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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
Would you like to see it before you buy? Come to any of our retail stores.
Convection illustration and accessory photos: pitbarrelcooker.com