11 Best Drum Smoker Reviews

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    Last Updated on October 21, 2021

    If you’re a grilling fanatic, you need a drum smoker. My grilling setup wasn’t complete until I got a professionally made drum smoker. Made for both amateur and experienced grillers alike, a drum smoker takes less effort, less time, and features a higher capacity than other smokers. 

    Drum smokers, or barrel smokers, get their name from their drum-like shape, and they produce exceptional results. They’re one of the most versatile smoking tools and will easily turn ribs, turkey, chicken, or brisket into smoked perfection.

    Keep reading to find the best drum smoker for you.

    In A Rush? Check Out Our Top Choice!​

    This Gateway model is suitable for hot and fast, and low and slow cooking, as well as baking and searing. The 3” dial thermometer provides accurate monitoring for temperatures between 100-500°F, while the 3 different cooking levels allow you to customize the internal space.

    This smoker can be customized by adding more cooking grates; each one increases the functionality of the interior, creating a phenomenal 1,386 in². The Gateway Drum Smokers Charcoal BBQ Smoker’s high-capacity fire basket also provides enough fuel for up to 14 hours of cooking.

    Top 11 Best Drum Smoker Reviews

    This Gateway Drum Smoker’s versatile design allows you to sear, bake, smoke or grill at just the right temperature and pace, making it the best 55-gallon drum smoker.

    The two air intake pipes and exhaust pipe are both adjustable, giving you precise control over the temperature so you can smoke low and slow or hot and fast. 

    The 3” custom dial thermometer takes the guesswork out of smoking, giving you measured results.

    When you add the 21.5” stainless steel cooking grate, you have 462 in² of smoking space, but by purchasing an additional 2 grates, you can maximize the interior space to a 1,386 in² capacity. 

    Made from solid steel and finished with charcoal color industrial quality paint, this 55-gallon drum smoker will hold 8-10 lbs. of lump charcoal, providing enough fuel for 14 hours.

    Who Should Get This? 

    If you want a versatile option that you can take with you to competitions or tailgate cooking, this professional-grade smoker is your number one choice.

    Pros

    Cons

    This 17” Realcook Charcoal Smoker is a capable, high-quality model for a fraction of the price of other brand names. Despite this lower price point, it doesn’t produce substandard results or sacrifice the must-have smoking features.

    The smaller 22” x 17” x 35” size makes this smoker an excellent choice for beginners, solo smokers, and people with small decks. 

    This smoker offers a 2-layered, multifunctional design that allows the unit to operate as two separate BBQ grills, a single BBQ grill, a fire pit, or a smoker. You can bake, grill, roast, braise, steam, and smoke with one device.

    The latch locking system makes it easy to assemble and take apart, making it portable and easy to clean.

    Additionally, it’s easy to sustain temperature with the built-in air ducts, and the two cooking grids provide 453 in² of cooking space for different meat shapes and sizes.

    Who Should Get This? 

    The low price point makes this model a natural choice for beginners who want an inexpensive way to hone their smoking skills and practice for their first competition.

    Pros

    Cons

    Weber is a trusted name in the grilling industry, producing brilliant, quality products, and this Smokey Mountain Cooker Smoker is no exception. Choose from 14”, 18”, or 22” models to fit your smoking needs.

    The 18” model can accommodate a whole turkey and ham simultaneously. Measuring 21” x 19” x 41”, this smoker provides plenty of space for a reasonable price. 

    This model is a shallow and slow machine, tenderizing any kind of meat. You’ll get two 18.5” nickel-plated cooking grates, a water pan, and a built-in thermometer to help you produce great-tasting meats.

    The entirely enamel construction ensures the smoker maintains a consistent temperature providing enhanced durability, and it won’t peel or rust.

    Precise temperature control is easy with the adjustable damper system. Open the vents fully for maximum heat or cover them to reduce and extinguish.

    Who Should Get This? 

