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BarrelHouse Vertical Cooker

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  • Bob's BBQ
    Club Member
    • Jan 2016
    • 490
    • Wisconsin

    BarrelHouse Vertical Cooker

    Has anyone seen any info on this yet? I saw the add on the AmazingRibs home page. Looks like a slightly smaller dia. PBC with a few nice gadgets. Any plans to review one? I have a PBC and this looks like they copied it, but I don't know much about the company.

  • JeffJ
    Charter Member
    • Feb 2015
    • 2346
    • Michigan
    • Jeff

    A thread was created a few months ago about this product. It garnered quite a few comments but little substance as no one who opined owned one or knew anyone who owned one. Yes, it looks very similar to a PBC and it probably functions similarly.

    Have you seen the $100 Po Man Grill (Cooking in a can)?


    • Bob's BBQ
      Bob's BBQ commented
      Editing a comment
      I did see the Po' Man. Almost bought one just to have for a conversation piece!

    • Bob's BBQ
      Bob's BBQ commented
      Editing a comment
      I did go back and find the original post. Didn't realize they had business dealings with PBC and there was a lawsuit in process. Thanks Jeff!
  • Nate
    Charter Member
    • Apr 2015
    • 3763
    • Quarantined
    • INFO
      ~Known as: Nate
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      ~Credit Manager for an Agriculture Coop.

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    Here is the link to the BHC thread that was running just last month.

    There is a link inside that thread that will lead you to the lawsuit filed by PBC against BHC. I would recommend reading both it and the thread to get a better grasp of what is going on with that situation.


    • Bob's BBQ
      Bob's BBQ commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Nate - I read the lawsuit. Does anyone know where this currently stands? Waiting for a court date?
  • David Parrish
    Founding Member - Pit Boss Emeritus
    • May 2014
    • 5038
    • Charlotte, NC
      • Slow 'N Sear Kamado (SnSK)
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      • President/Owner - SnS Grills

    I talked to Pit Barrel Cooler Company last night and got an update on the status of the lawsuit. They stated that Barrel House Cooker reached out to them in an attempt to settle the lawsuit but the attempt was unsuccessful. PBC is proceeding with litigation towards a jury trial.


    • Beefchop
      Beefchop commented
      Editing a comment
      Appreciate the update. I actually thought this was a clear copy of the PBC when it first came to market, and now that I've read the complaint...wow. I hope everything works out for Noah and Amber.

    • Bob's BBQ
      Bob's BBQ commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Dave - I wish Amber and Noah best of luck!

    • Lowjiber
      Lowjiber commented
      Editing a comment
      They're going to need it.
  • RobertC
    Club Member
    • Mar 2017
    • 149

    I have one. I'm not sure I would have purchased it if I'd read that lawsuit document before but I have it now. The main reason I got it was that my family is small and, with one about to leave for college, getting smaller. The BHC has about 60% of the volume and grill surface area of the PBC.

    It has some differences and nice features compared to the PBC. Here are three of the nicest:
    1. You can detach the base, making feeding and clearing the charcoal basket easier.
    2. The charcoal basket has a tall collar with a charcoal grate set at about two-thirds of the way down the collar. This means there's a deep side to the basket and if you flip it over, there's a shallow side that holds about half the charcoal.
    3. After detaching the base, you can place a grate just inches above the charcoal basket so you can sear after slow cooking.

    There are a few other differences from the PBC but these were the biggest for me.

    If I'd known of the lawsuit I think I might've gone for the smaller WSM -- purely on size alone, I didn't think the 18" PBC and the 14" BHC were direct competitors for my purposes so buying the BHC wasn't "stealing" a sale away from the PBC.


    • Cheef
      Club Member
      • Oct 2015
      • 479

      I suppose I will play devils advocate here. I personally believe PBC will be looking at a hard time litigation wise. Too many loopholes for knockoffs to slither through. Drum cooking has been around forever I believe. Patent and copyright protection is known as the Game of Kings in some circles. It is a sure way to lose money in an effort to stroke pride. I do wish PBC luck.


      • Nate
        Nate commented
        Editing a comment
        I would recommend reading all the comments above plus the comments in the othe thread that are linked. Much more to it than just knockoff.

