Best Drum Smokers Reviews & User Buying Guide

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(Last Updated On: May 30, 2022)

Today, we’ll be looking at Best Drum Smokers. Which are the most effective available? What are they, and how do they function.

If you’re new to drum smokers or decide that you’re looking for one, you’ve come to the right spot. Something is appealing about the drum smoker and its basic functionality.

When stripped down to its bare necessities, it’s a stainless steel barrel with a fireplace on the bottom and a slice of meat on top.
You are sometimes called “UDS”, also known as Ugly Drum Smokers. 

They don’t bring an aesthetic attraction to your backyard as a stainless-steel digital vertical smoker would be and an offset smoker with the traditional double-barrel-profile and chimney. When you’ve had the chance to taste the meat, however, you’ll be able to forget.

The people skilled at smoking drums will be blessed with delicious meat cooked to perfection, usually less time than you’d think.
This article examines our top 5 most popular drum smokers, offering a variety of designs and costs. 

We will also explain to those who do not know the meaning of Best Drum Smoker what you should watch before getting into the game. We’re sure you’ll need to do it after reading.

Are you ready to hit a few drums? Let’s go!

Oklahoma Joe is one of the most popular brands for smokers, with various styles and sizes. For instance, the Bronco Pro is surprisingly non-ugly for an Ugly Drum Smoker, exceptionally when you choose the orange model.

OJ claims that the Bronco Pro is a high-end competition smoker, and that’s difficult to dispute. (Wait a minute. OJ? Bronco? Hmmm…) It’s durable with heavy-gauge steel construction with large wheels and porcelain-coated elements, like the charcoal basket, heat diffuser, ash pan, heat diffuser, and the draining cup.

It’s also efficient, and it has the lid hinged and fitted with gaskets for a secure seal. This means that there’s less smoke outside and more inside the areas you’d like.

The basket can hold up to 17 pounds of wood and charcoal, enough to allow you to smoke throughout the day. If you want to cook a quick steak or burgers, you can place the basket over the heat diffuser and then get it to the grill.

The Bronco Pro features a unique airflow system that uses the tall pipe to draw air below the charcoal. It is located just above the shelf on the side (which we appreciate). It’s simple to reach the control for vents, and Additionally, it prevents animals from getting within your smoker between sessions.

The 21.5-inch diameter cooking grate is big enough to accommodate three pork shoulders and 16 chicken thighs. Oklahoma Joe includes three meat hangers, each with nine hooks, so prepare those racks of ribs ready or grill your sausages in no time.

Cleaning up is easy. Take off the drain cap to remove juices and grease. Then, take out the ash pan for disposal of the charcoal you used and wood.

This is a top-quality smoker that comes with a variety of top-of-the-line features. Being able to switch to grilling mode rapidly is a significant benefit that allows you to cook and smoke with only a tiny amount of space.

It’s a good investment when compared to others available. However, the quality and flexibility are evident, making it a worthy purchase.


  • Includes meat hangers and hooks
  • Capacity for up to 15 hours of smoke time
    Doubles as a charcoal grill
  • Side shelf for work space
  • Efficient vent system for better control of airflow
  • Oversize wheels and handle for maneuvering


  • Very heavy; weighs approx. 178 pounds
  • Only one position for the cooking grate, limiting height capacity

If your company’s name is Pit Barrel Cooker, you’d better create a memorable one! The good news is that they can. The Classic Smoker is a smoker who goes back to basics that look more like original drums than most models we’ve seen. Perhaps you could convince your friends that you built it yourself?

The lid is closed, and you can have the option of cooking using the grill’s standard grate and using eight hooks for meat to hang your food from either or both of the hanging rods. (TBH, The rods are just rebar lengths.)

The grate may be a little smaller than the others we’ve looked at. However, that’s not a problem -It’s a good thing – Pit Barrel recommends hanging your meat for as long as you can.

Hanging meat can maximize the space available to the smaller than average drum smoker. The PBC is built around 30-gallon drums instead of the standard 55-gallon drums. While it’s not as big, it makes up the speed of cooking; anticipate cooking times that are half of what it would take in other smokers.

