The 5 Best Drum Smokers: [Top Models Reviewed]

Drum smokers are famous among grilling enthusiasts due to their numerous benefits. They are easy to use, consistent and reliable, and time savers and the package includes almost everything you need for a smooth cooking experience.

While there are numerous great models of drum smokers, Oklahoma Joe’s 19202099 Bronco Pro Drum Smoker and the 18.5″ Classic Pit Barrel Cooker are the best smokers. Further, the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker, 22.5″ Classic Pit Barrel PBX, and the Original Orion Cooker 19-Inch Charcoal Smoker never fall short of the exciting features you will need in a perfect smoker.

Quality drum smokers are fuel efficient, portable, and generally inexpensive. However, to get the right drum smoker for your use, you need to be familiar with some of the essentials to look out for in the best smoker drums. The following is a list of the best drum smokers you should try.

smoker grill

Best Drum Smokers

Although there are numerous models of drum smokers to choose from, it will be pretty simple if you have a good grasp of everything you need to make a choice. The following drum smokers tick every box regarding the value, efficiency, quality, and versatility.

Best “Expensive” Drum Smoker – Oklahoma Joe’s 19202100 Bronco Pro Drum Smoker

If you are looking for a quality and expensive drum smoker for your cooking ventures, the Oklahoma Joe’s 19202100 Bronco Pro Drum Smoker will be a perfect option. Although you will have to dig deeper into your pocket to acquire the services of this drum smoker, it is worth the amount you spend.

The drum smoker is costly because it has a lot to offer:

  1. It features a bigger charcoal space, meaning you can use it for cooking for a long time without adding charcoal.
  2. The smoker comes with quality wheels designed to make the transportation of the smoker easy.
  3. The drum smoker boasts additional features designed to make it more productive.

Additionally, the drum smoker features a side table and excellent temperature control.

Features and Benefits

  • The drum smoker has a large charcoal basket making the smoke ideal for long cooking.
  • Precise temperature control to allow you to cook low and slow whenever you deem it necessary. With this drum smoker, you will never experience challenges with temperature controls.
  • Although the smoker is made up of quality materials for durability, it is portable as it comes with wheels. Therefore, moving from one place to another will always be a challenge for you.
  • It comes with a hand side table that gives you ample time when you are preparing your meals.


Charcoal swapping – while the drum smoker has a massive fuel capacity, if it gets to a point where you need to add fuel, you are likely to experience some inconveniences as you will have to remove the grate.

Best “Budget” Drum Smoker – 18.5″ Classic Pit Barrel Cooker

The 18.5″ Classic Pit Barrel Cooker is the best-selling drum smoker on Amazon. Although its price is almost half the Oklahoma Joe’s 19202100 Bronco Pro Drum Smokers, it never disappoints. The smoker comprises highly durable stainless steel with a porcelain-enameled interior to guarantee durability. Additionally, the materials make it easy to clean the smoker.

It is also good to note that there are numerous accessories that you can use to customize the smoker to meet your standards and expectations. These accessories include turkey hangers, hinged grates, and corn hangers.

Features and Benefits

  • The smoker is easy to use thanks to its simple design, making it an excellent option for both experienced and beginner users.
  • It is made of highly durable 18 gauge stainless steel with a porcelain-enamel coating to guarantee durability.
  • It comes with simple instructions that help the user to set up the smoker quickly.
  • The drum smoker has a high capacity to allow you to cook for a large group of people at once.
  • It is easy to clean as it comprises high-quality materials.


  • Sometimes the lid can get very hot, making it difficult to handle without the right pair of gloves.

Best for Beginners – The Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker

The Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker has been around for a considerable period with its efficiency making it one of the most popular drum smokers in the market. It is a perfect option for beginners as it is simple to use. From thousands of online reviews, one can easily deduce that the people who have used the smoker before were pleased by its efficiency.

Additionally, the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker is to use as you have the option to convert it into a grill with just a few alterations. It is its versatility that makes it the best choice for beginners.

Features and Benefits

  • It is easy to assemble and use
  • Well-designed for heat retention with vents to foster heat retention
  • It is quite versatile; hence you can use it for both grilling and smoking
  • Charcoal access door to make it easy to add charcoal while cooking
  • It comes in different sizes; hence you can always acquire the perfect size for your use.
  • The smoker has two steel cooking grates and two levels for flexibility.


  • The extra parts can easily rust if you fail to maintain them well

Large Capacity – The 22.5″ Classic Pit Barrel PBX

If you want a quality and large drum smoker for a big family, then the 22.5″ Classic Pit Barrel PBX will be a good fit. Despite its enormous size, the 22.5″ Classic Pit Barrel PBX is easy to use and thus ideal for both experts and beginners.

The 22.5″ Classic Pit Barrel PBX comes with numerous exciting features, all designed to elevate the functionality of the drum smoker. The removable grill makes it ideal for grilling, while the vent at the top ensures that the user can conveniently adjust the temperatures.

Features and Benefits

  • Features an excellent hooking system that increases the cooking capacity of the smoker
  • It is simple to use, making it an ideal option for beginners.
  • The tight construction of the smoke promotes constant temperature.
  • It comes at a reasonable price.


Extra accessories for the customization of the smoker can get pretty expensive.

The Best Value – The Original Orion Cooker 19-Inch Charcoal Smoker

The Original Orion Cooker 19-Inch Charcoal Smoker is a hybrid drum smoker that incorporates various vertical and drum-style features to offer an incredible smoking experience. Its simplistic appearance and functionality make it perfect for beginners. Further, the smoker is durable and pretty forgiving during the cooking process.

Features and Benefits

  • The Original Orion Cooker 19-Inch Charcoal Smoker is portable, lightweight, and easy to set up
  • It comes with three cooking grates that provide a large surface area for cooking
  • Made up of quality stainless construction that is easy to clean and durable
  • High level of heat retention to guarantee

smoker start

How To Choose The Best Drum Smoker

With the numerous models of drum smokers in the modern market, choosing the best one for your use is never a walk in the park. In addition to extensive research and comparison, you should comprehensively understand what to look out for in the best drum smoker. Many attributes make a good drum smoker, including the following.

  • The smoker capacity and size – ensure that the smoker is large enough to meet your needs. However, remember that the larger the smoker, the costlier it becomes.
  • The price – Different drum smokers come at different prices. Hence it would help to go for the price range that best fits your budget.
  • Examine the good and functional features of the smoker
  • Check the construction material and the design of the smoker.
  • Ensure that the smoker has effective temperature control
  • A good drum smoker should be easy to use
  • Settle for a smoker with excellent versatility
  • Portability
  • Easy charcoal management


As long as you know what to look for in the best drum smoker, you can be sure to get the best smoker for your needs. Always ensure that you purchase your smoker from a reputable outlet. While the above drum smokers are great, price and size may influence your decision. The 18.5″ Classic Pit Barrel Cooker is our recommendation for the best drum smoker as it is budget-friendly and ticks almost every aspect of a spectacular smoker.