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2021 Meat-Up In Memphis Canceled

We've unfortunately had to cancel the 2021 Meat-Up in Memphis. We are rescheduling for tentatively March 18-21, 2022. Click here for more info: https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/forum/announcements/misc/1014106-meat-up-in-memphis-2021-canceled
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Pellet or Pit Barrel for new toy?

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  • DrJimmy2112
    Club Member
    • Oct 2020
    • 54
    • Southern Wisconsin

    Pellet or Pit Barrel for new toy?

    Friends- I am looking to get a new toy for the deck. I live in Wisconsin and cook outdoors all year. I like versatility and would like to not add a lot of maintenance. Looking at a Grilla vs silverback (by grilla) vs a pit barrel cooker for a self gift for thanksgiving dinner. Would appreciate any guideance-thank you all!
    PS I cook for family of 5-
  • cgrover60
    Club Member
    • Mar 2016
    • 414
    • Albuquerque NM

    PBC PBC PBC... Much better flavor, no electricity required, no electronics to fail. Just sayin...


    • bbqLuv
      bbqLuv commented
      Editing a comment
      Yep pellet grill do require a plugin, and have electronics. Left out cost.
      Never-the-less, Love my pellet grill over the gasser I used for years.
  • bbqLuv
    Club Member
    • Jan 2020
    • 1477
    • Milwaukie, OR

    Personally, I would rather not have to deal with charcoal or wood and trying to maintain temp.
    Like the "set it and forget it" cooking of a pellet grill,barbecue, smoke, grill, roast, bake, or braise.
    Glad to see you weighing the pros and cons and requesting input.


    • DrJimmy2112
      Club Member
      • Oct 2020
      • 54
      • Southern Wisconsin

      Thank you for the responses!
      I like versatility as I cook breakfasts (using pans or grate griddle for bacon eggs etc) outside, and non-meat sides for other meals, often and not sure how that will work on PBC.


      • Spinaker
        Spinaker commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah the PBC would not excel at that. You can certainly cook veggies though. I hang them on the hooks and the skewers and they are great.
    • Spinaker
      • Nov 2014
      • 10960
      • Land of Tonka
      • John "J R"
        Instagram: JRBowlsby
        Smokin' Hound Que
        Minnesota/ United States of America

        Dexter (Beagle mix)
        Kinnick (American Foxhound)

        Big Green Egg (Large) X3
        Blackstone 36" Outdoor Griddle 4-Burner

        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
        FireBoard (Base Package)
        Thermoworks ThermaPen (Red)
        Thermoworks MK4 (Orange)

        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
        FOGO Priemium Lump Charcoal
        Kingsford Blue and White
        Rockwood Lump Charcoal
        Apple, Cherry & Oak Log splits for the C-60

        Buck 119 Special
        Cuda 7' Fillet Knife

        Dexter 12" Brisket Sword
        Next Major Purchase
        Lone Star Grillz 24 X 48 Offset

      I would take the PBC. If you are looking to cook turkey or chicken, the PBC is hard to beat. It really does a great job and those juices dripping on the direct fire, the vaporizing is something special. The PBC can be a bit of maintenance when you first get it, but it does get better every time you use it and before too many cooks they are pretty much set and forget. Mine are pretty much set and forget anyway. I light the fire, add the meat and close the lid, and I really don't have to mess with it at all. Also, the PBC runs on Kingsford charcoal, which is available at pretty much every gas station in the USA, so that is nice. (You certainly can run it on lump too) I never bother with adding extra wood to the PBC, charcoal is pretty much all you need.The PBC also have great capacity for the footprint. 8 racks of ribs, a couple of briskets etc are no problem for the PBC. The PBC is much more portable than a pellet grill. So you can take it to a tailgate, the park or where ever you want with out much of a hassle. Lastly, it is simple. There really is nothing to break. No sensors, augers, fans or electronics to fail. The PBC is just a barrel, a basket, a couple of pieces of rebar and some hooks.
      Last edited by Spinaker; November 12, 2020, 04:28 PM.


