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Introduction and a request for help

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  • Miscad
    Club Member
    • Feb 2020
    • 10
    • Royersford, Pa.

    Introduction and a request for help

    Hello from Southeastern Pa, excited to be a part of this community. A little about me and then a doozy of a first question. I have been grilling for about 15 years and smoking for about five. I currently have a Weber, three burner gas grill and a cheap, Masterbuilt ~$100 smoker that I’ve had for about four or five years. The smoker is electric and is on the smaller side. I’d call it more of an outdoor oven than a smoker – cooks fine, just doesn’t really impart much smoke flavor at all. So I’m ready to take the next step and invest in something better. Therein lies my question – what should I upgrade to? Here is what I am looking for/ some details:
    I have a family of six and occasionally have a few more people over
    I’d like to cook ribs, butts, chicken/ turkey and work my way up to a brisket
    Flavor is my main goal in this search/ purchase, my Weber is newer, so I am not necessarily looking to replace it for general/ high heat grilling – unless of course that makes better sense.
    I’m ok with some attention, but don’t want to be handcuffed to it either – as mentioned, I am somewhat new to smoking.
    Budget, I don’t know – I’d like to get the best bang for my buck, ideally keep it under $1,000, all in (thermometer(s), cover, accessories can add up quickly).
    I was set on the Big Joe III until I saw the price and read some reviews about how it was limited due to its lack of two zone cooking.
    Then I got to reading recommendations and reviews of the PBC – seems to be a good solution, but wonder if I can still follow recipes geared towards flat cooking surfaces? Can I wrap ribs or a brisket in the PBC – is that still necessary? Is the larger model capable of cooking at lower temps? Any other cons?
    And I guess one last part of this very long question – if I can pull it off, is the BJIII worth the extra ~$1,500 (plus accessories like the Joetisserie)?
    Thanks in advance!
  • texastweeter
    Club Member
    • Jul 2017
    • 2845
    • Republic of Texas

    #2
    If your willing to come to the dark side, the camp chef smoke vault 24 would fit your bill. If not a WSM for charcoal, or one of those goofy pellet popper (joking there) can produce fine meals. For me, I have the camp chef for small cooks, and from there the get way more expensive.

    Comment


    • theroc
      theroc commented
      Editing a comment
      Welcome from southern California. And +1 for the smoke vault 24. I got mine about 8 years ago as a "temporary" first smoker. Still using it and haven't found a reason to replace it!
  • RickyBobby
    Club Member
    • Jul 2016
    • 436
    • Kingwood, Texas

    #3
    Welcome to THE Pit, from Houston! Glad to have ya!

    If you haven’t already, check out this link. Great information and reviews/rating for all kinds of cookers. https://amazingribs.com/ratings-revi...smoker-reviews

    You will get all kinds of great recommendations here in very short order. You may want to start by considering what type of fuel you want to use. I use an Oklahoma Joe offset stick burner. Mine is a much older one that is made of 1/4” steel. I also use a Weber Kettle, which is very accomplished as a smoker.

    Good luck picking a new pit! We look forward to seeing what you end up with and some of your cooks!

    Comment

    • Spinaker
      Moderator
      • Nov 2014
      • 10411
      • Land of Tonka
      • John "J R"
        Instagram: JRBowlsby
        Smokin' Hound Que
        Minnesota/ United States of America

        ********************************************
        Assistants
        Dexter (Beagle mix)
        Kinnick (American Foxhound)
        ************************

        Grills/Smokers/Fryers
        Big Green Egg (Large) X2
        Blackstone 36" Outdoor Griddle 4-Burner

        Broil King Keg
        Karubeque C-60
        Kamado Joe Jr. (Black)
        Lodge L410 Hibachi
        Pit Barrel Cooker
        Pit Barrel Cooker 2.0
        R&V Works FF2-R-ST 4-Gallon Fryer

        Weber Spirit Gasser
        ******************.
        Thermometers
        FireBoard (Base Package)
        Thermoworks ThermaPen (Red)
        Thermoworks MK4 (Orange)
        **************