      • Cheef
        Cheef commented
        Editing a comment
        As I said it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
        I still play devils advocate and say it will be a loser for PBC.
        Edit. I did read the allegations in the suit. Still believe they will lose. I don't believe either party is totally in the right OR in the wrong. BUT opinions are like a.......s. so there you go. I do hope I'm wrong.
        Last edited by Cheef; March 29th, 2017, 02:25 PM.
    • RobertC
      Club Member
      • Mar 2017
      • 149

      IANAL but it appears the lawsuit isn't about infringing design patents or copyrights. It appears to be about unfair business practices. If so, the designs could be completely different and the alleged behavior could still be wrongful. Of course, we've only seen the complaint and, as my mother-out-law liked to say, "no matter how thin the pancake it still has two sides."

      That said, I've seen (but never cooked on) a PBC. I appear to be the only one here who admits to owning the BHC.


      • JeffJ
        JeffJ commented
        Editing a comment
        How well does the BHC cook?

      • DWCowles
        DWCowles commented
        Editing a comment
        If I own a BHC i would admit to it but I don't
    • RobertC
      Club Member
      • Mar 2017
      • 149

      JeffJ As I've said, I've seen but never cooked on a PBC so I can't really compare to it in a detailed way -- but the BHC works pretty much as I imagined a smaller version of the PBC would work when I got it.

      It ran hot for the first couple of cooks but has been much more consistent over the last couple of months as I experimented more. Because the volume is smaller, I had to learn how to scale down the lighting procedure and play with the exhaust ports. I snake the temperature probes through the exhaust ports. I am getting better at dialing in a temperature within +/-5 deg, and holding it there for several hours.

      I have done a 8-1/2 hour cook @ 260+/-5 deg loaded to full capacity (about 116 briquettes = 2.9 kg = 6.4 lbs) with fuel to spare. Eyeballing the charcoal basket I think it could've gone another hour and a half but that's just a guess. I haven't yet tested what would happen if the barrel were loaded with so much stuff that the air circulation might be affected. For reasons I don't yet understand, it hasn't quite been "set it and forget it" -- I have to fiddle with the exhaust ports after a few hours to keep it within target temperature range. It may be that I still need to refine my fueling technique and that it will become more steady over time.

      The "H" frame they use as a substitute for the rebar in the PBC is kind of a pain -- because the BHC has only 60% of the surface area, having extra bars that criss-cross the top limits the size the item you can easily maneuver through the gaps. It turns out that if you're cooking something big it's easier to lift the whole damn thing, hooks and items still attached, than to try to squeeze the big item past the openings. You get 8 hooks with the PBC and only 4 with the BHC but 4 turns out to be about right since it's so much smaller.

      You can detach the base from the "flue" and place a grill directly over the charcoal basket for searing. That's nice. Emptying the basket is easy, too, as would be refueling if I ever need to do that.

      The lid seals well and I haven't yet gotten any leaks around it. I have the model with the hinged lid so it doesn't get too many stresses than might deform it, but we shall see over time. The hinge has two positions so you can leave the lid either tightly closed or slightly ajar. I haven't used the "ajar" position.

      When I cook something for a short time, like tri-tip, I flip the charcoal basket over to the short side and use half of the normal load of charcoal.

      We're a four-person family, soon to be three. When we entertain we usually only have only another three or four. For my needs a PBC would have been too much -- the smaller (or maybe the middle-sized) WSM was the alternative I was considering. I suppose when I get more knowledgeable about its idiosyncrasies I could attempt a larger group than that, but I don't have 25-person parties.
      Last edited by RobertC; April 5th, 2017, 10:20 PM.


      • Huskee
        Pit Boss/Manager
        • May 2014
        • 14249
        • central MI, USA
        • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

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        Thanks RobertC for giving us hands-on info about the BHC. I think we should focus forward on it and its strengths and weaknesses with cooking and forget the lawsuit. We'll let the judge & jury decide what's unfair or not. Copycats are everywhere, have you seen the Yoder Wichita and the Horizon Marshall? Or the Backwoods compared to Humphrey's, et al? How many brands of pens are there? It's just the nature of business to copy what works with minor differences, fair or unfair.


        • SMOG MAN
          SMOG MAN commented
          Editing a comment
          I think on point Huskee, I agree.
      • JeffJ
        Charter Member
        • Feb 2015
        • 2346
        • Michigan
        • Jeff

        Thanks for such an informative answer RobertC




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