Pit Barrel Cooker Review: Is this Drum Smoker Kit Viable?

Feb 5, 2018 | Reviews

Pit Barrel Cooker Co.

Fuel Source Charcoal
Weight 57 lbs
Cooking Surface 21 x 21 x 31.1 inches
Price $$

I’ve been barbecuing for years, and several of my buddies have been struggling to find the perfect smoker and cooker for the numerous parties they have in their backyards. We review a lot of smokers and grills and I decided to recommend the Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package. Cooking has never been easier. I brought this out for a test at a barbeque party last year and my friends couldn’t have enough of the tasty meat.

pit barrel cooker

This cooker from Pit Barrel Cooker Co. brings together the best of a good smoker and a slow cooker to create a unique versatile cooking experience. With this smoker, you can be sure your meat will be perfectly cooked each time. I especially love how it is designed to allow for smaller periods of cooking time, without worrying about regulating the temperature.

The smoker from Pit Barrel will make your barbeques so much easier. It is simple to use and you will only require minimal assembly to start cooking. Compared to other cooking options, this is sure to be the best deal. It provides minimal hassle yet consistently impressive results. What’s more, you can forget about worrying if you have used the right amount of charcoal. The package comes with a perfectly sized coal basket for the ideal amount of charcoal as well as 8 stainless steel hooks and a grate. Overall this is a solid charcoal smoker.


  • It offers two styles of cooking. You can hang the meat for smoking or just use the grill
  • It is cost friendly given that you are getting a smoker and a grill together
  • The coating on the cooker makes it durable
  • The barrel has 4 airflow exit holes which allow for even airflow in the drum
  • The lid of the barrel seals airtight
  • All the parts of the Pit Barrel Cooker are made of high quality
  • The barrel has a high capacity. You can cook 8 racks of ribs or 4 chickens or 2 turkeys at a time
  • It is simple to use, portable and built to last


  • The red stain used on the hook is cheap and will come off when in contact with water
  • If using the cooker to cook a small amount, the charcoal basket has too much capacity.
  • It may not be the best for your grilling experience
  • With time, the paint inside the barrel peels off and the barrel starts to rust
  • It is hard to control the temperature

A few tips for new users:

  • Ensure you leave the rebar hanger bars in, even when using the grate, for a consistently low-temperature cook.
  • Leaving the lid off for an extended time while cooking can raise the temperature inside significantly.
  • The barrel cooker does not come with its thermometer. It may be a good idea to get a fast-read thermometer and a leave-in thermometer to make temperature regulation a bit easier.
  • While using the PBC, light the coal and wait 20 minutes before closing the lid. Extending this time will get the coals too hot and they will remain hot throughout your cook.
  • For a nice low temperature that lasts up to about 8 hours, fill the chimney only a 1/3 full and pour it on the rest of the charcoal before you put your food on and close the lid.
  • Check out the videos by Pit Barrel Cooker Co on their website and YouTube channel. They show you how to cook just about anything and also how to place the hooks on different meats.

If you are constantly having people over, this could be just what you need. I especially use my PBC for smoking. The way the meats are hung allows the juices to fall on the coal which in turn produces a lot of smoke and flavor. You need not worry about using it for the first time. It comes with an instruction manual that even shows you how to set it up. It is really easy too. You can have it ready to go in just under 1 minute! What’s even better is that it is a set it and forget it. You do not have to keep on checking on the coal and temperature. Put your food on, cover the lid and simply wait for it to cook. PBC has also done an amazing job of giving video tutorials on their website. Go ahead and get your Pit Barrel Cooker for a great cooking experience.

Billy StewartBilly Stewart

Founder of BarbequeSmoked.com

My dad is a true mans man, and has owned a number of grills. Ranging from gas to charcoal. Growing up with him allowed me to see what different types of rubs, spices, brines, etc went into making the best BBQ. Although my dad was a truck driver, and I had a degree in Information Technology I knew that I wanted to do something about grilling and our recipes.  That’s where Barbeque Smoked comes in.


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