        Accessories
        BBQ Dragon
        Big Green Egg Plate Setter
        Benzomatic TS4000 Torch X 2
        Benzomatic TS800 High Temp Torch X 2

        Bayou Classic 44 qt Stainless Stock Pot
        Bayou Classic 35K BTU Burner

        Digi Q DX2 (Medium Pit Viper Fan)
        Dragon VT 2-23 C Torch
        Eggspander Kit X2
        Field Skillet No. 8,10,12

        Finex Cat Iron Line
        FireBoard Drive
        Lots and Lots of Griswold Cast Iron
        Grill Grates
        Joule Water Circulator
        KBQ Fire Grate

        Kick Ash Basket (KAB) X4
        Lots of Lodge Cast Iron
        Husky 6 Drawer BBQ Equipment Cabinet
        Large Vortex
        Marlin 1894 .44 Magnum
        Marquette Castings No. 13 (First Run)
        Smithey No. 12
        Smokeware Chimney Cap X 3
        Stargazer No.10, 12
        Tool Wizard BBQ Tongs
        Univex Duro 10" Meat Slicer
        ********************************
        Fuel
        FOGO Priemium Lump Charcoal
        Kingsford Blue and White
        Rockwood Lump Charcoal
        Apple, Cherry & Oak Log splits for the C-60
        **************************

        Cutlery
        Buck 119 Special
        Dexter 12" Brisket Sword
        Global
        Shun
        Wusthof
        *******
        Next Major Purchase
        Lone Star Grillz 24 X 48 Offset

      #4
      Welcome to the Pitmaster Club! Given that you are good with the Weber, I would go with a PBC, they are great for most things smoked. You can easily cook foods just the way you would using any other cooker. And you can hold a lot more of it. The capacity to the footprint is pretty hard to beat.

      Generally, I hang meats in the PBC. And I don't really wrap at all, unless I am in a big hurry. When it gets to that point, simply wrap the brisket or pork shoulder up and throw it on the grate that is included with the barrel.


      You really can't run the PBC at "lower temps" but anything under 300 F is pretty much the same to me. The only difference I have found while cooking BBQ between 225 F and 275 F is that 225 F takes much longer. So I am totally fine cooking at the 275 F or so. (Where the PBC likes to hang out)

      As for the Big Joe III, is it worth it? To me, yeah it is worth it. I own three Kamados because they are fun and they are extremely versatile. You can smoke, grill, bake and do just about anything else. They are guaranteed for life against most things and they are a blast to run. They are also fantastic for cold weather cooking. In Minnesota, I need that! The only real draw back is cost. However, I like to use this quote, "The pain of a high price fades far quicker than the sting of poor quality." KJ is high quality and they stand behind their product. I am not saying PBC is cheap by any means, I have 3 of them, but they should not really be compared to the KJ because they are so different. If you buy the KJ, you will be buying quality and something that will last you for a long, long time. If you already have the grilling set up with the Weber and you are cool with that, go with the PBC. If you want a more versatile cooker to add on to your collection, I would go big and get the KJ.

      ************************************************** ************************************************** ************************************************** **********
      Also, since you’re new, and if you haven't already done so, please check out our homework assignment post for new members, it contains a few how-tos and please-dos. This will help you learn your way around so you can get the best experience from our forum.

      Also, it's very important that you:

      Give us an email address you actually use. You can check the email we have on file for you by clicking your name in the upper-right, then User Settings, then the Account tab. It’s tied to your Pitmaster Club account as well as our payment processor, Stripe. Don’t worry though, you can change it by simply visitinghttps://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/pi...il-request.php

      Add the domain AmazingRibs.com to your email safe list. We NEVER spam! This is important so you can receive special deals we occasionally work out for our members, receive notices about your account, such as if you’re up for renewal or are ever drawn as our monthly Great Giveaway Monthly Sweepstakes winner, which is open to all paying USA members or those with a USA delivery address (we’d hate to have to pick another person because you don’t answer us)!

