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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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My Smoker Dilemma

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  • Pig Grinder
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 8
    • Tomball, Texas
    • CharGrillerCOS, Homemade wooden smoker, IQ120 Pitmaster Controller, Kitchener Sausage grinder, Food Saver vacuum seal. Maverick 732.
      1941 model wife of 53 years.
      My favorite beers are FREE and COLD.
      My worst brisket was better than my best steak.

    To understand this page , what is PDC?


    • boftx
      boftx commented
      Editing a comment
      Pathetic Drum Cooker?

      If, OTOH, you meant "PBC", thats Pit Barrel Cooker.
  • mikerosenthal
    Former Member
    • Aug 2014
    • 4
    • Brooklyn, NY

    not to complicate things further, but i was in a similar position to you, pop. i have the same weber grill, and limited deck space. so i did my research and bought the smokenator. i worked with it for two summers before i got fed up, and longed for a more robust solution. maybe it was just me (and you) but i just couldnt ever get it to hold temp for as long as wanted, without having to futz with it more than i wanted to.

    the solution i ultimately went for is the Cajun Bandit Stacker. its basically just a pop top for the weber grill, and a heat deflector. but this in combination with the minion method gives me a solid 12+hrs of steady low heat on the weber kettle grill with almost no fuss. its not cheap, but not as expensive as a standalone smoker. and takes up zero additional real estate on the deck, which was a massive priority for me.

    just a thought. good luck with it!



    • The Burn
      The Burn commented
      Editing a comment
      Do you have the discontinued Bandit Conversion Kit or the BBQ Stacker? I like the look of the former better as it came with a water pan, while the latter doesn't seem like much. There's something similar to the conversion kit that got a Gold Award here, the Smoke E Z (it's the BBQ Accessories category)

    • mikerosenthal
      mikerosenthal commented
      Editing a comment
      I got the new bbq stacker. at first i was bummed that they had discontinued the conversion kit, and wrote to them before i bought asking why there wasnt a door on the side of the stacker, nor a water pan. they told me if i used the minion method i wouldnt need the door, and that a water pan isnt required to stabilize the temperature.

      well i had never heard of the minion method (but now swear by it) and i dont know enough about the science behind all this stuff to know whether they are right about the water pan or not. you can easily just stick one on the heat deflector if you want, but i havent found myself needing one, to be honest.

      the Smoke E Z looks pretty sweet too. im kinda jealous of the hanging rack. otherwise they seem quite similar.
  • hoovarmin
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 1092
    • Neptune Beach, FL
    • Weber Performer 22
      Thermoworks Smoke
      Thermoworks Thermapen
      Kingsford Blue Bag

    Hi Popnerd, I was having problems with temp spikes using my kettle and smokenator too, and solved them by putting two bricks on the lid to get a better seal. Since then I've found temperature management to be exponentially less work. Bear in mind we're talking about a discovery I made a few weeks ago - but the moment I added the bricks I was able to leave the whole rig alone except for adding water. Temps remain between 220 and 235 for hours measured at the food grate with a Maverick 733. That's held true for the last 3 cooks. Personally I can't see the advantage of adding the fan if the issue is too much air to begin with, but I'm not very knowledgeable about the fans.

    All that said, new toys are a lot of fun. If you get a new rig or a fan post some pics!


    • popNerd
      Former Member
      • Jul 2014
      • 19
      • Seattle, WA

      Okay folks, I've taken all your advice to heart and really did some soul searching.

      I've narrowed it down to either the Webber Smokey Mountain 18.5 or the Pit Barrel Cooker

      My hesitation with the PBC is that the cook temps run high, correct? So I wouldn't be doing racks at 225, but it seems like that's not something to worry about.

      Final thoughts anyone?


      • popNerd
        popNerd commented
        Editing a comment
        Well, they took my money and so far I have no instant buyers remorse.

        As far as temp monitoring, do I need a Maverick for this? Or should I just get an instant read for the meats?

      • Huskee
        Huskee commented
        Editing a comment
        popNerd, I'd recommend both. If you absolutely cannot get both, get the maverick, then you have 2 probes and one can monitor your cooker temp and one in your meat. The ThermoPop is a less expensive alternative to the highly revered ThermaPen instant read. The Mav should be a must!

