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My new toy! Peoria Custom Cookers 24x48 Backyard - Page 3

post #41 of 57
Originally Posted by Krisby1 View Post

Mr 'Liscious,

Thanks for your response to my post.  The people on this forum are "da best". 


I think my wood was simply too large.  Not too much, just should have been split.  It was essentially a joint, where the branch came off the trunk, so it was thick  It was a piece from a tree that was cut down 5-6 (I think) yrs ago.   I guess I'm gonna have to get an ax and a maul (??) and split the wood I have.  Not looking forward to that.  This 62 yr old city girl has NEVER split wood.  But I (almost) never back down from an interesting challenge.


Have recently been roaming the neighborhoods and collecting wood from downed trees.  Am very careful to collect only from identifiable trees.  I know I can't use the wood for 3-4 yrs, but that's ok.  I am building a lovely woodpile. 


I love my chain saw.  Great weight, great balance, 14" bar, battery operated.  Goes thru wood like butter.  Great for cutting "free" logs into pieces I can load in my van and take home to "reduce".  Now I need to figure a way to split/rip the wood.   Hmmm.  So, until then, I guess I will need to visit the web site of the fine folks in Georgia.


Thanks for the info and the suggestions.   Will have to wait on the DigiQ, no more money to smoke this year. 


Yeah, I kept the cooker between 225-250.  Once it got to temp, it was very easy to maintain a steady reading.  Just a few coals every 90+-  min. Am still becoming familiar with the eccentricities of this particular cooker.  I know it will put out some amazing stuff when we become better friends. " src="" />


Thanks again for your help.  Will put the suggestions to good use. 


Until the next "smoke".....


Use the search bar at the top of the page and search for "cheap log splitter review" that will take you to ribwizzards review of the splitter he got from Norther Tools. See if you thing that one would suit your needs.
post #42 of 57
Originally Posted by uncle_lar View Post

looks like a great smoker and since I am only 40 miles from Peoria it would be convenient also

Their building is actually in N. Pekin behind Caseys. Easy to miss as it is a metal building in a set of metal buildings off the road a couple hundred yards or so. Their employees are happy to show you the process too!
post #43 of 57

Smoked some ribs for a luncheon we had at work.  Co-workers still talking about how great they were.  Some are asking if they can "bring you some ribs and wood and you cook them for us"!  Wow!


That PCC is a real wonder.  It is rock steady.  Just a half or quarter turn of the MeatMonsterVent and you can micro-manage the temp.  Loving it!  Got some chickens in there now.  Getting a jump on lunch for this week.  


Gonna have to really stock up on charcoal.  At this rate, I'll be out by Thanksgiving.


Happy smokin'



post #44 of 57


post #45 of 57
Originally Posted by ambucher View Post

Hello Pig-A-Liscious!


I'm glad you've enjoyed the posts.  It sounds like you have put a lot of time in researching all of the units that are out there.  


I personally believe that the best unit differs for each person.  I moved from a Horizon 16" offset to the Peoria Backyard unit.  I enjoy the offset, non rotisserie models.  While I realize this isn't for everyone, I do believe it was the best choice for me.  I did research many different models, including Klose, Meadow Creek, Lang....just to name a few.  What kept drawing me back to Peoria were a couple of factors.  


First, their factory is only about 20 miles from my home.  While this was certainly a factor, it wasn't the biggest.  I wouldn't sacrifice quality for convenience.  Quality was definitely the biggest factor for me.  This leads me to another factor, customer service.  From the first time I contacted Peoria, until about 2 months after purchasing the unit, their customer service has been second to none.  To start, they offered me the chance to come tour the factory and see how the units are built.  I suggest doing this for any unit you are interested in.  Secondly, they thoroughly went over all available options and benefits of each.  They didn't pressure me to add options that I felt weren't necessary for me.  Then, they kept me posted during the construction of my pit.  Once the pit was done, they wanted me to come inspect it before signing off on it.  Finally, about 2 months after I purchased it, I received a call from the owner of Peoria Cookers, Bill Cusack, to see how things were going and if I had any questions.  Tell me how you beat that!


Regarding the hotspot issues, PCC has done a good job of allowing you to minimize or maximize hotspots, depending on what you desire.  I know that I will be looking to create some cool spots in my cooker when I have several different types of meat going.  Their intake/exhaust design will allow me to do this.  They also give you the option of having the adjustable baffle.  This would be very beneficial to competition cooks, or cooks doing several types of meats at once.


All things above considered, the PCC was the best choice for me.  Is it the best for you?  Only you can decide that.  I have a feeling you won't go wrong with whichever model you choose.  I can promise you if you do decide to go with PCC, you will receive the best customer service available and will get one helluva cooker!!!!


