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Help! Larger smoker: PBC Junior vs Weber kettle+SNS???

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    #16
    The only cooker I’ve got is the Weber 22” with SnS. It smokes what I want to smoke. Cooks what I want to cook and sears what I want to sear. It even cooks a great pizza with the KettlePizza attachment. I usually cook for 3 of us and the Weber is up to the task. It’s taking good care of my BBQ needs.

    Comment


      #17
      I have a PBC and disagree that it requires fiddling. Some people are tinkerers and are always chasing what they believe to be the perfect temp. I monitor temps just to make sure the coals are lighting but besides cracking the lid for higher temps for chicken, I rarely do anything to manage temps. And the load of charcoal in the basket is solely for time, not temp, reasons. Less coal = shorter time. For just cooking a 2 inch thick steak, I used maybe a dozen briquettes + the 40 I light in the chimney.

      that being said, For what you are looking for I’d probably go Kettle and SnS. More versatility and it would flat out replace the WSJ being it could more effectively have 2 zone cooking and still be used for direct grilling and serve as a smoker

      Comment


      • patcrail
        patcrail commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks Shifty . That’s what I was trying to say: it seems to me the people who do all these mods are trying to defeat the basic design of what I’m sure is an outstanding cooker... I just like the idea of being able to choose whether I’m cooking at 220 for hours on end or at 275 for a shorter cook on a different piece of meat, so the PBC probably isn’t my thing, since I can only get one right now

      #18
      Thanks all, I think this has helped me decide, either a Weber kettle + SNS , or perhaps the OKJ Bronco for the ability to select the cook temp

      Comment


      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        I wish ya luck with yer decision, an look forward to whatever ya make, on yer new cooker, Brother!

      #19
      I don't have a PBC but do have a 22" kettle with a SNS, so can comment to capacities there.

      On the Weber 22" with the SNS, I have smoked the following using the SNS:
      • One brisket up to 18 pounds
      • 2 8 to 10 pound boston butts for pulled pork
      • 3 chickens split, or 2 spatchcocked, in the indirect zone
      • Up to 5 racks of ribs, using a Weber rib rack to hold them on edge in the indirect zone
      • Prime ribs and NY strip loin roasts up to 10 pounds
      • Full pork loins of 10 to 12 pounds
      • Lots more
      In addition, I have a set of Grillgrates from GrillGrate.com, and have the option to DIRECT grill on the entire cooking space, and do that quite often, fitting the following amounts direct grilled on the entire grate area:
      • 4-5 whole chickens, split
      • 6-7 pounds chicken wings
      • Lots of burgers and brats - you can probably do 18-20 at a time with the Grillgrates
      I also use the Drip N Griddle to saute and fry over the fire, use the SNS as a high temp searing station for reverse seared steaks, deep fry by putting a cast iron Dutch Oven over the SNS. Baked bread in a Dutch Oven - you name it.

      The 22" sized kettle is a very FLEXIBLE cooker, as it can smoke, sear and grill both direct and indirect. And you have full control over temperature, and can easily add fuel for long cooks. I can get 12+ hours on a single load of 7-8 pounds of charcoal in the SNS, and can easily access it to add more for things that take longer to cook - like a big brisket that goes 14-16 hours.

      The Pit Barrel Cooker is great due to its ability to hang things, but even the full size PBC only has an 18" grate, not much bigger than your Smokey Joe, and the PBC Junior has the same 14" grate as you Smokey Joe. So as a grill, neither of them offer any more than what you have now, and the PBC is not primarily a grill. The 22" Weber Kettle, while primarily a grill in design, excels at indirect cooking and smoking, and the SNS certainly makes this more convenient, but I smoked for years on a 22" kettle before I ever heard of the SNS.

      I think you will find the Weber full size kettle to be the most flexible option. I would buy the PBC if you only want to smoke on it. If you think you would like a larger grill, and searing capability, then go for the Weber Kettle. I have the Weber Performer Deluxe, and it is probably the last grill I would part with if I had to get rid of cookers.

      I do recommend for ease of cleanup and ash removal, to consider a model that has the ash sweeps and ash bucket underneath, versus the cheaper model of the kettle that just has a pan suspended between the legs. I've had both, and the ash bucket makes it SO much easier to not make a mess on the patio.
      Last edited by jfmorris; June 29, 2020, 09:43 AM.

      Comment


      • patcrail
        patcrail commented
        Editing a comment
        And knowing how much capacity it has in “real terms” helps a lot!

