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Last updated: July 19, 2021

Pit Barrel Cooker Review

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By
Reviewed by
Reviewed by
Last updated: July 19, 2021
LilGrill is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
What’s special about it:
  • No assembly is required.
  • Steady temperatures are created by airtight construction.
  • It can be used by beginners easily.
Highlights:
  • High cooking capacity with the hook system.
  • Controllably airflow with adjustable vents.
  • Quick-cooking system.
Editor's Rating
?
GrillScore is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It aggregates all the scores given to a product in various aspects including the individual product’s features evaluation given by each expert independently, its customers’ feedback rank, and sales rank.
8.5
out of 10
  • Performance 8.0
  • Ease of use 8.0
  • Durability 9.5
Users’ Rating
4.2
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The Pit Barrel Cooker is the first choice for many food enthusiasts for easy cooking and delicious meals. This 18.5-inch steel cooker has a DIY style that allows anyone to use it regardless of how new they are to cooking. It works like a small convection oven and can cook meals from top to bottom.

Although the Pit Barrel Cooker is still new among others of its kind, it is now considered one of the best among others. You can make all types of meals with this cooker, as it offers a wide range of features for cooking and direct grilling.

In our Pit Barrel Cooker review, we would look at the features and benefits of using the cooker.

Specifications

Brand
Pit Barrel Cooker Co.
Model
18-1/2 inches
Power Source
Charcoal
Material
Steel
Item Dimensions
21 x 21 x 31.1 inches
Item Weight
57 Pounds

Review

You will enjoy using the Pit Barrel Cooker for delicious meals because it has a wide range of features available to you. Working as a convection oven, it has a hook and hangs method that allows you to suspend your meat at the center. You can also carry out low-heat and slow cooking with the cooker, giving you a stable temperature when cooking.

The flexible charcoal grill and smoker have a design similar to the Ugly Drum Smoker. It’s a great cooking appliance for anyone who wants to make food outdoors, especially for backyard and barbecue parties.

Overall Performance

There’s a reason why the Pit Barrel Cooker is one of the best out there. The cooker comes with a lid and steel drum and is highly uninsulated. You can expect it to handle the highest temperatures, which is combined with the external cooling feature for added moisture. It has a cylindrical shape, so the convection heat is equally distributed throughout the cooker to cook your food thoroughly.

What makes the Pit Barrel Cooker set itself apart from others is the steel bars and stainless-steel hooks that you can hang meat and poultry on. You can cook these foods vertically, so there would be more space in the cooker. With the added help of gravity, the cooker would bring out the juices of the meat and create a fog. If you hang the meat, you can get better results from the cooker’s performance.

The Pit Barrel Cooker has a removable grill grate that can be used for direct cooking steaks, chicken, fish, or vegetables with ease. There is a wire charcoal basket on top of the barrel’s edge in the cooker, which assists in the airflow. Because of this, the heat and temperature for cooking remain consistent.

This smoker and grill are also made of the highest quality materials, leaving you with durability. So, you can use it for a long time. It is a sturdy 18-gauge with porcelain enamel coating, so it is resistant to harsh weather. You can use the Pit Barrel Cooker outside without any problems with the weather, and because of its high-altitude performance, your meat can keep on cooking properly even when it’s freezing outside. It will also protect the steel from corrosion and rust for a long time.

But It is advisable to cover up your cooker with a custom-fit cover if you’re planning to use it outside often, especially under harsh conditions. This will help you in keeping it in good shape. It also has a compact-sized design that makes it easy to operate. It continues to give impressive and consistent cooking results, with less hassle than other types of cookers.

Accessories Included

Pit Barrel Cooker Review

You don’t need to season the Pit Barrel Cooker before using it, as it can be operated right out of the box. When you take the cooker out of the box, you will see different accessories apart from the main cooker and lid. But, there’s almost no assembly required when you purchase it.

The cooker will arrive neatly in a large box, and it is easy to open the box and use it. Just remove the packaging on the pot, and pull the cooker out. You can place the lid on top. And, since there is no seasoning, you can start cooking immediately.

