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Which type of drum smoker? Pit Barrel Cooker or Gateway 55 Gal

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    Which type of drum smoker? Pit Barrel Cooker or Gateway 55 Gal

    I have been reading a lot about both the Pit Barrel Cooker and the Gateway 55 Gal cooker. Major difference in cost. But also the smoker structure, etc.
    Avid users of both. What are some Pros and Cons of both? Suggestions?
    I am trying to determine how to pick one for the best bank for the buck and being cost effective to have a nice smoker that I will enjoy and last a long time.
    (I currently have The Good One and am wanting to get something in addition as I have a difficult time maintaining temperatures, etc. and not getting consistent results.)
    Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions!

    #2
    I've never used a PBC, but I love my Gateway Drum smoker. I hang baby back ribs, but use the grates when smoking pork but or beef ribs.

    Comment


      #3
      PBC owner here....
      In my desire to up my capacity I looked at Gateway, Hundaker and WSM22. Ultimately I went WSM. Some reasons were I liked the mods available to it, ease of cleanup(the sections come apart), adding fuel (should I need to), ability to smoke all wood (think charcoal door) and the Weber name. Now, mind you Hunsaker was a close second for me, but am very pleased with my purchase. The PBC is fantastic at all the meats Iโ€™ve put on it, I love the brisket that comes off of it. Chicken is right behind it. I really donโ€™t worry about temp control on it, that is important to some, but not me on the PBC.

      Comment


        #4
        Another PBC owner. I love my "Black Beauty" for for ease of use and for certain meats. Poultry, ribs, brisket, pork butt, did I mention ribs? I also have a couple of Weber kettles that do the major amount of "short" cooks. Once you learn your barrel you should be able stop worrying about temp control. We have lots of good info about all types of cookers in the channels section.
        What I really like is since the PBC likes to run around 270* my cooks get finished a little sooner. No 3, 2, 1 ribs for me. Ribs are done in around 3 hours.

        Comment


        • klflowers
          klflowers commented
          Editing a comment
          ..., ..., ...

        • Backroadmeats
          Backroadmeats commented
          Editing a comment
          I figured the pbc groupies would show up here!!!๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

        • fzxdoc
          fzxdoc commented
          Editing a comment
          Groupies to me connotes mindless commitment . There's nothing mindless to me about loving how the PBC consistently cooks good barbecue.
          Just saying.

          Kathryn
          Last edited by fzxdoc; June 8, 2021, 08:46 PM.

        #5
        Just another idea, you could build your own 55 gallon drum as well. I built this one and loved the process. It maintained temp very well on the initial seasoning. Doing the first cook Saturday.
        Attached Files

        Comment


        • Potkettleblack
          Potkettleblack commented
          Editing a comment
          Really not fair to call that an ugly drum. very pretty.

        • Bob's BBQ
          Bob's BBQ commented
          Editing a comment
          That is niiiice! Great work! Love to see the home-builts.

        #6
        PBC owner here and I second (third, or maybe fourth) the ease of use and the ability to acheive great cooks. I've gotten to the point that I almost don't need a thermometer for pork butts and don't lift the lid of ribs until 3 hours and can bank to the minute when they'll be ready. it get's easier everytime, even.

        I do really like the Gateway and the Hunsaker and will consider one in the future maybe, but for now my PBC and collection of Weber kettles are doing the trick.

        Comment


        • HawkerXP
          HawkerXP commented
          Editing a comment
          PBC, PBC, PBC!

        • Soonerpop
          Soonerpop commented
          Editing a comment
          There it is.

        #7
        I would like to add that I "cheat" when I use my Gateway ๐Ÿ˜ˆ
        I use BBQ Guru's Ultra Q. It is awesome. I can set and monitor my temperatures with my cellphone. Well worth the money IMO

        Comment


          #8
          I looked at the Gateway, PBC, and OKJB. I dismissed the Gateway due to cost and size. I took a hard look at the OKJB, but it was so new to the market at the time that I passed on it. In October of 2019 I was still so new at all of this that I really, really liked the huge user base of the PBC and the relatively large number of YouTube videos on how to cook on it.

          I still love it and enjoy its simplicity and its a great value. The most nagging thing for me was thinking that I would miss not having controllable vents. That has not turned out to be the case. I now how to get my PBC consistently at ~300 +/- 25 F. For anything I want to smoke and sear, I'll add on my Weber Kettle to do the searing part.

          Comment


          • HawkerXP
            HawkerXP commented
            Editing a comment
            PBC, PBC, PBC!

          #9
          I am a Gateway user. I was set on a PBC when my gateway came up for sale on marketplace for super cheap so I went with that. I don't use a temp controller on it though I have them, I just haven't had a need for it. I love cooking direct over charcoal and wood. It seems to give a better flavor than my Deep South gravity. I love the Gateway, but I feel if paying retail for both, I'd be just as happy on a PBC. Good luck in your decision. I think you're on the right track no matter which you choose.

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          • bbqLuv
            bbqLuv commented
            Editing a comment
            Nice cook, me like chicken done just right and paired with PBR.

          #10
          Not sure what other cookers you have. I got a PBJ and I like it, but I wish I would have gotten the SnS Kettle instead. The PBJ works great, but the SnS seems like it would do basically the same thing and give more flexibility. Of course, you are not hanging meat in a kettle.

          Comment


            #11
            kyager Did you buy a smoker yet What did you get? Or what are you going to get?
            Last edited by Mike-Sid; May 21, 2021, 07:12 PM.

            Comment


              #12
              I finally decided to get a PBC. Had some unplanned home repairs that came up so had to cut back on my budget. Excited to try it, hopefully soon.

              Comment


              • JGo37
                JGo37 commented
                Editing a comment
                Pics or it didn't happen - LoL - actually I'm looking forward to hearing about a first cook on a PBC - everyone is an ivory tower graybeard here. I don't have a barrel yet but want to buy and mod or build from scratch this summer, so do let us know your after-purchase thoughts. I'm thinking PBC or build my own - I'm not cooking for a big audience much.

              #13
              Originally posted by kyager View Post
              I finally decided to get a PBC. Had some unplanned home repairs that came up so had to cut back on my budget. Excited to try it, hopefully soon.
              You won't regret your choice. The PBC is a great smoker. You'll be surprised at how versatile it is.

              Kathryn

              Comment


                #14
                I'd like to add to this that I bought the OG PBC when it first released. It lasted 6 years. When I purchased I was told it had a lifetime warranty. When I inquired about this warranty, they told me the life expectancy of their drums are 3-5 years and they only offer a one year warranty now. I replaced it with a 55g Gateway and couldn't be happier with the build quality and the few added features of the Gateway. Time will tell on the durability, but it'll slightly out cook the PBC because of air flow control.

                Comment


                • fzxdoc
                  fzxdoc commented
                  Editing a comment
                  My OG PBC is heavily used. 7 years old and counting. No rust, looking good.

                  I use it on an enclosed deck and keep it covered.

                  Kathryn

                #15
                Pellet Grill, Get a BBQ life, get a pellet grill.

                Comment


                • HawkerXP
                  HawkerXP commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Boooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

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