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    Considering PBC -

    I'm sure this is a biased group, but I'm considering getting a PBC and would appreciate some input.

    I've been doing all my smoking - mainly pork shoulders and ribs - on my gas grill, with the setup and recipes found here. Results have been good, but it's time to get a dedicated smoker.

    I grew up in Arkansas where BBQ is pork, and it's all hickory smoked. My wife is die hard texan and is partial to brisket.

    Does the PBC have enough room to do a brisket and a couple racks of ribs at the same time?
    I'm assuming I could add the ribs halfway-ish through the brisket cook. Or is that not possible/recommended?

    From the reviews, and conversations - it sounds like the PBC has a different flavor profile than other smokers. Seems like most of y'all (at least from reading) don't bother using wood and just use charcoal. How different is the flavor? I'm not trying to win any contests, but if it's too different, my wife will make the angry badger face. (Upside, I don't have to share my bbq)

    Is the higher temp an issue for ribs?

    What DON'T you like about the PBC? Anything you wish you knew before you got one?

    I'm also considering WSM, and Ok Joe Bronco Drum. Anything else I should be thinking about in terms of features or competitors?

    Appreciate the input!

    -B


    #2
    There is nuthin I don’t, like of it. It’s cheap& will put you in a whole new world as far as smokin. And fer you that one on CL, is really cheap. Get it. You will not regret ever doing it. Thank me later.
    As far as wood, I put a chunk or two for that good wood smoked flavor.
    Oh, and it’s cheap!
    Last edited by FireMan; May 20, 2020, 12:52 PM.

    Comment


      #3
      Cheap on on CL? Don't think I saw that.

      I saw one posted on this board, but it's up in Chicago. A little far to go from Houston. If I could find a used one that's close, I'd be down like a fat man on a see saw.
      Last edited by BFlynn; May 20, 2020, 01:16 PM.

      Comment


      • FireMan
        FireMan commented
        Editing a comment
        Wow! That’s even cheaper yet!

      • tenphases
        tenphases commented
        Editing a comment
        nice offer!!

      • Craigar
        Craigar commented
        Editing a comment
        Some mods? Ha!

      #4
      I'm probably in the minority here, but the PBC flavor profile is just not my thing when it comes to any kind of red meat I ever tried. I liked it for chicken and even turkey, though. It is quite a bit different than whatever smoker you have been using, probably.
      Last edited by Steve R.; May 20, 2020, 01:22 PM.

      Comment


        #5
        I don't have a PBC, but know a lot about it from being here on the Pit, and window shopping for smokers for years.

        The PBC allows the drippings to go straight on the charcoal, which leads to more of a "grilled" flavor in the smoked meats, that some folks love, some folks don't. Because of the smoke fog from sizzling dripping, there is less need for additional sources of smoke such as wood chunks. You can most certainly fit 3 racks of ribs and a sizable brisket in there at the same time, by hanging them on hooks. Very efficient for long cuts of meat like ribs and brisket. Or chicken halves. In my mind, it is less efficient for whole birds or boston butts, just due to the diameter of the drum. The higher temperatures of the PBC do not seem to be an issue for anyone, and basically mean things get done much faster. Buy efficient, I mean you can fit maybe 2 butts on an 18" diameter PBC, versus 4 to 6 on a 18" WSM or 8 on a 22" WSM.

        A Weber Smokey Mountain when used as designed with the water pan, either dry or with water, blocks the dripping from hitting the charcoal, and probably will yield a more traditional flavor using charcoal and wood chunks, closer to an offset. In my mind, it will be closer to what your wife expects from Texas BBQ. However, using its 2 levels of grates, the 18" model requires you to get creative to fit ribs and larger briskets. You can in fact buy a hanger kit that lets you dispense with the water pan and hang from hooks, giving you the option to cook more traditional, with the water pan, or remove the pan and hang on hooks like with the PBC. And unlike the PBC, you do have air flow control using intake and exhaust vents, and easy ability to refuel during the cook using the side door. If buying a WSM, my money is on the 22" model for myself, just to have more space on the cooking grates.

        The Oklahoma Joe Bronco is much like the PBC, but with intake and exhaust vent control, so you can dial in a temperature if you choose. Unlike the PBC, it has a deflector you can install between the fire and the food, that might cut down on the drippings hitting the coals. At least one member here has one and likes it. Paging FishTalesNC to comment.

        Something I saw at my local Lowes, made by an Australian Company, is a competitor to the 18" WSM, called the Fornetto Basso, and at $179 it was much cheaper than the 18" WSM.

