Best Drum Smoker Review of 2021 – Buyers Guide and Expert Recommendations

best drum smoker

Table of Contents

A delicious barbecue is one of the greatest pleasures of this life. And when you have the best drum smoker right in your backyard, the experience becomes even more enjoyable.

Drum smokers are usually quite easy to cook on. Whether you are a pro chef or have just taken up cooking, they can truly transform your backyard barbecue experience. My favorite thing about using them is the consistently great taste that they provide every time. That is, of course, as long as you have the right drum smoker!  

How To Choose The Best Drum Smoker?


But how do you decide on the best drum smoker? What features make one cooker great and the other not so much? This is what I will be talking about in the next few paragraphs.

The best drum smokers have four basic desirable qualities. They are easy to use, versatile, the right size for you, and directly control the cooking temperatures.

User friendly


First things first, whatever piece of cooking equipment you are buying has to be easy to use for you. If this will be your first experience with a smoker, it makes no sense to buy a complicated machine. You are looking to have some fun cooking, not to drive yourself into exasperation with a tortuous burner that you cannot even work.

Most drum smokers are pretty simple and straightforward. However, it is always wise to check their ease of use before you bring them home.



An uncomplicated drum smoker is a great thing to have, but what if you could have that and a charcoal grill for the same price?

Today, many drum smokers offer you more than just a way to smoke your meat. With a few adjustments, they can quickly transform into a fire pit or a grill as well. If you like to experiment with your cooking styles, this versatility is something to look for in your drum smoker.

Adequate size


The third thing to consider when out shopping for the best drum smoker is its size. This relates strongly to what you are going to use it for.

If you are looking to get a smoker you can use for your new food startup, you will want to go big. This will give you ample cooking capacity to meet the demands of your work. Smoking your meat on a small cooking surface would be too much hassle and take up too much of your time.

If you are buying a drum smoker for your personal use, you are better off purchasing one of the smaller ones. Although this limits the cooking space, it is easier to transport, store, and use in your backyard.

Temperature control
The secret to consistent deliciousness in your food is having complete control over the temperatures. Hence, this is one of the most important things to consider when buying a new drum smoker.

Today, many great drum smokers are designed to guarantee a consistent airflow while your food is being cooked. Some others will also feature adjustable air duct systems to allow you greater control over the temperatures.

Here are a few other things that you might want to consider before making your purchase:


What Are The Advantages Of Using A Drum Smoker?


Today, you will find several fancy grills in the market. Why use a basic drum smoker for cooking your food, then?

There are several benefits associated with using a drum smoker over other types of grills. First, they are relatively easy to use. From assembling the different parts to controlling the cooking temperatures – drum smokers are the best option if you have just started cooking.

Secondly, drum smokers will stand by you for a long time. This uncomplicated grill is quite sturdy and can take years of wear and tear. The limited parts that it involves are made from reliable materials that do not get damaged very easily.

One of my absolute favorite things about drum smokers is that it lets me enjoy the parties I host. Instead of constantly adjusting the cooking settings, I can set up the equipment once and let it be. This allows me to tend to my guests while my drum smoker does all the cooking.

18-1/2 in. Classic Pit Barrel Cooker Package


When it comes to drum smokers, the Classic Pit Barrel Cooker is the complete package. This simple to use smoker comes with 8 stainless steel meat hooks, 1 standard grill grate, 2 hanging rods, a hook remover tool, and a charcoal basket. All you need to do is quickly assemble the parts, and you are ready to cook the best meal of your life.

With an 18 and a half inch cooking space and 8 hand and cook hooks, you can cook various meats simultaneously. This is especially ideal for small family parties or an evening out with friends.


  • Includes everything you need
  • Included coal basket is sized for an ideal amount of fuel for the perfect cook
  • Weighs only 57 pounds
  • Easy to assemble and break down


  • On the more expensive side
  • Cold temperatures can prolong the cooking time

Barrel House Cooker Smoker BHC 18C – Our Favourite


The Barrel House Cooker Smoker is also pretty impressive with its fast results and consistent excellent tasting food. It operates between 275 and 310 degrees Fahrenheit, quickly cooking through the food to satisfy your hunger. It also features a detachable base that makes cleaning up easy after a day of grilling.

The detachable base also means that you can use the smoker as a hibachi grill as well. It also comes in handy when you want to pack your grill up in your truck and go.

This drum smoker also comes with a variety of accessories that you might need during the cooking. These include an instruction manual, a built-in thermometer, an H frame, a full grate, an accessory wand, and 8 meat hooks! With all of these, you do not need to buy any accessories beyond this single purchase.


