Top 5 Drum Smokers of 2022 [Ranked & Rated]


Vertical drum smokers offer an exciting kitchen design that any grilling enthusiast will love. Its steel barrel design offers a unique way to increase the heat for outdoor grilling. Step up your garden cooking game with our guide to the best drum smokers.

Best Tumbler Spit Review Guide

Barrel BBQ smokers are primitive but powerful grill cookers that offer a lot more than their simple design suggests. The compact construction is based on a simple steel drum design and is geared towards high temperatures and good airflow.

Over the years, drum smokers have been great DIY projects for backyard grill fans, but over the years ready-made kitchens have become increasingly popular.

Learn about the best drum smokers available today, as well as features to look out for so you can get the right upgrade for your BBQ smoker setup. Let’s get into that.

Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker

Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker 18 inch smoker

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Weber’s Smokey Mountain is a premium drum smoker that fully justifies its price. It’s an exceptionally durable keg cooker with unmatched heat retention and airflow control.

The Smokey Mountain is built to last. It features all-steel construction with an elegant porcelain-enamelled bowl and plated-steel cooking grates. All this together ensures that the kitchen is well protected against rust and corrosion.

The Smokey Mountain’s cooking capacity is rated at 481 square inches and is one of the largest capacities on our list. Features two cooking grates to allow you to work with a larger total cooking surface. The second center grill can serve as a grilling area at higher temperatures or as a platform for a heat deflector.

Read our full Weber Smoker Mountain review

One of its best features is the side door for easy coal access. Many traditional drum cookers don’t have this, so fresh charcoal must be added through the lid. The addition of the door makes refueling quick and easy while ensuring the temperature of the food or cooking process is not altered.

Also with this Weber grill hat in the form of the ventilation openings. The Smokey Mountain features four aluminum clad dampers to give you more control over airflow and heat through the unit. Other smokers tend to only have one inlet and one outlet damper, so adding two allows YOU to more precisely control the cooking temperature.

The Smokey Mountain is perfect for the grill enthusiast who wants an elite level drum grill without the easy learning curve. Consistent temperatures are expected, while additional vents simplify thermal management.

  • Material Art: Steel
  • The Weber Smokey Mountain Charcoal Smoker gives you an authentic smoky taste in…
  • It is capable of holding a whole turkey and a whole ham at the same time. Item Weight: 39.1 lbs.

Char-Broil Bullet

Char Broil Bullet Review

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The 16-inch Char-Broil Bullet Smoker isn’t as sturdy as the Weber Drum Smoker. On the other hand, it’s a lot cheaper and is a cheaper option.

But despite its low cost, the Bullet Charcoal Smoker has many of the advantages of the Weber Smoker thanks to the similar design. Common features of the two smokers are the side door for heat regulation and easy addition of charcoal, the number of grill grates supplied and the flexible heat regulation with dampers.

However, because the Bullet is smaller, it “only” has 370 square inches of cooking space.

As for durability, the Bullet Smoker should be pretty decent thanks to its porcelain-coated steel body. Therefore, rust should not be a problem for this grill. The build quality of the Bullet is also excellent for the price.

then the Bullet rotisserie weighs about 17 pounds while the Weber rotisserie weighs almost 40 pounds. Due to the lower weight, the Bullet Smoker is very easy to transport. But on the other hand, it also shows how much less creepy it is than the Weber unit.


  • Cheap.
  • Light.
  • Pretty durable.
  • 370 square inches of cooktop area.
  • It comes with two cooking grates.
  • Provide easy access to the charcoal compartment.
  • 370 sqm cooking surface on 2 porcelain-coated grills
  • The innovative airflow control system simplifies temperature regulation with a numbered damper…
  • Porcelain coated body for durability and detachable ashtray for quick and easy cleaning

Pit Barrel Cooker

Pit Barrel Classic Barrel Pit Cooker review

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This Pit Barrel Cooker Co. 30 Gallon Smoker is a classic drum/barrel smoker. It might not be as convenient as the Weber and Char-Broil smokers, but it has a unique charm.

However, what interests us most today is the cooking capacity. And it’s great on this barrel smoker thanks to the included 8 stainless steel hooks and unique cooking grate. While you only get one cooking grate, the hooks offer more grilling flexibility than the Weber and Char-Broil appliances.

To get you started right away, Pit Barrel Cooker Co. also includes two hanging bars for hooks and a charcoal basket.

The charcoal basket is pretty easy to use, but it’s not very convenient when it comes to adding charcoal. With Weber and Char-Broil smokers, you can easily add charcoal through the side door. It’s harder here, as you may have to remove the food to access the basket from above.

However, this is an improved downside of classic barrel smokers, so it’s not a big deal for this model.


  • Classic design.
  • Durable porcelain coated steel body.
  • Contains 8 hooks and a cooking grate.


  • Really expensive
  • Difficult
  • EFFORTLESS – Whether you’re new to outdoor cooking or an expert trying to hone your craft,…
  • VERSATILE: The cooking possibilities are endless. For the perfect smoked, grilled or hung meat…
  • DURABLE: Each Pit Barrel Cooker is made with a classic porcelain enamel finish that…

Oklahoma Joe’s Bronco Barrel

Oklahoma Joe's Bronco Barrel Review

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The Oklahoma Joe Bronco is very expensive, but offers an unparalleled grilling experience.

