I have been an avid fan of the Pit Barrel Cooker for years. It is the reason I got into competition BBQ and hands down one of the best purchases I have ever made.
When I saw the new Pit Barrel Junior I knew I had to have one. The new Junior is 14" (compared to the 18.5" original) in diameter and comes with 6 hooks (instead of 8).
When I first unpacked the PBJ I immediately thought of tailgates and camping. It is easy to move and takes up very little space.
The build quality is great, especially the charcoal basket. If you keep it covered you should get many years of cooking out of this unit.
Like the original, the best way to maximize cooking capacity is to hang the meat. So far I have had four cooks on the PBJ.
Cook 1- 4 racks of Baby Back Ribs (hanging)
Time- 3 hours
Cook 2-10 pound pork butt
Time- 3 hours unwrapped, 3.5 hours foil wrapped (6.5 total)
Cook 3- 4 pork tenderloins
Time- 1.5 hours (hanging)
Cook 4- 12 Competition style chicken thighs
Time- 1.5 hours
This cooker is great for cooking for a family or bringing high quality BBQ to a tailgate. You could get 6 racks of ribs in the PBJ but 4 would be my ideal number.
One of the best things about the smaller size is how little fuel it uses. You could get 3-4 cooks out of the large bag of B&B Oak Briquettes, and that is without reusing coals (which you can do). Speaking of charcoal. I know lot of people like lump charcoal, and I do too! However, with both versions of the PBC I think being able to pack the briquettes densely allows for a more consistent cook in terms of both cook time and temperature. You can certainly use lump if you prefer, briquettes just work better for me.
Overall the versatility and portability of this cooker make it a great addition to any outdoor cooking collection. I would strongly suggest ordering one. It makes a great partner to the original as there is almost know learning curve and many of the accessories are interchangeable!