      Keep the smoke rollin’

      Spinaker

      Comment

      • randy56
        Club Member
        • Aug 2017
        • 415
        • Newburgh In

        #5
        Welcome to the best there is in BBQ. A little trick with your gas grill is you can put some wood chips in aluminum foil over to the side. Light them on fire. And create more smoke. there is also a smoke tube you can purchase, that holds wood chips again light on fire and more smoke you will receive.
        I had one of those outdoor electric cabinet cookers. Used it 3 time's sold if for half what I paid. Hated the thing. You will find smoker reviews on here. as will as member's recommendations. Max does a great job with writing up the reviews.

        Comment

        • Old Glory
          Club Member
          • Feb 2018
          • 757
          • Northshore MA
          • Weber Summit Charcoal Grill
            XL BGE
            DCS Gasser
            Humphrey's Cabinet Smoker
            Weber Performer

            Slow & Sear
            Vortex
            Ceramic Grill Store Reducer Ring
            Woo Rig;
            Adjustable Rig
            BGE Pizza Stone
            FireBoard
            Pit Bull Fan
            Griddle Store Griddle

          #6
          I’ll give you a few to check out. Weber Summit Charcoal. The king of versatility.

          Slow and Sear Kamado.

          big green egg with woo ring and kick ash basket.

          Comment

          • rickgregory
            Founding Member
            • Aug 2014
            • 512
            • Seattle, WA

            #7
            So.. a lot will depend on how much you smoke (how often, but also how much meat). You can start, if you want with a Slow N Sear which is basically a basket for your weber with a water reservoir. Works well, but if you want to smoke in the weber you need to make sure the lid seals well, etc.

            If you like the idea of a dedicated smoker (or something that can act as a smoker in addition to the weber at least), The PBC, KJ and Oklahoma Joe's Bronco are all getting good reactions here. Then there are stick burners.

            Budget $1-250 for a thermometer depending on what you want in one.

            Comment


            • HouseHomey
              HouseHomey commented
              Editing a comment
              Miscad What he said.👆 I have 2 kettles, a 26&22 both with SnS and spin grates. I LOVE my kettles. For A small amount you have a smoker/athermometer. SnS and 4’probe maverick. GAME CHANGER! Then save and consider a quality product like Spinaker said. That KJ is awesome!! That kettle with SnS products is fun and make delicious foods. Meanwhile cash the checks, cook some food and do your homework. You won’t be sorry.
          • Polarbear777
            Club Member
            • Sep 2016
            • 1621

            #8
            You can run a PBC or WSM at any temp you please with a thermostatic controller. You can get a PBC and a controller and fan for under $1k. So that would hit your volume mark and being charcoal should hit your flavor mark. Of course the PBC will run around 275-300F stock and you can dial in a WSM manually as well. Here’s my testing with the PBC...

            https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...ibration-tests


            the gasser I’d keep for high temp grilling.

            lots of other options also. Take your time and read reviews.

            Comment

            • HouseHomey
              Club Member
              • May 2016
              • 4925
              • Huntington Beach, Ca. Surf City USA.
              • Equipment
                Primo Oval xl

                Slow n Sear (two)
                Drip n Griddle
                22" Weber Kettle
                26" Weber Kettle one touch
                Blackstone 36” Pro Series
                Sous vide machine
                Kitchen Aid
                Meat grinder
                sausage stuffer
                5 Crock Pots
                Akootrimonts
                Two chimneys (was 3 but rivets finally popped, down to 1)
                cast iron pans,
                Dutch ovens
                Signals 4 probe, thermapens, chef alarms, Dots, thermapop and maverick T-732, RTC-600, pro needle and various pocket instareads.
                The help and preferences
                1 extra fridge and a deep chest freezer in the garage
                KBB
                FOGO
                A 9 year old princess foster child
                Patience and old patio furniture
                "Baby Girl" The cat

                Erik S.

              #9
              Huntington Beach welcomes you and your kettle.

              Comment

              • Oakgrovebacon
                Club Member
                • Apr 2016
                • 1813
                • South central Illinois

                #10
                Welcome to the pit from Southern Illinois!