First of all, this thing is huge: With 55 gallons of capacity, you can fit a lot of food in it. The cost of high capacity, however, is weight: the Bronco weighs 145 pounds!

Second, this drum smoker offers great flexibility when grilling thanks to its 3 cooking levels. You can place the included cooking grate on any of the tiers to regulate the heat your food receives. You can also cook food at different temperatures at the same time with additional grill grates.

For added adjustability, this drum smoker also has 2 adjustable intake pipes and a single adjustable exhaust pipe. This allows the Bronco to easily reach temperatures of 250 to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the end, if you have the budget then the Oklahoma Joe Bronco might be the best battery powered rotisserie for you. But be aware that you may need to purchase more grills to unlock its full potential.


  • 3 cooking levels for a versatile kitchen.
  • Very durable.
  • It’s a clinical thermometer.
  • High capacity.
  • Flexible air adjustment.


  • Very expensive.
  • Very difficult.
  • The unique airflow control system and sealed lid allow for precise temperature management
  • Grill grate and meat hanger allow for an individual smoking facility
  • The oversized charcoal basket holds enough fuel to grill all day

Barrel House BHC 18C

Home barrel BHC 18C review

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The Barrel House BHC 18C Smoker is an affordable alternative to the previously reviewed 18-1/2-inch Pit Barrel Cooker Co. Smoker. This device might not be as durable, but it does have some nice features that the Pit Barrel doesn’t have.

The first thing to do is the thermometer integrated in the lid: If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can use this practical tool to monitor the smoking process.

Then the BHC 18C Smoker also has an accessible charcoal basket. To reveal it, simply lift the body and this will allow for charcoal attachment.

This barrel smoker is also solid in terms of cooking capacity. It doesn’t appear to be too far from the Pit Barrel and contains similar paraphernalia: a cooking rack and 8 meat hooks.

Overall, the Barrel House BHC 18C is a very consistent drum grill for the price. With its more convenient charcoal basket, it’s even a better buy than Pit Barrel for some people!


  • Not too expensive.
  • It comes with a cooking grate and 8 meat hooks.
  • Easy access to the coal basket.
  • Built-in thermometer in the lid.
  • Porcelain enamelled body.

What is a Drum Grill?

A drum smoker is a type of smoker consisting of a 55 gallon barrel that stands upright and has vent holes cut in both ends to allow airflow. The firebox is built into the base barrel and the main cooking grate sits about 24 inches above it. There is often a second grill between the two, which offers higher cooking temperatures due to the closer proximity to the fire.

The firebox has a simple design and consists of a simple metal box or basket. Its sole purpose is to house the embers while it smokes.

The secondary grill gives you more space to grill or can simply be a place to add a baffle plate to better maintain the lower and slower smoking temperatures on the primary grill.

What are the Advantages of a Drum Smoker?


Keg stoves are one of the simplest outdoor smoker designs you can get, which also makes them one of the cheapest. Since their design is loosely scaled down to a 55 gallon drum with a cage and grates inside, they are easy to fabricate and manufacture.

Fuel Efficient

Drum smokers are extremely fuel efficient and have much longer burn times than other types of smokers and grills. It’s not uncommon for a 12-pound batch of charcoal to cook at 121°C (250°F) for about 20 hours. Not only is it easy to handle, it also reduces fuel costs for longer.


These types of smokers are extremely lightweight, making them perfect for traveling. When you want to grill something simple at campgrounds or RV’s, a barrel cooker might be the right choice.

What are the Disadvantages of a Drum Grill?

Limited Kitchen Space

A compact 55-gallon drum size means cooking space is of paramount importance in this type of kitchen. These drums fit just enough space in a 22″ rack.

No Insulation

Drum smokers are not insulated, which means some heat loss is inevitable. The compact size means it’s not always a big deal, but if you want to cook in cold weather & YOU will use more fuel.

Learning Curve

As one of the original means of grilling, there is a small learning curve in using a beginner drum smoker, especially when compared to electric or pellet smokers. Learning to control the smoker in the drum is crucial and will be difficult for novice cooks.

Features to Consider

Here are the key features that might be your priority when choosing your barrel grill.

Easy Charcoal Management

When grilling, easy access to the charcoal for charging is important. The smoking time can last up to 12 hours, at which point you will need to recharge the coals. It is important to be able to do this without changing the overall temperature in the censer.

One of the best ways to do this is with a carbon gate. This is a hinged door near the bottom of the hob that allows you to quickly add more fuel to your fire without disturbing the main cooking area.

Large or Staggered Cooking Space

Barrel smokers are narrower than other types of stoves, such as vertical or upright smokers. This means that your overall cooking area IS limited, so finding good space economy should be a priority.

If your cookouts typically cater for groups of around 4-6 people, you shouldn’t have a problem with any of the smokers on this list. However, if YOU plan to cook for larger groups, pay particular attention to smokers that have a total cooking area of ​​at least 600 square inches. This can be done on a single rack or in the form of staggered racks that provide a combined cooking space.

Frequently Asked Questions


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