Pit Barrel Cooker – RAY MEETS HELEN Review 2019

The Pit Barrel Cooker Company is a family-owned business established in 2010 in Strasburg, Colorado. Their best selling item, The Pit Barrel Cooker, might be the best upright drum smoker, regularly known as an Ugly Drum Smoker, that has been advertised and sold for under $300 all in. In this article, Ray Meets Helen will review Pit Barrel Cooker.

Classic Pit Barrel Cooker

About the Pit Barrel Cooker Company

Lovingly alluded to as The PBC, it has become a titan in the outdoor cooking world. Would be pitmasters who have been struggling with offset and charcoal smokers are astounded to find the best smoked meats they’ve ever tasted can be created in this odd looking contraption. Customers have been raving about this product, as seen on the Amazon product reviews.

Toward the conclusion of 2014, to address the ever increasing needs of their customers, Pit Barrel moved assembling from Colorado to a considerably bigger office in California. They additionally changed from 20 gage to thicker 18 gage steel, and from powder coating to stronger porcelain lacquer covering. Furthermore, the charcoal wicker bin was redesigned from extended metal to a heavier steel pole grind. 

Pit Barrel Cooker Design

The Pit Barrel Cooker is an exceptionally well designed Ugly Drum Smoker, otherwise known as UDS, that has huge numbers of us scratching our heads in awe. It gives extensive cooking capacity at an amazing cost, and creates tasty meals, almost as easy as using a pellet smokers. This charcoal consuming, 30 gallon steel drum with a cover is one of the best smokers I have tried.

Ugly Drum Smokers have been around for a considerable length of time, giving a painless and moderately simple route for DIYers to make a pleasant smoker with a 55 gallon drum. They function admirably and routinely appear at BBQ cookoffs. The Pit Barrel Cooker costs a bit more than a standard UDS, however, very little assembly is required.

Caution: Do Not Mod your Pit Barrel Cooker

Contrary to most of the cheap, off the shelf smokers you can pick up at the hardware store, the Pit Barrel Cooker should work great right out of the box. On the off chance that it doesn’t, call the PBC, and they will help you troubleshoot it. You’re most likely doing something incorrectly. I have heard of some great modifications floating around on the internet, but they’re really not needed.

Trust me!

Some of you reading this might be concerned that there is no water pan. I have cooked a ton of food on this thing, and never had an issue with the meat drying out. Truth be told, with the vertical design of the cooking champer, moisture gathers at the top and since there is just a single little vent at the base of the drum, moisture would get trapped inside the smoker.

Pit Barrel Cooker Instructions

The included instructions are straightforward, however give careful consideration, drum smokers are not quite the same as different smokers and the PBC has a few characteristics that make it significantly more advanced in it’s design. It contains a chromed wire grate,  and a substantial charcoal basket with handle rests at the close to worthless alongside a 3″ gap. A round steel cover fastened over this gap by one screw constitutes the main damper on the PBC and gives one of the main open doors you’ll need to mess up.

My altitude is around 600 feet, so I cracked the vent about 1/4-1/2 open. The PBC got really hot for two or three hours at that point, even with a lot of coal remaining, the temperature dropped like a stone and practically vanished. When I restored the damper to 1/4 way open, the fire returned and temperature started to rise. It would be decent if the round steel cover had 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 marks and a wingnut rather than a screw, yet this is minor in light of the fact that once set, it shouldn’t need to change. You may need to tweek it a little at first.

I wanted to start my tests with two or three chunks of ribs, hanging one on every bar. You could without much of a stretch fit eight racks. The Pit Barrel cooker website has various clear instructional videos for you to watch. Pit Barrel suggests utilizing just Kingsford Original Briquettes that come in the natural blue and white pack until you get comfortable operating this type of smoker. Once you’ve done a few sessions easily, simply use any type of charcoal or wood that you lie, however you may wind up coming back to Kingsford.

I watched the video directions for ribs: trim and season the meat at that point pop the PBC stainless steel snares two or three bones down into the thick end of the piece, begin the coal and let it consume at the absolute lowest grade revealed for 15 to ribs cooked on the pit barrel 20 minutes, introduce the two gave steel poles by sliding them through four 3/4″ gaps at the highest point of the barrel, hang the ribs from the bars, put on the cover and leave for three hours. In any case, hold your steeds! The base finishes of those hanging pieces were only a couple crawls over the scorching coal. Wouldn’t those ribs turned out overcooked – even consumed at the base and undercooked at the top? They didn’t. We lifted every piece from the hot barrel with a “snare remover” that accompanies the PBC and found the ribs were smoked decent and even from one end to the next. In this manner, when smoking bigger amounts, we had a couple of sections that were so long they touched the hot coal which is not attractive.

Next was Tri-Tip, the Poor Man’s Prime Rib which can be chewy if not arranged legitimately. Tri-Tip is a long sickle molded bit of hamburger. Dangling from the stainless steel snare, it looks V-formed. Per Pit Barrel’s directions, cooking time was 35 minutes over a similar charcoal setup we utilized for ribs. Actually all PBC formulas require a similar charcoal set up. By what means would two be able to pleasant estimated, V-formed bits of hamburger be hung above hot coal and turned out consistently medium uncommon from the thick top by the cover to the thin tip at the base close to the fire? In any case, they did! Pink, succulent and tasty from make a beeline for toe.

Pit Barrel has some truly cool new stainless steel Turkey Hangers that empower you to effortlessly hang two full size gobblers on the double. 

Once you get used to cooking with the Pit Barrel Cooker, you won’t want to go back. If you’re interested in maybe trying an electric smoker, check out my electric smokers buying guide. If you have any questions or comments, let me know!

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