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4 Effective Pit Barrel Cooker Mods, Jan(2022), Easy and to the point.

Here I have explained most of your queries about Pit Barrel Cooker Mods .

I have always struggled to find proper information on the Mods. 

Therefore, whatever from my experiences in doing and learning about the  Mods , I have tried to share the best of helpful information. 

I have tried to cover some common queries  like Ash Pan, Temperature Gauge, Pit Barrel Cooker Vent Mod, using Grommet, tools used, faqs etc. I surely hope it solves your problem .

Be sure to check out – 
12+ Full List of top modifications of different grills, smokers and cookers etc.

Pit barrel cooker mods

Most of us might not even feel the need for mods in Pit Barrel Cooker.

Unless we want to be able to control its temperature and boost up its performance. 

Here I have collected some awesome mods which I researched through different sources on the internet.

However I have only discussed the important ones that worked for me . 

Tips : 

I have found it to be a perfect fit to cook chicken , either half chicken or chicken wings. Be sure to try out.

Mod 1: Get an Ash Pan 

Pit Barrel cookers don’t come with an ash pan in its standard package.

You need to buy one separately. This is absolutely essential. 

Otherwise you will have a hard time cleaning or digging  the ashes inside the cooker. 

In case you want to get the ash pan I used I will provide the link below.

Mod 2: Adding a Temperature Gauge

Adding a temperature gauge will help to monitor the temperature of the cooker.

This is purely a choice. And it is not absolutely necessary . 

I simply added it because I wanted to be able to see the temperature directly on the top.

Instead of using an external one.

Here is how it looks once you place the thermometer. 

Image of the Thermometer mod Drill area
Image of the Thermometer mod Drill area

In case you want to get one for yourself I will leave a link here.

Also the tools involved to drill the holes and place the thermometer. 

It is very direct and I don’t feel it is necessary to explain in detail how it is done. You will easily do it.

3 1/8 inch Charcoal Grill Temperature Gauge, Accurate BBQ Grill Smoker Thermometer Gauge Replacement for Oklahoma Joe's Smokers, and Smoker Wood Charcoal Pit, Large Face Grill Temp Thermometer
  • This BBQ Grill Smoker Thermometer perfectly fits for Oklahoma Joe's smokers and most smokers or grills with 13/16 inch opening or hole.
  • with extreme accuracy, extra 3'' long stainless steel probe rod for accurate temperature readings and precisely measures internal temperatures of food with a quick 3 to 4 second response time.
  • 3 1/8'' large 3 color coded zones grill thermometer with enlarged degree scales and numbers, easy data reading, allows you to grasp the temperature at a glance even at night. Face reads 100 to 550 °F
  • This grill temperature gauge is made out of stainless steel, which is sturdy and rust resisting, a safety and durability for your family.
  • Just insert the stem through the hole on your grill, and attach the kit included. This temperature gauge is designed to be mounted at the outer of grills, if utilized in liquid or environments with a good deal steam, may additionally fogged up with condensation, but the condensation will disappeared after some time.

Mod 3: Adding a Damper ( Pit Barrel Cooker Vent Mod)

One cool thing I did was to add a damper to the cooker. The idea is to control the heat using this damper. 

For this I purchased a damper from weber (obviously it was made for weber) .

It serves me two purposes . 

First it can help me increase or decrease the heat  inside the cooker but rotating the damper. 

Image of the thermometer and damper once installed
Image of the thermometer and damper once installed

Second, it can also act as a primary vent .

How to install?

You can drill the holes based on the damper circles. See the image below. 

Image of the holes created and the damper movement.
Image of the holes created and the damper movement.

I have mentioned all the tools and used mods below:

Neosmuk Magnetic Hooks, 22 lb+ Heavy Duty Earth Magnets with Hook for Refrigerator, Extra Strong Cruise Hook for Hanging, Magnetic Hanger for Curtain, Grill (Silver White, Pack of 10)
  • ✔ SUPER DURABLE L - Amazing strong, sturdy and reliable magnetic hook in portable size, Made of high grade and exquisite quality magnet and steel. It is perfect for hanging items on fridge.
  • ✔ EXCELLENT COATING- Triple layers nickel coated on metal steel CNC machined metal base greatly reinforces corrosion resistance of magnetic hook! Maintenance free, no rust!
  • ✔ HIGH QUALITY –Routine dimensional/visual checking were performed in the CNC Machines flow line, defective pieces such as surface flaw, crack or oversized products were checked and picked out at the first place. Dimensions, flux and surface of sold products was sampling checked and sorted in our factory. We guarantee every product was made under ISO 9001 Quality Systems!
  • ✔ VERSATILE USE- After a precise simulation and calculation, this hook was endowed with a strong capability for holding of various items in your office cabinet, kitchen, living room, door, indoor and workshop wherever there are steel metal.
  • ✔Neosmuk 22lbs+ (measured on the automatic tension machine) Permanent magnetic hooks, magnetism lasts forever!
Weber Bar-B-Kettle, Charcoal Performer, Touch-N-Go Replacement Gas Grill Damper Kit 63070
  • 18.5" Kettle Damper Kit
  • Includes: (1) Instruction sheet (1) 4-1/2" Diameter Lid damper with "Weber" name (1) Molded handle for lid damper, black (1) 1/4''-20 x .625 Slotted truss head screw, zinc (1) 1/4'' Flat washer, type A/N, zinc (1) 1/4-20 Acorn pal nut, type AK

Mod 4: Use Grommet to cover the Probe Holes

Since I didn’t like my probe to just be inserted and losing some smoke .

