Amazing Results and Easy to Use
22 January 2020 by: Nick Stebbens
I'd been fighting with a cheap offset smoker for years and getting variable results. After doing some research into replacing it, many BBQ sites and forums suggested the Pit Barrel. Based of the UDS (Ugly Drum Smoker) design the pit barrel is so easy to use and gives me great consistent results at a fraction of the cost of a large heavy duty offset smoker. Simply fill the basket with charcoal, lower it into the Pit Barrel then dump over a full chimney starter of lit coals. After about 30 minutes it will hit 300F (about 150C) and stay there for around 8-9 hours. If you like food a bit smokier nestle some wood chunks into the coals before adding the meat or run a little hotter by cracking the lid. I've had my pit barrel for about 18 months now and i'm very pleased with the results. I'd recommend getting the Ash catcher tray, a cover and maybe the hinged grill. An instant read or leave in thermometer helps taking the guess work out of the slightly higher cooking temperatures. Pros: * Extremely easy to use. * "Set and Forget" style cooking * Hanging over coals gives a great taste * Very efficient use of charcoal for long cooks (about 3-4kgs of coal). Cons: * It runs a bit hotter than the ideal 225-250F (108-120C) for brisket and ribs but still gets great results * Not as efficient on coal for shorter cooks. Uses 2-3kg for 2hr chicken cooks. * Adding wood chips/chunks halfway through the cook can be a pain if there is a lot of meat in the cooker.
Truly superb piece of kit
20 May 2019 by: Alex
This little barrel is nothing short of magical. Absurdly simple to set up and cook with, and makes for the best, authentic smoked bbq meat imaginable. The effort / quality ratio is off the chart. Buy one immediately.
PBC, great kit
07 May 2019 by: Nikunj Patel
Used for the first time and results are exceptional. Still getting to know how to control heat and temp, but initial cook produced lovely ribs and chicken.
Take your BBQ smoked food to the next level
13 November 2018 by: Paul Dallender
Scouring the internet I found that the Pit Barrel smoker/cooker has had great reviews from both professional pit masters and amateurs alike across America and for good reason. First impressions upon opening the box couldn't have been better. Built from quality steel that is porcelain enamel coated, means it can be kept outside without any fear of it rusting. As for assembly, screw on the lid handle with the screwdriver provided, put the two rebars through the holes and place the whole thing on its stand. Again with the screwdriver adjust the bottom vent as per the instructions that's it, 3 minutes tops and you're good to go . So, what does it cook like? Well, to start with, this isn't just for cooking the odd burger, chicken drumstick or sausage, although a standard grill plate is supplied if that's what you want to do. The Pit Barrel really come into its own when cooking racks of ribs, joints of meat and whole or quartered chickens and turkeys using the hanging method with the hooks provided. You don't need to be a Pit Master or BBQ expert to get great results either, as it has been designed so that within twenty minutes of lighting the briquettes or lump wood, you can hang your meat and let it do its thing. The18.5 inch diameter drum was found to be the perfect size to allow the rising air from the hot charcoals below to create a sort of vortex of heat which surrounds the hanging meat, allowing the rendering fats and juices to drip onto the hot coals vaporising back up and creating great flavour with that hint of smokiness, whilst allowing it to retain juicy succulence. It doesn't need constant attention either. That means you're not just restricted to cooking in the summer, as it works just as well in all weathers. At the time of writing this review, I've only had the Pit Barrel a couple of weeks and had the chance to cook some ribs and a chicken, but I can honestly say, for flavour and moistness, it knocks anything cooked in a traditional oven out of the park. I'm looking forward to trying beef brisket, pork shoulder, leg of lamb and especially the all American favourite 'Burnt Ends'. Also, there's a very good chance our Christmas Turkey will be cooked Pit Barrel style. Remember though, as with any meat, you know when it's properly cooked to your satisfaction and safety (poultry in particular) by its internal temperature not by guesswork, so a digital temperature probe is essential. For value, quality, ease of use and great results in all year round outdoor cooking, I don't think the Pit Barrel can be beaten.
28 August 2018 by: AI
One of the most outstanding smokers I have ever used. Great for beginners and experts alike.
28 August 2018 by: David
Took a bit of fiddling to get the temperature to run right, after that it pretty much runs itself. Definitely worth using a wireless digital thermometer to keep track of meat internal temperatures and an ash pan as it makes removing the ash a lot simpler.
So good and so easy
02 June 2018 by: Ian Hirst
The pit barrel cooker arrive in perfect condition very well packaged. Assembly was just two screws to attach the handle onto the lid. First cook was two chickens, sausages and corn on the cob. The best food I have ever barbecued. Took just under 2 hours for the chickens and about half an hour for the rest. Blew me away, it was just so good and so easy. Delighted with my purchase.
10 May 2018 by: Garth
The delivery of the item was very fast and the box had no damage The bbq out the box only requires a screw to be tightened on the air intake and the handle attached. There is a diagram and tools included. You do not need to season the barrel it really is ready to go. Fill the basket with good briquettes and light a few. Best briquette in uk is the Weber. Add some wood chucks / chips and add the food. I cooked ribs, pork loin, butterflied lamb shoulder, sausages, burgers and mushrooms. Heat flatuated a lot on my first cook but had a remote thermometer inside to keep a view. A more regular temp will come with practice and how full the drum is with food Food tasted great, good talking point and easy bbq to get into smoking food ...worth a buy
03 May 2018 by: Neil
Bought this aftet reading many great reviews on American bbq websites. Already had an offset smoker, but it was very labour intensive to keep the temperatures correct. Only tried the PBC for chicken, but it was fire up nd forget, the chicken was perfectly cooked in 2 hours. The PBC arrived extrmely well packed, minimum assembly (and screwdriver and spanner included), and easy to get going - a chimney starter is definitely recommended. Dispatch was very quick, no issues there. Now planning my next cook.