You Pit Barrel Cooker Guys?

Fryowa

Administrator
Actually, I picked it up at a local Ace Hardware store the other night. It's in the back of my Subaru Outback now!! Can't wait to open it.
 

okeefe4prez

Well-Known Member
OMG, I'm so getting that too. My wife is going to kill me!!

Better hurry - price already went up almost 10%!!! It was only $35 at the beginning of summer and now it's $38.

The smokey joe is great for us. I make Korean BBQ on it a bunch and we can keep running batches through if we have people over. Fantastic for wings for 3 or 4 people. Easily accommodates 4 pork chops. My boy cooks Japanese sweet corn on it (sweet corn par boiled and finished on a grill with mirin and soy sauce brushed on). You'll cut your charcoal use in half. My biggest complaint with charcoal is the wasted energy if you fire up a full size kettle.
 

MelroseHawkins

Well-Known Member
Better hurry - price already went up almost 10%!!! It was only $35 at the beginning of summer and now it's $38.

The smokey joe is great for us. I make Korean BBQ on it a bunch and we can keep running batches through if we have people over. Fantastic for wings for 3 or 4 people. Easily accommodates 4 pork chops. My boy cooks Japanese sweet corn on it (sweet corn par boiled and finished on a grill with mirin and soy sauce brushed on). You'll cut your charcoal use in half. My biggest complaint with charcoal is the wasted energy if you fire up a full size kettle.

Exactly.
 

MelroseHawkins

Well-Known Member
Had that for the first time last fall (someone else made it) and it was awesome.

Haven't done it yet but I always was going to wrap some sweet corn with bacon and grill it. I would think the bacon juice marrying with the corn would be awesome.
 

MelroseHawkins

Well-Known Member
Just once. A chicken to start. The chicken didn't seem to get done and had to microwave pieces to finish to be safe. It was the first cook so is a learning curve. I used hardwood lump coal instead of the typical briquettes. I don't think I had enough in. They are larger so I prob needed to add more. I didn't get the heat to where it needed to be. Again, I learned from that so next time will be better. It was one of the first kind of cool days we had several weeks ago.

My problem right now is I don't really have a permanent place to use it and moved it out from my garage into the open to use. Of course my drive has kind of a slant but I don't think it bothers the cook. It's a slight grade. Kind of a pain, because then I had to let it cool before putting it back in. I didn't want anybody hocking the barrel if left out and I didn't want any kid to come into the yard and get burnt on the coals and basket while cooling.

I have a Blackstone Griddle which I want to sell then would just have my propane grill and the barrel. I hardly used the griddle (Prob just used 3 or 4 times) which was a waste to buy. I would use that more buy my wife doesn't understand using it outside as she wants the grill taste. She said "I don't understand, why wouldn't you just cook it inside on the stove".

So, in a nutshell I still go to the propane grill for speed and ease at this point until I find a permanent situation. Also the days are shorter and colder now. What is the lowest temp that it will perform at do you think? I suppose depends on what one is cooking.
 

Fryowa

Administrator
Just once. A chicken to start. The chicken didn't seem to get done and had to microwave pieces to finish to be safe. It was the first cook so is a learning curve. I used hardwood lump coal instead of the typical briquettes.
I'd stick to briquettes for now until you get a little more practice, especially for chicken, ribs, pork shoulder, etc. Lump burns way hotter a nd way faster. If you use briquettes you'll get 18 hours easy on a full basket (you don't have to use a full basket).

Also, I'd get a cheap probe thermometer. The Expert Grill brand cheap ass one from Walmart has been by far the best one I've tried. Put the probe in the breast and leave the chicken in the barrel until 165. Everything will be done at that point. The thigh/drum will be like 170 ish but dark meat that's fine.

What is the lowest temp that it will perform at do you think? I suppose depends on what one is cooking.
I use mine year round. Last year did ribs for Christmas in single digit weather and was good to go.
 

MelroseHawkins

Well-Known Member
I'd stick to briquettes for now until you get a little more practice, especially for chicken, ribs, pork shoulder, etc. Lump burns way hotter a nd way faster. If you use briquettes you'll get 18 hours easy on a full basket (you don't have to use a full basket).