      • BruceB
        BruceB commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi popNerd, from down the road in Des Moines WA

        I think you'll be more than happy with the PBC. BTW, stock up now on charcoal at Lowes or Home Despot, both running Labor Day sales of 2 20lb bags for less than $10. I just made my third trip to the nearby Lowes.

        I use two CDN dual-sensor probes - and swap them out at the head unit if I'm fussing over temps with multiple meats going at the same time. Each probe has two sensors, one conventional that goes in the meat, and the second one measures the external heat just outside the meat. It's model DSP1, you can find them on the interweb.
    • FLBuckeye
      Founding Member
      • Jul 2014
      • 550
      • Florida
      • Brand new 26" Weber kettle. Three Weber 22.5"kettles, An 18" Weber kettle.

        Two WSM's, 18.5", one with an extra mid section

        Maverick ET 733 and 732. ThermoWorks RT600C Thermometer & Thermoworks MK4. Two PartyQ's

        Kingsford blue bag
        Royal Oak lump for searing

        Have competed in two BBQ comps and plan on more this year

        Huge fan of The Ohio State University.

      I have a 22'5" Weber Silver and have the Smokenator and also the Party Q. The hole was super easy to drill (less than two seconds, once I got the right bit) and the results have been tremendous. I did run into an issue with temp spikes. I use binder clips to keep the lid tight and couldn't figure out was the problem was. I was cleaning some ash from the bottom and noticed my bottom blades were slightly bent upwards a bit, allowing air in. I bought replacement blades and haven't had an issue since.


      • Ernest
        Founding Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 3413
        • Dallas, Texas
        • Pit Barrel Cooker AKA The Chicken Whisperer, WSM 14.5 AKA Smokey, WSM 22.5 AKA Big Worm, Weber Performer Platinum. KARUBECUE

        Popnerd, you can do low and slow on the PBC. I have done homemade bacon on it, ran 200-212 for 2 hours without any issues.
        Unless you're picking up the WSM 22.5, you're better off with the PBC. It can feed an army and leave every soldier happy.
        I'm a former smokenator user on Weber platinum.


        • popNerd
          popNerd commented
          Editing a comment
          Oh, that's great to hear! I'm assuming just less charcoal will handle that?

        • Ernest
          Ernest commented
          Editing a comment
          Pop, low and slow still requires a full basket but I use 12 lit briquettes, dump them at the center of the basket.
          My vent is set at the lowest opening.

          Tops at 240 degrees.
      • David Parrish
        Founding Member - Pit Boss Emeritus
        • May 2014
        • 4899
        • Charlotte, NC

        Originally posted by Ernest View Post
        Popnerd, you can do low and slow on the PBC. I have done homemade bacon on it, ran 200-212 for 2 hours without any issues.
        Unless you're picking up the WSM 22.5, you're better off with the PBC. It can feed an army and leave every soldier happy.
        I'm a former smokenator user on Weber platinum.

        Ernest what do you use your WSMs for nowadays?


        • Ernest
          Ernest commented
          Editing a comment
          When I have company, pull out the big worm for stuff that won't go in the PBC. Like finishing ribs, while corn and beans are going. With a bunch of brats etc. But the PBC is my go to backyard bruiser

          I recently did a birthday party with 15 kids and 20 adults using the Big Worm. So it's pretty much reserved for company.
          Last edited by Ernest; August 26, 2014, 06:28 PM.
      • crispsully
        Charter Member
        • Aug 2014
        • 1
        • Temple Terrace,Fl.

        Get a Big Poppa kit ($125) and a new food grade barrel ($25). I added a BBQ Guru DigiQDX2 ($185) vent adaptor ($25) 10CFM Fan ($72). Best BBQ decision I've made in years. The DigiQ makes life sooo easy. Money well spent


        • jrobertson50
          jrobertson50 commented
          Editing a comment
          Pretty much this. But i didn't do the digiQ mainly because i find the Drum holds temps steady for hours without any help.
      • popNerd
        Former Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 19
        • Seattle, WA

        And here's the new PBC. I didn't have a surface in the backyard that wasn't just grass, so I built a foundation this morning. Doing my first cook tomorrow with a few racks of ribs, a chicken and some side pork.


