Top positive review
193 people found this helpful
Indoor BBQ pit makes succulent BBQ a year-round reality!
on January 2, 2006
I got the Rival CrockPot BBQ Pit for my birthday in mid-December and I've used it several times since then, for chicken, ribs, and a decent-sized brisket.
First things first - read the instructions, which are brief and easy to understand, before using the BBQ Pit. One drawback to the instructions is that they just say the stoneware insert's easy to clean. Baked-on meat drippings, however, require significant effort to remove, and I advise you to spray the insert with a Pam-like product before each time you cook.
The BBQ Pit comes with a convenient reversable rack that can accomodate either ribs or a roast or chicken. I had a large brisket that I sort of had to shoehorn in, but after a few hours it had shrunk so that I could move it around easily. It's important to avoid letting the meat come in contact with the inside of the stoneware insert, because it might burn.
The BBQ Pit cooks meat at a low temperature, perfect for ribs or brisket which tend to be tough if cooked over 250 degrees. There's no substitute for time when slow-cooking, though - if you haven't got the time - several hours at least - this isn't the product for you. I was very pleased with everything I cooked in it over the past two weeks, but there are some drawbacks:
The electric cord, like that on most appliances, is pretty short - I measured mine at 32". If you can't locate the BBQ Pit near a wall outlet, you'll have to use an extension cord, which is someting I like to avoid in a kitchen.
The BBQ Pit has no external handles, so you need to place it carefully before cooking, because it gets too hot to move easily. In addition, the handles of the stoneware insert extend beyond the rim of the crockpot itself, making it easy to mistake them for handles with which you can lift the BBQ Pit - potentially a dangerous assumption.
You have to be extremely careful opening the lid when cooking is underway - along with a wonderful aroma comes a cloud of steam potentially hot enough to burn your hand.
Finally, because the meat drippings have a tendency to stick, I put a small amount of water in the bottom of the stoneware insert after the first time I used it, resulting in a moister cut of meat than intended - essentially I'd steamed the ribs and the brisket, although not to ill effect.
Overall, I'm tremendously pleased with the CrockPot BBQ Pit. I barbecue or smoke meat most weekends during the good weather (about 8-9 months here in Atlanta), and the addition of this appliance to our kitchen extends the BBQ season through the cold weather as well!