Lighting Pit Barrel Cooker

step off Pit Barrel Cooker
step off Pit Barrel Cooker from


If you are a barbecue enthusiast, you must have heard about the Pit Barrel Cooker. This innovative cooking device has gained popularity in recent years due to its unique design and exceptional cooking results. In this article, we will discuss how to light a Pit Barrel Cooker and provide some useful tips to enhance your cooking experience.

Understanding the Pit Barrel Cooker

The Pit Barrel Cooker is a vertical drum-shaped cooker that uses the power of charcoal to produce mouthwatering barbecue. Its simplicity and efficiency make it a favorite among both amateur and professional pitmasters. The cooker’s design allows for even heat distribution, resulting in perfectly cooked meats.

Choosing the Right Charcoal

Before lighting your Pit Barrel Cooker, it is crucial to select the right charcoal. Look for high-quality charcoal that burns evenly and produces consistent heat. Avoid using briquettes that contain additives, as they can affect the flavor of your food.

Preparing the Cooker

Start by removing the cooking grate and ash pan from the Pit Barrel Cooker. This will provide easy access to the charcoal basket. Next, fill the charcoal basket with the desired amount of charcoal. It is recommended to use a charcoal chimney starter to light the charcoal before placing it in the cooker.

Lighting the Charcoal

Using a charcoal chimney starter is the most efficient way to light the charcoal. Fill the chimney starter with charcoal and place crumpled newspaper or paraffin cubes underneath. Light the newspaper or cubes, and the flames will rise through the chimney, igniting the charcoal. Wait for the coals to turn gray before transferring them to the cooker.

Placing the Charcoal in the Cooker

Once the charcoal is lit and ready, carefully transfer it to the charcoal basket in the Pit Barrel Cooker. Spread the coals evenly to ensure consistent heat distribution. Place the cooking grate back on top of the cooker.

Adding Flavor with Wood Chunks

If you want to add a smoky flavor to your food, consider using wood chunks. Soak the wood chunks in water for at least 30 minutes before placing them on top of the charcoal. The moisture from the soaked wood will create a flavorful smoke that will infuse into your meats during the cooking process.


Lighting a Pit Barrel Cooker is a simple process that can be mastered with a little practice. By following the steps outlined in this article, you will be able to enjoy perfectly cooked barbecue every time. Remember to choose high-quality charcoal, use a chimney starter for efficient lighting, and consider adding wood chunks for an extra layer of flavor. Happy cooking!