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The Perfect Gift for Dad

Get a free Weber Compact Chimney Starter and a 7 lb bag of Kingsford Original Charcoal with all orders that include a Barrel House Cooker Deluxe.

Use promo code BHCDAD17 at checkout. Sale ends June 19, 2017 at 11:59 pm PST.

Promo BHCDAD17 only applies to orders that include a Barrel House Cooker Deluxe. Offer valid online only until June 19, 2017 at 11:59 pm PST. Not valid toward previous purchases. May not be combined with other offers. FREE SHIPPING. Shipping Details

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FAQs / Troubleshooting

This unique cooking system generates some questions and we want to be sure you're confident before you buy. Some of the most common questions are answered below, but if you do not see yours, please give us a call or use the form on the Contact Us page.

FAQs

FAQs

Product +

How do I light my Barrel House Cooker?

  1. LIGHTER FLUID: Coat with lighter fluid then immediately light. At 10 minutes, set barrel on base and leave lid open. After 5 to 10 more minutes, close lid.
  2. TRADITIONAL CHIMNEY: Place 1/3 of the coals (36 coals) in the chimney and set it on the remaining coals and light the paper. After 10 minutes, pour burning coals on top of other coals and place barrel on base with lid open. After 10 more minutes, close lid.

Why not let the coals ash over & reach peak heat before cooking?
This unique cooking system controls the burn rate and heat of the coal. It is important to not let the coals burn too long before cooking.

Is this a slow and low cooker?
The Barrel House Vertical Cooker® is an alternative to slow and low cooking that produces similar or better results with most meats. Hot and fast cooking is becoming more popular on the BBQ circuit, and the Barrel House Cooker leans more toward that style of cooking. That said, you can cook slow and low with great results as well. Simply control the temperature using the vents. Try it out risk free for 30 days, and if the results don't impress you, we'll pay your return shipping and give your money back.

How much charcoal do I need to use with the cooker?
The Barrel House Vertical Cooker uses between 4 to 6 pounds of charcoal. We recommend Kingsford Original charcoal, yet other types of fuel can be used. Burning lump coal works very good as well.

How do I use wood with the cooker?
We do not recommend replacing charcoal with wood; however, for an additional flavor profile, you can add small wood chunks (preferred) or chips while meat is cooking. A little bit of wood goes a long way to creating flavor in the enclosed pit environment of the Barrel House Cooker. To add wood, either drop it in from the top or remove the barrel from the base, add wood to the charcoal, then reattach the barrel. Keep in mind that Kingsford Original Briquettes already produces a mild smoky taste without adding wood.

How do I use lump (hardwood charcoal) with the cooker?
Lump or hardwood charcoal burns a bit hotter than briquettes, but it still produces the same incredible results with a slightly different flavor profile. For additional flavor, small wood chunks can be added to lump during the cook.

Is the cooker portable?
The cooker is perfect for transporting to other venues. It is easy to carry, doesn't weigh much, and doesn't take up much room. Remember, you can use it as a barrel cooker and/or a hibachi.

How do I use the cooker as a hibachi?
Fill the deep side of the coal basket no more than 1/4 full. Use the open frame and two half grates to create the hibachi grill. The feet of the open frame securely sit down into the top of the base.

Cooking +

See Cooking Instructions

Note about the thermometer/temperature:
The thermometer provides the added value of being able to baseline the start up temperature and ensure the cook is within the desired range.

When properly started and depending on what’s on the menu, it cooks at about 275-315°F.
HOWEVER, the top thermometer will read around 200-250°F. The lid thermometer does not accurately reflect the temperature where the food is cooking because it is at the top of the barrel above the exhaust ports, and the intended cook area is below the exhaust ports.

What can I do if my cooker doesn't reach temperature?
Give the process time to play out. The temperature usually rises on its own, and cooks the meat. This allows you to relax until the instructed time has elapsed and it's time to check it. After the cook is well under way and for some reason the temperature is too low simply cock the lid to the side for a couple minutes to increase airflow. The thermometer may drop while the lid is open, but will rise once you close it again.

Can food fall into the charcoal?

Properly hooked food will not fall into the charcoal. If you are worried about it the first time you cook, simply place the grates on the open frame on the bottom level of the drum. After you experience how the food is safe on hooks, you'll feel confident hanging it right over the coals!

How does food closer to the coals not get burned?
We get this question often and it completely makes sense! "How can 18+ inches of ribs cook evenly top to bottom and not burn closer to the coals?" The answer is found in the design of the product. It is the balance of controlled airflow, convection, and cooking dynamics that keeps the temperature within the barrel virtually the same from top to bottom.

Clean-Up +

How do I extinguish the coals when I am done with the cooker?
Open the lid to increase airflow and expedite the ashing of the coal. Do not use water to extinguish coals inside the cooker. Dispose into metal or concrete waste bins that do not contain plastic, paper, or greenery.

How often do I need to clean the cooker?
It is recommended to give the cooker a thorough cleaning at least once a year. The hooks should be cleaned each time they are used. Although the accessories are dishwasher safe, they do not need to be washed after each use. Simply loosen residue with a grill brush.

How do I clean the outside of the cooker?
To clean the cooker, make sure it is cool and the coals are completely extinguished. Remove the cooking grates and coal basket. Remove ashes. Wash your cooker with a non-abrasive cloth or sponge, mild detergent and water. Rinse well and wipe dry.

How do I clean the inside of the cooker?
To clean the inside of the cooker, let the coals burn after a cook with the intake fully opened and the lid propped. This will significantly increase the internal temperature and "clean" the inside of the barrel with heat. Once cooled, use a BBQ brush to remove anything stuck to the sides of the cooker.

