I have been BBQing for years. Winter summer doesn't matter. I have always wanted a smoker. Being somewhat of a techno freak pellet smokers with remote controls and wifi seemed like a big turn-on. But the first video on the Green Mountain model all about downloading firmware made me ask just what the heck was thinking. So I went in the opposite direction and got the super-simple and near fool-proof Pit Barrel cooker.
Tried it out twice over the 4th of July weekend. My other half wanted me to try a brisket which was probably not ideal for a first smoke on a new device but what the heck. It was a flat though that had a pretty moist end and was pretty flexible. Then I started reading about how questionable the whole notion of smoking a flat was in the first place and several posts suggested injection. This seemed like a very attractive idea. Didn't have any stock so I use demi-glace brought up to the consistency of stock, some shallots, garlic, a half of a stick of butter and orange juice in roughly equal proportions. Shot up the brisket the night before and used the rub that came with smoke. I am dying to try some of the other ideas found on this forum. Started the coals at 7:00AM and hung up the brisket up for about 4 hours until it got to around 150. Put it in foil, pored a little extra of the stock I had reserved on it and in less than two hours brought it up to around 203 and stuck it in the cooler. Plenty of sauce from the foil and everyone was pleased with the way it came out. It had a wet end that was lovely and moist while the dry end was not too dry.
Two days later I tried a pork butt. I think mine was too big. They recommend 5-7 and mine was 9lbs. Rubbed it the night before again with the Pit Barrel rub and started it early in the morning. After 3 and half hours it came up to to 150 and foiled it and added a bottle of Magners cider. I let it get a bit hotter than I wanted almost bringing it to 200. It came out nice but I think because of the size it didn't not get as much of the smoke taste trough and through thought the outside part with the bark was great.
I have to say I was pleased with the Pit Barrel. It is not a true smoke, some call it a hybrid but it really is hassle free and I am sure I will continue to have fun. Looking forward to learning more about smoking from the experienced crew on this forum.