • 8 stainless steel hangers. These are the magic which hang over the …
  • 2 steel hanging rods. Genuine rebar!
  • Wooden hook remover. The hangers get hot, even through leather gloves. This makes pulling the meat out of the cooker a breeze.
  • 2 packets of spices: 1 All-Purpose Pit Rub, and 1 Beef & Game Pit Rub. These are good, and will make so you can start cooking immediately.
Pit Barrel Cooker - What's in the box

The PBC comes ready to go, right out of the box.

Recommended Options for your Pit Barrel Cooker

You can get accessories. Here are three that are well worth your money:

  • Cover. Get the cover. It will save you a lot of cleaning. And, if your PBC will be outdoors, rain will pool in the lid without a cover.
  • Attachable ash pan. Clever design. It’s a simple plate that attaches to the charcoal basket. When you lift out the basket, the ashes come with it. It’s easier than turning the barrel upside down to empty the ashes. You need it.

Attachable Ash Pan Accessory - Pit Barrel® Cooker
  • Hinged grill grate. So, the ash pan is clever. But the hinged grill grate is brilliant. Grill your asparagus on one side. Swing the other side down, and you magically create the space to hang 4 racks of ribs.

Hinged Grate Pit Barrel Cooker
That’s it. It’s clever. It’s simple. But more to the point — it’s delicious.

What Can You Cook in the Pit Barrel Cooker?

You can pretty much cook anything that you like to be grilled or have a smoked flavor. To date I’ve smoked a whole turkey, whole chickens, tenderloin, pork ribs, beef short ribs, Boston butts for pulled pork, and chuck roast. Coming soon are brisket and ribeye steaks. It’s also good for veggies, though I’ve not tried those yet.

Pit Barrel Cooker - Ribs Smoking

Ribs are some of my favorite PBC creations. They are just incredibly tasty!

Pork Ribs from the Pit Barrel Cooker

The finished product … delicious!

Advantages of the PBC

  • Easy. Truly out-of-the-box.
  • Capacity. Hang 8 racks of ribs. It takes an expensive smoker to rival this.
  • Temp control. Simple.
  • Cost. Seriously? Nothing quite like it in its class.
  • Flavor. Flavor. Flavor.

Are you ready to start having smokehouse caliber meals at your home? Click the link to order yours today!

Convection illustration and accessory photos:

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