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Kamado Joe vs. The Pit Barrel Cooker? Which one is better? Taste test using the King Wing Recipe!!!

Updated: Nov 13, 2022

Pit Barrel Cooker
Pit Barrel Cooker

I've made this site mainly talking about the Kamado Joe due to its versatility in cooking. It's a grill, smoker, oven and depending on the accessories so much more. I've often neglected to mention my Pit Barrel Cooker since it has taken a back seat to the Kamado. That doesn't mean that the Pit Barrel Cooker isn't a great option when it comes to smokers.

I won't go into the science behind the ways the PBC cooks the meats in this article, I'll save it for another day. I believe the main taste difference really boils down to Charcoal Briquettes vs. Lump Charcoal when talking about the PBC vs. the KJ.

If you read the Fuel page you will notice the *warning* never put charcoal briquettes in a KJ because they are made with additives that can leach into the ceramics of the KJ. I don't know about you but my first experience with grilled foods was at a park on one of these things below.

The smell and taste of briquettes are a love hate for many people. I personally love it. Maybe its because it takes me back to my childhood and many fond memories of family gatherings at a park or on the lake.

The PBC specifically calls for Kingsford brand briquettes in the blue bag and that is where it really shines in my opinion. I've used lump charcoal from Royal Oak and it doesn't give that distinguished taste that the Kingsford does.

So which one wins the PBC or KJ? Here are some visuals of the cooks. If only you could taste them.

Pit Barrel Cooker
King Wings on the PBC


Kamado Joe buffalo Wing recipe
King Wing recipe on the Kamado Joe

The PBC does not have a heat deflector nor does it have a way to control temperatures. As far as cooking space they are about the same. It's inevitable for me to always lose at least one wing while cooking. In the case of the PBC it fell between the handles on grate.

So which one cooks the wings better? The results of the cook are not surprisingly virtually the same. I will tell you that the PBC wings have received many rave reviews as well as the KJ. If you associate the grilling experience with the briquette and just love that taste then the PBC is for you. That flavor is something you can't get on a Kamado. Does that make the PBC better than the KJ? That all comes down to your tastes and I'll let you decide.

I use the Kamado Joe Classic II and the Pit Barrel Cooker! Check out for more information on the Kamado Joe, accessories, fuel, meats and more! FFBBQ participates in some affiliate programs so by purchasing from links you are helping support the site! So far FFBBQ has made a few dollars! Thanks for helping to keep the flame going!


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