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Pit Barrel Cooker vs Weber Smokey Mountain – Which Grill Wears The Crown?

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Everyone knows that Weber is one of the most popular BBQ grilling brands in the world. But, how does Weber stand up when compared to Pit Barrel Cooker’s line of vertical drum smokers? We analyzed Pit Barrel Cooker vs Weber Smokey Mountain head to head so you can choose the ideal BBQ grill for your next outdoor party. Let’s see which grilling legend comes out on top!

Barrel style cooker grill

Pit Barrel Cooker vs Weber Smokey Mountain

We’ve barbecued endless amounts of burgers and dogs on both the Pit Barrel Cooker and the WSM. Both grills offer sturdy and reliable grill components. But, how do they stack up grill versus grill? Let’s take a look at the grill build quality for both grilling manufacturers in closer detail.

Pit Barrel Cooker Build Quality

With heavy-duty 18 gauge steel and porcelain coating, the Pit Barrel Cookers look and cook like serious business. The Pit Barrel Cooker and Pit Barrel Junior weigh from 57 to 32.7 pounds and are heavy enough to be taken seriously while also light enough to move around your yard without stress.

I also love the sturdiness of the Pit Barrel Cooker! When you first lay eyes on the Pit Barrel Cooker, you’ll know that you’re dealing with a durable grilling tool that will last.

Weber Smokey Mountain Build Quality

Every serious griller knows somebody who has a Weber Kettle grill that’s lasted a generation. If you’ve grilled more than a couple of steaks (or veggie burgers) in your life, then you know that a Weber grill’s durability is no joke. The same is true for Weber Smokey Mountain charcoal smokers.

The famous Weber Smokey Mountain smoker has engineering and a quality build worthy of the Weber reputation. The charcoal grate is made of steel and feels thick and solid. The metal grill legs are durable, and they seem sturdy. The grill door opens easily and feels like it will last. The grill’s damper is made of aluminum and is rust-resistant.

Winner of Best Build Quality: Pit Barrel Cooker

I give Pit Barrel Cooker a slight edge in the durability category because their grills are ridiculously solid – and they contain few moving parts. With only a sturdy grill barrel and a few BBQ grilling components, there isn’t much that can go wrong with the Pit Barrel Cooker.

The sturdy Weber Smokey Mountain grill is also built with love. Weber is one of the most reliable grilling manufacturers regarding the quality of their grills. 

I rate both grill manufacturers with a solid “A” for durability. I also think that the Pit Barrel Cooker smashes it out of the park from a durability and quality build standpoint, so they get extra points.

  • Pit Barrel Cookers are thick, solid, and sturdy
  • Pit Barrel Cookers have fewer moving parts (so, less can go wrong and break)
  • Weber is world-famous for their well-built grills that last reliably for years

Trustworthiness and Reviews

Pit Barrel Cooker Review

One thing you’ll notice when you compare reviews between Pit Barrel Cooker vs Weber Smokey Mountain is that both grill manufacturers have rave reviews. Grillmasters and novice grillers love BBQ grills from both brands.

Every review I’ve read about the Pit Barrel Cooker has something nice to say. There are also endless rave reviews swearing that their vertical smoker barrels are some of the most premium anywhere. You’re not going to find many negative reviews for either grill manufacturer. 

Weber Smokey Mountain Review

Which Has Better Reviews Overall?

Both Weber and Pit Barrel Cooker earn an “A+” for trustworthiness and reviews. But, I do give Weber a slight advantage.

You have to give the edge to Weber in this category because of the raw number of grill reviews. Weber has the advantage of being around since the 1950s. It’s difficult for Pit Barrel Cooker to compete in the volume of grill reviews since they’ve only been around since 2010.

But don’t count Pit Barrel Cooker out. What is surprising is the number of raving fans the Pit Barrel Cooker has amassed in such a short period. Our hats go off to both BBQ grill brands for achieving a fiercely-loyal following of grillmasters and amateur BBQ grillers everywhere.

Shipping – Pit Barrel Cooker vs Weber Smokey Mountain

Whether you aim to smoke pulled pork, brisket, ribs, or a succulently tender chicken, the last thing you want is to wait for the grill to arrive in the mail! Who can get you your grill faster? Pit Barrel Cooker vs wsm? We analyzed shipping policies from both BBQ companies to give you a better idea.

Pit Barrel Cooker Shipping

There are two things that I love about Pit Barrel Cooker shipping. First is that they try to ship your grill to you within one business day. They can even ship the same day if you order before 1:30 PM eastern time (M-F). No more waiting for your next BBQ bash!

