Q Myths or truths and how they relate to my consideration of a new smoker

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by blat, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. blat

    blat Fire Starter

    I have decided to give up on my homemade electric smoker and get a charcoal smoker.  I am considering a Pit Barrel Cooker (PBC) or a Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM)

    So I start with a general question, is there a difference between a homemade Ugly Drum Smoker (UDS) and the (PBC)  Either way I doubt I would build a UDS, because I know me.  I will go buy a drum and 6 months late I will still have a ... drum.

    So I have gone to the PBC website and found a few things that bothered me, but in reading opinions on the cooker seems it that everyone that owns one seems to like it, even those that also own WSM.  In fact I found no opinions in favor of a WSM of someone that also owned a PBS.

    1) Myth or Truth # 1, DO not pierce the muscle.  I usually smoke for several hours on a Butt before I will put a temperature probe in.  I thought it was a contamination risk to pierce the meat before getting around 140 degrees. With PBS you pierce the meat with the hangers first thing.

    2) Myth or Truth #2, TBS.  I have always sought to achieve TBS, but on the demo videos I see on the PBS website I see thick white smoke billowing up.  So I can only infer that is what they are trying to achieve or why show it.

    3)Myth or Truth #3 Cleaning, While I am not a neat freak I do like my food safe, on the PBS website the only cleaning they recommend is cleaning up the ashes.  While I understand a smoker needs some seasoning I thought it was good practice to clean the inside of your smoker periodically with warm water and a little mild detergent (dawn) to cut the grease buildup so you would not have rancid grease dripping on your food.

    4) Myth or Truth #4.  I thought the point to "low and slow" was to give the fat and collagen time to break down on tougher cuts of meat. A butt in 5 or 6 hours on the PBS?  Ribs in 3.5?

  2. rc4u

    rc4u Fire Starter

    well as far as cleaning goes I never scrub the interior of my grill or smoker, just wire brush the stuff off and same with grates and burners.. and for the poking meat early..don't worry about it as you did clean the probe and with proper temp you have nothing to worry about or I would be dead along with everybody I know 45 yrs ago....heck you toch it and the butcher touched it and it sat in the cooler then the fridge and then you touch it again...I know many on here have superstitions on germs.. well I grew up on farms and milk from the cow and hang the meat and cut a piece off and cook it or hang it for a week or three and let some mold grow on it and its all good.. Now poultry I do wash more and of course don't hang for weeks but neither did my great grandpa..and for me as long as the smoke is not the creosote type you are good to go..to get tbs you have to wait until its charcoaled ..

            then the pbs and low hours , it is because they cook at like 325 and fast air up the meat, so its like convection....

        these are just my opinions and they work for me and my great grand parents{im kinda old, but not to old}  jeff
  3. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    My preference would be the WSM. It is very user friendly and will give you excellent finished product. There are 2cooking grates, so there is no need to hang any meat. When I had mine, I always had TBS with no problem. As for cleaning, the WSM is porcelin finished, so a good hosing occasionally is all you need with the exception of the grates. As for myth #4, I really don't understand the question, but the temps and times on the WSM are pretty standard as charcoal smokers go. I really enjoyed the WSM that I had. My barber has it now and really likes it.

    Good luck with your selection and good smoking, Joe
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    Which ever size you choose, all are the easiest to use and control.

    As far as that PBS show, quit watching and start reading posts here.

    That's all.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2015
  5. blat

    blat Fire Starter

    My question #4 related to the cook times in the PBC. 5 hours for a butt. I would not think that would give the collagen and fat time to break down. If it does why not cook at that temp in our other smokers?
  6. blat

    blat Fire Starter

    Also for clarity, Somewhere in the middle of original post I changed my abbreviation for the Pit Barrell cooker from PBC to PBS, sorry if it made post hard to read.
  7. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    See my comments above. Also, a UDS has adjustable intake and exhaust where a PBC doesn't appear to which would make it hard to control temps. 
  8. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I have both of these smokers and they are both great cookers.  To answer your questions the best I can:
    I'll give you some pros of each.  


    Easy set up

    Easy heat control

    One load of charcoal can last 10-12 hours

    Versatile (It can go hot and fast, low and slow, be used as a grill, used for cold smoking)


    Great cooking capacity. (You can hang 8 racks of ribs, Iv'e done 2 butts, a brisket, and and a rack of ribs at the same time)

    Easy set up

    Great customer service (call with a question and you will talk to the owner or his wife)

    Faster cooking times when used according to directions (we are all busy, at least I am haha)

    Unique "grease fog" flavor

    So after probably confusing you more...the major difference to me is this.  If your thinking is,  "The food is done when its done and I don't care what temp it cooked at to get there as long as it tastes good," the PBC is for you.  If you are a cooking temp chaser and you like to set your maverick to certain range and lock in at 250 for hours and hours with only a few degrees variation, get the WSM.

    Hope this helps.  If I were you, I'd buy one and if you can swing it, search craigslist for the other hahah But then again, that's why I have about 12 smokers and grills on my property.
  9. blat

    blat Fire Starter

    Thanks for the very detailed answers guys

    I have been using gas or electric for years so when I am done they are OFF, if I put a grill mat under either of these cookers would YOU use it on a wood deck since it will continue to be hot for hours after you are done cooking?.

    Whatever I do it will have to be... for anything that comes in something must leave. 


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