If you have any questions, or would like to chat by phone, send me a private message and I'll give you my number and we can talk.


I hope this helps.  Have a good one!




Originally Posted by uncle_lar View Post

looks like a great smoker and since I am only 40 miles from Peoria it would be convenient also



Originally Posted by Gril1 Sgt View Post

Their building is actually in N. Pekin behind Caseys. Easy to miss as it is a metal building in a set of metal buildings off the road a couple hundred yards or so. Their employees are happy to show you the process too!

I'm 15 minutes away from PCC and used to drive Main St. in North Pekin, IL daily throughout '93-'95.  I don't know how long they have been there but if they were back then, then I missed 'em.    The Casey's wasn't there then. 


post #46 of 57

Stopped by PCC when I was in the area but everyone in the office was still out to lunch.  A worker on the manufacturing side showed me MMOF parts to be assembled and a  few finished MMIF's still in the paint booth.  One for the owner Bill Cusack is painted in Caterpillar yellow, which I didn't get a picture of.




I spent about one and a half hours on reading and viewing their videos.  I wish I could afford one.  I use my Kamado Kooker the most out of my smokers and really appreciate insulated steel walls and gaskets on lids/doors.  Three handfuls of charcoal lasts 16+hrs. @ 225*F in my kamado.  The 100% insulated Meat Monster is supposedly a 500*F oven.

post #47 of 57

Hi all,


I'm a new member here that is considering a Peoria Custom Cooker 24x48 Backyard.   I'm bumping this thread hoping to get some updates from owners to check into long term satisfaction (especially if there has been time to learn the equipment).   Not much customer info out there on interwebs,  other than PCC website.   Any updates are greatly appreciated since I am pretty close to pulling the trigger on this.  I wasn't sure if I should make a new thread, so please pardon the bump if it is inappropriate. 

Myself, I am interested in the non-insulated firebox, without a grill top.  Does anyone know if the non-insulated is a fuel hog in relation to other similar smokers (Horizon, Yoder, etc)?  I'm hoping it's a bit better based on how the firebox is constructed (flanged door).   Is the sliding damper on the box seal enough to throttle back and/or snuff the fire?  I really can't afford the insulated option, so I would like to know if the performance of the PCC Backyard stands out in any way when compared to similar smokers.  Also, how have folks been satisfied regarding seal on the cooking chamber door?


I emailed Sarah Beth at PCC to try to figure out some of the differences I've been seeing between pictures of similarly spec'd smokers.  Sarah Beth indicated that they are no longer made with door counterweights, and the front table is made from expanded metal (instead of a solid sheet of steel).  I'm a big guy, so I think that the door wouldn't be a problem, but has anyone had trouble with the door being too heavy?  One thing that wasn't clarified in my email to her is whether the ports for digital thermometer probes are standard or not. 

Sorry for all the questions, but would appreciate any and all thoughts. 

post #48 of 57

Hey Y’all

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here.  Thought this would be a great time to catch up. 


For the past two years I’ve been deep-frying my Thanksgiving/Christmas turkeys.  Use a Waring Digital Rotisserie Turkey Fryer.  It’s a countertop rotating unit that uses only 2 gal of oil to fry the most amazing turkeys I have ever eaten.


However, I was intrigued by Jeff’s buttermilk-brined and the Spatchcocked turkey recipes he posted.  I’m lazy and didn’t want to fire up my Peoria Custom Cooker AND the deep-fryer, so I decided to just go with the PCC.


I took a 14lb turkey.  Spatchcocked and divided it into two 6.5(ish) lb turkey halved.  Followed Jeff’s recipe for the buttermilk brined-butter stuffed turkey on one half and his Spatchcocked-herb butter recipe on the other half.  Ran the PCC @ 260-275*F for 2.5 hrs. with charcoal briquettes and cherry wood chunks.


Oh My! Mac & Cheese, left and center back.  Sweet potato casserole on the right.  Buttermilk brined/butter stuffed turkey on the right.  Yum. Also made mixed greens, cranberry-orange relish. Chit’lins, rolls and tea.  Will be making some wicked good soup from the carcass next week.


That PCC is a dream machine.  Once it reaches temp and settles in, it holds steady for 4-6 hrs.  Stuck two thermo-probes into the cooking chamber.  One into the buttermilk turkey breast and one hanging from the upper cook rack to monitor the cooking chamber temp (and to check the calibration of the two built-in thermometers.  Pretty close, about 5*F off.)

Anyway.  So glad I got the PCC.  Was the best choice for me. 


McSpazatron, in answer to your questions:  I find the lid is quite heavy for me.  I need both hands/arms to open the cooking chamber.  I’m also really careful when closing it that I don’t drop it. It gives me a good jerk when it reaches the tipping point. The counterbalance would have helped.  Wonder why they discontinued it.


