Pit Barrel Master Class: Smoking & Grilling Techniques

Pit Barrel Master Class: Smoking & Grilling Techniques

Most people first browse the cooker collection at Pit Barrel Cooker Co. because they either love to grill and smoke or they want to love grilling and smoking. It makes sense — about 70% of Americans own a smoker or grill, and three-quarters of those people use their outdoor cookers or BBQ smoker even during chilly winter months.

But when you bring home a Pit Barrel Cooker, you’re gifting yourself with a barrel smoker that has a surprisingly wide array of uses. Yes, it grills, of course it smokes… but did you know you can hang meats for a mouthwatering 360-degree cook? Bake? Create brunch cocktails that’ll satisfy all your friends?

Check out these top techniques that will help you make the most of your PBC and maybe even explore new ways to cook up some of your old favorites.

Grilling Techniques

Grilling in your Pit Barrel Cooker is a piece of cake, especially once you get the hang of a few basics. To prep for grilling, you’ll want to remove the metal rods used for hanging meats (more on that in a few minutes), then insert the grill grate so you can put your meat, fish, veggies and/or fruit right on the hot grates. Then get to work just like you would on the standard box grill of yore.

For restaurant-level grill marks, pick up the Custom Pit Barrel GrillGrate. This beauty serves up sear perfection, sealing in the juices on your favorite cuts of beef, chicken, pork and more and giving your onions and peppers a tasty char that adds complexity to go-to recipes like fajitas and Italian sausage and peppers.

Smoking Techniques

Pit Barrel’s drum smokers aren’t just awesome to look at, they also offer more than double the capacity of regular horizontal cookers, so you can smoke a little bit of food or smoke enough for an entire crowd. Smoking is an art form, so we get that it can be a little daunting, but we’ve designed PBC to be the best smoker grill on the market because it not only works brilliantly, it’s also easy to use.

Pit Barrel Cookers don’t even come with a thermometer, because the barrel is designed for cooking smoked meat evenly and consistently. Just set it and forget it. Come back hours later, and your brisket, tea-rubbed duck or holiday ham will be ready to go.

Hanging & Skewers

We LOVE the hanging feature that helps make Pit Barrel Cookers unlike anything you’ve seen before. The deep vertical design of our barrel smokers combined with a series of metal rods makes this hanging grill a conversation starter and a meal starter in one. Just remove the grill grate, slide the metal rods into the pre-cut holes, slide your ingredients onto the stainless-steel hook-and-rod combos, hang your grub, and let the Pit Barrel Cooker do the rest. 

This method allows for 360-degree air circulation, preventing hot spots on your hot dogs and speeding up the time from barrel to plate. Pick up some PBC hanging accessories and you can hang corn, sausage, shrimp, an entire chicken or duck and so much more. 

Baking Techniques

Say what? That’s right Great British Bake Off fans and aspiring Martha Stewarts — you can bake in your Pit Barrel Cooker, and it’s just as easy to create a tender, moist pineapple upside down cake as it is to sear some Angus beef burgers.

Think you’re the original Cookie Monster? You haven’t experienced true culinary bliss until you’ve taken a big bite of a chocolate chip cookie fresh off out of your PBC. You can even use store-bought dough (you know, the kind you find in the refrigerator section in those cute tubes) to save time. Use a pizza stone to act as your sheet pan and bake a batch or two of snicker doodles while you enjoy the main course just a few feet away. 

It goes beyond cookies, too — way beyond. Imagine the look, smell and taste of Hickory Smoke Bacon Bourbon Pecan Pie, Cranberry Cobbler or a stunning Apple Galette.

3 Pit Barrel Insider Tips

  • Become a Pit Barrel Multitasker: Craving food cooked a couple of different ways? No worries, that’s exactly the kind of scenario PBCs are designed for. Accessories like the PBC Hinged Grate allow you to grill on one side and hang food on the other. 
  • Get Creative With Your Cocktails: If you enjoy a frosty adult beverage from time to time and want to expand your mixology skills, check out the drinks section of the Pit Barrel Cooker Co. recipe blog. You’ll find everything from a Smoked Bloody Mary to a New York Whiskey Sour to a refreshing Summer Sangria, all of which either make use of a Pit Barrel Cooker to amp up the flavor of certain ingredients or just pair perfectly with food cooked on your PBC.
  • Invest In Quality Rubs: Whether you’re grilling, smoking or hanging your meat and vegetables or trying out some combination of the above, your focus is ultimately on flavor. The techniques are simple, which means your ingredients need to be top notch. Source the very best proteins and produce, then season them with quality seasonings like Pit Barrel Signature Pit Rubs that are the very best rubs for smoking meat without obscuring the protein’s natural taste.

Portable, flexible and compatible with tons of simple yet high-functioning accessories that offer tons of exciting options to make even casual meals extra spectacular, Pit Barrel Cookers come with the kind of functionality other charcoal grill makers only dream of. Whether you’re fine-tuning your own smoker recipes, looking for grill accessories or just eager to try the best drum smoker ever, PBC has you covered.