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

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  • kyager
    Club Member
    • Apr 2016
    • 9
    • Olathe, KS

    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!
  • Mike-Sid
    Club Member
    • Feb 2021
    • 15
    • Ct

    #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

    • au4stree
      Club Member
      • Aug 2018
      • 733
      • Heart of Dixie
      • Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center (WSCGC), PK360(graphite), Jumbo Joe and PBC. Weber kettle @ the hunting camp.

      #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 I’ve put on it, I love the brisket that comes off of it. Chicken is right behind it. I really don’t worry about temp control on it, that is important to some, but not me on the PBC.

      Comment

      • HawkerXP
        Club Member
        • Jul 2016
        • 6730
        • Virginia
        • 2 Weber Performers
          1 kettle
          1 Smoky Joe
          PBC
          Thermoworks POPs
          Dot and Chef Alarm
          2 Slo n Sears
          Cold beer

        #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!!!πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜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.
      • jpietrantone
        Club Member
        • Jul 2020
        • 80
        • Georgetown, TN

        #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.
      • latenight71
        Club Member
        • Feb 2021
        • 444
        • Long Beach, CA

        #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.
      • Mike-Sid
        Club Member
        • Feb 2021
        • 15
        • Ct

        #7
        I would like to add that I "cheat" when I use my Gateway 😈
        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

        • Michael_in_TX
          Club Member
          • Dec 2018
          • 914
          • Texas Gulf Coast
          • Grills:
            Weber 22" Kettle Premium w/Slow N' Sear 2.0
            Pit Barrel Cooker
            W.C. Bradley & Co. Char Kettle CK-115 ~1980s Vintage Grill (inactive)

            Accessories:
            Thermopop (Instant Read)
            Thermoworks Smoke

          #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!
        • SavageSmoke
          Club Member
          • Jun 2019
          • 271
          • Eden, NC

          #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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          Comment

          • saneric38
            Club Member
            • Mar 2021
            • 44
            • Biloxi, MS
            • Pit Barrel Junior
              Pit Boss Pro Series 4v1 Vertical

            #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

            • Mike-Sid
              Club Member
              • Feb 2021
              • 15
              • Ct

              #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

              • kyager
                Club Member
                • Apr 2016
                • 9
                • Olathe, KS

                #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.
              • fzxdoc
                Founding Member
                • Jul 2014
                • 5526
                • My toys:
                  Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center (WSCGC) aka Mr. Fancypants
                  Pit Barrel Cooker (which rocks), named Pretty Baby
                  Weber Summit S650 Gas Grill, named Hot 'n Fast (used mostly for searing and griddling)
                  Weber Kettle Premium 22" named Kettle Kid, eager to horn in with more cooks in the future
                  Camp Chef Somerset IV 4-burner outdoor gas range named AfterBurner due to its 30kBTU burners


                  Adrenaline BBQ Company Gear:
                  SnS, DnG, andLarge Charcoal Basket, for WSCGC
                  SnS for 22" Kettle
                  Elevated SS Rack for WSCGC
                  SS Rack for DnG
                  Cast Iron Griddle
                  Grill Grate for SnS
                  Grill Grates: five 17.375 sections (retired to storage)
                  Grill Grates: six 19.25 panels for exact fit for Summit S650 gasser
                  2 Grill Grate Griddles
                  Steelmade Griddle for Summit gas grill

                  Fireboard Gear:
                  Extreme BBQ Thermometer Package
                  Additional control unit
                  Additional probes: Competition Probes 1" (3) and 4" (1), 3 additional Ambient Probes. 1 additional Food Probe
                  2 Driver Cables
                  Pit Viper Fan (to pair with Fireboard Fan Driver Cable)
                  Pit Viper Fan new design (to pair with Fireboard Fan Driver Cable)
                  Thermoworks Gear:
                  Thermapen MK4 (pink)
                  Thermapen Classic (pink too)
                  Thermoworks MK4 orange
                  Temp Test 2 Smart Thermometer
                  Extra Big and Loud Timer
                  Timestick Trio
                  Maverick ET 73 a little workhorse with limited range
                  Maverick ET 733
                  Maverick (Ivation) ET 732

                  Grill Pinz
                  Vortex (two of them)

                  Two Joule Sous Vide devices
                  VacMaster Pro 350 Vacuum Sealer

                  Instant Pot 6 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker
                  Instant Pot 10 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker

                  Charcoal Companion TurboQue
                  A-Maze-N tube 12 inch tube smoker accessory for use with pellets

                  BBQ Dragon and Dragon Chimney

                  Shun Classic Series:
                  8" Chef Knife
                  6" Chef's Knife
                  Gokujo Boning and Fillet Knife
                  3 1/2 inch Paring Knife

                #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

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                2021 Meat-Up In Memphis Canceled - Rescheduled for March 2022

                This summer's 2021 Meat-Up in Memphis IS OFFICIALLY RESCHEDULED FOR March 18-20, 2022. More details and re-booking info here!
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