      • Dadof3Illinois
        Dadof3Illinois commented
        Editing a comment
        This pretty much sums it up. I’ve owned a pellet grill....sold it and bought a PBC and I love it. The PBC along with a Weber kettle are a hard combo to beat.

      • DrJimmy2112
        DrJimmy2112 commented
        Editing a comment
        Great points, much appreciated. I really love the simplicity of design, uniqueness and the whole ingenuity of how he fine tuned the barrel size.

      • Spinaker
        Spinaker commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah, it is so simple it seems like it should not work, but it does. Hahaha. DrJimmy2112
    • Bogy
      Club Member
      • Mar 2016
      • 634
      • North Central Iowa
      • Blaz'n Grill Works Grid Iron
        Weber Genesis E-310
        Original Grilla
        Smokey Joe® Charcoal Grill 14"
        Thermoworks ThermoPop
        Thermoworks Thermapen Mk4
        Thermoworks Smoke Thermometer with gateway
        2 iGrillminis - from before they were Weber.

      I have a Grilla (OG) and I love it. I also have a larger, "traditional" style pellet cooker (not the Silverback) for larger cooks. Also, the OG is at my "vacation"/eventual retirement home, the other smoker and a Weber gasser are at our primary home.

      The OG will be big enough for 5 people. I often cook for 7 on mine when my son and his family are with us. I've easily done enough pork butts for 25. Unless you really need the extra room of the SB I would recommend the OG. More smoke, heats up just as fast as my gasser, doesn't have as big a footprint so since the PBC is not that expensive, get both.


      • DrJimmy2112
        DrJimmy2112 commented
        Editing a comment
        Great input, really appreciate it! My concerns about the OG is the capacity and ability to use in winter. Thank you so much-

      • Bogy
        Bogy commented
        Editing a comment
        DrJimmy2112 The OG will hold a lot more than it would appear, especially with the upper rack. I'm in northern Iowa so the weather is very similar and I've used it when it was below 0. Only difference is it will run through pellets slightly faster.
    • Jfrosty27
      Club Member
      • Mar 2020
      • 1300
      • Muskego, WI
      • Current cookers:
        Rec Tec RT700 "Bull" pellet cooker
        Smokin-It model 2 electric smoker w/ Maverick 732 temp monitor and cold smoking kit
        Weber Genesis 3 burner gas grill w/ rotisserie
        Charbroil Grill2Go gas grill
        Weber 22" Performer Deluxe kettle grill w/ThermoPro TP-20S temp monitor
        Onlyfire rotisserie kit for 22" kettle
        Weber Smokey Joe
        SnS Deluxe
        The Orion Cooker convection cooker/smoker (two of them)
        Blackstone 17" griddle
        Joule Sous Vide circulator

        Favorite beer: Anything that's cold!
        Favorite cocktail: Bourbon neat

      I’m with bogey If you can swing it, get both. PBC vs pellet. Two completely different types of cooking. I have a pellet grill and use a Weber kettle for charcoal cooking. Different grills for different things. Oh as a fellow Wisconsinite, I too cook year round and understand the challenge of our winters. My Recteq pellet grill has a factory sewn insulated blanket which really helps a lot.


      • Bogy
        Bogy commented
        Editing a comment
        Or, the OG doesn't even seem to notice (once you get it started) that it's cold outside. No need for a blanket. Just sayin'.

      • Jfrosty27
        Jfrosty27 commented
        Editing a comment
        Better still! 👍
    • Troutman
      Club Member
      • Aug 2017
      • 7781
      • 1521




        SOUS VIDE


      Yea BOTH, that's the only logical solution. Tell the wife that you're trying them both out to see which one you like. After a few weeks she'll want you to return one and you'll just have to confess that they won't take back pre-cooked units. It'll be alright after some period of time. We refer to that is being in the bbq dog house. The good news is all things eventually will pass.


      • ecowper
        ecowper commented
        Editing a comment
        pure genius
    • hoovarmin
      Founding Member
      • Jul 2014
      • 1092
      • Neptune Beach, FL
      • Weber Performer 22
        Thermoworks Smoke
        Thermoworks Thermapen
        Kingsford Blue Bag

      I vote for both. Cm'on it's easy, just click "Buy!"