There’s not a lot in terms of bells and bells. There’s the lid not hinged (but there’s a hook that can be hung from one of the handles) and no thermometer, and there are no wheels.

The smoker is set on a stand that keeps them from falling. And it has a single vent with a damper located at the bottom. Pit Barrel Cooker recommends setting the drag by the elevation of your home 14 open for the 0-2000′ mark above sea level 1/2 for 2,000-5,000′ or 3/4 for 5,000-8,000 feet and fully available for anything over 8000 feet. (If you’re not sure of your elevation, you can search it on Google.)

If you’ve ever thought of smoking but find it difficult and have concluded that drum smokers might be the kinds of barbecue smokers most suitable for you, the Pit Barrel Cooker is an ideal choice.

The cooker was highly recommended in our quest to find the most effective smoking experience for beginners. It is exceptionally competent, simple to use and produces stunning results with only a small effort.

The Pit Barrel Cooker Classic is also hard for a competitor in the price-for-value category. this is the best barrel smoker.

If you’ve ever considered purchasing a Kamado Grill but then were apprehensive about the cost, you should go through this review. It’s not going to be a lie; the Gateway 55 Gallon smoker looks more like the appearance of a water heater somewhat instead of smoking (or the kamado) and features twin side vents and a smooth exterior.

However, don’t let its appearance make you think it’s not an extremely serious smoker.

It’s serious about many things. In contrast to many smoking drums, this model comes with pegs for 3 degrees of cookware.

It comes with only one; however, getting two and significantly increasing the cooking space is not a big deal. There’s plenty of room to cook a variety of smaller foods or several small-sized cuts.

The Gateway Drum Smoker has three outlets. Gateway Drum Smoker: two-pipe vents on the sides and one for the lid. With this much control, you can reach almost any temperature you’d like. The finish can be set to 400F (and there are a variety of colours to pick from), So you can turn it up to bake, roast or even straight grilling.

If you enjoy cooking outdoors, the smoker will keep you entertained.
The drum is seamless, while the handles, feet and pipes are also welded. This means that there is no heat or smoke leakage loss, and it is all the signs of being extremely well-built.

Our only complaint with this cookware is the lack of accessories. There is only one grate but no hangers for meat. Our suggestion is to add at the very least another grate and meat hangers to the initial order. You’ll want these items.

Are you looking for a professional-grade smoker with a lot of flexibility and hands-on enjoyment? This could be it.


  • Three vents for precision control
  • Can run low and slow, hot and fast, or anywhere in-between
  • 3 grate positions to choose from
  • Can use up to 3 grates to triple capacity to 1386 sq. In. (sold separately)
  • Cooks up to 14 hours
  • Solid barrel has no seams & vent pipes are welded on; heats evenly and holds temperature


  • Removing casters for tailgating, as recommended by Gateway, is impractical
  • Then again, a 100-pound smoker is impractical for tailgating, anyway
  • Most accessories sold separately

Are you not familiar with the title? We weren’t either. A little research shows that EasyGoProducts offers a broad selection of beach, backyard, and camping equipment. 

Also, the fan-blown wavy guys can see in car dealerships and at the furniture shop entrance. They also offer this multi-purpose drum smoker that you have to see for yourself.

When fully assembled, the BBB is at least three feet high. In its disassembled state, it’s just half the size. If you’re planning to go camping or to an RV with your smoker, you’ll appreciate the ease of being able to carry it around and store it.

In reality, having fun on the move was the top goal of the designers. It is simple to move, but it’s also a combination charcoal grill that can be used in various ways based on the configuration you choose. 

With both sections set, it’s a drum smoker. You can also use the bottom section for grilling charcoal or a fire pit made of charcoal for roasting marshmallows or hanging out.

A unique attachment lets you place the cooking grate at various sizes but inside the barrel. This is ideal for baking pizzas or roasting vegetables, or even fish.

