The Best Drum Smokers of 2021

Drum smokers do not require much effort, yet they give you the most delicious results. If you’re planning to barbecue for a long time, one of these smokers will be an indispensable piece of equipment. 

 Here we've compiled a list of the best drum smokers of 2021. Drum smokers are made by several companies and are available in various sizes and designs. Below we cover some questions to help you pick a smoker: 

  • How does a drum smoker work?

  • How do you season a drum smoker?

  • Can I use an oil drum for a smoker?

best drum smokers to buy - review

The Best Drum Smokers of 2021

Drum smokers are some of the coolest and effective smokers out there. You can get plenty of different meats in one and cook in a variety or different styles. We have list 4 of the best drum smokers below.

  1. Classic Pit Barrel Drum Smoker (18.5”) (best pick)
  2. Black Oklahoma Joe’s Bronco Pro Drum Smoker 
  3. Big Poppa Smokers SS Drum Smoker kit 
  4. 18C Drum Smoker Barrel House Cooker

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

The Classic drum smoker 18.5” Pit Barrel Cooker is our best pick for so many reasons. 

  • First of all, it allows you to cook a large quantity of food because of its size. It’s also a versatile smoker as you can cook different types of meat, fish, and even vegetables. 

  • Plus, the drum smoker’s high-quality construction materials make it long-lasting (18-gauge stainless steel and coated with porcelain enamel). You can use the equipment for a long time without any problem.

  • It’s suitable for new users as well as barbeque enthusiasts who want to perfect their skills. Besides, it’s easy to set up and easy to use as there are no intricate controls or gauges.

  • The Pit Barrel drum smoker also offers unmatched flavor because of the encompassing 360-degree heat dynamics.

  • The drum smoker comes with several accessories which can make your cooking experience even more exciting and fun. You can use the equipment for smoking as well as grilling. 

  • Lastly, cleaning is relatively easy as you have to remove the ashes. You don’t need to rinse it and waste time. 

  • The only negative aspect about this particular model is its lid gets very hot. Hence, you should use gloves whenever you need to open or close the lid. 

If you are looking for a drum smoker that provides the best outcome, the Classic Pit Barrel Cooker is undoubtedly an ideal pick.

What is the best smoker for home use?

With so many designs being available on the market, it is challenging to select the perfect smoker. Besides, everybody prefers something different. Hence, you will notice a separate “best smoker” for different people. However, the Classic drum smoker from Pit Barrel mentioned above is a favorite with many backyard chefs.

What makes it so popular is the features which you read earlier. Its simplicity, versatility, accessories, and ease of use grab the attention of enthusiasts, and everyone wants to have one.

How does a drum smoker work?

A drum smoker has a similar design to upright smokers such as WSM. However, there’s no need for a water pan in a drum smoker.

Unlike WSM smokers, which have three air vents at the bottom, drum smokers only have one air vent in that area. Oxygen flows in from that vent and goes out from the top vent. If necessary, you can adjust the vent to change the temperature inside the smoker. The vent works excellent and allows you to cook your meat perfectly. Hence, you have a juicy, tasty, and tender meat dish at the end of your cook.

How do you season a drum smoker?

Seasoning a drum smoker is easy. It’s essential to season a drum smoker or any smoker mainly for two reasons. Firstly, it removes any unwanted substance that might have been there during the manufacturing process. Secondly, it makes the smoker rust-resistant and lengthens its life. Here are some basic steps to season your drum smoker or any type of smoker.

Step 1. Cleaning and Drying

  • First of all, remove all the detachable components and wash your drum smoker and the parts with water and dish soap inside and out. 
  • Let everything dry thoroughly.

Step 2. Oil Coating

  • Once everything is dry, you should select an edible oil that has an extreme burning point. Grapeseed oil and canola oil are good choices. 
  • Coat the oil throughout the smoker and the parts with a spray bottle or a clean, soft cloth. Remove any extra fat from the bottom of the smoker before lighting or heating it. 
  • Allow the oil to immerse for five to ten minutes before you heat it.

Step 3. Heating Process

  • Put sufficient wood and charcoal in the firebox/charcoal.
  • Heat the smoker slowly and bring it to a high temperature (300 Degrees F). Open the vents to achieve the target. Maintain that temperature for two to four hours.
  • Once you reach the time you set, open the door/cover to see if the grates show a dark brown color. Next, lower the temperature slowly to air temperature and let everything turn to ash. 
  • Throw away the ash once it cools down.

Can I use an oil drum for a smoker?

