Frequently Asked Questions
The best way to describe the Pit Barrel® Concept is the perfect combination between a grill and a smoker – truly in its own category given the meat hanging method in a pit environment.
Absolutely NOT! The PBC and PBJ are designed for the temperature at which standard charcoal burns – it is not designed to be a fire pit.
Although both models come with a three-point barrel stand, when using them on wood or grass we highly recommend placing paver stones or bricks in the designated area under the unit just to be safe. Important: Be sure to use enough pavers or bricks to completely cover the entire area under the cooker. Four 12″x12″ pavers laid in a 2×2 pattern works well.
They sure do! You can grill an unbelievable steak using the provided grill grate with the lid off. To really step it up, check out the Custom GrillGrate, known for searing award-winning steaks!
Yes, there are no allergens, gluten, or MSG in our rubs.
Yes, they work great in all weather conditions. In extreme cold you may need to offset your lid about 3/4 of an inch for 20-30 minutes to increase the heat. The Pit Barrel® does not require the use of an insulating blanket.
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The total shipping weight in the box is 57 lbs for the PBC, and 37 lbs for the PBJ.
Physical Dimensions of the PBC are 36” tall, including the lid and stand, and 25” wide, including the side handles. The PBJ is 33″ and 21.25″ respectively.
Shipping Dimensions are 21″x21″x32″ for the PBC, and 16.5″x16.5″x29″ for the PBJ.
18.5″ ID for the PBC and 14″ for the PBJ. Both provide 21″ of vertical clearance over the coals for hanging.
Typically, the Pit Barrel® is used significantly (2-3x) more often than a standard grill. If properly cared for, we estimate the lifespan of a PBC or PBJ to be 3-5+ years. Use of a Custom Cover and/or Custom Ash Pan will extend the life of your Pit Barrel®®, as well as always keeping it elevated with the included 3-point stand.
No. PBJ measures 27″ tall versus the PBC at 28.75″. But the coal basket sized to the PBJ means the vertical clearance for hanging meat is exactly the same.
Yes! Both units are very portable and durable, so YOU can travel with confidence. The PBJ really is the ultimate portable/tailgating cooker, either unit can easily be transported in the back of an SUV, truck, or station wagon for use while tailgating, camping, fishing, hunting, etc. See our Portability video that shows just how easy it is.
The Pit Barrel® Cooker and Pit Barrel® Junior feature a top-quality porcelain enamel coating that’s durable and will keep your barrel looking like new for years with reasonable care. Each barrel is coated on the outside with a light dusting inside. A Custom Cover goes a long way in keeping your barrel looking pristine.
The Original PBC is in a class of its own – never before has there been an outdoor cooker on the market that requires one initial adjustment for a set-it and forget-it cooking experience. Following the proper lighting instructions, you will have consistent temperatures and cooks each time. When we created the Pit Barrel®, our mission was to help you produce amazing food with no hassle.
Hanging vertically provides for an extremely efficient use of internal space, making the Pit Barrel® Cooker, hands down, one of the best values (if not THE best value) on the market in terms of capacity. There are endless potential combinations of meat and vegetables, but for example – when hanging, easily fit 8 racks of ribs, 2-3 pork butts/shoulders or briskets depending on their size. Our Turkey Hangers, allow for 2 good size (13-16 pound) birds. Using our Hinged Grate, hang 4 racks of ribs with grill space for fish, burgers, and/or vegetables. Though the PBJ has a smaller capacity, the vertical hanging of the Pit Barrel® Concept still packs an amazing punch – 6 racks of ribs, 1 pork butt/shoulder, 1 full packer brisket, 6 chicken halves, 1 17lb turkey– the possibilities are endless. There’s no rule saying you can ONLY have turkey at Thanksgiving – drop a bird and a couple racks of ribs in the PBJ with ease.
Both produce the same amazing results that have caused the Classic Pit Barrel® Cooker to take the outdoor cooking industry by storm.
It really depends. They both provide the same amazing results, so no worries there. If there is a decision to be made, it will be based on capacity and portability. If you cook for large groups, the PBC will likely be your best bet. Do you mainly cook for your immediate family and/or smaller groups? Are you are looking for the added portability for camping and/or tailgating? If so, the PBJ may be the way to go. Both models have their place and are great tools to have in your BBQ arsenal.
We do sell all replacement parts for the PBC/PBJ by phone. Please give us a call at 502-228-1222.
Please refer to our video Lighting Your Pit Barrel®, which uses the Custom Pit Barrel® Chimney Starter. We recommend using standard charcoal briquets or lump. Important: DO NOT use auto-starting charcoal. We offer a custom chimney starter that is specifically designed to maneuver and function with the PBC and PBJ.
No, and this is by design – the intake cover is set slightly above the hole. Fully closing the vent will leave approximately a 1/4″ gap on the bottom.
