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    New member considering a PBC

    New member here, but long time follower of Meathead and the Amazing Ribs web-site. But, even though I've been grilling and smoking for a few years I still classify myself as very much a beginner. We keep a small Weber gasser for mainly convenience cooking through the week as my wife and I usually don't get home from work till after 6:00. We also have a Weber Original Premium 22" that we fire up on the weekend. I feel pretty confident hitting and holding 225 and 325 respectively. My wife makes fun of me for occasionally practicing temp control. I usually do this the day before a big cook when guests are coming over.

    Given these things, I have decided to "up my game", if you will, and get a little more serious about cooking and purchase a PBC. I've read the reviews and watched the videos and was really ready to purchase one but after reading some of the posts here I'm wondering if it is truly the cooker for me.

    I'd be interested in hearing any of the comments and suggestions of the forum members. Thanks.

    Tim

    #2
    I bought a PBC back in November. I've never made better brisket, pork shoulder, ribs, chicken or sausage in my life. Now with that being said, the PBC is not set and forget. However its darn close. I love mine. I use it all the time. More for large cooks, butts, brisket, ribs. I have used mine in -15 F in a Minnesota winter multiple times with no major issues other than having to add fuel, and only at the end of the cook. If your new, get one. I have a co-worker who was asking me what he should get to "get into BBQ" and I told him two things. A Pit membership and a PBC. He now has both. And, I would argue, a better quality of life!

    Good luck Lebowski!!

    - John

    Heres a few pics of some grub I've made. The bark you get with this thing is unreal.


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    Last edited by Spinaker; May 7, 2015, 10:23 PM.

    Comment


    • 3DJ
      3DJ commented
      Editing a comment
      Amazing bark! Never thought it would do it like that on the PBC. Now I'm a little more excited to try PB and a brisket on it. Thanks for sharing.

      Jim

    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      3DJ Thats why I love the PBC.

    #3
    Hi and welcome to the site BigLebowski!
    I have a weber gasser as well. I also have a WSM 22" and a PBC. Got the PBC last fall. I love it and am still figuring it out a bit. So here's my initial thoughts, and I recomended it to my boss as he wanted in on smoking but wanted it to be easy. So it was easy to recommend for that.

    Basically, and this might not go over really well here, but I think the PBC is the "Bird Whisperer" chicken and turkey are AMAZING on it. I also just did a meatloaf that turned out really good. My 2 cooks with BabyBacks were pretty good, lost a rack the first cook into the coals but learned the double hinge hook technique ( one hook hung from another ) the ribs were really good, but I knew they were no match for my ribs from my WSM when my wife bit into them and looked at me with the "nice try but these are not on par with your other smoker" look. I feel lucky to have both, and my wife ;-). I still need to do a PBC and a Brisket on the PBC, but I am getting anxious about it because I know what my WM does with these and I don't find it hard to run at all. ALso, the 2times I did meatloaf on it, it was better than on the PBC. Not by much, but better.

    Sorry, probably didn't help you much. Ask away, and do your research. Look into the WSM too!
    Jim

    Comment


      #4
      Stick burner / offset smoker = classic American motorbike, including all it's unique"needs".
      Big Green Egg = modern Italian performance machine, as a performer and a subtly needy chick.
      WSM = British classic that you better understand even before a test drive.
      PBC = Dodge Ram pickup. Bring in the big boys and get the job done.. and well.
      Basically, if you're nostalgic and traditional, get a stick burner. Of course, that means more wrenching and less riding.
      If you want updated, less fussy but different, go with a komodo style.
      Darn effective but mystical, probably WSM.
      Something that works and is appreciated because it does work.. that be the PBC.
      Ok, if you don't ride. Well, that was a waste. If you do, then you totally get it.

      Comment


        #5
        If you like BBQ chicken, get the PBC. If you are mainly interested in ribs, pulled pork, brisket - there are other options, including the kettle you already have, all wth their own learning curves. If you want to cook for big groups - PBC is an affordable option to large stickburners.