        Personally I think all of these cookers will make great BBQ. I feel in some ways the Weber Smokey Mountain would be most flexible, as with the Gateway Drum hanger kits you can make the 18" or 22" WSM hang foot like a PBC if you choose to, or smoke in the more traditional fashion, which would taste more like a traditional offset or other charcoal/wood smoker.

        Here are the drum hangers that work in a WSM - the 30 gallon size works for the 18" WSM, the 55 gallon size works in the 22" WSM:

        https://www.bbqguys.com/bbq-accessor...ols/meat-hooks

        Last edited by jfmorris; May 20, 2020, 02:05 PM.

        Comment


        • Uncle Bob
          Uncle Bob commented
          Editing a comment
          I'm not FishTalesNC, but am a Bronco enthusiast as well. The deflector can be left out and do the drip on the coals thing as well, along with a lot more things that the PBC or BHC have to compromise about. I'm posting up a wing cook on the Bronco using a Vortex in just a bit. It is VERY versatile.

        • Razor
          Razor commented
          Editing a comment
          What jfmorris said!

        #6
        I have one
        cook chicken,butt,ribs and brisket
        chicken is outstanding,Butt is awesome, ribs rock and the brisket ,people say it’s the best they have ever had,,,,
        And it’s very affordable, a no thinking machine, crack a beer and keep one 👁 open and make a few adjustments when necessary and enjoy !!!!

        Comment


          #7
          I bought a PBC as my first smoker and love it. It's very easy to use. I have done 3 pork butts at one time (on a campout - its portable). If you are hanging meat, you can do a lot (much less if you are just putting it on the grate) - a brisket and 4 racks of ribs at the same time. I do put a few small pieces of wood in with my charcoal early in the cook, but you probably don't have to. The company puts out pretty good videos for how to hang the meat. The only pain I run into is on longer cooks (>7 hours) you may have to remove the meat briefly to make room to add more charcoal. I recommend the ash pan and hinged grate for accessories.

          Comment


            #8
            I have a PBC and it's ok. I don't really consider it a smoker. My offset and even WSM provides a better smoke profile. I like the ease of the PBC, kind of a plug-n-play schtick. And you don't really regulate the temp, apart from removing rods and plugging holes. Ever since I got the gateway rib hanger for my WSM, I rarely use the PBC anymore. And with an ATC I can control the temps on my WSM.

            A lot of pitmasters on this site love their PBC. To me,
            its a nice little cooker.

            Comment


              #9
              Everyone I’ve cooked a pork butt for on the PBC has always asked for another one. We love the flavor it produces and I’ve found you can adjust that a little in the way you start the charcoal. I’ve done as many as 4 8-10lb pork butts and did 7 racks of ribs once. It’s a chicken cooking machine too. My advice is don’t chase temperatures with it either...you’ll drive yourself nuts...HA. There is a little bit of a learning curve with it, just like any cooker, but once you figure it out it can smoke some great food!!

              Comment


              • tenphases
                tenphases commented
                Editing a comment
                How many pork butts on the PBC? And how did you do that?

              • Dadof3Illinois
                Dadof3Illinois commented
                Editing a comment
                @ tenphases I hung two on each rebar until they were at 170 then wrapped and finished two on the grate and two in the oven.

              #10
              The PBC has its place in my yard. Poultry, ribs, brisket, leg of lamb. I have done a 18lb brisket and 3 racks in one cook. You'll need to be creative with the hooks to keep that large a hunk out of the coals. You can also expect a serous drop in pit temp when adding the ribs. As stated above. If you like to cook at 225* or like to fiddle with pit temp this cooker is not for you. Like I said in another post and I think most who don't use a fan would agree "Let it go, Let it go!"

              Comment


                #11
                Originally posted by HawkerXP View Post
                The PBC has its place in my yard. Poultry, ribs, brisket, leg of lamb. I have done a 18lb brisket and 3 racks in one cook. You'll need to be creative with the hooks to keep that large a hunk out of the coals. You can also expect a serous drop in pit temp when adding the ribs. As stated above. If you like to cook at 225* or like to fiddle with pit temp this cooker is not for you. Like I said in another post and I think most who don't use a fan would agree "Let it go, Let it go!"

                I like the idea of "plug n play" or "set and forget"..... I mean, I'll still need to "go check the bbq" and grab a beer pretty often. If I can get consistent, tasty, results, with minimal fiddling, that'd be ideal.

                Comment


                • Jared49
                  Jared49 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I have the 18” WSM. From the comments I read on this site about the PBC being set & forget. Once you get a WSM dialed in I find it equally set & forget. And it won’t take you long to dial it in.