        • Ernest
          Ernest commented
          Editing a comment
          NICE! Now get it dirty

        • fredcanfly
          fredcanfly commented
          Editing a comment
          What a beauty she is! Hope you enjoy her!
      • Huskee
        • May 2014
        • 15371
        • central MI, USA
        • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

          Smokers / Grills
          • Yoder loaded Wichita offset smoker
          • PBC
          • Grilla Silverbac pellet grill
          • Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado (SnSK)
          • Masterbuilt Gravity 560
          • Weber 22" Original Kettle Premium (copper)
          • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (black)
          • Weber 26" Original Kettle Premium (light blue)
          • Weber Jumbo Joe Gold (18.5")
          • Weber Smokey Joe Silver (14.5")
          • Brinkmann cabinet charcoal smoker (repurposed)

          • (3) Maverick XR-50: 4-probe Wireless Thermometers
          • (7) Maverick ET-732s
          • (1) Maverick ET-735 Bluetooth (in box)
          • (1) Smoke X4 by ThermoWorks
          • Thermapen MkII, orange
          • ThermoPop, yellow
          • ThermoWorks ChefAlarm
          • Morpilot 6-probe wireless
          • ThermoWorks Infrared IRK2
          • ThermoWorks fridge & freezer therms as well

          • Instant Pot 6qt
          • Anova Bluetooth SV
          • Kitchen Aide mixer & meat grinder attachment
          • Kindling Cracker King (XL)
          • BBQ Dragon
          • Weber full & half chimneys, Char-Broil Half Time chimney
          • Weber grill topper
          • Slow 'N Sear Original, XL, and SnS Charcoal Basket (for Jumbo Joe)
          • Drip 'N Griddle Pan, 22' Easy Spin Grate, and Elevated Cooking grate, by ABCbarbecue
          • Pittsburgh Digital Moisture Meter

          • Favorite summer beer: Leinenkugels Summer & Grapefruit Shandy, Hamm's, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
          • Fav other beer: DAB, Sam Adams regular, Third Shift amber or Coors Batch 19, Stella Artois
          • Fav cheap beers: Pabst, High Life, Hamm's & Stroh's
          • Most favorite beer: The one in your fridge
          • Wine: Red- big, bold, tannic & peppery- Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauv, Sangiovese, Syrah, etc
          • Whiskey: Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, E.H. Taylor, Blanton's, Old Forester 1870, Elijah Craig, Basil Hayden's. Neat please.
          • Scotch: Current favorite- The Arran (anything by them), Glenmorangie 12yr Lasanta, sherry cask finished. The Balvenie Double Wood, also like Oban 18yr, and The Glenlivet Nadurra (Oloroso sherry cask finished) among others. Neat please.

          About me
          Real name: Aaron
          Location: Farwell, Michigan- near Clare. (dead center of lower peninsula)

          • Healthcare- Licensed & Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) for MidMichigan Health, a University of Michigan Health System.

        Nice popNerd! You have a great arsenal now.


        • CB Dabbs
          Former Member
          • Aug 2014
          • 9

          I have owned a number of cookers, but I've never been happier than ith my current UDS. It took about two hours to build and everything considered cost $150.00.


          • Jerod Broussard
            • Jun 2014
            • 9894
            • East Texas
            • Pit Barrel Cooker "Texas Brisket Edition"
              Weber One Touch Premium Copper 22" Kettle (gift)
              Slow 'n Sear for 22" Kettle
              Weber One Touch Premium Black 26" Kettle (gift)
              Slow 'n Sear XL for 26" Kettle (gift)
              Weber Smokey Joe Gold
              Weber Rapid Fire Chimney
              Maverick ET-732 White
              Maverick ET-732 Copper
              2- Auber SYL-1615 fan systems(Awesome!!!!!!!!)
              Thermoworks Thermapen w/ Back light (gift)
              Thermoworks Timestick
              Cambro Model 300MPC110 w/ Winco SS Pans
              B & B and Kingsford Charcoal
              B & B Pellets

            I almost pulled the plug on a UDS or two.


            • popNerd
              Former Member
              • Jul 2014
              • 19
              • Seattle, WA

              I just...there are no words as to how good the meats turned out




              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
              See more
              See less


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