If you’re a hobbyist and like to create useful things out of simple objects, then yes, you can use an oil drum for a smoker. You can check out some videos and follow some instructions, and you can have a safe and efficient homemade drum smoker. 


Black Oklahoma Joe’s Bronco Pro Drum Smoker

Oklahoma Joe's 19202099 Bronco Pro Drum Smoker, Black
  • large 21.5-inch cooking surface and 17-pound fuel capacity deliver competition performance
  • unique airflow control system provides consistent and precise control over smoking temps
  • cooking grate, 3 meat hangers, 9 meat hooks and heat diffuser allow for maximum flexibility so you can smoke your way
  • large ash pan, porcelain-coated components and drain cap allow for easy clean-up at competitions
  • heavy-gauge steel construction delivers durability that's built to last

The Bronco Pro Drum Smoker (Black) from Oklahoma Joe’s is also a top seller and a versatile drum smoker. It has several excellent features and allows you to cook your food quickly. It can cook for up to twelve hours without any need for additional charcoal.

The air vents also allow you to manage the temperature with ease and as per your requirements. If you want a smoker that also works as a grill, this model would be a good choice. 

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Affordable
  • Big stable wheels for effortless mobility
  • One load of charcoal burns up to twelve hours
  • Adjustable vents

Cons

  • The built-in thermometer is not accurate

Big Poppa Smokers SS Drum Smoker kit

The Drum Smoker Kit from BPS (Big Poppa Smokers) SS: This particular DIY drum smoker kit is suitable if you want to build your customized smoker. It comes with all the components and instructions.

Hence, you can put it together without much difficulty. Once created, you can cook the juiciest and delicious meat. You can also experiment to improve your skills and become an expert.

You can feed many people when you cook in it as it can hold a vast quantity of food at once. It is suitable for home use, local BBQ competitions, and producing authentic barbecue food.

Pros

  • High-quality stainless steel construction
  • Easy to set up and easy to use
  • Gives outstanding results
  • It comes with several accessories

Cons

  • A bit expensive unless the company offers the kit without the drum 

18C Drum Smoker Barrel House Cooker

Barrel House Cooker Smoker BHC 18C
  • Includes: (1) Barrel House Cooker BHC18C, (1) Manual & Instructions Booklet, (1) Built-in Thermometer, (1) H-Frame, (1) Full Grate, (8) Meat Hooks, and (1) Accessory Wand
  • Fast Results: Cooks at 275˚- 310˚F, a competition proven alternative to “Low & Slow" for faster cooking with incredible results.The detachable base makes lighting and clean-up a breeze, increases portability, and provides the option to use it as a hibachi grill. Small Footprint, Lightweight: The cooker is patio friendly as it maximizes cooking space with the vertical hanging method. It only weights 45 pounds which makes it easy to strap into the back of a truck.
  • 8 lbs. of Charcoal, 6+ Hours of Burn Time: This cooker uses 8 lbs. of charcoal briquettes, which can burn for 6+ hours without fussing over it. Wood chunks and chips can be added to the charcoal for additional flavor, and lump can be used understanding that it burns hotter and faster.
  • 40% Shorter Cook Times than Most Smokers: Shorter cook times than most smokers means that you won't have to wait as long to enjoy the fruits of your effort.
  • High-Quality Materials: The Barrel House Cooker is built to last with a 20 gauge metal barrel that is porcelain enameled inside and out, has stainless steel components, traditional wire type handles, and a non-abrasive stand. USA Jobs: Barrel House barrel cookers are assembled at a USA manufacturing company with over 60 years with outstanding products and service.

The 18C Drum Smoker from Barrel House Cooker is another popular barbeque equipment with many backyard chefs and professionals. It also has many exciting features which enable you to smoke your meat with ease. You can cook up to eight ribs rack and fifteen pounds of chicken. 


Its built makes it super strong and durable. This drum smoker also cooks way faster than many other drum smokers at the same temperature. The kit comes with many accessories so you can enjoy cooking many items.

Pros

  • Maximum cooking space
  • Top-grade construction materials
  • Cooks fast
  • Convenient to carry it in your truck
  • Easy cleaning
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • Not easily available

Conclusion

A drum smoker is a piece of efficient and convenient barbeque equipment that any cooking enthusiast should have. We have provided some basic details and info about the four popular models. 

So, you can get one after considering the features, pros, and cons. However, as mentioned earlier, our pick is the 18.5” Classic Drum Smoker from Pit Barrel Cooker because it’s simply outstanding in every sphere. It’s affordable, easy to use, and produces juicy, tender, and highly-flavored dishes. 

If you need more information, check out our Pit Barrel Cooker Review.
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