Disclaimer: I have been a friend of the Pit Barrel Cooker company for a few years now. Now they have an affiliate program where I can make a few bucks if you buy your Pit Barrel through this link: Buy a Pit Barrel Cooker here. Buying your PBC through this link is no extra cost to you but it gives me a few bucks for typing all this stuff up and running the blog. Also, the PBC company makes more profit if you buy directly through them, vs buying it through Amazon or another company. If you like what I have presented here, please buy through this link. And certainly I stand behind this product. If it was garbage I would not be discussing it so highly. It's a great product and a great company.
This post is part 2 of my Pit Barrel Cooker Review and since the holidays are coming I figured I'd try hanging a turkey on the Pit Barrel Cooker. This worked amazingly well and was a bunch of fun. It's not every day that you get to hang a turkey over a fire! This will be a fun Thanksgiving talking point as my friends and family will get to see the bird hanging over the open fire prior to dinner.
The Pit Barrel cooker comes with two nice BBQ rubs. One of which is the "Beef and Game" rub. I heavily applied the rub all over the top of the turkey.
The cooker has two steel rods that hold meat over the flame. When doing a turkey you need to do 4 hooks. Two on each side of the turkey. On one side of the turkey the hooks can easily go through some of the turkey ribs. On the other side the hooks need to be pushed through a bit harder. The key is to make sure that the hooks are spaced wide enough apart so they comfortably hang on each steel bar without pulling the turkey too much.
As I advise in part 1 of this review it is best to follow the Pit Barrel Cooker videos for exactly how to light a Pit Barrel Cooker. I filled the charcoal basket with Kingsford charcoal and then removed about 1/4 of it and placed it in my charcoal chimney. Once the flame came up over the coals I dumped it all over the unlit coals in the charcoal basket while it was sitting in the bottom of the cooker.
As soon as the charcoal is dumped into the cooker it is time to add the turkey. This is part of the beauty of the Pit Barrel Cooker. There's no fussing just cooking. You don't have to worry about waiting for the perfect temperature and then adding your meat. If you light the cooker properly you'll have that perfect temperature needed for cooking.
After the coals were dumped I brought the turkey (with hooks) out next to the cooker. I then inserted the steel rods one at a time through the hooks in the turkey. After the rods were inserted through the top of the hooks I was able to pick the turkey up and easily slide the rods into the holes of the Pit Barrel Cooker. Below I have a stepwise photo of how I did this. Big thanks to Mrs. Grilling24x7 for working my iPhone camera so well!
After a few hours the temperature of the breast read about 165-170 in the deepest thickest part. At this point I took the turkey off and let it rest for about 30 minutes. It was then ready for carving.
I have to say this was a pretty cool way to do a turkey. I certainly think there is a benefit to cooking the turkey breast down, which is how it works out on the Pit Barrel Cooker. The fats and juices from the turkey will drip down on the breast. This keeps things juicy and also flavorful! The color of this turkey is phenomenal. This is certainly one of the prettiest and tastiest birds that I have ever done.
If you are interested in checking out a Pit Barrel Cooker please visit the Pit Barrel Cooker website. You can get a Cooker delivered to your door for $299. Shipping is even included. One additional perk of buying this cooker is that you have a direct line to the owner of the company. Noah, the inventor of the Pit Barrel Cooker, told me that he is happy to talk to anyone who needs assistance with the cooker. If you aren't certain how to light the smoker you can just call up the owner! That's A+ customer service in my opinion.
As a disclaimer, Noah sent me a cooker for free to test out. That said, I specifically told him that I wouldn't review this if I didn't really think this was a cool cooker! It is!
Please also check out this easy trick to put out the fire in the Pit Barrel Cooker to save charcoal.