I wanted an efficient way to control the hole areas when the probe is inserted. 

Fortunately I found a grommet which is actually designed by Weber for its smokey Mountain product. 

I used it along the probe holes.

And although simple it is one of my favourite mods. 

It looks something like this. 

Image of a grommet on the left.
Image of a grommet on the left.

Tool and Items used

Metal Bits 

CO-Z Step Drill Bits, HSS 5PCS Titanium Step Drill Bit Set, 50 Sizes in 5 High Speed Steel Unibit Drill Bits Set for Sheet Metal with Aluminum Case, Multiple Hole Stepped Up Bits for DIY Lovers
  • Extreme Durabikity: Cobalt high speed steel drill bits along with the titanium coating ensures extreme durability, will stay new and shiny for years to come.
  • Different Sizes of Holes Can Be Drilled: Different sized shanks ensure compatibility with 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2 in. chuck sizes. You are capable to drill holes in different sizes which can meet your normal needs.
  • Smooth Drilling: Non-walking drill tip provides fast and smooth drills on steel sheets, aluminum sheets, wood board, plastic board etc. (the board must be smaller in thickness than the height of step drill bits).
  • Use Center Punch to Mark the Spot: Please mark the spot that you are to drill for easier drilling and improved drill bits life.
  • Keep Your Step Drill Bits Well Organized: All the bits come in a well-organized case for easy transport and storage.

Centre Punch 

NEIKO 02638A 5-Inch Automatic Center Hole Punch, Adjustable Impact Spring-Loaded Puncher Tool
  • CENTER HOLE-PUNCH TOOL: Our 5-inch automatic center punch tool is a great tool for working with materials like wood, plastic, metal, glass, and leather. Each center tool is spring loaded with an adjustable stroke and cap that accommodates any project.
  • COMPACT STEEL TIP: Center punches are important when it comes to marking an accurate drilling location. With the spring-driven action and hard steel awl tip, our hand-held puncher lets you mark drill holes anywhere while on the job.
  • HEAVY DUTY WITH IMPACT: This chrome-plated shank body withstands intense impact force, and the metal resists corrosion and damage over time. The reinforced S2 steel tip holds up to hard materials and makes surfaces ready for any nail or drill.
  • EASY USE & GRIP: With a nonslip surface and a precision-centered tip, this center metal punch has increased force control for accurate holes every time. Activate this tool with a firm downward push to achieve the exact size hole you need.
  • ALL-IN-ONE CENTER PUNCH: This spring-loaded glass breaker and center punch tool is suitable for all kinds of tasks. Whether you need a window hole puncher, an awl for leather belts, or a metal hole punch, this efficient tool gets the job done right.

Power Drill

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver with 30-Piece Accessories (LD120VA) , Orange
  • Cordless drill with Lithium Ion Battery that is always ready and holds a charge up to 18 months
  • The 24 position clutch of this power drill prevents stripping and overdriving screws by providing extra level of control
  • Drill/driver with soft grip handle provides added comfort during use
  • Assortment of 30 accessories to help you get the job done
  • Part of the 20V max System - A System that demands attention

Magnets .

Anpro 120 Pcs Strong Ceramic Industrial Magnets Hobby Craft Magnets-11/16 Inch (18mm) Round Magnet Disc for Refrigerator Button DIY Cup Tiny Magnet Craft Hobbies, Science Projects & School Crafts
  • 120 pcs industrial disc magnets GRADE Y30 1200 Gauss round ceramic magnets: Diameter is 18mm(0.71"),thickness is 5mm
  • Ideal strong DIY craft magnets for industrial, school, office, craft, home, science projects and product applications, such as glass gems, mirror and other DIY hobbies; You can use them as refrigerator magnets
  • The tiny magnet disc with beveled edges can prevent surfaces from scratching
  • North pole side of each craft magnet is marked so that you can choose the right side to apply
  • Please note: The ceramic magnets are not toys and they only are used for craft, science or production, please keep your kids far away from them


What are the best foods to cook in a pit barrel cooker?

The best things to cook on a pit barrel cooker are  :

  • Chicken wings
  • Tri Tips
  • RibEye Steak
  • Prime rib, and rib-eye steaks
  • Corn
  • Planked salmon
  • Rack of lamb
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Spareribs etc.

How do I make my Pit Barrel Cooker hotter?

To make the Pit barrel cooker hotter you can slightly open or crack the lid and keep it for about half an hour.

Then close it. With more air to flow it can burn up the fuel and produce more heat.

Also you can refer to the  modifications listed which can control and improve the overall heat.

How do you control the temperature on a pit barrel?

You can control the temperature on a pit barrel by doing some damper modification.

I have already discussed it here on detail.

Can you use wood chips in a pit barrel cooker?

Yes you can use wood chips in a pit barrel cooker .

But you should be using it as a mixes with charcoal or wood etc.

How long does a pit barrel cooker last?

Full Pit barrel cooker with charcoal can last upto 11 -12 hours of consistent burning.

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