The Pit Barrel Cooker is one of the hottest smokers out there right now, and for good reason. It comes fully assembled and is very affordable ($299 at http://www.pitbarrelcooker.com/). The PBC, as its loyal followers refer to it, cooks hot and fast if used as directed. I have perfected some techniques that allow me to also cook low and slow if that is more your style (inbox me below for tips).
The most unique thing about the cooker is that it is primarily designed for you to hang the meat during the cooking process. This might seem crazy, but IT WORKS. Google dozens of reviews that all the same thing..."Best BBQ Ever." I have tried cooking brisket, ribs, whole/half chicken, pork shoulder/tenderloin/loin, tri-tip, prime rib, turkey, and ham on my PBC all using the hanging method. Noah does a great job explaining how to cook each meat on the PBC website great videos covering everything from lighting techniques to meat prep and cooking. You can also use it as "traditional" bbq grill by using the included grate and leaving the lid off.
The PBC is also great for competition BBQ. The first time I used in an KCBS contest a lot of people were like "oh that is a cute little grill." Then I took 6th in ribs (out of a field of 55) and got a cute little ribbon to go with it. Since that first time I have earned several more calls in KCBS sanctioned contests in both ribs and pork.
The technique of using the grill is unique, but it is extremely effective. The customer service at PBC is world class. The owner prints his cell phone number on every barrel...and he answers the calls. The first time I tried using the PBC I lit too much charcoal and let it burn to long before adding it to the charcoal basket. I thought man this will never work as my PBC climbed past 500F. I called the number on the top of the barrel at 6pm and the owner himself answered my call and quickly identified my mistake. Ever since then I have been preparing award winning and delicious BBQ using that "cute little grill."
I am going to start using the following scoring system for my product reviews, modeled after the KCBS scoring system. Keep in mind 9 (not 10) is a perfect rating in each category. The categories are cost, usefulness, and performance compared to competitor's products.
9, 9, 9
Below is a tri-tip I prepared for a holiday dinner using the PBC.