      • surfdog
        Club Member
        • Mar 2016
        • 1222
        • Sunny SoCal
        • Cooking gadgets
          Weber Summit Charcoal Grill Center
          Weber Summit Platinum D6
          Blue Rhino Razor
          Dyna-Glo XL Premium Dual Chamber
          Camp Chef Somerset IV along with their Artisan Pizza Oven 90
          Anova WiFi

          Thermapen Mk4 - ThermaQ High Temp Kit - ThermaQ Meathead Kit - ThermaQ WiFi - ThermoWorks IR-GUN-S - ThermoWorks Signals & Billows - ThermoPop -ThermoWorks ProNeedle - ThermoWorks TimeStick Trio x2 - and a Christopher Kimball timer - NO, I do not work for ThermoWorks...I just like their products.

          Other useful bits...
          KitchenAid 7-qt Pro Line stand mixer
          A Black & Decker food processor that I can't seem to murder
          A couple of immersion blenders, one a "consumer" model & the other a "high end" Italian thing. Yes, the Italian one is a bit better, but only marginally
          Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus 8-qt + accessories like egg-bite & egg holders
          All-Clad pots & pans, along with some cast iron...everything from 7" Skookie pans to 8.5qt Dutch ovens
          Weber GBS griddle, pizza stone, and wok
          Knives range from Mercer to F. Dick to "You spent how much for one knife? One knife?!" LOL

        Both CAN be a great choice.
        Or...get both and be done with it...

        BUT...what do you currently have?
        And what sort of budget do you have?
        (Can’t believe I asked that. I almost never say the B word. LOL)
        Still, for some it’s a consideration.

        I know people (friends & family) that have pellet cookers and love them.
        As do many people around here. I only have limited experience with them.

        Also around here are many people that love their PBCs.
        Honestly, I have never even seen one.
        So when it comes to that style of cooker, I’m almost always going to recommend a WSM.
        Readily available, award winning cooks, versatile, reliable, and relatively easy to learn.

        If the budget allows...I’d also look at something like the WSCG. Several of us have them and love ‘em for their size & versatility. Sure enough, one could purchase any or all of the others for the price...but few things can handle what they can in the same amount of space.


        • DrJimmy2112
          DrJimmy2112 commented
          Editing a comment
          I started on Weber kettles but life got in the way and I went to a weber genesis gasser years ago. Fitted with grill grates and a smoke tube I have been able to do a lot of decent cooks with little time. Now looking to burn again. In terms of budget I must keep the whole enchilada at < $1000. And that is pushing it.
      • jhapka
        Club Member
        • May 2019
        • 280
        • Grand Rapids, MN
        • SNS Deluxe Kamado
          26” Weber Kettle
          Pit Barrel Cooker

        PBC all the way


        • randy56
          Club Member
          • Aug 2017
          • 497
          • Newburgh In

          Man cannot live only one source of cooking. I have a Rec Tec pellet grill love it. also for cooking steak a PK, then, well ya get the idea. I'm with the others, get both. maybe not all at the same time. get one use it master it, then the next.


          • Old Glory
            Old Glory commented
            Editing a comment
            Very wise comment.

          • DrJimmy2112
            DrJimmy2112 commented
            Editing a comment
            randy56 thank you for taking the time and effort to help me - much obliged!
        • Uncle Bob
          Club Member
          • Feb 2019
          • 507
          • Salado, Tx
          • Summerset TRL44 gas grill and side sear
            RecTec 590 Stampede
            Weber Performer
            Cajun Grill Preaux
            EcoQue Gen 3 wood fired oven
            Camp Chef Somerset IV 4 burner propane stove
            Camp Chef FTG600
            OT QOMOTOP 23-inch Gas Griddle
            Oklahoma Joe's Bronco
            Oklahoma Joe's Bronco Pro
            Oklahoma Joe's Judge
            Golden's Cast Iron Grill
            Ooni Koda 16

          So I'm going to throw out a bit of counter offer for you that I think makes more sense, particularly when you toss in the idea of griddle cooking on occasion.

