Q: How do I light my Pit Barrel BBQ?

A: We have a easy to follow video Lighting Your Pit Barrel® Cooker.  Important: DO NOT use self-starting briquettes.

Q: Can I use the Pit Barrel as a fire pit?

A: No! The Pit Barrel is designed for the temperature at which charcoal briquettes burn, and is designed for use with the coal basket.  Anything else may burn too hot for the design and air flow.

Q: Is the Pit Barrel fragile?

A: No, the Pit Barrel is well made of top-quality materials and it’s designed to be solid, durable and easily portable. There really is nothing that can break on the PBC, so you can happily take it on the road without worrying to wherever you want to enjoy great food.  Ideal for taking to the beach for that spontaneous BBQ.

Q: Is the Pit Barrel Cooker a Slow cooker/Smoker?

A: The best way to describe the Pit Barrel is that it’s the perfect combination between a grill and a smoker. It is truly in its own category, given the meat hanging method in a pit environment.

Q: What temps does the Pit Barrel run at?

A: The average temperature ranges between 135 – 155 deg C (275 and 310 F) with the rods in and the lid seated. This temp is ideal for pretty much anything and is part of the set and forget nature of the Pit Barrel.  It’s important to note that leaving the lid off or offset for extended periods of time will cause the temperature to spike.

Q: Do I need to season my Pit Barrel before my first cook?

A: No, the Pit Barrel is made from a brand new custom built 30 gallon drum. There is no need to season it with cooking oil or spray. It comes ready to cook right out of the box.

Q: Does the Pit Barrel come assembled?

A: Almost.  You have to pop on the top handle.  But don’t worry – it comes with instructions, and the tools you need.  It’s a minute job.  You’ll be cooking in no time.

Q: Is the Pit Barrel portable?

A: Yes, the Pit Barrel is portable and can easily be transported in the back of an Ute, truck, or even a hatch back.  Its idea for use while tailgating, camping, fishing, hunting, etc. See our Portability video that shows just how easy it is.

Q: What type of charcoal is recommended?

A: It’s critical that the briquettes burn slowly and evenly from the top to the bottom. Therefore, it is important to use standard briquettes, not self-lighting or other specialty briquettes that affect the burn rate/pattern.  We use and recommend Kingsford Briquettes.

Q: Can I use lump charcoal or other brands of charcoal in the Pit Barrel?

A: Lump charcoal can be used, but burns much hotter and cook times will vary.  To achieve consistent and outstanding results every time, we recommend using standard charcoal briquettes. Kingsford Blue is well tried and tested.

Q: Do I need to add additional coals/charcoal?

A: No, the Pit Barrel Cooker burns very efficiently, so a single full coal basket lit according to the instructions provides 6 to 7 hours of cook time.

Q: Can you snuff out the coals and save them for a later cook?

A: The Pit Barrel is designed to be 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 the barrel down” or snuff and save the coals. Also, partially burned coals are unpredictable when re-used, so we don’t recommend it even if you are able to snuff out the fire. For us it’s all about repeatable outstanding results with no hassle.

Q: Can I add wood chips or chunks for flavours?

A: People are blown away by the results of only using charcoal, but you can absolutely add wood chips or chunks by spreading a handful over the hot coals just before adding your food.  Just be mindful that wood chunks will increase the barrel temp.

Q: Do I need to add a water pan?

A: No, the Pit Barrel is a unique cooker and does not require a water pan. In fact, the rendered fat dripping from the meat and vaporizing on the coals is part of what makes food cooked in the Pit Barrel so great.

Q: How much charcoal do I use for each cook?

A: We recommend that you use a full charcoal basket for each cook. You can use less charcoal for cooks shorter than 2 hours.

Q: How much does the Pit Barrel Cooker weigh?

A: The shipped weight is 25Kg.

Q: What are the dimensions of the PBC?

A: The PBC is 79cm tall, including the lid and stand, and 53cm wide, including the side handles.

Q: How do I clean out the ashes in the bottom of my Pit Barrel?

A: You simply turn the barrel over – gravity does the rest.  Alternatively you can use our Attachable Ash Pan on your charcoal basket, which will catch the ashes for you and ensure easy cleanup.

Q: Can I place the Pit Barrel on my wood deck or on grass?

A: Although the Pit Barrel comes with a really cool three-point barrel stand, when using the Pit Barrel on wood or grass we highly recommend placing paver stones or bricks in the area under the Barrel – Just to be on the safe side.

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.

Q: How do I clean and maintain my Pit Barrel Cooker?

A: After the barrel and coal basket have completely cooled, dump any remaining ash. There is no need to clean anything except for the stainless steel hooks after use. 

Important: DO NOT wash or rinse the inside of your PBC. Always store your Pit Barrel Cooker out of the elements when not in use. Our custom cover will add additional protection. The more you cook on it the better it gets! See our Cleaning & Maintenance video for more information and tips.

Q: Do I have to hang everything?

A: Have fun with your Pit Barrel! If the meat can be hung then hang it. 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 that allows you to hang and grill food at the same time – how neat is that !

Q: What kind of coating is used on the Pit Barrel?

A: The Pit Barrel cooker has a top-quality porcelain enamel coating that’s durable and will keep your PBC looking like new for years with just simple maintenance.

Q: Does the Pit Barrel get hot enough to sear a steak?

A: Yes, you can grill an unbelievable steak using the provided grill grate.  Just leave the lid off to get higher temps going for grilling.

Q: What is the diameter of the grill grate?

A: 44.5cm – or 17.5″ in old money.

Q: Can I hang meat and grill at the same time?

A: Yes, with the Hinged Grill Grate you are now able to hang and grill at the same time.

Q: Can you cook multiple meats at the same time?

A: Yes, just put the meat that takes the longest on first so that they finish at the same time.  

Q: Why doesn’t the Pit Barrel have a thermometer?

A: We didn’t install a thermometer because we don’t want people to get concerned with the temperature inside the drum itself. If you follow the proper lighting instructions you will have consistent temperatures and cooks each time. Our goal is to help you produce great food with no hassle.  That’s what makes it so set and forget! 

Q: Do you ship Internationally?

A: No – www.pitbarrel.co.nz is exclusively for New Zealand customers only.  If you are reading this from outside New Zealand – thanks for popping in – but you are best to look at www.pitbarrelcooker.com

Q: Are your rubs MSG/gluten-free?

A: Yes, there are no allergens, gluten, or MSG in our rubs.

 Q: What happens if I receive a damaged Pit Barrel?

A: Please call us immediately and before use so that we can resolve the issue as soon as possible.

Q: How do I find out when new products are released?

A: Sign-up to receive our newsletter by entering your email address in the subscription form toward the bottom of any page on our site.

Q: Can I place an order over the phone?

A: Sure – call us on 0800 33 13 13

Q: I have more questions – can I call you?

A: Of course – there is nothing we like more than talking BBQ – give us a call on 0800 33 13 13