Also, I'd get a cheap probe thermometer. The Expert Grill brand cheap ass one from Walmart has been by far the best one I've tried. Put the probe in the breast and leave the chicken in the barrel until 165. Everything will be done at that point. The thigh/drum will be like 170 ish but dark meat that's fine.


I use mine year round. Last year did ribs for Christmas in single digit weather and was good to go.
Thanks for the info. Yea. I was going to get regular briquettes next and maybe mix the little bit of lump coal with the briquettes until use up. I do have a nice thermometer and probe but hadn't used it yet and didn't want to take the time to figure it out.

The prob I had that first cook was it was taking longer than I thought it would and pulled it off around our usual supper time. Wifey doesn't understand what guy's obsession is with smokers, cookers, etc.. She doesn't really enjoy cooking anyway. So, being the first cook and taking longer than thought, I had a bit of anxiety that she was going to question why I thought I needed to buy it and question how long it takes to cook. That's the dilemma I'm in. I actually like to cook, try new recipes, take time to cook. She's one that likes to get a meal done in 15-20 minutes. She doesn't get it.
 

MelroseHawkins

Well-Known Member
I'd stick to briquettes for now until you get a little more practice, especially for chicken, ribs, pork shoulder, etc. Lump burns way hotter a nd way faster. If you use briquettes you'll get 18 hours easy on a full basket (you don't have to use a full basket).

Also, I'd get a cheap probe thermometer. The Expert Grill brand cheap ass one from Walmart has been by far the best one I've tried. Put the probe in the breast and leave the chicken in the barrel until 165. Everything will be done at that point. The thigh/drum will be like 170 ish but dark meat that's fine.


I use mine year round. Last year did ribs for Christmas in single digit weather and was good to go.

LOL. Actually I just looked and this is the brand of my probe thermometer!
 

Fryowa

Administrator
LOL. Actually I just looked and this is the brand of my probe thermometer!
I've bought tons of thermometers for grilling and smokers over the years, Bluetooth ones, $20 Wi-Fi ones, you name it, and that Expert Grill one from Walmart is the best by far. Simple, easy, no bells and whistles, and battery life is awesome. And they're bulletproof. I've left mine outside during I don't know how many rainstorms, dropped on concrete a bunch of times, it's still kickin ass.
 

Fryowa

Administrator
The prob I had that first cook was it was taking longer than I thought it would and pulled it off around our usual supper time. Wifey doesn't understand what guy's obsession is with smokers, cookers, etc.. She doesn't really enjoy cooking anyway. So, being the first cook and taking longer than thought, I had a bit of anxiety that she was going to question why I thought I needed to buy it and question how long it takes to cook. That's the dilemma I'm in. I actually like to cook, try new recipes, take time to cook. She's one that likes to get a meal done in 15-20 minutes. She doesn't get it.
Here's my perspective on smoking meat...

Like your wife, not everyone likes to cook. And that's 100% ok

I love to cook. In all forms.

So when it comes to smoking, I'm one of those people who enjoys the process as much as the end product. I am more than happy to spend an entire day smoking a pork shoulder. I like the smell, I like the variability of the process (different woods, different rubs, wrapping/not wrapping, just the open-endedness of it all). I like the setup of the process as well. To me it's fun to get up at 5AM to prep a pork shoulder, get it rubbed, start the charcoal/wood, and get the whole thing rolling. I put some tunes on the speakers on my deck, and kick back. It's awesome.

I also like feeding people good food. When folks come over and tell me I made some good shit and ask to come back, that makes me happy. I enjoy that kind of thing. I have other buddies who grill/smoke as well, and we have a sort of camaraderie (as dumb as that sounds) about it. I go to there places, they come to mine, it's just a cool family type thing.