EasyGoProducts supplied with the Big Bad Barrel with six stainless steel utility hooks. They also included a spatula with a serrated edge, a fork, and an assortment of tongs. If you keep them in smoking equipment, it will have everything you require in one location.

While the vents on the bottom do not have dampers, the lid vent is equipped with one. This gives you a bit of flexibility in setting and altering your temperature. (Which you can track using the thermometer built into the device.)

If you’re unsure about smoking cigarettes, The EasyGoProducts Big Bad Barrel is an excellent way to test the waters. It might not be the most efficient smoker available. However, it provides the best smoking experience that is easy to control and offers more.

Even if you occasionally smoke at this rate, you’ll receive the value you pay for. If you’re the type who loves getting out of Dodge on weekends, it’s pretty essential. The coolness is high on the scale. Check it out!


  • Smokes, grills, roasts, and bakes
  • Barrel brakes down into two pieces for easier transport, tailgating
  • Large, easy-grip handles
  • Kit comes with many accessories, including utensils and meat hangers
  • Lid damper allows some control over internal temperature
  • Very attractive price for so many features


  • Smaller than our other drum smokers
  • Too short for a very long rack of ribs

Barrel House Cooker Smoker


Barrel House Cooker has a collection of only one product – the 18C, and it’s an excellent smoker.

Similar to a few other compact drum smokers that we’ve seen (about 3′ tall and weigh about 45 pounds), The BHC 18C is designed to cook between 275 and 310F, and it’s slightly higher than the standard slow and low range.

It’s a good thing; it’s still moist and succulent, smoky meat; however, it will take less time.

It’s a simple process. You only need one damper to think about, and you’ll only be able to touch it once. It’s an elevation-based damper that you can set and forget.

Search for the elevation of where you are and follow the guide attached to the back of the barrel. This will allow you to pick the appropriate setting.

To get to the charcoal basket at the base, you need to move the barrel upwards and off. This makes preparing the coals somewhat tricky in the middle of cooking, but it’s secure and simple to light.

The 18C includes the standard grate, an H frame, and eight hangers for meat. It also comes with a handy tool for moving the components around.

The lid has a built-in thermometer; however, since it’s not the best place to put it on the smoker, you’ll have to overlook it generally.

However, it’s not useless. The underside of the thermometer mount has a hook that can be used to hang the lid off the wall.

Hanging is the most common method of cooking for this smoker. You can make the most from the area (narrow but still long) by turning your meat instead of using the grill. Of course, the grate is fantastic, too, and sits deep in the smoker, giving you plenty of space.

There’s another position for the grate towards the top. Why? By placing the H-Frame in its central location (usually, it’s towards the top), You can raise the charcoal basket and use the 18C for a traditional charcoal grill. Amazing!

For the last cooking option, it is possible to skip the barrel entirely and instead use the grates directly onto the charcoal basket placed at the bottom—a quick hibachi to cook some Kabobs, yakitori, or a quick sear of an edgy steak.

Its Barrel House Cooker Smoker BHC 18C is a relaxed but efficient approach to smoking. Are the words “not that low but but not too slow” going to be the latest trend?

The food you eat is tasty and attracts more people to smoking, then why not? We love the flexibility and ease in this drum smoker.


  • One-touch elevation-based vent
  • Lift off top for easy access to wood/charcoal
  • Grill hibachi-style on the base
  • Cooks meat faster than traditional smokers
  • Porcelain-enameled 20-gauge steel for durability and easy cleaning
  • Includes H-Frame and meat hangers


  • Not “true” low and slow cooking; might deter hard-core smokers
  • Without dampers, you cannot adjust for warmer/colder days

What is a Drum Smoker?

The drum or barrel made of steel is in use since the beginning of 1900. It was quickly transformed to become the oil drum of 55 gals which we are still seeing today. It is used across the globe The number of drums in existence is now astronomical.

Somewhere, someone with a brilliant idea was inspired to make use of a scrap barrel to cook with by cutting the barrel in half lengthwise. using hinges to make a lid, and then adding charcoal to the bottom. It is likely that not too long after the smoker thought, “Oh yeah? Check this out!” and cut the top off, instead of creating an upright smoker.

