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Perfectly cooked medium rare steak on the Pit Barrel Cooker

Rib Fillets on The Pit Barrel Cooker

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Recipe for Perfectly Cooked Rib Fillets on The Pit Barrel Cooker

There's nothing quite like the flavour of a perfectly cooked rib fillet, especially when it's cooked over charcoal on a Pit Barrel Cooker. This cooking method infuses the meat with a rich, smoky flavour that can't be replicated on a traditional BBQ. Today, I'm sharing a detailed, step-by-step guide to cooking thick rib fillets on your Pit Barrel Cooker, using nothing but oil and salt as a seasoning, To add an extra layer of flavour, we'll finish by searing the steaks over a fire pit grill. Let's dive in!


  • Thick cut rib fillets (about 2 inches thick)
  • Sea Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • Gidgee Charcoal
  • Wood chunks (preferably oak or hickory for a robust smoky flavour)
  • Cooking thermometer


  • Pit Barrel Cooker
  • Charcoal chimney starter
  • Long lighter or matches
  • Meat hooks
  • Instant-read meat thermometer
  • BBQ gloves
  • Tongs
  • Cutting board
  • Aluminium foil
  • Fire pit grill or high-heat grill
Pit Barrel Cooker close up front view

Step-by-Step Recipe

Fill the Chimney Starter:

  • Fill your charcoal chimney starter the gidgee charcoal. For a Pit Barrel Cooker, you’ll need enough charcoal to fill the basket about ¾ full.

Light the Charcoal:

  • Place a couple of fire lighters under the chimney. Light it using a long lighter or matches.
  • Allow the charcoal to burn in the chimney for about 15-20 minutes, or until the coals are glowing red and covered with a light layer of ash.

Pour the Charcoal:

  • Carefully pour the hot charcoal from the chimney into the charcoal basket at the bottom of the Pit Barrel Cooker. Add a few wood chunks on top for added smoke flavour.

Place the Rebar:

  • Insert the rebar rods through the pre-drilled holes near the top of the cooker. These will support the meat hooks.
Pit Barrel Cooker top view of rebar and hanging hooks

Season the Rib Fillets:

  • Pat the rib fillets dry with paper towels. Generously season them on all sides with olive oil and sea salt (you can be rather generous on the salt). Allow the seasoning to adhere for about 15 minutes.

Hook the Meat:

  • Lightly oil the meat hooks to prevent sticking. Carefully insert the hooks through the thickest part of each rib fillet, ensuring they are secure.

Hang the Meat:

  • Hang the hooked rib fillets on the rebar rods inside the Pit Barrel Cooker. Ensure they are evenly spaced to allow for proper air circulation and even cooking.
Pit Barrel Cooker top view with rib fillets hanging on hooks

Monitor the Temperature:

  • Insert an instant-read thermometer probe into the thickest part of one of the rib fillets. Monitor the internal temperature throughout the cook to ensure you do not overcook them.

Cook the Rib Fillets:

  • Close the lid and let the rib fillets cook undisturbed. The target internal temperature for medium-rare rib fillets is about 130°F (54°C), which usually takes around 45-60 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steaks and the ambient temperature.

Check the Temperature:

  • Periodically check the internal temperature with your instant-read thermometer. Once the rib fillets reach the desired temperature, carefully remove them from the Pit Barrel Cooker using BBQ gloves and tongs.
Pit Barrel Cooker with thermometer in steaks
Pit Barrel Cooker close up view of rib fillets nearly done

Prepare the Fire Pit Grill:

  • While the steaks are cooking in the Pit Barrel Cooker, prepare your fire pit grill or a high-heat grill by lighting additional charcoal and letting it burn until it’s very hot.

Sear the Rib Fillets:

  • Once the rib fillets have reached the desired internal temperature (around 50 degrees for medium rare), sear them over the hot grill for about 1-2 minutes on each side. This step creates a beautiful crust and locks in the smoky flavours.
Searing the steaks over the Fire Pit Grill

Rest the Meat:

  • Transfer the rib fillets to a cutting board and loosely tent them with aluminium foil. Let them rest for about 10-15 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more tender and flavourful steak. (be careful though as the steaks will continue to cook while resting)

Slice and Serve:

  • After resting, slice the rib fillets against the grain to ensure maximum tenderness. Serve with your favourite sides and enjoy the rich, smoky flavour infused by the Pit Barrel Cooker..
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Cooking rib fillets on a Pit Barrel Cooker is a awesome experience that brings out the best in your meat. The combination of the cooker’s unique design and the way it cooks your meat makes a memorable BBQ dish that will impress your guests and leave them craving more.

Adding a final sear over a fire pit grill enhances the flavour and texture, making each bite a smoky, juicy delight. Happy grilling!

Feel free to share your own tips and experiences with cooking on the Pit Barrel Cooker in the comments below. Let's continue to make every BBQ session a delicious adventure!

Author Bio Image

Allan Cooper

Allan Cooper, a licenced electrician is an avid foodie, with experience in spit roasting, smoking meats, and kegerators. He loves the outdoor living lifestyle and shares it with his young family.

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