If you notice flaking on the inside of your Pit Barrel®® after a number of cooks, not to worry! This is simply build-up that has started to peel off. It is perfectly safe and does not indicate any issue with your cooker. Should you want to, you can use a putty knife or scouring pad to knock it down. Do not use water or soap.
Lump charcoal can be used, but burns hotter and cook times will vary. Following the lighting instructions will result in consistent and outstanding results every time regardless of charcoal type.
The PBC and PBJ have predetermined coal baskets, taking the guess work out, sized for the ideal amount of charcoal and use approximately 8lbs and 4lbs of charcoal respectively. Both models burn very efficiently, so a single full coal basket lit according to the instructions provides 6 to 7 hours of cook time and do not require additional fuel to be added regardless of the amount of food being produced.
Airflow and Science is everything. Though the PBJ does use less charcoal, less volume requires less fuel to reach and maintain temperature. Therefore, the burn times between the two models are very similar.
The Pit Barrel® design is as close to a set-it-and-forget-it cooker as can be. The trade-off for this ease and convenience is that there really is no reliable way to “shut it down” or snuff and save the coals. As you get more and more familiar with the product, you will be able to determine if less charcoal is needed for a particular cook.
Absolutely! Even though people are blown away by the results of the Pit Barrel® and plain charcoal, you can certainly add wood chips for additional smoke flavor. We recommend learning the Pit Barrel® first, and adding chips little by little should you so desire.
No, the unique Pit Barrel® design does not require a water pan. In fact, the rendered fat dripping from the meat vaporizing on the coals adds amazing flavor to the final product.
The average temperature ranges between 275 and 310 degrees with the rods in and the lid seated. It’s important to note that early in cooks, temperatures will run slightly hot, but don’t panic – let the Pit Barrel® do its thing. Lastly, leaving the lid off or offset for extended periods of time will cause the temperature to spike.
The short answer is no, it’s a matter of personal preference. Have fun with your Pit Barrel®! If the meat can be hung then hang it – there is no doubt that for most any meat, this produces the best result. For things that absolutely cannot be hung, like burgers, pizza, fish etc., simply grill them on the provided grill grate. We also offer a Hinged Grill Grate for both models that allows you to hang and grill food at the same time, as well as Skewers for skewered meat and vegetables and/or Brazilian style BBQ.
No, the PBC and PBJ are ready to cook right out of the box, and there is no need to season with cooking oil or spray.
Yes, with the Hinged Grill Grate you are now able to hang and grill at the same time.
Yeah, sure, absolutely. Not only CAN you, it’s encouraged. Get creative! Grab a Hinged Grill Grate to use half the barrel for fish, veggies, or searing some steak with the Custom PBC GrillGrate. On the other side, hang a rack or two of ribs next to some Picanha, al pastor, and/or more veggies on Skewers. Take advantage of the capacity and load it up!
Skewers bring the already amazing Pit Barrel® experience to a new level. Skewering items that would normally require a rack or grate allows you to take advantage of the capacity by setting them vertically. Doing so also allows the convection heat to work its magic in infusing an even wider variety of food with the signature Pit Barrel® flavor.
Absolutely! Please refer to our Cedar Plank Salmon video. We recommend using the grill grate for all fish.
Yes, just enter your shipping details in the shipping calculator upon checkout for a shipping quote. We also have international retailers in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and The Netherlands. Note: International shipping rates do not include duties and/or taxes.
One simple step of bolting the horseshoe handle onto the lid, and you’ll be ready to cook within just a few minutes of pulling it out of the box – we even throw in the wrench and screwdriver. It really is that easy.
All orders ship from Louisville, KY. Free ground shipping takes 1 to 5 days, depending on where you are located in the U.S.
Make sure the billing zip code you enter is the same as the one associated with the card you are using. Pit Barrel® Cooker does not accept foreign credit cards.
All orders are processed through our website or you may purchase from one of our retailers.
In the unlikely event your Pit Barrel Cooker arrives damaged due to shipping, please take a couple photos inside and outside the cooker then proceed to contact our customer service team for further instruction. If it is outside of office hours, please proceed with using your Pit Barrel. We do not want to hinder any planned events and when we are back in the office, we will be delighted to find a solution to the damage.
Please allow 24 hours after receiving confirmation to track your package.
PBC Co. will replace any defective merchandise within one year of the purchase date. Rust-through is covered in-warranty however, surface rust is not. Any shipping related issues (i.e. – damage caused in shipping) or items missing from an order should be reported within 30 days of receipt and will be rectified as soon as possible. Please look over your items as soon as received and absolutely before use as we cannot exchange used merchandise. PBC Co. will accept voluntary returns when a product is unopened and unused for a restocking fee of 20%. Proof-of-purchase is required for any replacements or returns.