Pit Barrel Cooker also promises to offer free shipping on all continental US orders over $25. All Pit Barrel Cookers ship directly from their warehouses in Louisville, Kentucky, and take roughly 1 to 5 days to reach your door depending upon where you live.

Through Amazon, both Pit Barrel Cooker vs Weber Smokey Mountain ship free.

Weber Smokey Mountain Shipping

Weber also offers excellent shipping deals for their Weber Smokey Mountain grills. When you place an order on their website before 3:00 PM central time, they strive to ship your grill the same day.

Weber also often offers special deals on their shipping page. Food for thought!

Through Amazon, both Pit Barrel Cooker vs Weber Smokey Mountain ship free.

Warranty Comparison

I’ll get into the warranty comparison just as soon as I’ve shown you this video with a mouth-watering wine-marinated steak + bacon mushroom sauce. Yum!

Wine Marinated Flank Steak with Bacon Mushroom Sauce

Both Pit Barrel Cookers and Weber Smokey Mountain are sturdy, well-built, and reliable. But, how do their warranties stack up when compared grill vs grill?

Weber offers 10-years of warranty service that protects from rust-through and burn-through on the bowl and lid for the Smokey Mountain Cooker line of grills. The plastic components of the grill get a 5-year warranty. All other parts get a 2-year warranty.

Pit Barrel Cooker offers a one-year warranty on defective grill components. Surface rust is not covered. Pit Barrel Cooker also invites you to contact them regarding any BBQ grill shipping issues within 30 days of notice from the date of purchase.

How Much Do They Cost?

I’ve analyzed all of the popular BBQ grills, BBQ smokers, and price points for the Pit Barrel Cooker vs wsm. Neither of these grilling choices will break your bank, and both grilling brands offer budget-friendly BBQ smoker options.

Weber Smokey Mountain and the Pit Barrel Cooker offer elite BBQ grilling and smoking options in the $200 – $500 range.

If you want a vertical drum smoker without spending too much, then you’ll love the low-cost BBQ grilling options from Pit Barrel Cooker. One of my favorite grills, the Pit Barrel Junior, only costs around $200 – $300.

Pit Barrel Cooker Junior Package - 14 Inch Drum Smoker
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06/13/2024 02:56 pm GMT

Weber also offers other low-cost BBQ grilling options other than Weber Smokey Mountain. The famous Weber Original Kettle Grill is a trusty and reliable grilling option that will run you less than a few hundred bucks.

Weber 741001 Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill
$154.80 $139.00
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06/13/2024 03:32 am GMT
  • Both Pit Barrel Cooker and Weber offer affordable grilling options for all budgets
  • The 14-inch Pit Barrel Junior is perfect if you want an elite vertical cooking experience for less than around $300
  • Weber also offers a 14-inch Weber Smokey Mountain charcoal smoker in the $200-$300 price range
Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker
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06/13/2024 06:42 pm GMT

Pit Barrel Cooker vs Weber Smokey Mountain – Head-to-Head!

We’re about to head into the championship rounds and compare four of the coolest BBQ grill options from Pit Barrel Cooker vs wsm. Let’s get grilling!

Showdown #1 – 18.5″ Pit Barrel Cooker vs 22″ Weber Smokey Mountain

If you want to get a barrel cooker or a smoker to handle your next BBQ fix, then let’s compare the two best and heftiest options from Pit Barrel Cooker vs wsm.

Pit Barrel Cooker

I think the Pit Barrel Cooker is one of my favorite grills. This grill looks sleek and also reaches 275 – 310 degrees without fuss. The grill’s also famously straightforward to use. You can smoke your best duck, turkey, brisket, ribs, or sausage recipe even if you’re a novice BBQer.

The genius hanging design of the Pit Barrel Cooker is where it shines. You can effortlessly hang and smoke bratwursts, sausages, vegetables, ribs, or poultry. The results are delicious, and it’s so easy that anyone can use this cooker, even first-time BBQ smokers.

What is the Pit Barrel Cooker?

Have you ever noticed when you grill your meat, you don’t cook the food evenly? Then you’ll love how the heat evenly surrounds every morsel of your food as it cooks inside the Pit Barrel Cooker. That’s because your food hangs from stainless steel hooks as the heat surrounds and saturates the food from all angles.

The vertical cooking design of the grill also makes it so that any dripping juices fall onto the hot coals and vaporize into your food. If you’re used to adding flavored wood chips to your barbeque or smoke – then you’ll love how the vapored drippings help to infuse your meat (or veggies) and add an aroma that’s worth savoring.