  • Easy to transport
  • 40% shorter cook time than most smokers
  • 8 pounds of charcoal yields 6+ hours of burn time
  • Doubles as a hibachi grill
  • Easy cleanup
  • Great value for your money


  • The package does not include a cover for the smoker
  • Is not available in multiple sizes

Oklahoma Joe’s 19202089 Barrel Drum Smoker


Another worthwhile contender for the best drum smoker is the Oklahoma Joe’s Barrel Drum Smoker. This sweet grill is one of the best ones that this trusted brand has ever produced.

The manufacturers of this grill recognize how vital temperature control is for great cooking. This is why they designed the smoker with a unique airflow control system and sealed lids that let you precisely monitor it as you cook.

Another intelligent design feature of this grill is its oversized charcoal basket. With this, you can load up the grill with fuel once and enjoy uninterrupted cooking throughout the day. This is truly a set it and forget it kind of smoker.

The removable ash pans and porcelain-coated compartments of this smoker make cleanup a breeze. The detachable accessories also make it easy to take along with you when you go to a picnic.


  • Heavy gauge steel construction
  • Cooking grate and meat hangers included
  • Consistent temperatures mean great food every single time
  • Can instantly transform into a charcoal grill
  • Does not require frequent refueling


  • The cooking grate and heat deflector need to be lifted out to tend to the fire
  • Weighs more than a hundred pounds

Realcook Vertical 17 Inch Steel Charcoal Smoker

When you want to impress your friends, bring out the Realcook Vertical Charcoal Smoker. With one look at the grill, you can tell that it does pack a punch.

But looks are not everything that this brilliant cooker has to offer. This versatile cooking machine can instantly switch between a drum smoker, a fire pit, or 2 charcoal barbecue grills. This is one of my absolute favorite features of this grill.

Featuring built-in air ducts, the Realcook Charcoal Smoker can maintain a steady temperature while your food cooks. The built-in thermometer allows you to monitor the temperature and know when the food is done without lifting the lid. With a total of 453 square inches of cooking space, it can satisfy the hunger of a large party easily.

The grills come apart in two pieces to be used in various ways or for easy transport and storage. A latch lock provides ample stability when you are using it as one.


  • Has a separate, easy access door to add coal as it burns out
  • Incredibly versatile – 
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Easy and effective temperature control system
  • Huge cooking space


  • A cover of this grill is sold separately
  • Does not have a separate place for wood chips
  • The material is not as sturdy as that of other drum smokers

Cuisinart COS-118 Vertical 18″ Charcoal Smoker

Cuisinart’s Cos 118 Vertical Charcoal Smoker is another amazing drum smoker for you to consider for your personal use. This is the grill of choice when you expect a lot but do not have a bundle of cash to hand over at the moment.

With two 18 inch stainless steel racks, this smoker gives you about 510 square inches of cooking space. This means that you can cook a good amount of meat at one time and save up on the effort expended.

The smoker comes with a porcelain enamel water bowl measuring 22 x 24 x 43 inches. However, it does not include any meat hooks, wands, or grill grates.

One impressive thing about this budget drum smoker is its dual air vent system. The two vents at the top and bottom help to keep the temperatures inside consistent and cook your food the same throughout. The latch lock at the base also helps trap all the heat inside and prevent it from escaping.

If you like to take your grill along with you on picnics and camping, you will love this drum smoker. It is so lightweight that just one person can easily carry it around. Assembling the parts is also very straightforward, so you do not spend a lot of time setting it up or taking it down.


  • Weighs only 25 pounds
  • The best drum smoker for amateur chefs on a budget
  • Easy to assemble and disassemble
  • Ample cooking space
  • Vertically hinged easy access door


  • Not very sturdy or durable construction
  • The design lacks appropriately placed handles for easy transportation and assembly
  • Does not include all the necessary cooking accessories
  • The results are not as impressive as those of its competitors

Wrapping it up


As you might have noticed, every drum cooker has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. But out of all the five models we discussed above, my favorite has to be the Barrel House Cooker Smoker BHC 18 C.

This drum smoker beautifully combines affordability and functionality. Without costing you an arm and a leg, this grill will guarantee you tantalizing smoked food every single time you use it.

The Barrel House Cooker has everything that a good drum smoker should have. It is super simple to assemble and use, can double as a hibachi grill, has lots of cooking space, and allows you to cook your food at a steady temperature.

On top of all this, it also incurs minimal costs in management and fuel. Being an efficient fuel user also makes it a good choice for those who care about the environment.

All in all, this is the best drum smoker to get when you are looking for great value and a quality experience.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on print
Share on email
error: Content is protected !!