    If you’re a low and slow fan, this Weber cooker will help you maintain an optimal 300°F temperature to produce juicy, tender, and flavorful meats.

    Pros

    Cons

    The Barrel House Cooker lets you smoke your meats hot and fast, around 275 – 310°F. This smoking style means your food will be ready in 40% less time than other smokers without constant management.

    Measuring 18” x 24.5” x 35.5” and weighing 45 lbs., this model is portable without comprising the cooking space. Its vertical design means you can hang four chickens, a 15 lbs. brisket, or eight racks of ribs without taking up too much room on your patio.

    Made from porcelain-enameled 20-gauge metal and featuring stainless steel handles, this smoker is built to last. 

    The removable base adds convenience, enabling easy lighting, fuel additions, and ash disposal. You can use around 8 lbs. of charcoal in this smoker, which should keep it cooking for about six hours.

    Who Should Get This? 

    Hot and fast cooking is ideal for smoking brisket. This model’s cooking style will help you create delicious brisket in no time at all.

    Pros

    Cons

    Oklahoma Joe’s is a respected brand in the world of smoking. Their Bronco Pro Drum Smoker doesn’t disappoint and is the best competition drum smoker on the market.

    This quality brand has put time and effort into designing a “well-oiled” machine. The unique airflow system with sealed lid makes managing the temperature an effortless experience, while the barrel-mounted temperature gauge features glow-in-the-dark accents for easy nighttime monitoring.

    When you’re a pro, you want a smoker that will provide precise, long-lasting performance and this model achieves it. With a heavy-gauge steel construction and porcelain-coating, you’re guaranteed durability. 

    Add to this the seven pound fuel capacity, nine meat hooks, three meat hangers, and heat diffuser, and you can see why this is such a versatile piece.

    Who Should Get This? 

    If you’re a pro and want a competitive smoker model that meets your performance needs, choose this Bronco Pro for your next BBQ cook-off.

    Pros

    Cons

    If American construction and quality matters to you, this USA-made, veteran-owned Pit Barrel smoking barrel cooker should be one of your top selections. This award-winning brand has been around for a decade and has established itself as a dependable smoker capable of competing against the best ugly drum smoker.

    This smoker provides a complete set for your next smoked meal. It includes a standard grill grate, eight stainless steel hooks, two hanging rods, a hook remover tool, and charcoal basket. Use your new smoker to hook and hang your meat or sear and grill it on the grate.

    This is a 30-gallon porcelain-coated steel drum that combines the best of a smoker and slow cooker, creating an innovative vertical cooking experience. Without a doubt, this is one of this smoker’s strengths: the way it cooks. It doesn’t take much effort to produce impressive results.

    Who Should Get This? 

    If you want a smoker that’s easy to take apart and transport for on-the-go smoking for your next trip or cook-off, choose this model.

    Pros

    Cons

    Although this Char-Broil Bullet Smoker may not suit serious smoking aficionados, it has many great features for casual smokers. It comes in a 16” or 20” size and comes at a lower price point.

    The smaller 16” size model provides 370 in² of cooking space and uses two grates protected by a porcelain coating. While smaller than other models, it provides enough space for many smokers.

    Durability isn’t an issue, thanks to the rustproof porcelain coating. The unique airflow control system uses various damper settings and a lid-mounted temperature gauge to control the internal temperature.

    This is a convenient smoker. Cleaning is easy because of the intelligent design, so it shouldn’t take you much time or effort to get the job done. The ash pan lifts out from the base for simple disposal, and the porcelain coating on the exterior and grates prevent food from sticking.

    Who Should Get This? 

    If you’re eager to show-off your smoking skills and introduce your friends to the joys of meat smoking, this model’s ultra-lightweight construction will appeal to you.

    Pros

    Cons

    Although the Cuisinart Charcoal Smoker is not capable of the high-performance that other models deliver, beginner smokers will enjoy its low price point and useful features.

