Portable Smoker Grill for RV’ing

Smoked Ribs

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Let’s Eat!

I’m not going to lie. We like to cook and eat pretty well on the road. Anybody who’s visited, traveled with us, or come to the RV, will all agree….we feed ya well. Don’t we?  That put me in search of a Portable Smoker Grill to take with us on the road.  One of my favorite pieces of gear that I bring along (and make room for) is my smoker.  Making good smoked food on the road can be difficult due to the size that many smokers require and the availability of fuel. Not for us!

We travel with the Pit Barrel Junior (PJB) Smoker by a company called Pit Barrel Cooker.  The PBJ’s relatively small size and simple design of a portable smoker grill makes it easy to bring with us. Even though it’s the smallest size they offer, I’ve cooked up to two full racks of ribs and two whole chickens at one time. Plenty of food to have 2-3 families over for a visit.  

As a full-time RV’er, do we really “need” a smoker?  Well no, but as carnivores, do we want a smoker?  That’s easy, YES! Like I said earlier, we eat pretty well, and I personally enjoy a lazy day around the campsite cooking. Besides, I also love filling the RV, campgrounds, and boondocking locations with that “smell” of deliciousness for hours and hours a day! 

Pit Barrel Jr with our RV

The Pit Barrel Cooker isn’t just for the road. They have home-based cookers as well. They come in three sizes: humungous (PBX), regular (PBC), and junior size (PBJ). They also have various accessories to expand your cooking abilities with rubs, grills, hooks, and gadgets.  

Pit Barrel points out “seven advantages” to choosing its smoker over other portable smoker grill products.  These points were pretty helpful in our research (and good marketing, to be honest) in deciding which smoker to bring with us full-time RV’ing.  

Hanging Meat!

The seven advantages are Portability, Cooking Capacity, Consistent Temperatures, Charcoal, Durable Design, Ease of Clean, Versatility.

Here is how they each apply to our situation:

Portability 

This smoker will go anywhere. I can haul it in my truck bed or put it on our RV bumper platform. It even packs back up in its box pretty well. I’ve developed an elaborate “pool noodle” protection system to keep it from getting scratched or dented while on the go. It sets up in about three minutes and cleans up in about two! Super easy!

Cooking Capacity  

When we cook, we make enough for us, some guests, and leftovers for everybody! We’ve cooked whole chickens, slabs of rib, pork shoulders, butts, and even pizza with our PBJ. We’ve done wings and steaks as well (using the hanging basked mod).  If you have bigger groups, the very large PBX has enough cooking space that you could literally cook enough food to start your own restaurant!!!  It holds up to 20 racks of ribs or 16 chickens at one time!!  

Consistent Temperatures  

Well, I guess it cooks with consistent temps. I’m going to be totally honest with you. To me, this is a “set it and forget it” smoker. You could simply follow the directions on the box and cook “perfect food” every time. Of course, I like my cooking to be “interactive,” so I measure temps all day. The outside of the smoker, inside, meat….whatever I can do to use my Themroworks gear! Haha!  

The temperature is managed by simply controlling airflow through the smoker. Standard settings will give you that slow, low temperature you need to get those smoke flavors we all love. Or you can turn the heat up to finish off those ribs or put a crisp on the skin of your wings. I’m always surprised at how responsive it is.  

Fuel/Charcoal

Pellet smokers need pellets, Green Egg’s desire natural lump charcoalElectrical smokers…well need electricity. The PBC needs fire and charcoal! The same charcoal you find at any store. They do recommend Kingsford, but any charcoal will work. Easy to get and have on hand. I can fire up and cook at a moment’s notice.  

Durable Design  

This smoker is steel everything – nothing is plastic or cheap about it. Cooking surfaces and hooks are stainless steel. My PBJ has about 16,000 miles of traveling across the USA on it. It either rides in the bed of my truck or on the bumper of our RV.  It looks like it’s new and just came out of the box.  

Easy to Clean  

Is it easy to clean? Yes! I dump the ash & coals out after they cool. It’s cleaned…

Versatility 

Combined with PBJ’s portability, versatility is probably the most important feature of anything we bring with us on the road. Like I mentioned earlier, we’ve cooked pizza, wings, and deserts in our PBJ before. I can easily convert my PBJ to a grill or oven if needed. The possibilities are endless!  

In addition to all the meats we’ve cooked on our PBJ, I have my eye on a few more recipes that will happen very soon.  

We support Veteran-Owned Small Business

The last thing I’ll bring up about the Pit Barrel Smoker is the company. Pit Barrel Cooker is a veteran-owned small business. They offer specialized products (Military, DoD, Civil Service logos) to show your support for your service or organization. They’re located in Louisville, KY, and have excellent customer service. When I ordered mine, it was delivered to me in South Florida about 36 hours after placing my order. You can’t beat that!  

Pit Barrel Navy Logo

Conclusion

Ok ok…If it sounds like I’m trying to sell you a Pit Barrel, maybe I am. At least “suggesting it” as your portable smoker grill of choice, especially if you want portability, consistency, and ease of use.  I often cook on mine, and I’m thrilled to share my experience with my Pit Barrel.  If you decide to buy any PBC based on what you’ve read here, I would appreciate it if you clicked this link before you buy, as I’ll earn a small commission on the sale (at no cost to you). If you have any questions on the PBC, please message me on Facebook or Instagram, as I always enjoy talking about cooking outdoors. 

 

Check out my Outdoor Cooking Kit Below.  

About the author

Jen

We are a full-time RV family who said “a hui hou” to our beloved Oahu home to travel the mainland USA to see all the National Parks.


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