Pit Barrel Cooker Specs

  • 30-gallon steel drum
  • Stainless steel hooks (8)
  • Steel hanging rods (2)
  • Charcoal basket
  • Wooden hook remover
  • Weighs around 57 pounds
  • Includes two 5-oz bags of bonus pit rub

22″ Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker

Smokey Mountain Cooker™ Smoker 22.5"

The 22” Weber Smokey Mountain charcoal smoker is no joke. With dual BBQ grates, a respectable 726 sq in grilling capacity, and reliable construction, the smokey mountain is worthy of your next BBQ bash or outdoor party. Don’t miss our other Weber review where we pitch it against Broil King!

There are a few key differences between the Pit Barrel Cooker vs wsm. Weber Smokey Mountain has a handy built-in thermometer embedded in the lid so you can maintain the perfect temperature without opening the grill’s lid. 

Another big difference between the Pit Barrel Cooker vs wsm is how your food smokes. With the Pit Barrel Cooker, your food hangs, and the heat surrounds your food flawlessly. Weber Smokey Mountain uses traditional grilling grates. I love the “hook and hang” feature of Pit Barrel Cookers, but Weber grill grates aren’t bad by any stretch.

Grillers and smokers also love the damper system on Weber Smokey Mountain. The damper is conveniently located at the bottom of the charcoal grill so you can control the oxygen flow without opening the top of the grill. Weber gets bonus points here for convenient BBQ grilling.

22″ Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Specs

  • 726 square inches of grilling area
  • Steel-plated grill cooking grates (2)
  • Reaches 190 degrees Fahrenheit internal temperature
  • Weighs roughly 68 pounds
  • Embedded grill lid thermometer

Showdown #2 – Pit Barrel Junior vs 14″ Weber Smokey Mountain

Maybe the full-sized grilling options from Pit Barrel Cooker vs wsm are too much to handle? Are you looking for slightly less grill? Then let’s compare two of the finest grilling options in a smaller, more affordable size.

Pit Barrel Junior

 Do you want to slow-smoke delicious turkey, beef brisket, ribs, or chuck roast, without the size of the standard Pit Barrel Cooker? Then the Pit Barrel Junior wins. That’s because you get the genius 360-degree smoking style of the Pit Barrel Cooker in a much smaller package with the Junior.

The Pit Barrel Junior is perfect if you host small barbeques, cook for a smaller family, or wish to fire up a chicken or batch of sausages now and then without the fanfare of the full-sized Pit Barrel Cooker. Now your favorite pit barrel cooker recipes are a piece of cake.

At roughly 32.7 pounds, the Pit Barrel Junior rocks if you want a portable BBQ smoker option for your next ballgame, tailgating party, or camping trip. The Junior also shines if you want a small compact grill that you can move around your yard without fuss.

I forgot to mention the best part. The food that the Pit Barrel Junior smokes is to-die-for. You can also save yourself about $100 by choosing the Junior over the full-sized Pit Barrel Cooker. Food for thought!

Pit Barrel Junior Specs

  • 14-inch steel drum
  • Stainless steel hooks (4)
  • Steel hanging rods (2)
  • Charcoal basket
  • Wooden hook remover
  • Weighs about 32.7 pounds
  • Includes two 5 oz bags of bonus pit rub

14″ Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker

Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker
  • Your purchase includes: One Weber 14.5 inch Smokey Mountain Cooker, Charcoal Smoker +...
  • Item overall dimensions: 14.7" W x 14.7" D x 31.4" H. Item weight: 24 lbs
  • Cooking Grid Dimensions 13 1/2 X 13 1/2". Main Grilling Area 143 Sq. Inches. Total...
  • Easy assembly required, instructions avaialable in User Guide attachment. Weber Smokey...
  • 3D interactive assembly instructions for this product are available through the free BILT...
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06/13/2024 06:42 pm GMT

If you like the idea of grilling and smoking with a Smokey Mountain Cooker, but you don’t like the bulk of the full 22″ grill, then check out this 14-inch BBQ smoker.

This smaller grill option from Weber boasts many of the same features as the 22″ Weber Smokey Mountain. With 286 square inches of cooking surface and two cooking grates, you have plenty of room to smoke your ribs, chicken, freshly harvested zucchini, shish kabobs, or anything you wish.

The main thing I love about the Weber 14-inch Smokey Mountain Cooker is the economy. You get excellent heat control, two durable steel-plated cooking grates, and a BBQ smoker grill that’s easy to clean without breaking the bank.

The 14″ Weber Smokey Mountain is likely your most affordable BBQ smoker option unless you build your own DIY smoker! Or turn your DIY burn barrel into a grill!