                Comment

                • RichieB
                  Club Member
                  • Apr 2018
                  • 1214
                  • Western Mass

                  #11
                  1st welcome from Western Massachusetts. Nice Aviator (I think). I have a Kettle and SnS. It serves me well, but for what you stated your cooks are, it would not suffice. I suspect a PBC or WSM will meet your needs. I'm looking to expand and as much I love my Weber's, I'm leaning to PBC. My biggest challenge is getting it here and my wife not noticing.
                  Last edited by RichieB; February 8th, 2020, 09:04 AM.

                  Comment

                  • Skip
                    Founding Member
                    • Jul 2014
                    • 3026
                    • Blue Earth, Minnesota
                    • MAK Pellet Grill, Large BGE, Weber Kettle with SnS, Weber Gasser, Pit Barrel Cooker, Cast Iron Pans & Griddle, Grill Grates, Mostly Thermoworks Thermometers

                    #12
                    Welcome to the Pit from Minnesota.

                    Comment

                    • RonB
                      Club Member
                      • Apr 2016
                      • 12141
                      • Near Richmond VA
                      • Weber Performer Deluxe
                        SNS
                        Pizza insert
                        Rotisserie
                        Smokenator 1000
                        Cookshack Smokette Elite
                        2 Thermapens
                        Chefalarm
                        Dot
                        lots of probes.
                        CyberQ

                      #13
                      Welcome to The Pit. I don't have anything new to add.

                      Comment

                      • jfmorris
                        Club Member
                        • Nov 2017
                        • 2732
                        • Huntsville, Alabama
                        • Jim Morris

                          Cookers
                          • Camp Chef FTG900 Flat Top Grill (2020)
                          • Weber Genesis II E-410 w/ GrillGrates (2019)
                          • Weber Performer Deluxe 22.5" w/ GrillGrates & Slow 'N Sear & Drip ‘N Griddle & Party Q (2007)
                          • Custom Built Offset Smoker (304SS, 22"x34" grate, circa 1985)
                          • King Kooker 94/90TKD 105K/60K dual burner patio stove
                          • Lodge L8D03 5 quart dutch oven
                          • Lodge L10SK3 12" skillet
                          • Anova
                          Thermometers
                          • Thermoworks Smoke w/ Wifi Gateway
                          • Thermoworks Dot
                          • Thermoworks Thermapen Classic
                          • Thermoworks RT600C
                          Beverages
                          • Whatever I brewed and have on tap!

                        #14
                        Welcome to the Pit! I’ve been using an offset smoker for 30 years, but over the past couple of years have done most of my smoking on a Weber Performer Deluxe (kettle) with a Slow ‘N Sear (SnS). It can go 8-12 hours on a load of charcoal for long smokes, and is a great charcoal grill as well. If I wanted more space I would consider the PBC or a Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM). All of those are a lot cheaper than a kamado. But you will only get 2-zone on a kettle type cooker. A lot love the 26” kettle with the SnS.

                        Comment

                        • ShellandSwine
                          Club Member
                          • Jun 2019
                          • 15
                          • Bobtown, PA
                          • Yoder Loaded Wichita (Summer 2019)
                            Pit Barrel Cooker
                            Brookstone 36" Griddle
                            Member's Mark 2-Burner Gas Grill
                            Char-Griller Smokin' Champ (modded)

                            Thermapen Mk4, TimeStack, Fireboard, Wustof knives

                            Southwestern corner of Pennsylvania

                          #15
                          Welcome from southwestern PA! I love my PBC, don’t have anything to add to what they said except that Noah and his wife (they own the company) are great to talk to for advice. He literally gives you his phone number and you can chat directly with him. Or at least this is the advice I’d give to someone who didn't have Gritty as their avatar!

                          Comment

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                          Spotlight

                          These are not ads or paid placements. These Are Some Of Our Favorite Tools And Toys.

