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

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  • mnavarre
    replied
    I've got both a PBJr. and a Weber/SnS and love 'em both. If I had to pick just one it'd be the Weber, just for the flexibility. Don't get me wrong the PBJr. is a great little cooker, it beats the Weber on capacity at least if your hanging meat, & they both use about the same amount of charcoal on long cooks. It's not great for direct grilling, and if you want control over temp at best it's pretty crude without some kind of hackery.

    The Weber can do just about everything, and do it pretty well. Smoke? Yup. A nice, clean roast? Yup. Grill? Well, Yeah. I lags a bit on capacity, you can get 6 racks of spare ribs in the PBJr., versus 3-4 in the Weber with a rib rack. It beats the PBJr. all hollow on temp control. Honestly, if you want a "do everything" cooker, it's hard to beat the Weber.

    Plus, you can probably pick up a used Weber off of Craigslist for less than $50. From your criteria I'd say go with the Weber.

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  • Jfrosty27
    replied
    Webber 22” with a Slow and Sear should do everything you want and be within your budget.

    Leave a comment:


  • LA Pork Butt
    replied
    I have a Jumbo Joe with a SlowNSear and a Vortex. I use them both about an equal amount of time. I would think the 22” Weber with SlowNSear or Vortex would allow you to cook just about anything you want and would be more versatile the PBC. Since you primarily cook for 2 the 22” Weber would allow you enough space to cook an entire meal for two especially if it is grilling.

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  • patcrail
    started a topic Help! Larger smoker: PBC Junior vs Weber kettle+SNS???

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

    My only current cooker is the Weber Smokey Joe, & I absolutely love it, since I’m always cooking for two. BUT, it has big size limitations & very small charcoal capacity on longer cooks, so it does require constant tending, at least every 15 minutes once running. So based on the last few weeks cooking with the WSJ, and beautiful results with both steaks/chops & long cooks of ribs/roasts, the Ol Lady has given me the OK to buy a larger smoker so we can cook larger cuts and have leftovers (we pretty much smash the entire WSJ cook)...SOOO,
    .
    I read the write up here on the PBC, and think the JR is right about the size and price I’m comfortable with, and was all set to order one, when I realized two POTENTIAL ISSUES WITH THE PBJ:
    1) CHARCOAL LOAD: it seems to need an huge amount of charcoal, even for shorter cooks (think tender roasts to medium rare)... there are lots of threads on the PBC channel about cutting down the Charcoal in the bowl, although they seem to be more related to regulating temperature, which brings me to number 2: control!
    .
    Meathead 2) CONTROL: I notice that nearly all of the PBC posts are about trying to modify either the cooker or the technique to GAIN CONTROL over what seems to be designed as, and function best as, a set-it-and-forget-it cooker! I mean, the product reviews here really emphasize how well this thing cooks if just set as instructed and left alone, even though the temps are higher than a lot of recipes here. Meathead even says in the write up that it’s “hard to argue” with the results, MAINLY fantastic meat, great bark, tender & juicy results, and SHORTER COOKS.... SO WHY IS EVERYONE TRYING TO DEFEAT THE DESiGN? I have to believe it’s EITHER WE HAVE A NEED TO FIDDLE WITH SETTINGS AND TEMPS, OR THE RESULTS OF THE PBC JUST AREN’T THAT GREAT WHEN USED AS DIRECTED. So which is it??
    .
    So my other option is a larger Weber Kettle plus the Slow ‘N Sear, which will, of course, have lower capacity than the PBJ as far as size of cut, BUT I’m not gonna be cooking a full packer brisket or more than maybe two slabs of ribs, so it should suffice. It seems to me that the key ADVANTAGES the Weber + SNS combo might have are:
    .
    1) less charcoal consumption on shorter cooks, like a medium-rare roast.
    .
    2) the ability to FIDDLE WITH VENTS TO CONTROL TEMPERATURE
    .
    SO NOW THE DECISION! Are all the PBC MODS here because we have some INNATE NEED TO CONSTANTLY CONTROL OUR COOK, OR IS THERE SOMETHING INADEQUATE ABOUT THE WAY THE PBC COOKS THAT DRIVES ALL THESE MODS?
    .
    If I’m going to buy a dedicated smoker, I’m not sure how I would feel about set-it-and-forget it... A GREAT DEAL OF THE PLEASURE OF BBQ IS IN THE INTERACTION WITH THE COOK ITSELF, AND THE PRIDE WHEN IT WORKS PERFECTLY! So it seems like using a PBC as-designed removes that.
    .
    I AM NOT ON A QUEST SOLELY FOR GREAT MEAT TO EAT: I LOVE THE INTERACTION WITH THE COOK ITSELF, which has me leaning toward the Weber + SNS combo, just so I can fiddle...
    .
    Are there OTHER QUALITY SMOKERS AROUND $300 that would allow me to interact more with my meal and cook larger hunks o meat? Or is it practical to actually fiddle with the PBC?
    .
    I’m on a tight budget, disabled, desire more from my cooks, but don’t want to just throw meat and charcoal in one end and pull out meat 6 hours later— takes the fun out of it? ANY ADVICE OR OTHER OPTIONS?

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