Here are some of the accessories included:

  • 2 Hanging Rods.
  • 8 Stainless Steel Hooks.
  • Grill Grate.
  • Charcoal Basket.
  • Wooden Hook Remover.
  • A few packs of the Pit Barrel Cooker Co. Rubs.
  • Barrel Stand.
  • Screws.

The cooker also has a manual with different instructions on using the Pit Barrel Cooker. You can easily follow the steps to put the cooker together, although you might not require the instructions. You can set it up within five minutes.

To assemble the cooker, place the charcoal basket inside it and put the barrel on the stand. Or, if you want to grill meat or poultry, you can slide the rods inside the cooker and place a grill grate on top of it. You also don’t have to drill a hole in the cooker for you to insert the grate in it. The only work you have to do is use the screws and screwdriver to attach the handle on top of the lid. It would take up to 30 seconds.

Once you’re done with putting it together, you can start using the cooker immediately. It does not need to be seasoned, and using it immediately won’t affect the taste of your food.

Main Features

There’s a lot to look out for when using the Pit Barrel Cooker, as it has a wide range of features. These features add to the performance offered by the cooker. Some of the accessories mentioned earlier also contribute to the features of the cooker. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.

  • 30-Gallon Drum Smoker Design: The main feature of this cooker is the size, which is perfect for smoking food. Trusted Source How to turn your barbecue into a home smoker | Food | The Guardian Tom Adams of Pitt Cue Co.: Pack even more flavor into your meat by following my easy guide www.theguardian.com The vast size gives you more than enough space to cook delicious meals.
  • Grilling Allowed: You can also grill with the Pit Barrel Cooker apart from smoking foods. Once you place the hanging rods and grate in the cooker, you can hang your meat and poultry and grill them. However, this isn’t grilling in the traditional sense of placing it right over a fire.
  • Adjustable Vents: For proper airflow and consistent heat, the Pit Barrel Cooker has adjustable vents which can be easily controlled. It also allows for smooth burning and low-heat cooking.
  • Quick Cooking and Assembly: The Pit Barrel Cooker offers speedy cooking with its consistent heat and can also be assembled straightforwardly.
  • Portable and Space-Saving Design: The Pit Barrel Cooker features a space-saving and portable design so you can easily place it anywhere in your kitchen or the backyard.
  • Durably and Thick Build: You can expect durability from the Pit Barrel Cooker, as it is made from strong stainless steel and enamel. It is also resistant to bad weather, rust, and corrosion so that you can use it for a long time.

Meats to Cook

Pit Barrel Cooker Review

You can easily connect the Pit Barrel Cooker, as it uses the minion method. You don’t have to refuel the cooker often – only add a few lights of coal into the cooker with other unlit coals. Then, the unlit coals will ignite as the lit coals burn down. So, you can use only a small amount of coal for cooking for a long time.

After adding the coal to the Pit Barrel Cooker, you can easily regulate the airflow with the steel plate and set the air vent based on how elevated the cooker is.

You can cook different kinds of food Trusted Source No smoke without fire: how to barbecue low and slow | Barbecue | The Guardian As we fire up the barbecue, Neil Rankin reveals how to get the most from those hot coals and avoid a burned offering www.theguardian.com with the Pit Barrel Cooker, including meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, lamb, all kinds of ribs, artichokes, corn, sweet potatoes, steaks, planked salmon, and more. If you want to start cooking with the Pit Barrel Cooker immediately after buying it, here are some tips to help you out.

  • Brisket: When cooking a brisket, cook it with an internal temperature of 160 degrees for 14 to 17 pounds of meat for up to four hours. Then, cook it for another two hours while it is wrapped in foil.
  • Rib-eye Steak: To make a rib-eye steak with the Pit Barrel Cooker, you need to attach the accessories for grilling. Directly grill each side for seven minutes.
  • Rack of Lamb: To cook lamb, you also have to hang it and cook for between 45 and 60 minutes.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Arrange on the grate and cook for two hours.
  • Artichokes: Arrange these on the grate and cook it for 1-1/2 hours.
  • Prime Rib: Firstly, wait for the meat to be set at room temperature. Then, hang it on two or three hooks. For medium-rare, you need to cook it for up to three hours.
  • Baby Back Ribs: Hang the ribs and cook for up to four hours.
  • Planked Salmon: Arrange the salmon on the grate and cook for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Whole Beef Tenderloin: Hang the beef with the bigger end facing up. In between 1 and 1-1/2 hours, it should be cooked medium-rare.
  • Spareribs: Hang and cook the ribs for between 3 and 3-1/2 hours.
  • Corn on the Cob: With the husk on, cook the corn on the grate for 45 minutes.

