Equipment Pit Barrel Cooker Review

Pit Barrel Cooker Review

The Pit Barrel Cooker has the unique “hook-and-hang” method and offers variety in your smoking and grilling.

Read this review to find out if it’s right for you!

A Unique BBQ Solution

Sometimes you need more than just a smoker or a grill. With its unique cooking method and offering variety in your smoking and grilling, the Pit Barrel Cooker is the answer to that.

Created by a military veteran and backed to this day by a family-run business, the Pit Barrel Cooker features a unique “hook-and-hang” method to heat food on all sides rather than just a single heating source. The Classic is the first of its kind from the company, and it’s the largest.

It’s seen as a top-of-the line performer. The Pit Barrel Cooker has received rave reviews and rewards from some of the biggest names and competitions in the world of barbecue. It offers variety in your smoking and grilling, allowing you to cook burgers as well as you can roast a duck.

Pit Barrel Cooker Key Features

Pit Barrel Cooker Classic Package - 18.5 Inch...

Hook-and-Hang Heating Method

The main feature of the Pit Barrel Cooker is the “hook-and-hang” style of cooking.

Convection heating addresses the meat on all sides at the same time. This has a number of benefits. For one thing, it gives you more space to cook more food at a time.

Secondly, it allows the food to cook evenly since each side receives heat at the same time.

Third, the drippings that comes from the food falls onto the heated coals, which produces smoke that flows up to the meat. In turn, the meat is soaked with extra flavor.

Grill Grate

What is unique about the grill grate that comes along with the Barrel Cooker is that you can use it for more than just grilling meat. The grate lets you utilize the depth of the Cooker more.

By doing so, you can cook up food beyond the standard grilled hamburgers or rack of ribs. You can create pizza or even bake up some cookies.

Charcoal Basket

One of the many accessories the Cooker has is a charcoal basket.

The size of it is purposely designed to fit the ideal amount of coal. It is especially useful if you’re not completely used to using coal and may be unsure how much to add.

Having the right amount of coal is essential to having the right cook.


The Barrel Cooker is constructed in a way to make it portable.

You can fire it up in your backyard as well as you can at a campsite. It is compact enough so that it can fit inside your vehicle from standard cars to larger trucks.

There are two handles attached to give you a better grip and make the carrying process simple. The Cooker is also lightweight compared to other similar products.

Additional Accessories

When you purchase the Cooker, it comes with a number of helpful accessories so that you can get started cooking as soon as you assemble it.

The accessories include two hanging rods, a hook remover tool, and eight hooks. When it comes to the lid, it is designed so that it can hang effortlessly off the handles.


  • Features hanging hook system that increases capacity
  • Collects moisture and traps humidity well
  • Does well at cooking food evenly


  • Coating inside doesn’t appear as durable
  • Can have a tough time maintaining constant temperature
  • Doesn’t include an ash catcher pan

Pit Barrel Cooker Detailed Review

Design and Build Quality

This cooker is intended to last you through multiple uses over a good number of years. A porcelain enamel coating makes the product more weather-resistant. The lid and drum are also made with a porcelain enamel finish to help hold up its appearance over time. The innovative hanging system allows you to smoke a large amount of meat.

The grill grate and hooks are made of steel. While steel grates are thinner and do not radiate heat as effectively as cast-iron, they are sufficient for use in the cooker.

The Pit Barrel Cooker also has ingenious features like a ringed handle to remove the hooks off the rebar hangers, and the lid’s horseshoe handle also serves as a hook for hanging the lid on the side of the grill.

The Cooker weighs about 57 lbs. Though in some cases it may require some help, the weight is still considered to be on the lighter side compared to other similar products. It makes transporting it an easier task.

Ease of Assembly

Setting up the Cooker is straightforward as it arrives assembled.

Since it comes with everything you need to get going, the most time you may take is deciding on a location for it.

There is an extensive user manual you can refer to in addition to support readily available if you happen to have any questions as you set it up.

Ease of Use

One of the best features of the Pit Barrel Cooker is its relatively simple design and operation.

The charcoal basket is specifically designed to hold the necessary amount of charcoal needed for your cook. Temperature is controlled through an air vent at the bottom of the barrel and can be adjusted by opening and closing the vent.

We always recommend having a good thermometer on hand to monitor the temperature of your meat.

Cooking multiple items is simple thanks to its cylinder design and hanging style of heating. It also cooks evenly, so there is no worry about one part of the food being more or less heated than the other.

Like all smokers, there is a bit of trial and error as you learn how to use the charcoal and the vent for temperature control but for beginners, the Pit Barrel Cooker is a good selection for both beginners and experienced pit masters. .

Quality of the Cook

The quality of how food turns out using this cooker is one of the biggest selling points of it.

The convection cooking system ensures that all of your food receives an event amount of heat at the same time. The cooker does a good job at maintaining a consistent and stable temperature, which is key in turning out high quality barbecue.

Juices that drip off the meat are vaporized by the hot charcoal and thus the meat has a great smokey flavor.

Ease of Cleanup

Cleanup is relatively easy with the Cooker. In most cases, you can dump the charcoal when you’re done, and the hanging rods and hooks are easy to remove and give a quick scrub or wipe down when needed.

Even so, it can do with some improvements. It doesn’t initially include an ash catcher pan, so a good deal of mess can occur. However, you can purchase the ash pan separately.


When you compare the Pit Barrel Cooker to other models in a similar design, it is well worth the price.

It’s about mid-range in terms of price range, and with the numerous of accolades and rewards, the Cooker has more than earned its value.

You also get all you need along with the Cooker to begin grilling and smoking as soon as you set it up.

Another Pit Barrel Cooker Review

Want a second opinion? Check out Ballistic BBQ’s video review of the Pit Barrel Cooker:

How Does it Compare?

Not sure if the Pit Barrel Cooker is right for you? Take a look at some of these competing products and BarbecueLogic’s reviews:

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For those on a smaller budget looking for a very simple smoker, the Char-Broil American Gourmet Offset Smoker may be right for you.

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Char-Broil Vertical Electric Smoker

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Hi! My name is David and I'm the founder and primary writer for this site. I have been an avid grilling and barbecue enthusiast for over 9 years now and I started this website to share my knowledge and experience with those looking to get into this fun and tasty hobby.

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