      • jfmorris
        jfmorris commented
        Editing a comment
        patcrail I think I also have done a 16 pound turkey, spatchcocked, on the kettle with the SNS, but I had to wrap the tips of the drumsticks with some foil, as they were hanging out over the SNS slightly. This past Thanksgiving I deconstructed two 20 pound turkeys, and I think that is the way I will do it going forward. I did them on my offset, but think I could have fit one on the kettle.

      • mnavarre
        mnavarre commented
        Editing a comment
        I did a 16 lb. spatchcocked turkey on the kettle back in December. Took some jiggery-pokery to get it in there without overhanging the SnS, but it cooked up beautifully.

      #20
      I have both a PBC and a Weber Kettle. This answer is easy and it’s the Weber Kettle. Now I’m also different than others here, I would recommend spending the money for the 26” kettle then save up for the SnS later. It’s nice to have and works good but you can do everything you need to do without it, and just save up for it later.
      So if you have the room you’ll love the Extra room the 26” kettle will give you.

      Comment


      • patcrail
        patcrail commented
        Editing a comment
        Great idea! I’ll definitely chew on the 26” idea! Thanks

      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        I'd haveta agree, ya'll never regret havin th extry real estate of th 26.5"...
        I never have, with mine, thus far.

      #21
      OK, just ordered a Weber 22” premium kettle and an SNS , I’m sure it will do everything I want, just gonna have to wait for hanging meat & the “smoke fog” until I can afford more,but convinced I’ll be able to really expand with this setup

      Comment


      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        While yer waitin, ya'll be more than equipped, an able to cook most anything that comes down th pike, amigo!
        Ya know where I am, if ya have any questions, an there's tons of other kettle users on here, as well, most of em smarter than me....

        Lookin forward to yer new adventure, Brother!

      • jfmorris
        jfmorris commented
        Editing a comment
        Good choice!

      #22
      Ok, so you large kettle guys who use temp probes: do you drill a hole for the wires, drop them through the lid vent, or just close them under the lid? On my Smokey Joe, running under the lid made it impossible to run under 270 or so because of the leakage, so I had to drill.

      Comment


      • Huskee
        Huskee commented
        Editing a comment
        I go under the lid. I don't have trouble keeping them low.

      #23
      Originally posted by patcrail View Post
      Ok, so you large kettle guys who use temp probes: do you drill a hole for the wires, drop them through the lid vent, or just close them under the lid? On my Smokey Joe, running under the lid made it impossible to run under 270 or so because of the leakage, so I had to drill.
      I don't have any trouble running it under the edge of the lid and maintaining 225 on my kettle. A little smoke escapes where the probe wires snake under the lid, but not enough to affect the cook. More often I snake them through the top vent. I drilled a hole a couple of years ago for a fan, but have never done one for temp probes. I'm using a Performer Deluxe and am too lazy to remove the table in order to drill that hole and install the grommet.

      Comment


      • patcrail
        patcrail commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks, jfmorris , do you use a fan? Curious if that helps compensate for any leakage? On my lil Smokey Joe, the leakage from the propped lid was terrible, the only way to get it below 250 was the bottom vent closed except a sliver & the top vent closed, but then it would eventually die out

      • jfmorris
        jfmorris commented
        Editing a comment
        patcrail what thermometer are you using? Mine is a Thermoworks Smoke, and the probe wires are not that thick. Also - you are talking 14" versus 22". Any leak will be 3 times as bad on the 14", as the 22" has almost 3 times the circumference. I do have a fan, but I only use it for overnight cooks. I find the temps to be very controllable. Again - if you are worried about it just run the wires through the upper vent, or drill a hole for probes, and use the grommet they sell for the WSM.

      #24
      patcrail With the fan mod a little leakage under the lid doesn't affect anything. The controller compensates for that. I run my 22 and 26 with wires under the lid with zero issues.

      Comment


      • patcrail
        patcrail commented
        Editing a comment
        Rod thanks, but a fan mod isn’t anywhere on my radar! I was guessing running wires under lid would have much less effect on the large kettle vs my Smokey Joe, where it really affects the airflow

      #25
      Definitely the PBC, you can cook for a large number of people and can grill on you jumbo Joe. You could actually cook 3 slabs of ribs and a brisket on your pbc while your churning out burgers, dogs, and chops on the smokey Joe. The kettle is great but being that you already have a smokey Joe and your desire is more capacity I'd go PBC

      Definitely a kettle, you can get a stacker, rottiserie, and, vortex as time goes by and you will have an excellent cooker (it's excellent by itself as well) that has temp control and is super versatitle. You could reverse sear some killer steaks on your kettle while churning out burgers, dogs, and chops on your smokey Joe.