You can keep a timer and food thermometer at your side while cooking with the Pit Barrel Cooker so that you get the right taste in your food. You can use it to make meals or even host barbecue parties. You can also cook different vegetables with the Pit Barrel Cooker.

Ease of Use

When it comes to the operation of the Pit Barrel Cooker, you’ll be impressed to see how easy it is to use it. Anyone can operate the cooker, regardless of whether they are new to cooking or not. Since it has a small size, it can be easily carried around for convenience. You can use it indoors or outdoors too.

Apart from its space-saving design, the Pit Barrel Cooker is also convenient in terms of assembly. As mentioned earlier, it doesn’t take more than five minutes to put what you need together to cook or grill foods. The cooker also has an easy process when using and operating it.

The cooker gives you decent temperature control and regulation of airflow so that you can cook whatever you want with ease. It requires minimal effort to cook different kinds of food, and the hooks and grates are inserted with no difficulty or resistance.

As for the maintenance and cleaning of the Pit Barrel Cooker, it requires this regularly, but it is also easy to take care of. You only have to sweep up all the ashes after each cooking session. You can also buy the Pit Barrel ash pan, which keeps all the ashes in the barrel when cooking. So, you don’t have to sweep after cooking. Just dump out the ash in the pan, put it back and start cooking again.

Pit Barrel Cooker Review

Warranty

The Pit Barrel Cooker has a one-year warranty, only for defective merchandise. From the first year, you buy the cooker, you can always turn to Pit Barrel Cooker Co. to fix or replace it. But there are different factors that you have to keep in mind when claiming the warranty.

The warranty does not cover normal circumstances like wear or tear or defects caused by fixing it without the company’s permission. You need to keep your proof of purchase once you buy it, as you need to have this to claim the warranty.

Price

The price of the Pit Barrel Cooker starts from $400, although it depends on the packages that you choose. Apart from the main unit, you can also buy other accessories that don’t come with the Pit Barrel Cooker.

For one, you can purchase the removable ash pan for an averagely of $30, so if you want to clean and take care of the cooker quickly, you can get this. The custom-fit cover that protects the cooker from harsh weather, rust, and corrosion also goes for the same price.

The Pit Barrel Cooker has a reasonable price and offers more value for its price. So, anyone can purchase the cooker without worrying about the budget. It is also packed with fantastic features that make the price worth it, so you can enjoy using the cooker.

PROS

CONS

  • High cooking capacity with a hook system.
  • Versatile cooker and grill for all kinds of foods.
  • Can be used by beginners and new cooks.
  • Offers consistent and steady temperature with airtight construction.
  • Highly durable and firm design.
  • Restricted control of temperature.
  • Using the grill grate is a bit awkward.
  • It has only one year for the warranty.

Conclusion

The Pit Barrel Cooker is a perfect choice for anyone who wants to cook an excellent barbecue or meal. Food enthusiasts will be pleased with what the cooker has to offer, especially since it is highly versatile and allows you to make all kinds of meals. From meat and chicken to fish and vegetables, you can cook all kinds of food with the Pit Barrel Cooker.

If you want to enjoy smoking foods, you can do so with the Pit Barrel Cooker. Although the grilling is a bit uncomfortable, it still offers great results with your food. It also requires little to no assembly at all and is straightforward to use.

Although it takes a while to become familiar with the Pit Barrel Cooker, it is perfectly capable of holding the right temperature for a long time and leaves you with delicious meals. From our Pit Barrel Cooker review, you can see that it would make a great fit in your kitchen.

References

1.
How to turn your barbecue into a home smoker | Food | The Guardian
Tom Adams of Pitt Cue Co.: Pack even more flavor into your meat by following my easy guide
2.
No smoke without fire: how to barbecue low and slow | Barbecue | The Guardian
As we fire up the barbecue, Neil Rankin reveals how to get the most from those hot coals and avoid a burned offering
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