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How is your PBC holding up?

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    How is your PBC holding up?

    Coming up on a year since purchasing this thing, and decided it was finally time to clean it. Thanks to a couple fairly substantial cooks, I estimate I cooked up about 800 pounds of meat, primarily pork shoulder, during that time. I stuck with the PBC method of not cleaning it, but I wasn't liking the blockage of airflow I was seeing, all of that juice on the coals left a pretty substantial mountain of carbon.

    I started with a pressure washer, and basically that didn't do anything! I soaked it in degreaser and that helped a bit, but no real results until I got the paint scraper out. I tried to not peel off too much, just get rid of the junk. The inside fared well with the exception of a little surface rust at the bottom. The outside had quite a bit of surface rust, primarily around the 3 horseshoes, the rim of the lid (I have a cover but the rain catches it cooling quite a bit) and the bottom. There was another fairly large chunk of surface rust about 6 inches from the opening, not sure why it's there.

    All in all i'm very happy, 800 pounds of the best cue I've done is definitely worth the money. However, I think this thing only has another 2 years tops; that may not be evident by my post, but having cooked with it weekly you can tell that it just isn't new anymore, and it feels weak.

    What do you guys think?

    I was checking mine out this morning. I swept out some ash the other day. A little rust near the bottom due to the expansion and contraction around the charcoal basket. May brush her down and repaint next Saturday.

    Mine is totally out the weather. I had water accumulate once on the lid from a bad storm, and less than ideal pit positioning.


      Hopefully at my next place (who knows where or when) I will have a better place, mine is always somewhat in the weather, roof overhang is the best protection mine gets.


        I keep mine in the garage with no cover. It's by no means in pristine condition, and the lid sticks like nobody's business (I'll probably wire brush the rim and under the lid with some sort of cleaner like cheap vodka 😅). Otherwise no big issues. Of course I've run no where near the amount of cooks you guys have...


          Hey JPP! I see your join date was in July but I haven't seen you on this side. Mine stick a bunch as well, but hopefully today took care of it.


          • JPP
            JPP commented
            Editing a comment
            Been mostly lurking here in 'da pit.

          A sticking lid just means you have finally cooked enough.


            I've had this replacement PBC since September (original one delivered in June) and I cook on it about every 10 days or less. The lid has just started sticking on the last couple of cooks so I took one of those green Scotchbrite pads to the rim of the barrel last week. I used a light hand since I've heard that PBCs are prone to rust and I didn't want to get that process going. The lid behaved well after that light scrub.

            Like JPP, I kept my PBC uncovered in the garage but about 2 months ago I moved it to the deck off the kitchen. It's a screened-in deck and I got a cover from the PBC folks for it. So far so good--no rust.

            More concerning to me, John, was your report on another topic that the condensation from the humidity on the lid drips onto your meat during a cook. To me that would mean that the lid interior would have to be cleaned after every cook. I haven't noticed that condensation/drip on my cooks, but got to thinking after your post. Maybe I just haven't been looking for it. So for tonight's cook, I'm going to pay special attention.

            Speaking of tonight's cook, I'd better get a move on!!!



            • _John_
              _John_ commented
              Editing a comment
              I posted a pic of my lid below. I will try paying more attention to humidity etc. I did a 6 pound butt Friday and didn't see anything. Yesterday I did 6 pounds of pretty fatty chuck and while it didn't drip while I was watching the top was definitely damp.

            Mine is holding up pretty well, but I have a covered patio. A little rust around the bottom and one of the horseshoes. I'm with John, I don't see these lasting a long time. I'm thinking maybe 5 years or so but at the price I paid for it, I'll be ok with that.


              Mine had some paint lift and flake on the base about 1 month in. No biggie, but I reported it to Noel just incase there was a spray / coating issue. Rather than repaint, I smeared it with flax seed oil, just like a cast iron pan. I've got a small amount of top rust on the lid horseshoe, but that's it. I try to keep it covered with a $6 master forge cover.

              I completely agree with everyone else. Regardless of how long this thing lasts, I've got my money's worth!


                Speaking of my lid, here is what it looks like after a powerwashing today. You can see where the water pools and drips off.
                Click image for larger version

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                  And you might be able to tell that it has warped quite a bit as well. It still fits just fine but I guess it has expanded a bit. And what you see in the pic is after powerwashing and I tried scraping it with a metal paint scraper but it isn't going anywhere.


                    I have been using my PBC since October with no issues to speak of. Not a long duration of time but, I've done at least 3 cooks a week, every week since I unboxed it. (BTW, I'm still looking for a name for my PBC, any ideas?) I keep mine under the awning in front of my house so it doesn't ever see direct rain or snow fall. I'm hoping that this will drastically extend the life of the cooker.
                    I will also wipe off any water that I see on the surface of the cooker. I'm a firm believer in the idea, "If you take care of your equipment, you equipment will take care of you."

                    As for the sticky lid, I'm of the opinion that a sticky lid means you get a tighter seal at the rim. All that grease just helps to seal that baby up!!

                    Just my two cents!!



                    • JPP
                      JPP commented
                      Editing a comment
                      True 'nuf! But when I try to lift the lid and the entire cooker comes off the stand, wellllll....

                    Originally posted by Spinaker View Post
                    (BTW, I'm still looking for a name for my PBC, any ideas?)

                    Polly. Pit Barrel Polly.


                      NEWS FLASH! New for 2015. The PBC has switched from powder coat to enamel coat. Price went up from $289 to $299. The enamel coating should extend the life of the PBC considerably. The coal grate basket is also beefed up.
                      Last edited by Max Good; January 21, 2015, 09:01 AM.


                      • mtford72
                        mtford72 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Any chance of a Pit Club discount for 2nd purchases! We have to be his biggest group of evangelists!

                      • carolts
                        carolts commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Would definitely be worth the upgrade. Living near the ocean is definitely taking a toll.

                      • fzxdoc
                        fzxdoc commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Woo Hoo! It will be interesting to see how the new PBC mods perform with time. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another PBC when mine finally rusts away. So far, though, no rust spots, so life is good.


                      Mine is doing great after 2 months of heavy use. I keep mine on a covered screened porch when not in use.

                      My only complaint is cleaning out the ash.

                      I have yet to try and Jerry-rig a pizza pan or formed tin foil, but that is the game plan.

                      I do mostly pork butts and ribs with the occasional chuck roast.

                      The only mod I have made is adding a TRU-TEL thermometer at just above rack level.

                      For long cooks, one simply cannot beat the PBC for ease of use and results - HANDS DOWN (from a novice's POV, anyway).


                      • Spinaker
                        Spinaker commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I hear ya on that ash clean out deal. The PBC is awesome, but it get a D when it comes to ash clean out. Thats what I tell people is the only draw back. (other that, the PBC is short, but I'm 6' 6" so everything is short)

                      • HC in SC
                        HC in SC commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Yeah - currently I just let it cool completely down, then dump the heavy ash per the instructions. A power blower makes light work of the rest of the fly ash. Can create a mess and is kind of a PIA.

                        I am getting spoiled with the detachable ash pan on the Weber Performer, no doubt. I also like the propane charcoal starter and easy lever / fan blade ash sweeper. Make no mistake though, outside of burgers, steaks and chicken the Kettle can't hold a candle to the ease, speed and capacity of the PBC. Nothing else can run at 265-275 for 8-10 hours, other than the BGE / Primo, but even at the new $299, the PBC kills them on price point.

                      • Ernest
                        Ernest commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I bought a pizza pan with slanted raised sides that I use as PBC ash tray.


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