The seal on the cooking chamber is flawless.  No leaks.  No little wisps of smoke escaping.


Even though the insulated firebox is expensive, you may want to balance the cost against the savings in fuel, over the long haul. 


I believe the ports for the thermometer probes are standard.  And a really nice feature.  Now, if I can just save enough to get a Guru!


Thanks for letting me ramble on.  Wishing everyone a great Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year.

post #49 of 57



Thanks for the update on the PCC.  That turkey looks absolutely perfect, and that's coming from someone who just got done stuffing himself (again) with Thanksgiving  leftovers. 


I also wonder why they got rid of the counterweight on the door.  I suppose having a heavy door makes it less likely for someone to keep opening the door to check on their food. :) 


I am probably going to be deciding on the PCC Backyard model soon, it's the only one that seems to be calling my name after looking at the other options.  I just have to figure out the details on how to pick it up before I commit.   It's about a 4 hour drive from me to the PCC shop, so I was thinking of getting a uhaul pickup truck and a trailer, taking a bunch of ratchet straps and just making the drive. 


Picking it up would also allow for some savings that can go towards the insulated box, which I think is going to be the best way to go.   

post #50 of 57

I was curious about one more thing on the Peoria Backyard that I forgot to ask.  Is the "grease dam" right next to the firebox welded all the way across, instead of just stitch welded? 


I'm wondering because I think it would be great if the smoke chamber could hold some water without it leaking back into the firebox.  That way I could heat some water down there to use for cleaning out the bottom. 

post #51 of 57

Welp, I've done gone and did it.  I ordered the PCC backyard model with insulated firebox, and a few other options.    Now the waiting.  Hoping for clear weather when it comes time to go pick it up. 

post #52 of 57


Congratulations on ordering your PCC.  And getting the insulated firebox.  I think you will be VERY happy with your decision. 


In answer to your question, the grease dam is welded across the entire half-round.  No leaks.  However, I just keep an old dutch oven filled with water in the cooking chamber.  This helps maintain moisture during cooking and then, after scraping out most of the grease, I just turn out the hot water, scrub a little with a long handled brush and open the drain.  Easy peazy clean.


Congrats again.


And BTW, I'm still over the moon with Jeff's Buttermilk Brined Smoked Turkey.  That thing was awesome and the soup, made from the carcass was a wower too.

post #53 of 57

Thanks Krisby.  I talked more with Sara Beth about all the little details.   I'm excited.  Little nervous about trailering it home, but I've been doing my research to prepare.  Sara Beth mentioned that if I scheduled a pick up date, but the weather went south, it would be no problem to reschedule the pickup.  That's probably my biggest worry.  I need that flexibility to make sure I don't get stuck in a snowstorm with a 700 pound weight swinging around behind the truck.  :)



I'm looking forward to learning the smokey secrets of a wood-only fire, but also plan on using charcoal with wood chunks when convenience is necessary.   Do you usually cook with wood or charcoal? 

post #54 of 57

I generally cook with charcoal and wood chunks.  Live in the city and good wood is expensive.  Getting good flavor with charcoal and wood I got from Baxter Wood that was recommended by someone else on this list. 


Got some ham hocks in the fridge, curing.  Looking forward to smoking them next Saturday and cooking my Christmas greens with them. Yum!

post #55 of 57

Got a call that the smoker's almost done.  I'll be picking it up in a little over a week.  :)


post #56 of 57
So what kind of price are you guys paying for the backyard and for the meat monster 24 x 48 ..?

They sent me a cut sheet and it looks like everything is an option for a 24 x 48 meat monster I'm looking at $6000 on a trailer + tax

And $3500 for a backyard , does this sound correct ?

Thanks Phil
post #57 of 57

I guess that sums up to be around the ballbark if you were thinking of getting the insulated firebox and a trailer option. 


I too noticed that there is broad range in price depending on the options.  Initially, I was just considering getting the non-insulated options, so long as it would match similar Horizon or Yoder.  But I went with the insulated instead, which really put this smoker into a different price bracket.  Folks in this thread sure seem satisfied with this combo.  Can't say how mine is because my Backyard cooker is still sitting at the PCC shop. I was planning on going last monday, but we got walloped in Wisconsin with tons of wet snow and ice.  The peoria area was worse off though.  They got a quarter inch of ice which brought down a bunch of trees, power lines, and knocked power our (including the PCC shop ) for over a day.   I figured that it would probably not be advisable to drive 4 hours one way in that kind of weather :).   Here I am, a week later, looking for a nice window in the weather to be able to get my prize. 

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