A few people still make their own drum smokers. It’s much simpler to buy a specially-designed drum smoker. Plus, you’ll get a guarantee!

A typical drum smoker has an adjustable basket that can hold your wood and charcoal on the bottom. Nearer to the top there are several grill grates on which the meat rests while it smokes.

Since they’re vertical, a lot prefer meat hanging on hooks. A lid is placed over the unit to help keep the smoke out to flavour the meat. Some units feature vents with dampers, whereas others don’t.

Advantages of Drum Smokers Compared to Other Types

There are many types of smokers available. What advantage can a drum smoker possess over other smokers?


In comparison to other smokers, and especially pellet grills drum smokers are less burdensome to pay for. While some drum smokers exceed $1000 however, many are available for less than $300.

Height Advantage

As opposed to the offset or pellet grill drum smokers have a tiny footprint. Like other smokers that are vertical, they rely on height and typically prefer hanging racks for meat overcooking grills. If you’re short of space for your patio, you’ll be grateful for the space-saving benefits.

Fuel Efficiency — They Save You Money Over Time

Drum smokers work better at greater temperatures than normal smokers. In addition to the effectiveness of a cylinder that provides even heat distribution in convection cooking, you’ll need less charcoal on average in comparison to other charcoal smoking devices.

Easy to Transport

Drum smokers, because they are tall they take up less space when transporting than an offset smokers. They often break down into smaller pieces. They’re also lighter and more portable than other types of smokers. Drum smokers are made for camping and cottaging, RVing and tailgating.

Are there any Disadvantages?

There’s no take or give There are pros and pros. What are the drawbacks to drum smokers?

Tend to Be Thin and do Not Hold Temperatures Well

They’re based on the original oil drums that were designed to contain liquids and not keep the same temperature. It’s not a surprise that the majority of drum smokers are constructed out of small pieces of metal. They could be subject to temperature fluctuations if conditions aren’t optimal.

Challenging to Learn Compared to Some Other Types

There’s no thermostat or digital controller on a smoker that is a drum. If you’re unfamiliar with smoking, you might encounter some difficulties initially. There’s a method to hang meat safely and you’ll need to master the technique.

Smaller Capacity

Space for cooking is not the most abundant in drum smokers. A majority of them have only a single cooking grate generally between 18 to 21 inches in size. Even to hang meat, some grills are too narrow to hang a long rack without charcoal.

What to Look for in the Best Drum Smokers

Here are a few of the factors we considered when preparing our list of the 5 most effective barrel smokers.

Ease of Use

Learning something new can be fun however it shouldn’t get distracting from taking pleasure in yourself. Find a drum smoker that’s simple to master even if you’re not experienced in smoking meat. Models that have a single vent, altitude-based, could attract novices and people who aren’t experienced, smokers.

Maximum Cooking Space

If you intend to smoke many meals simultaneously, it is recommended to consider drum smokers that have multiple cooking grates. You’ll be able to fill with food and get the most out of your smoking experience.

Vents for Temperature Control

Some people love total control. If that’s you, then you need an electric drum smoker that has ventilators that are pampered. Multiple dampers provide exact control over the airflow and exhaust. This means that you are able to alter and set the temperature as well as the quantity of smoke.

Cleaning Features

When is smoke also fire? Ash. It’s inevitable to clean up after a smoke session. Choose the drum smoker that comes with an adjustable ashtray or a basket that you can remove for disposal to ease the burden on you. Certain models must be removed or require vacuuming – not always the best option.


Final Thoughts

There are lots to appreciate with drum smoking. For us, they’re an enjoyable way to experience authentic charcoal cooking almost anywhere. For novice or experienced outdoor cooks drum smokers can bring a fresh dimension to your cooking repertoire at less than the price of other options.

We thank you for making us your first stop on your journey as a drum smoker. Contact us or share your experiences with us or join our online community to talk more.

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