Third, my kid really enjoys it as well and I love to teach him things. He's gotten to where he can pretty much smoke off a pork shoulder or racks of ribs without any help, and that's cool to me. Like @okeefe4prez said earlier about his kid making badass Japanese corn, it's gratifying when those little monsters who you used to have to change diapers on start creating things themselves, and BBQ is one of those things for us. If I were a computer programmer and my kid starting writing working code, I imagine it'd be the same type of thing.

So yeah, there are definitely folks who aren't into the intangible side of cooking and that's ok. Some people view meals as just something that should hopefully get done as efficiently as possible with a minimal amount of fussing, and my mom was that way...she still made awesome food. But smoking is definitely not for people who don't enjoy fussing with things.

I do think you should give it a go sometime with a no pressure, day-long smoke with no supper deadline when you have a chance, though. Get a pork shoulder, rub it, and throw it on that barrel till it hits 165 with some hickory or apple wood on to of your briquettes. Wrap it at 165, put it back on, and go till 205 internal. Let it rest an hour or so, and shred it. Most amazing pulled pork ever and you made it yourself. Now you have meat for sandwiches, tacos, chili, whatever you want. If you ever want some help I'll PM you my cell number and we can text our way through it.
 

MelroseHawkins

Well-Known Member
Here's my perspective on smoking meat...

Like your wife, not everyone likes to cook. And that's 100% ok

I love to cook. In all forms.

So when it comes to smoking, I'm one of those people who enjoys the process as much as the end product. I am more than happy to spend an entire day smoking a pork shoulder. I like the smell, I like the variability of the process (different woods, different rubs, wrapping/not wrapping, just the open-endedness of it all). I like the setup of the process as well. To me it's fun to get up at 5AM to prep a pork shoulder, get it rubbed, start the charcoal/wood, and get the whole thing rolling. I put some tunes on the speakers on my deck, and kick back. It's awesome.

I also like feeding people good food. When folks come over and tell me I made some good shit and ask to come back, that makes me happy. I enjoy that kind of thing. I have other buddies who grill/smoke as well, and we have a sort of camaraderie (as dumb as that sounds) about it. I go to there places, they come to mine, it's just a cool family type thing.

Third, my kid really enjoys it as well and I love to teach him things. He's gotten to where he can pretty much smoke off a pork shoulder or racks of ribs without any help, and that's cool to me. Like @okeefe4prez said earlier about his kid making badass Japanese corn, it's gratifying when those little monsters who you used to have to change diapers on start creating things themselves, and BBQ is one of those things for us. If I were a computer programmer and my kid starting writing working code, I imagine it'd be the same type of thing.

So yeah, there are definitely folks who aren't into the intangible side of cooking and that's ok. Some people view meals as just something that should hopefully get done as efficiently as possible with a minimal amount of fussing, and my mom was that way...she still made awesome food. But smoking is definitely not for people who don't enjoy fussing with things.

I do think you should give it a go sometime with a no pressure, day-long smoke with no supper deadline when you have a chance, though. Get a pork shoulder, rub it, and throw it on that barrel till it hits 165 with some hickory or apple wood on to of your briquettes. Wrap it at 165, put it back on, and go till 205 internal. Let it rest an hour or so, and shred it. Most amazing pulled pork ever and you made it yourself. Now you have meat for sandwiches, tacos, chili, whatever you want. If you ever want some help I'll PM you my cell number and we can text our way through it.

Thank you so much man. Especially for the steps on the pork shoulder. I'm definitely not a smoke master at this point but know enough to just be dangerous. I at least understand all the concepts but don't have the experience putting it all into motion, yet. Yea, I was planning to throw some apple or hickory chunks on the briquettes with the next cook. Thanks for all the pork shoulder steps!!

Yea, first cook I was trying to get the cooker all together, figured out and rush a chicken. I think it was on long enough, but as you stated above, the lump coal was hot for a while but prob burnt up as did not have enough. I was struggling with heat (lessening) at the end of the cook. I have a rack of ribs in the fridge that I think I am going to do Saturday prior to the BIG GAME!!

I really do enjoy this stuff but haven't made the time to do it correctly.