          The pellet thing is a good choice for ease of use, and if you do cooking that calls for baking style process they are a fine convection oven as long as the mild smoke and cost of fuel isn't too much of a concern. Starting and tending the fire is almost painless, but some find the smoke profile lacking. For the griddle thing they are a luke warm okay, unless you get something like the "Griddle Hack" which has a funnel arrangement that drops directly over the fire box to heat the griddle surface above it. That one works very well, but requires gutting all the grate, drip pan, and flame deflector hardware, so is a bit fussy for some folks.

          This site has a strong and loyal PBC contingent, but having played that game I find it a good cooker with quite a few limitations if you want wide versatility. If you pay close attention, most of the PBC lovers are accomplished cooks with several other choices of cooker for those times when the PBC either won't fill the bill, or won't without some concessions. And here's my curve ball. Take a look at the Oklahoma Joe's Bronco. It will do everything the PBC is loved for, and much more because of it's design features. With the sealed lid and the intake/exhaust controls it will operate at lower and higher temps equally as well. You control it, not the other way around. It already has multiple grate levels designed in, it already has ash catching designed in, has a sealed lid designed in. And, admittedly a small feature, it will be slightly better in colder climates because of the heavier gauge metal it's made from. It weighs nearly 3 times the PBC, which is only a problem if portability is of any significance. As a bonus it costs less than the PBC, and if you get on clearance it costs significantly less. It will take a wide range of accessories made for other round 18" cookers, e.g. WSM, for instance the griddle made by Hunsaker. From an ergonomics standpoint, the top grate position, which would be where the griddle would go, is at the barrel rim so there's no reaching down in to flip or scoop. It's really a terrific design and performer.

          I'll attach a couple pics showing griddle attachments on my Recteq and my Bronco.

          Click image for larger version

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          • DrJimmy2112
            DrJimmy2112 commented
            Editing a comment
            Unclebob Thank you so much for the time and effort in your thoughtful reply. Very helpful! I am going to take heed and investigate the Bronco - I'd not heard of it before. Again - thank you for the help = J
        • Richard Chrz
          Club Member
          • Mar 2019
          • 1407
          • La Crosse, Wi

          Which one sounds more fun to you or helps add balance in time or energy to your life? Get that one, or get both! 😜
          Last edited by Richard Chrz; November 14, 2020, 04:08 PM.


          • DrJimmy2112
            DrJimmy2112 commented
            Editing a comment
            Thank you fellow Wisconsinite. Appreciate the idea of what adds balance and energy to my life...both sorely lacking!
        • tenphases
          Club Member
          • Nov 2016
          • 341
          • Jersey City NJ
          • Fast Eddy's Cook Shack PG 1000
            Humphrey's Pint with Fireboard + Pit Viper
            Hasty-Bake 256 Gourmet Dual Finish
            Camp Chef DLX pellet pooper/sear burner/jerky rack
            Broil King Keg Kamado
            Charbroil Kamander
            Original Pit Barrel Cooker
            Barrel House Cooker
            Akorn Kamado with cart
            WSM 22 with Flame Boss
            WSM 18.5 with Flame Boss
            Weber Kettle Performer (with Slow n Sear/Drip n Griddle)
            Weber Jumbo Joe
            Weber Smokey Joe
            Weber Q gasser with stand
            Blackstone Griddle 22 with stand and lid
            Blackstone Griddle 36
            Akorn Kamado jr

          If it was Pellet versus PBC I would say Pellet. But you have a good gasser with grill grates which means that they can get really hot and when you flip the grates over you have a griddle. So you have a grill and what you need is a smoker (some will say it not a smoke...whatever lol). I would go PBC if I were you between that and your gasser there is nothing that you can't do.


          • DrJimmy2112
            DrJimmy2112 commented
            Editing a comment
            thank you! Man I am knocked out at the help I am getting here. So glad I joined up.



        2021 Meat-Up In Memphis Canceled

        We've unfortunately had to cancel the 2021 Meat-Up in Memphis. We are rescheduling for tentatively March 18-21, 2022. Click here for more info: https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/forum/announcements/misc/1014106-meat-up-in-memphis-2021-canceled
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