                #12
                Originally posted by BFlynn View Post


                I like the idea of "plug n play" or "set and forget"..... I mean, I'll still need to "go check the bbq" and grab a beer pretty often. If I can get consistent, tasty, results, with minimal fiddling, that'd be ideal.
                If that's what you want, spring for a WSM 22. Solid smoke profile, lots of versatility and a ton of real estate to cook on. Combine that with a temp controller of some sort and you can sleep all night during a long cook. I've had mine for about 8 years now. Learned it's ways and now cook overnight without a fan controller.
                Seriously, you won't look back.

                Fritz

                Comment


                  #13
                  I'll probably ruffle some feathers, but I cannot think of any reason to purchase a PBC over an OKJ Bronco right now. The Bronco is $50 cheaper and notably superior in my opinion/experience (having cooked numerous times on both). I really appreciate that Noah is a vet and the PBC is a family owned business. But as a consumer looking for the best product I'm so happy I picked up a Bronco. Here is a link to a thread I started a while back re: issues I had with the PBC and the Bronco "answers". If the Pit Peeps don't boot me outta here for this blasphemy, I'm happy to answer any further questions as I have a lot more experience with the Bronco than I did when I wrote that. Good luck!

                  Comment


                  • FishTalesNC
                    FishTalesNC commented
                    Editing a comment
                    N227GB I can’t find specifics for it, but it “feels the same” in weight to the one in the PBC for whatever that is worth. I can take a close up pic if it helps? I do love that it’s notched so lifting it out with the tool is a stable process. The diffuser, like everything else in it, is porcelain coated. If I spray it with canola oil every 5-6 cooks stuff just slides right off. If I don’t, it can cake on and i have to scrape it off with one of my grill cleaning tools. 👍🏻

                  • prepperjack
                    prepperjack commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I'm right there with you. I had both the PBC and the Bronco and after a few cooks with the Bronco, I gave the PBC to my brother. If I had to get rid of all my cookers, I think its the one that I would keep.

                  • tenphases
                    tenphases commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I got a PBC as a gift and a BHC for 90$ at Walmart so I'mstocked. The PBC is made better but the BHC has better temp management. In my experience, the PBC (one of my favorite cookers) is not set and forget. But I love the flavor. The food it produces is great. If I had to choose between a PBC or a Bronco out of the box I would go with the Bronco. That being said if I got a deal on cl on a PBC I would pick it up in a heartbeat, it's a great cooker.

                  #14
                  The best advice I can share is to follow the lighting technique that is stickied here. The only negative comment I ever received, and it was a mild one, was of a "charcoal" taste. This was caused by starting to cook with unlit coals. If you ever need to add coals for long cooks add lit ones from a chimney starter. A long pair of tongs is handy here.
                  Keep an eye on the weather! Even a light sprinkle will drop the temp like a rock. Some here have made rain covers using a pan designed to fit under a hot water tank.

                  Must have accessories are an ash pan (some here use aluminum foil which works, too) and the stainless hook tool. It's also the nicest bottle opener you've ever seen. If you plan to do a turkey for the holidays, don't wait until fall to order a big bird hanger since sometimes they go on backorder.
                  I like to use a small chunk of wood about half the size of a clenched fist. The drippings on the coals do add to the flavor profile and will vary by the kind of rub you use. The crowd favorite here is BB ribs using Meathead 's Memphis Dust and Husky 's Orange Jalapeno Shawsh.


                  On the OK Joe Bronco I'd like to hear some comments about how heavy the charcoal basket is. Looking at the review video it seems kind of thin. There are a lot of pieces parts in that cooker and it seems to me to meet the price point the market demands, lighter gauge materials would have to be used. Back when I purchased my offset almost 25 years ago I also opted for the steel inserts to help prevent burn through.

                  Comment


                    #15
                    Maybe this walkthrough from OKJ will help some people:

                    https://youtu.be/0raNDMLvib8

                    He mentions it’s all 12 gauge steel and 140lbs.

                    Comment


                    • prepperjack
                      prepperjack commented
                      Editing a comment
                      jhapka That is how I got mine... I got it for only $90. I should have bought 2!

                    • tenphases
                      tenphases commented
                      Editing a comment
                      The Walmart by me still has 4 of them at 185. They won't drop the price, I've been following for a year on brickseek! If anyone lives near North Bergen NJ, that Walmart still has them on sale 185$......matter of fact I'm going to go post this in the deals section.

                    • jpsep
                      jpsep commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Checking this out. Still undecided.

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