I've often wondered. When doing something like a rack of ribs (which will cut in at least 2 parts or 3), after they cook a while and break down, won't the ribs want to fall from the hooks into the coals? Do I need to do something to keep that from happening with ribs?
I'd hate to have the meal after taking time to do it, then lose the meal in the coals.
 

Fryowa

Administrator
I've often wondered. When doing something like a rack of ribs (which will cut in at least 2 parts or 3), after they cook a while and break down, won't the ribs want to fall from the hooks into the coals? Do I need to do something to keep that from happening with ribs?
I'd hate to have the meal after taking time to do it, then lose the meal in the coals.
Nope, I’ve never had anything fall. With ribs just go like 3 ribs down with the hook and you’ll be good to go. Here’s how I do ‘em if you’re interested…

- Take the membrane off the inside (bone side). I usually find that one of the pPit Barrel hooks works well and then I just grab with a paper towel and peel off If you don’t get it all, no sweat. Ain’t gonna hurt anything.

I run mine with any good pork BBQ rub, most of them will be similar. I go for roughly 3 hours and check every so often for doneness. Basically you want to see a little pull-back from the bones, and the flex will tell you if it’s ready. Take ‘em out with the hook holder after like 2 and a half hours and see how flexible they are. You want to go until you get some pull-back and the ribs are somewhat bendy, but not ready to fall apart. The time isn’t real important, you’ll know when they’re done and eventually you’ll get a good feel for it.

After like 2.5 - 3 hours I’ll sauce the ribs and put ‘em back in for like 30 minutes to let the sauce caramelize and get good and sticky. Whatever your favorite sauce is will work.

After that pull them babies off and dig in. Here’s some I did last weekend that exact way. Good smoke ring on these. I believe I used 2 chunks of hickory and 2 chunks of apple but any wood will work except Mesquite.

8C661F80-A4E0-4C7F-9CC1-78422B526A95.jpeg

83A87176-0C9A-4914-94E1-5F30EAE9AEEB.jpeg
 

JoeyLabasForPresident

Well-Known Member
Nope, I’ve never had anything fall. With ribs just go like 3 ribs down with the hook and you’ll be good to go. Here’s how I do ‘em if you’re interested…

- Take the membrane off the inside (bone side). I usually find that one of the pPit Barrel hooks works well and then I just grab with a paper towel and peel off If you don’t get it all, no sweat. Ain’t gonna hurt anything.

I run mine with any good pork BBQ rub, most of them will be similar. I go for roughly 3 hours and check every so often for doneness. Basically you want to see a little pull-back from the bones, and the flex will tell you if it’s ready. Take ‘em out with the hook holder after like 2 and a half hours and see how flexible they are. You want to go until you get some pull-back and the ribs are somewhat bendy, but not ready to fall apart. The time isn’t real important, you’ll know when they’re done and eventually you’ll get a good feel for it.

After like 2.5 - 3 hours I’ll sauce the ribs and put ‘em back in for like 30 minutes to let the sauce caramelize and get good and sticky. Whatever your favorite sauce is will work.

After that pull them babies off and dig in. Here’s some I did last weekend that exact way. Good smoke ring on these. I believe I used 2 chunks of hickory and 2 chunks of apple but any wood will work except Mesquite.

View attachment 8419

View attachment 8420
Nice smoke ring.
 

MelroseHawkins

Well-Known Member
Nope, I’ve never had anything fall. With ribs just go like 3 ribs down with the hook and you’ll be good to go. Here’s how I do ‘em if you’re interested…

- Take the membrane off the inside (bone side). I usually find that one of the pPit Barrel hooks works well and then I just grab with a paper towel and peel off If you don’t get it all, no sweat. Ain’t gonna hurt anything.

I run mine with any good pork BBQ rub, most of them will be similar. I go for roughly 3 hours and check every so often for doneness. Basically you want to see a little pull-back from the bones, and the flex will tell you if it’s ready. Take ‘em out with the hook holder after like 2 and a half hours and see how flexible they are. You want to go until you get some pull-back and the ribs are somewhat bendy, but not ready to fall apart. The time isn’t real important, you’ll know when they’re done and eventually you’ll get a good feel for it.

