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I’m new...and maybe a little lostp

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    I’m new...and maybe a little lostp

    But lost in a good way. The information I am coming across on your sight is amazing and overwhelming, hence the lost feeling.

    Let me back up up and do a proper introduction. I’m in central California, and currently own a Traeger Texas pro that I have been cooking on for about ten years. I’ve always been a little biased toward the Traeger brand having grown up about ten miles from where the first ones were made (my dad is still using the one he bought 25 years ago). In college I used Weber grills and got pretty comfortable using charcoal as well. But haven’t really used charcoal since.

    When getting ready to do a set of ribs last March on my Traeger I was watching a how to video on Malcom Reeds YouTube channel. He mentioned one of his gateway drum smokers which I had never heard of before. Fast forward a couple months and I see a PBC for sale at my local hardware store. I started some research on these cookers and came across this site. From everything I have been able to read so far I feel that the PBC would be not only a great tool to add to my backyard but super fun as well. This also seems to have reignited my desire to do more charcoal cooking in general as well.

    This is thinking sent me into several rabbit holes on this about other cookers that exist, how capable everything is on its own vs getting lots of cookers and more. Needless to say I think my head is spinning. Since I am in California I cook a lot of tri tip, but do love to smoke ribs, and brisket which have always been very doable on my Traeger. As I was looking at other cooker options I came across the slow n’ sear add on for kettles which looks amazing. Then I found the Hasty Bakes which seem to be the ultimate do it all charcoal cooker. While pricey it looks like it would be a fun cooker to use as well and great for just about everything. And now slow n’ sear just introduced a kamado!

    I cant lie, I think I want them all but not sure that that would be prudent at the moment. So I guess I’m going to finish up by asking for some advice. Should I get a PBC plus or minus a SnS kettle? Or should I think about spending the money on either a Hasty Bake or the SnS Kamado?

    Welcome to the pit. I am partial to kettles, owned them for years now, and the sns combo turns it into a smoking machine. If I didn’t already own a couple, I would look at the sns kettle. I think the kettle/sns combo is more versatile than the PBC, even though I want one of those too. No experience with a hasty bake or kamado.


      I don't think you could go wrong with any of them. Good luck on your choice and welcome from Northwest Montana.


        Welcome to The Pit. They are all good cookers, but the Weber Kettle - SnS combo does great both hot and fast and low and slow, and there are more accessories for the Kettle than anything else I can think of.


          Welcome to the Pit from Dallas, but I must warn you already appear to have a case of MCS (More Cooker Syndrome), and the Pit can only make it make it worst.


          • Calicowdoc
            Calicowdoc commented
            Editing a comment
            Oh I think it took all of about five minutes on this wonderful site to start to feel the symptoms of MCS coming on!

          • JCGrill
            JCGrill commented
            Editing a comment
            Exactly what I was thinking

          Welcome doc. You want in on a nasty little secret? No matter the question you've asked above or similar, you'll find advocates for each brand/style who will campaign with, sometimes, considerable passion, for what they believe in/own. And they are being genuinely sincere and honest for the most part...……...well, sometimes not so honest about competitive stuff, but that's driven by passion not deception.

          Just as one example from your commentary. As you've likely noticed there is a huge group of PBC fans here who wear their passion for it openly. But a couple of extra observations might round out for you if it is THE fit for you at this time. Most of those folks are pretty skilled outdoor cooks who've honed those skills on other cookers that help them deal with some of the idiosyncrasies of that device and live happily with it. They also have other cookers at hand to do some of the things that the PBC doesn't do well. Now, some will see that as a criticism of the PBC, but it's more just a commentary on the reality that all cookers have their limits, and that it's not always easy to figure out what those are. Couple that with your own place on the spectrum of skill/experience and the outcomes may or may not be as gratifying as the experienced advocates project. It's a good cooker, but it's not a "do it all" cooker. One saving grace is, it's comparatively inexpensive, as are it's half brother the Barrel House cooker, or to switch gears a tad, the Oklahoma Joe's Bronco. If you get the PBC or an alternative, and find it doesn't compliment your style or experience level, you won't be out much and you'll have learned some good lessons that you can carry forward for the next "ideal" purchase.

          Hint: there's a small link symbol in the box below some members names on the left side of the screen, it looks like a fountain pen tip. Click on that for many of the members and you'll see the array of cookers they own even though in any given post they may only advocate for one of them. The learning never stops...………………….
          Last edited by Uncle Bob; July 2, 2020, 02:06 PM.


          • HouseHomey
            HouseHomey commented
            Editing a comment
            Well said sir!

          • Jared49
            Jared49 commented
            Editing a comment
            Yup, what he said!!!

          Welcome from Maryland. We all keep our fingers crossed right near the beginning of the month that this will be the month we win the drawing. I already know where I’m placing my Hasty Bake when I win first prize.🙂


            Welcome from Western Massachusetts.


              Welcome to the Pit from Alabama!

              You cannot go wrong with either the PBC or a 22" kettle + SNS. Or a Hasty Bake!

              Personally, I feel that the kettle is the most flexible, and the 22" size offers the most variety of accessories from both Weber and 3rd parties. You cannot smoke quite as much as you can on the PBC, but you can both smoke AND grill. And rotisserie, get a Santa Maria grill attachment. The list is endless. I have a Weber Performer Deluxe, which has a spacious side table that I use for food prep during outdoor cooking, and as a handy place to set stuff. It also has propane ignition for the charcoal, which is convenient, and a storage bin for charcoal. It is probably my favorite of my cookers, if I could only have one - that would be the one.

              The Hastybake is a super top notch grill, but has a learning curve, and uses more fuel to cook with, as its not as tightly sealed as the Weber kettles are - but you are right - it can do it all, on one cooker.

              The PBC is more for smoking, less for grilling, as it only has an 18" grate, and its fairly high above the fire. And note that the PBC has a different flavor profile than the other grills, due to grease dripping into the fire and producing smoke/vapor. The others will produce just smoke form charcoal and whatever smoking wood you add, when smoking.


                Welcome from Farmville, Va.


                  Welcome from Virginia! Honestly, all that you mentioned are good and the advice you have received so far is as always spot on. Comes right down to budget. Of course once MCS kicks in you will be buying more cookers anyhow so I wouldn't worry about it! Welcome aboard!


                    Welcome from Minnesota.

                    My take: master what you have, and buy more. If you talk here on the boards with the right folks, I can just about guarantee that someone has tried every type of cooking with every type of cooker. Is it always the right fit? No, but you work with what you have, right? And at some point you decide to add to the arsenal, and then the learning curve gets steep again. The point is, any cooker can make great food, you can have fun doing it, and there's always more to learn.


                      Welcome to the Pit from south Texas! And welcome to the MCS phenomenon🤣!


                        Welcome from just west of you. In case you have not noticed yet this site is ONE BIG rabbit hole. Any (or all) of your choice would be good. Good luck.


                          Welcome from NC and whatever you choose will not be the wrong choice (I love my Weber kettles and SnS)



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