Ordering/Shipping +

Where do you ship to?
Online, we only ship to the 48 contiguous USA states. Please call us for all other states, territories, and countries.

USA Shipping Information

Where can I purchase replacement parts?
Please shop online with us or contact Barrel House Cooker Company to order replacement parts or receive new ones under warranty.


Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting

Cooking Temperature +

This smoker is engineered to stay at the correct temperature range by itself for the entire cook (6+ hours) without flare-ups, or fussing with it when set-up and lit as instructed.

The cooking process is different than other outdoor BBQs, smokers, and cookers. Give the process time to work out, the temperature will fluctuate, but the results will be amazing every time.

NOTE ABOUT THERMOMETER: The thermometer provides the added value of being able to baseline the start up temperature and ensure the cook is within the desired range when properly started. While the top thermometer will typically read between 200-250°F, the actual temperature the food is cooking at is typically between 275-315°. The actual temperature will vary depending on a number of things and timing during the cook. The lid thermometer does not accurately reflect the temperature where the food is cooking because it is at the top of the barrel above the exhaust ports, and the intended cook area is below the exhaust ports.

Cooker Runs Too Hot? +

One or more of the following issues can affect the temperature of the cooker.

The Cooker

Elevation Setting Correct?
Be sure the air intake setting is at the proper opening based on your elevation. If the intake is opened more than suggested the coals will burn hotter.

Lid Seating Properly?
Be sure the lid sits down all the way around the top of the barrel. The more air escaping from the top, the hotter the barrel will be.

Brand New Barrel House
There is a slight chance a brand new cooker may run hotter for the first cook due to the porcelain coating. If you experience this, the food will still turn out great. The cooker will become seasoned, which will bring the temperature down on subsequent cooks.

Thermometer Working Properly?
Thermometers can go bad. See more information on replacing a bad thermometer.

The Weather

Direct Sun and Hot Days
Ambient temperatures affect the cooking temperature of the barrel cooker. The results will be the same, but the timing will be a little different. For more consistent times, keep the barrel cooker in the shade on hot days, and in the sun on colder days. The wind may also affect the cooking temperature by cooling the barrel down. The effect of weather is not overly dramatic but does play a part in the cooking temperature.

Wind Blowing Air to Coals
The cooking temperature will increase if air is being forced through the bottom intake holes. Turn the barrel cooker away from the wind, set up a wind block, or place barrel in a sheltered area.

The Process: What the Cooker Does

Temperature Naturally Rises during a Cook
As meat heats up, the ambient temperature in the barrel usually increases. Less energy is being used to cook the meat so the air gets hotter. If the temperature goes beyond the cooking range there may be other factors to consider.

Temperature Fluctuations
It is normal to see spikes in the temperature. Spikes usually calm down within 30 minutes. Some of the reasons for temperature spikes are:

  • As briquettes burn, they ash and become smaller causing them to rearrange and make hot spots.
  • There may be a temporary hot spot from grease or a wood chip.
  • Opening the lid, no matter how little or quick, introduces air into the system and the coals heat up.

Probe Temperature Varies
During the cooking process the temperature within the barrel fluctuates, but the end result is a consistent cook top to bottom. At times throughout the cook, it is hotter toward the middle and other times toward the top. This is normal as the meat heats up, as coals breakdown, and air moves.

The Process: What You Do

Keep the Lid Closed
Try to limit opening the cooker when necessary to check the meat, add smoke wood, or to add/remove a side dish. The additional air let into the cooker raises the temperature and can change the cooking dynamics.

Some Fuels Burn Hotter
Some charcoal brands and types burn hotter. For instance, lump coal has the reputation of producing more heat than briquette coal. Consider an alternative product such as Kingsford Original or similar.

What Not to Do

NEVER pour water over hot coals in the cooker. The result will be meat coated in ash, temperature cooled too low, and it may crack the porcelain finish.

Cooker Runs Too Cool? +

After the meat has warmed up during the cooking process, the cooking lid thermometer should be over 190°F (note that the temperature where the meat is cooking is substantially hotter than what the lid thermometer reads). Here are a few things to consider if the cooking temperature on the lid will not go over 190°F during a cook:

The Cooker

Air Intake Properly Set?
Be sure the air intake is open according to your city's elevation. If there is not sufficient air, the temperature will be low.

Thermometer Working Properly?
Thermometers can go bad. See more information on replacing a bad thermometer.

The Weather

Damp Cool Days
The Barrel Cooker may require more air on a damp, cold day compared to a sunny, warm one. Offset the lid for a couple minutes, then reset it. Wait 10 minutes to see how the temperature is affected.

Wind May Reduce Air Intake The cooking temperature may actually decrease depending on how the wind is twirling around the barrel. Turn the barrel cooker in a different direction, set up a wind block, or place barrel in a sheltered area.

The Process: What the Cooker Does

Temperature Naturally Rises during a Cook
As meat heats up, the ambient temperature in the barrel often increases. Give the process time to play out. If the temperature never gets to 190°F there may be other factors to consider.

The Process: What You Do

Give the Coals a Boost
Encourage the coals by giving them a boost of air. Offset the lid for a couple minutes, then reset it. Wait 10 minutes to see how the temperature is affected.

Increase Air Flow into Cooker
Adjust the bottom air intake, opening it up slightly more. The elevation or conditions may require it.

Amount of Meat or Temperature of Meat
The cooker may be overloaded with meat, not allowing the cooking process to mature. See manufacturer’s recommendations for meat quantity. A full barrel of very cold meat should cook fine when given more time for the temperature to rise.

Some Fuels Burn Cooler
Some charcoal brands and types burn cooler than others. Trying lump charcoal may help increase the temperature but will burn faster than briquettes. Try a new charcoal product and see if that makes a difference.