After like 2.5 - 3 hours I’ll sauce the ribs and put ‘em back in for like 30 minutes to let the sauce caramelize and get good and sticky. Whatever your favorite sauce is will work.

After that pull them babies off and dig in. Here’s some I did last weekend that exact way. Good smoke ring on these. I believe I used 2 chunks of hickory and 2 chunks of apple but any wood will work except Mesquite.

View attachment 8419

View attachment 8420


Oh yum! That's a terrific smoke ring. I'm surprised you are getting that thick of a smoke ring without an actual true smoker.
1) I have pretty much mastered my own rib rub recipe and I do pull the membrane off. Never a problem with that. How long do you let the rub set in prior to cooking? I used to do overnight but have done right before as well which turn out fine, it seems.
2) I think most people think the best ribs should "fall off the bone". From my understanding this is not true. They shouldn't really fall off the bone but should have a little texture but easy to pull off with teeth. Some form but not completely falling off if moving the ribs. This correct? You stated it well above. Meat just pulling away. I think that is where I'm at.
3) So, you just lay them on the rebar and caramelize them on that? Good idea?
4) What's your thoughts on the rub that comes with the cooker? Like it? I haven't broke that open yet to use.

I'm getting pumped to do them. Warm up some ole's bean on the cooker and maybe make some cornbread, and I'm set!
 

MelroseHawkins

Well-Known Member
Better hurry - price already went up almost 10%!!! It was only $35 at the beginning of summer and now it's $38.

The smokey joe is great for us. I make Korean BBQ on it a bunch and we can keep running batches through if we have people over. Fantastic for wings for 3 or 4 people. Easily accommodates 4 pork chops. My boy cooks Japanese sweet corn on it (sweet corn par boiled and finished on a grill with mirin and soy sauce brushed on). You'll cut your charcoal use in half. My biggest complaint with charcoal is the wasted energy if you fire up a full size kettle.

Hey Okeefe. Care to share your Korean BBQ recipe or is it a family secret?

After I clear up my block of 400 hotel room situation with the Choice hotel chain in the Indy area, I might want to make some Korean BBQ!
 

okeefe4prez

Well-Known Member
Hey Okeefe. Care to share your Korean BBQ recipe or is it a family secret?

After I clear up my block of 400 hotel room situation with the Choice hotel chain in the Indy area, I might want to make some Korean BBQ!

I'm not much of a recipe man. I just cut the meat small, salt and pepper it, get a sauce or two from the Korean grocery store and serve it with kimchee.
 

Fryowa

Administrator
1) I have pretty much mastered my own rib rub recipe and I do pull the membrane off. Never a problem with that. How long do you let the rub set in prior to cooking? I used to do overnight but have done right before as well which turn out fine, it seems.
I used to do it the night before but gave that up years ago. No difference.

2) I think most people think the best ribs should "fall off the bone". From my understanding this is not true. They shouldn't really fall off the bone but should have a little texture but easy to pull off with teeth. Some form but not completely falling off if moving the ribs. This correct? You stated it well above. Meat just pulling away. I think that is where I'm at.
Yep. If you let it go way too long the meat will get too soft and it won't let you cut them without it turning into pulled pork. 1/4" or so pull back and pull em just when they get good and bendy.

3) So, you just lay them on the rebar and caramelize them on that? Good idea?
Yep. Seems to be easiest and most convenient.
4) What's your thoughts on the rub that comes with the cooker? Like it? I haven't broke that open yet to use.
I like it. It's on the saltier side rather than sweet so you'd have to give it a whirl and see if you like it. Is damn expensive from the Pit Barrel website so I never reordered it. The All Purpose one is what I'm talking about, the Big Game one is too salty for me.

I used to be a guy who refused to use store bought rubs and made my own, but I found one I really like and tend to stick with it. It's inexpensive, easy to find, and my friends and family like it. Just wish I could get it in 5 lb containers. I buy it at Walmart...

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Weber-KC-BBQ-Dry-Rub-14-5-oz-Shaker/141524422
 

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