        Comment


          #6
          Originally posted by Voodoo View Post
          Ok, if you don't ride. Well, that was a waste. If you do, then you totally get it.
          I do ride and I totally get the analogy. At one time I had plates on 7 bikes at the same time.......everything from an R90 BMW to a KLR 650. I havent' researched the WSM cookers, I will do that.

          To be honest, I was lured by the whole "set and forget" set up.......knowing full well that isn't exactly the case. Ill also be honest and tell everyone that 12 hour smokes are not my most favorite thing to do either as I get tied to the house.

          Comment


            #7
            I have a gasser and two smallish charcoal cookers -- a Primo Jr. and a Portable Kitchen. I've had my PBC for about a year and a half and I use it most for large cooks or things that won't fit well on the smaller grills. I'm certainly no expert, but I've yet to make a bad meal with it.

            Oh, and just about everybody has lost a rack of ribs to the coals...almost a rite or passage.

            Comment


            • Lynn_B
              Lynn_B commented
              Editing a comment
              I went with a Rec Tec because of the Set & forget and I love it. Just my 2 cents

            #8
            PBC and WSM are very similar, it really comes down to how much you want to work at it. I have done little with the WSM but here are my impressions that people with more experience are welcome to comment on.
            • Ease of use-PBC hands down, once you get the hang of it you should be able to just leave it alone for 4 hours at a time without hesitation (assuming good cooking conditions).
            • Efficiency-PBC, it is smaller and very efficient, you can cook 8-10 hours on 8 pounds of charcoal.
            • Capacity-WSM-assuming the 22". Long meats like ribs and briskets fit better in the PBC because they hang, thing like chickens and pork butts go better on the WSM which can hold 2 to 3 times as much of these. The real weakness of the PBC here is that eventually everything but ribs need to go to the grate, at which point the WSM is vastly more spacious.
            • Quality-WSM. I can't speak to the new PBC finish, but my 1 year old PBC is looking pretty ugly, after this year it may be pretty much done, I can't imagine it lasting longer than 3 years (I do cook quite a bit on it though, probably will see 1,000# this year). I have no question the WSM will last 10 years with any kind of care, and 20+ if babied.
            • Ruin dinner-PBC While maybe not a really strong chance of this, there is a possibility that your food will fall off the hooks and if you aren't around ruin your plans, this isn't really a concern on the WSM.
            • Food Quality- Tied. I can't imagine a domed topped barrel outputting significantly different quality food than a square topped one. Hanging meat can self baste more, but really how much more are you doing by basting vertically vs horizontal, not much I would guess. You can get more flavor from juices dripping on the fire, but you can also get wildly fluctuating temps when a quart of juice from a couple butts hit the coals.
            If the purchaser is new to smoking and doesn't know a lot about temp control or wants to be away from the cooker for hours at a time and doesn't have too cook a ton of food the a PBC is 100% the way to go. There are in betweens with the different sizes but that was the complete beginner, for someone who has temp control down and wants capacity but still dead simple to use, WSM.

            The PBC is without a doubt the best money I have spent on anything anywhere, I got really into cooking great food that I was never able to do before with it and love it, but it will be the only one I own. I learned what I needed to learn on it and now the benefits of other cookers are more important to how and how much I plan to cook going forward. I like the time the PBC gives me, the ability to sleep on my mostly overnight cooks and has me steering toward a Rec Tec for the ease of use and capacity. But at the same time for all of my other cooks I think it will be too easy, like serving a turkey you cooked for hours rather than just buying one. I still don't know which to get, but I do know that whatever decision I make, i'll always remember the green grass of the other...

            Comment


              #9
              It's inexpensive and it works. If you are getting further into the BBQ arts, you'll end up owning both a WSM and a PBC at some point anyhow. You can't go wrong. It gives me a smoke roasted flavor on Chicken and ribs that I really like. Don't overthink it, just get the PBC.