    This 18” model provides 510 in² of internal cooking space and includes two 18” stainless steel racks. Stacking these wire racks allows you to make the most of this space and adds versatility. You can smoke a whole chicken, fish, other kinds of meat or vegetables.

    The barrel and air vent design make this smoker suitable for foods both large or small. You can trust that the two air vents will efficiently maintain the right internal temperature. 

    If you want immediate access, the lid or vertically hinged side door lets you check on your food. Additionally, the latching base makes quick work of cleaning or accessing the porcelain-enameled steel water bowl.

    Who Should Get This? 

    If you don’t need maximum internal capacity but want the freedom to smoke a variety of items for a lower price, this Cuisinart model is ideal.

    Pros

    Cons

    You get a decent drum smoker with this Barton Charcoal Smoker. Its 18” vertical design creates plenty of space for you to cook various foods without feeling cramped.

    This unit’s complete measurements are 21.75” x 23.5” x 42, giving you a sizable structure that offers dual-tier smoking racks. These steel wire racks are stacked within the smoking chamber, giving you the internal space for roasting, steaming, braising, baking, or grilling various foods.

    Its vertical design allows for even heat distribution, and the dual air vent system puts you in charge of the optimal heat and smoke for your foods. Adjust these internal conditions by opening or closing the air dampers or making briquette adjustments. Plus, the lid’s temperature gauge allows you to check your meat is cooking to your liking and staying in the 200-275°F sweet spot.

    Who Should Get This? 

    If you’re concerned with efficiently using a smoker’s vertical space, this Barton model will use even heat distribution to produce spectacular smoked results.

    Pros

    Cons

    If you want a versatile Barrel Pit Smoker, one that will suit many occasions, from backyard cooking to camping to seaside BBQ’s, this Barton model provides an efficient means of smoking your food.

    While it’s not as elegant as other models, this is a true barrel design that resembles an ugly drum smoker. Its multi-functional design and lower price point makes it an attractive choice for most people.

    Measuring 14.5” x 17” x 29.5”, this 2-piece barrel has a large internal capacity perfect for accommodating large cuts of meat. The vertical design makes this model naturally suited to various foods, whether you want to hang them or cook on the upper grill.

    This smoker comes with six stainless steel hooks, a charcoal pit, three utensils, and a stainless steel grilling rack, so you have the right equipment for cooking hamburgers, pork ribs, or other speciality meats.

    Who Should Get This? 

    If you’re looking for a multifunctional drum smoker that can double as a fire pit, you’ll love this Barton model.

    Pros

    Cons

    The ALEKO Charcoal Smoker comes in a sizable 18” form, with plenty of room for your favorite foods. Whether you want to cook meat, cheese, fish, or vegetables, the three 18” stainless steel racks provide the space required for a delicious smoked meal.

    Use this versatile 2-in-1 design for roasting, steaming, grilling, baking, braising, and smoking.

    The vertical barrel design provides optimal heat distribution throughout the cooking chamber and allows you to cook more food at once. You have plenty of versatility with this smoker and can even remove the middle portion to turn it into a BBQ grill.

    You don’t only benefit from the easy-to-assemble design when you want a BBQ grill.  This can also be helpful for traveling. Take the barrel apart and reassemble it easily when you reach your destination.

    Who Should Get This? 

    If you want a smoker for traveling, this portable unit is easy-to-assemble. It’s the perfect choice for taking to the beach, the woods, or your friend’s backyard.

    Pros

    Cons

    Best Drum Smoker Overall

    Even if you have a regular smoker, you won’t get the same results as a drum smoker. Whatever’s on the menu, whether you need to smoke chicken, brisket, or ribs a drum smoker excels compared to other types and is a must-have for delectable, professional results.

    When you purchase the Gateway Drum Smokers Charcoal BBQ Smoker, you’re getting the ultimate machine. It’s powerful, versatile, and built to last; you’ll feel like a pro.