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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!

    I can’t speak about the other cookers, but I recently got an Oklahoma Joe Bronco, $300. and really like it. It has intake and exhaust dampers and is killer at holding temps. It might be another option for you if you’re looking for a barrel cooker.https://www.oklahomajoes.com/smokers...s/drum-smokers
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Panhead John; May 3, 2021, 11:32 AM.


    • latenight71
      latenight71 commented
      Editing a comment
      uh, Panhead John . . . . this is the PBC channel. can you please keep your Charbroil Joe pictures in the proper place. I'm actually surprised this got by the moderators.

    • Panhead John
      Panhead John commented
      Editing a comment
      I have “official” permission from them to post wherever I want! Nah nah nah nah nah.

    • Soonerpop
      Soonerpop commented
      Editing a comment
      I’m struck, and I think appropriately so since it’s you, by the chunk of wood in the center of the top pic. At first glance, it looks like a hand raising its middle finger to the world. Is that a happy accident, or is wood carving one of your many skills?

    Thank you. I had not thought of this one. I will look into it.


      Not havin any experience with these cookers, in recent years, I wish ya th Very Best of outcomes, Amigo!!!
      Are ye aware, yer bout twenty minutes from my house???

      Let's Cook Out, Some!!!

      My youngest brother lives there, I could probly find a flop on his carpet, or at least, garage floor!
      Last edited by Mr. Bones; May 3, 2021, 12:49 PM.


        I have the Pit Barrel Cooker (PBC) and would recommend that as a great option, especially if you are looking for something more "set and forget". It has a bit of a learning curve at first, but mostly in the fact that you have to learn to trust the process and not worry about trying to maintain the temperature manually - the cooker is designed to do that itself! Turns out great BBQ.

        My understanding of the use case for a Gateway, which I understand to be a very high quality cooker though I don't have one, is if you are considering competition BBQ. The extra air intakes allow you to precisely control the temperature and even easily add a controller fan if needed. I think you can do this on the PBC with an adapter or small modification though. Also, the Gateway is obviously larger, so could be better if you have large capacity needs. Although I don't want to sell the PBC capacity short - PBC can easily handle 8 racks of ribs hanging!




            Very good information. Thank you.


              I have both of those. I use the PBC for smaller time cooks and I added a barrel roller from Amazon for easier mobility. Gateway for larger cooks and better temp. control. It comes with wheels that attach. Has a huge charcoal basket. I've gotten several cooks without ever having to add more lump. They both make great Q. Do I need both, NO, but since we're Ace Hardware dealers and I get this stuff at wholesale cost, I rationalized that I had to have both so I could answer customers questions about each one. The wife's not buying that one, though. :-)


              • Soonerpop
                Soonerpop commented
                Editing a comment
                It’s what separates us from the apes....rationalization.

              I'm a really big fan of my PBC. i was getting great results nearly from the start and continue to improve with every cook. I've fit 10 racks of baby backs in for one cook and 12 lb. pork butt on another. I have not used the Gateway but i have looked it over in person on a few occassions and i would certainly grab one if I had extra $$ burning a hole in my pockets. I love the smoke stacks and the variety of colors, as well.


                I can only speak about the PBC, but I've loved it. It's been my go-to for chicken and ribs for a few years. It's also easy to cook a great pork shoulder. It's a solid product for smoking.


                  Hunsakers are supposed to be nice as well.

                  The Bronco Pro seems like a good one
                  Last edited by Old Glory; May 3, 2021, 05:16 PM.


                  • kenrobin
                    kenrobin commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I was also going to suggest the Hunsakers. They are comparable to Gateway.

                  Since we seem to have an informed consensus, the answer is obvious. Now you just have to decide which Pellet Pooper will serve you best.


                    Thank you everyone! Excellent information. This helps a lot.


                      You can't go wrong with a PBC. I wouldn't trade mine for anything. Well, maybe some new Jimmy Choos...nah, that was just a passing temptation.

                      Bought it for a Mother's Day gift for myself 7 years ago. Great purchase. Been going strong with ever since, even though the WSCGC nudges it aside from time to time.

                      I've now got a temp controller on my PBC and it is pretty doggone perfect. A lot of times, though, I use it without the controller setup because I love cooking old school on that barrel.



                      • Thomassen
                        Thomassen commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Do you leave your adapter on for the bottom vent or do you reset it, old style.

                      • fzxdoc
                        fzxdoc commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Thomassen , at my altitude, it works fine with the adapter itself left in place.

                        Last edited by fzxdoc; May 8, 2021, 07:00 AM.


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