              Comment


                #10
                If you want a "set it and forget" smoker you might want to check out www.rectecgrils.com

                Comment


                • TheBigLebowski
                  TheBigLebowski commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Those are purdy.......whole bunch of jack though.

                #11
                Originally posted by scorched_porch View Post
                Don't overthink it
                If only you knew how squarely you just hit the nail on the head.

                Comment


                  #12
                  I'm very new at this smoking/BBQ thing. My coworker who commented in this thread recommended the PBC and my first cook was a chicken. Spatchcock method. It was some of the best chicken I've ever had. Its just my fiance and I so the amount of food I can cook on it is plenty. Took about 10 minutes to set-up and roughly 2 hours to cook the chicken. Was really easy and pretty much managed itself aside from temperature checks.

                  As I said, I'm very new to this but I can't imagine something being easier to use. Planning to cook a pork shoulder this weekend and am hoping for similar results to my chicken.

                  Comment


                  • TheBigLebowski
                    TheBigLebowski commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Good luck with the shoulder. All this talk about smoking and meat, I've decided to do some pulled pork for Sunday on the kettle.

                  • Spinaker
                    Spinaker commented
                    Editing a comment
                    What about the dogs man?!? TheHoff43

                  #13
                  Due to cost of shipping anything up here, i was looking real seriously at the PBC. Long story, but couldn't get one here, so i ended up with an 18" WSM at Home Depot (and they wouldn't ship a 22 to the store for me either).

                  Anyway, i'm thrilled with the WSM, and I'm curious (due to the options of cooking methods with the WSM) what the pro's would be with a PBC. I'd still love to have one, i just can't see that it would do anything i can't with the WSM.

                  Comment


                  • Spinaker
                    Spinaker commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I don't own a WSM. But I would think that the WSM could do almost everything a PBC can. I got the PBC in a toss up between the WSM. Fewer moving parts. IMO. However, when you go to the rack with the PBC, the WSM's capacity blows the PBC out of the water. That is the only thing I could think of. But Ernest (the Zen God of food pics) has both and he would be able to shed more light on this I am sure.

                  #14
                  1buba, you could make your own PBC for a fraction of what it would cost to buy one! I made a couple UDS's out of 45 imp. gal. barrels. I think I have $125 into each of them.

                  Comment


                    #15
                    People rave about the PBC (I've never cooked on one or eaten anything from one). I have a 14.5" WSM that I got for Christmas and have done a few cooks on it. The food turned out absolutely amazing. You really can't go wrong with either one. I will say this though, the WSM has a water bowl and when water is used it creates a more humid cooking environment than the PBC, although the PBC is plenty humid due to minimal air flowing through it. Also keep in mind, everything except ribs eventually have to go to the grate. If you are doing a butt or a brisket for a really long cook and end up having to add coals you will have to remove the grate in order to do so whereas the WSM you have a charcoal door.

                    Given how people on this site rave about the PBC I am confident that if you purchased one you'd be very satisfied with it.

                    Comment


                    • Hondo
                      Hondo commented
                      Editing a comment
                      @JeffJ... I've actually cooked with and eaten food from both a WSM and the PBC...

                      To be honest, both produce a high quality product in the hands of a capable pit master. I've never wished for a water bowl for the PBC... food is always juicy and tender and comparable to anything I've tasted from the WSM.

                      As far as adding coals to the PBC... I've cooked chicken, ribs, pork butt and brisket on the PBC and have always finished the cook without having to add coals. Pretty easy to run eight plus hours on the original coals.

                      The PBC wins in "my" book due to ease of use and the speed of the cook... I have cooked the large cuts and still been done within eight hours... bottom line is that the PBC works as advertised and I highly recommend it...

                      No disrespect intended for the WSM, it's an awesome smoker and deserves the high regard it has earned over the years...

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