14″ Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker Specs

  • 286 square-inches of grilling real estate
  • Embedded lid thermometer
  • 7.5-inch lid height
  • Sturdy metal grill legs
  • Steel-plated cooking grates (2)
  • Weighs roughly 24 pounds
  • Includes grill cover

Which One Should You Buy For Your Next BBQ?

I love Weber Smokey Mountain and the Pit Barrel Cookers. You can’t go wrong with either grilling option. But, I think that the Pit Barrel Cooker is my prime choice for grillmasters and grill newbies alike.

When putting Pit Barrel Cooker vs wsm head to head, I think that the Pit Barrel Cooker slightly edges out Weber. Simplicity and durability win the day.

You can’t beat the easy “hook and hang” style of the Pit Barrel Cooker. If you want delicious, juicy, and tender meats with flavor bursting in every bite, then you won’t regret grilling with a Pit Barrel Cooker or Junior.

While Weber has endless amounts of rave reviews, the Pit Barrel Cooker is one of the most charming cookers that I’ve seen. I also love the way the Pit Barrel Cooker looks. The Pit Barrel Cooker offers one of the coolest grilling experiences if you seek a rustic, pure, classic grilling style.

Do You Agree?

We’ve reviewed both Pit Barrel Cooker vs Weber Smokey Mountain until the cows came home! But maybe you see things differently? Are we wrong? Please reply and let us know what you prefer! Pit Barrel Cooker vs wsm? Which BBQ grill smoker is the best? Please let us know your thoughts!

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  1. The biggest difference is temp control. The PBC runs well at a limited temp range, but the WSM can run for hours at say 225 or 325 easily. That makes the WSM the winner for smoking sessions.

  2. Oddly enough, the Pit Barrel company sells a hanging system for the Weber Smokey Mountain. I bought it for my WSM and absolutely love it. You remove the water pan and food grates and voila, you have a pit barrel cooker to hang meat in! I also bought the poultry hangers for it. It all works great!

    1. Hi Chris! That is quite interesting!! Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us, and I’m so glad it works well for you.

      Have a fantastic day, and happy cooking! 🙂

  3. Sorry but this is a lame armchair analysis. First off no one buys a smoker for burgers and hot dogs, they buy them for low and slow cooks on brisket, pork butt, ribs or turkey. The important questions that need addressing is how do they hold temps, use cooking fuel, and generate smoke. Managing heat and moisture while producing flavor is what sets a smoker apart. I’ve seen lots of WSM’s at competitions not a lot of barrel smokers.
    Put a renown pitmaster on these two and produce some cooks then compare them in ways that really matter. otherwise this is just a PBC fluff piece

    1. Hi Tim! Thanks for stopping by and leaving feedback! Adding more points of comparison is a really good idea, actually! As a spoiler, we found that these smokers both performed very similarly, even though the cooking styles were pretty different. I would highly recommend both WSM and PBC, but as Elle mentioned, the Pit Barrel customer service team has really been a true pleasure to work with, which also gave them a bit of a edge on the WSM in our opinions.

      Thank you for weighing in!

  4. You say the pit barrell is better looks simple working nothing about how the wsm will out taste or last even Temps longer I have a barrel smoker both work well but the wsm out perform Amy smoker in its class

    1. Hi Neal! Thank you for the valuable feedback! 🙂
      In our experience testing these smokers, it’s been a tough call to decide on the better one. I think our main takeaway here was that Pit Barrel is a true competitor when you stack all the details up against Weber Smokey Mountain. But everyone has a different opinion, and WSMs are truly great – I’ll agree with you there.

      Thanks again, and I hope you have a wonderful day!

  5. As soon as I saw the video was a pbc video I knew this was just an ad for pbc, the fact you can buy a rack to hang food in the smokey mountain makes the pbc obsolete, smokey mountain hands down winner, I do think the pbc is cool but no contest for the smokey mountain

    1. Thanks Bill! Appreciate the thoughts! I included the video for the PBC because it’s a really cool video, not because it’s necessarily an ad for it 😀 The team behind the PBC is amazing and I love that you can talk to the owners – it’s significantly more difficult to talk to the owners of Weber. I love both companies, to be honest, we have the Weber Go Anywhere and it’s great, lasting for years and years. For a bigger one though, I have my eye on the PBC – it’s 18 gauge porcelain-coated steel (I can’t find Weber’s specs anywhere), cheaper than the Smokey Mountain (when comparing the 22″ to the PBC) and PBC’s support is fantastic.
      Let us know your experiences with the Smokey Mountain!

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