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Pellet or Pit Barrel for new toy?

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    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-

    #2
    PBC PBC PBC... Much better flavor, no electricity required, no electronics to fail. Just sayin...

    Comment


    • 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.

    #3
    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.

    Comment


      #4
      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.

      Comment


      • 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.

      #5
      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.

      Comment


      • 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

      #6
      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.

      Comment


      • 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.

      #7
      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.

      Comment


      • 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! 👍

      #8
      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.

      Comment


      • ecowper
        ecowper commented
        Editing a comment
        pure genius

      #9
      I vote for both. Cm'on it's easy, just click "Buy!"

      Comment


        #10
        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.

        Comment


        • 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.

        #11
        PBC all the way

        Comment


          #12
          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.

          Comment


          • 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!

          #13
          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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          Comment


          • 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

          #14
          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.

          Comment


          • 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!

          #15
          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.

          Comment


          • 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.

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