                          These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

                          Use our links when you buy things

                          Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our links and purchase from them. On Amazon it works on everything from grills to diapers, they never tell us what you bought, it has zero impact on the price you pay, but has a major impact on our ability to improve this site! If you like AmazingRibs.com, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazon

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                          Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

                          Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts


                          Digital Thermometers Are Your Most Valuable Tool And Here's A Great Buy!

                          maverick PT55 thermometer

                          A good digital thermometer keeps you from serving dry overcooked food or dangerously undercooked food. They are much faster and much more accurate than dial thermometers. YOU NEED ONE!

                          Click here for more info on the Maverick PT-55 Waterproof Instant-Read Thermometer Review shown above. It may be the best value in a thermometer out there


                          If you have a Weber Kettle, you need the Slow 'N' Sear

                          slow n sear

                          The Slow 'N' Sear turns your grill into a first class smoker and also creates an extremely hot sear zone you can use to create steakhouse steaks.

                          Click here for our article on this breakthrough tool


                          Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet's Dual Tube Burners

                          the good one grill

                          The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King's proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

                          Click here to read our complete review


                          The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One

                          the good one grill

                          The Good-One Open Range is a charcoal grill with an offset smoke chamber attached. It is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. The grill sits low in front and doubles as a firebox for the smoke chamber which is spliced on above and behind so it can work like a horizontal offset smoker only better. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.

                          Click here to read our complete review


                          Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

                          Griddle And Deep Fryer All In One

                          The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, and home fries. Or pancakes, fajitas, grilled cheese, you name it. Why stink up the house deep frying and spatter all over? Do your fried chicken and calamari outside. Blackstone's Rangetop Combo With Deep Fryer does it all. Plus it has a built in cutting board, garbage bag holder, and paper towel holder. An additional work table on the left side provides plenty of counter space.

                          Click here to read our detailed review and to order


                          Pit Barrel Cooker Smoker

                          The Pit Barrel Cooker May Be Too Easy

                          The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers in the hardware stores because temperature control is so much easier. Best of all, it is only $299 delivered to your door!

                          Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them


                          The Undisputed Champion!

                          thermapen

                          The Thermoworks Thermapen MK4 is considered by the pros, and our team, to be the single best instant read thermometer. Don't accept cheap substitutes.  Click here to read our test results and comprehensive review and why it won our Platinum Medal .


                          Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater

                          Placeholder

                          Char-Broil's Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you're off to the party! Char-Broil's TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

                          Click here to read our detailed review and to order


                          The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted

                          NK-22-Ck Grill

                          Their NK22CK-C Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It's hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the NK22CK-C a viable alternative.

                          Click here for more about what makes this grill special


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                          G&F Suede Welder's Gloves

                          Heat Resistant Gloves With Extra Long Sleeves Hold The Hot Stuff

                          If you're using oven mitts at the grill, it's time to trade up. Say hello to these suede welder's gloves. They're heat resistant enough to handle hot grill grates, and flexible enough to handle tongs. The extra long sleeves even let you reach deep into the firebox to move hot logs without getting burned. Our Fave.

                          Click here to read our detailed review

                          Click here to order from Amazon


                          GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone

                          grill grates

                          GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, keep small foods from committing suicide, kill hotspots, are easier to clean, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily removed and moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke to whatever is above. Every gas grill needs them.

                          Click here for more about what makes these grates so special


                          PK 360 grill

                          Is This Superb Charcoal Grill A Kamado Killer?

                          The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it's easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado. Beautifully designed and completely portable. Meathead says it is his preferrred grill.

                          Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

                          Click here to order it direct from PK and get a special deal for AmazingRibs.com readers only


                          kareubequ bbq smoker

                          Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

                          The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.

                          Click here for our review of this superb smoker


                          Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker

                          masterbuilt gas smoker

                          The First Propane Smoker With A Thermostat Makes This Baby Foolproof

                          Set ThermoTemp's dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin'.

                          Click here to read our detailed review


                          Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

                          fireboard bbq thermometer

                          With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.

                          Click here to read our detailed review


                          Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

                          Green Mountain Davey Crockett Grill

                          Green Mountain's portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

                          Click here to read our detailed review and to order