      .......I'm useless sorry

      Lol with your current set up and budget I would go PBC but don't agonize either way your good to go and will be happy.

      Comment


      • patcrail
        patcrail commented
        Editing a comment
        Lol, tenphases , I hear you... I went with the Weber 22 and the SNS, about $100 cheaper, more versatile, and I can choose my cook temp without workarounds... that said, next extra cash may we’ll go to a PBC or Bronco... I really wanna smoke hanging meat over the coals, just not my first priority

      • tenphases
        tenphases commented
        Editing a comment
        Great choice, you are about to have a great time tinkering with your new toys. I didn't mention the sns by accident it's actually the first accessory I would buy. (BTW run the and it without water and half full for chicken) comes out great!
        Last edited by tenphases; July 2, 2020, 09:40 AM.

      #26
      I drilled a couple of 5/16" holes just above the grates to run my Maverick probes through. When I get a new thermometer that uses different probes I'll probably drill a bigger hole and use a WSM grommet. The only reason I drilled in the first place was that I broke a couple of probe cables running them under the lid. That and dropping the probes through the vent is a PITA if you need to get in there.

      Comment


      • patcrail
        patcrail commented
        Editing a comment
        Agreed, the vent option is a real pain, and I’m not really wanting to drill a 1.25” hole in my brand new kettle just to accommodate the WSM grommet...I drilled a3/8 hole in my Smokey Joe, just the right size, thinking of going that route for now on the new one... just worried about the probe wires laying right on the hot metal, & cramming foil around them is a pain... if I could find 1/2 hi-temp grommets, I’d probably go that route

      • mnavarre
        mnavarre commented
        Editing a comment
        Never had a problem with the probe wires going through the holes, and the amount of air leakage through the holes is so negligible as to be nonexistent.

      #27
      Reckon I'm jus a knuckle draggin, stick burnin throwback, a genetic anomaly, an draggin down th World, an th Science of cookin, in general... I do apologize fer that....

      I jus wait until stuff starts lookin done~ish then start tempin / tenderness probin, with an instant read thermo, every so often, til it's ready...

      Comment


      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        No wories, patcrail ...
        Ain't passin no judgement on nobody, least of all yerself, Sir.
        Jus tellin yall what I most generally do. That don't make it fer everybody, or even right.
        But it is what it is...
        Thought I'd share my shortcomins with th whole wide world lol.
        Last edited by Mr. Bones; June 30, 2020, 03:58 PM.

      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        Yer doin th right thing, an utilizin tools that simply weren't available, when I was growin up, an learnin to cook, privately, or Professionally..
        I am very actively enjoyin yer journey, an as always, here to help, in any fashion that I can, Pat

      • patcrail
        patcrail commented
        Editing a comment
        Hell, Mr. Bones , I envy you having that feel for temp! I wanna get there... I’m 51, but been cooking wrong most of my life, on a quest now, so I’m really just using the gadgets ‘n such till I have a feel for my cooker temps... I’m there with the Smokey Joe already, know exactly where I am without the probe, just figure this new kettle is gonna take a month or so to get the feel

      #28
      I would say start with the Weber and SnS..Everything after that is a bonus.

      Comment


        #29
        Hell yes! Just found out the 22” will be here Friday (instead of Monday), as will my Porter Road order, and SNS arrives tomorrow! I hope I saved enough cash for beer, cause I’m gonna be doing a whole lotta cookin this weekend! Mr. Bones

        Comment


        • Mr. Bones
          Mr. Bones commented
          Editing a comment
          That's Great, amigo!!!

        • Huskee
          Huskee commented
          Editing a comment
          Have fun, eat well, and stay well hydrated! She's gonna be a hot holiday most everywhere.

        #30
        Mr. Bones , yes! But now I gotta figure out what order to cook my Porter Road order in: got a Pork Brisket, some Rib Cap Steaks, Memphis BBQ sausage, and back bacon all coming... I’ll probably end up cooking them all the first day & crying in my beer the rest of the weekend, lol ... kept the order kinda small cause I didn’t think it was coming till Monday, thought I’d be using Smokey Joe (well that, and I wanted some beer money left 😎)

        Comment


        • jfmorris
          jfmorris commented
          Editing a comment
          All of those cuts require different setups and cooking methods really. I sure hope you remembered to get a good instant read thermometer, as well as a leave in probe type!

        • patcrail
          patcrail commented
          Editing a comment
          jfmorris : I always use a dual-probe monitor & an instant read. I really was kidding about cooking them all on the first day.

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