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Pit Barrel Cooker Charcoal Smoker Review

Pit Barrel Cooker Charcoal Smoker
Pit Barrel Cooker Charcoal Smoker

Pit Barrel Cooker

Derrick Riches

Construction Quality
Temperature Control



  • One 240 square-inch cooking grate for grilling
  • Two suspension rods with 8 stainless steel meat hooks for smoking
  • Preset intake vent with adjustable vent cover
  • Removable charcoal pan
  • High-temperature porcelain-coated steel construction
  • Made in the USA by Pit Barrel Cooker

Full Review – Pit Barrel Cooker Charcoal Smoker


  • Large Capacity for its size
  • Versatile Capabilities
  • Simple Operation
  • Solid


  • Learning Curve
  • Calibrated to a Specific Charcoal

It’s a barrel. Just a 30-gallon drum standing on one end. And yet, it is one of the most versatile and easy-to-use charcoal-powered cookers on the market. It grills and smokes. Since you typically hang foods inside it has 3,500 cubic inches of cooking space. This charcoal smoker will cook 2 full turkeys or 8 racks of ribs and yet takes up a tiny space on your patio. No wonder the Pit Barrel Smoker has become one of the most popular units in barbecue.

Barrel cookers, sometimes referred to as drum smokers or ugly drum smokers, have been around for a while. The problem with many of them has been temperature control. The Pit Barrel Cooker simply eliminates this problem. There are no vents. Okay, there is one at the bottom. But this vent isn’t for controlling temperature, it’s an attitude adjustment. You set it once, depending on the elevation where you live, and then never adjust it again. Temperature is held steady by the basic airflow through the unit.

The body of this unit is steel with a high-temperature porcelain enamel coating. Properly seasoned, it won’t rust or corrode. The whole unit sits on a removable stand, has horseshoe handles, and two bars for hanging foods. The Pit Barrel Cooker Charcoal Smoker does have a cooking grate so you can grill burgers, steaks, or any other smaller food items. Pit Barrel offers several packages for this unit ranging from the base unit at around $400USD up to an “everything but the kitchen sink” package for well over $600USD. Suffice it to say, there are a number of accessories for this grill.

Bottom Line

What makes the Pit Barrel Smoker so popular with its fans (and there are many) is its versatility. When this unit was introduced, it was a combination of the manufacturer and users that built out the library of recipes, techniques, and cooking methods that have made this smoker so great. If you like charcoal cooking, smoke flavor, and the outdoors, you really should be looking at this powerful cooker.

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