The Best Barrel Smoker - Complete Buying Guide 2024

Sara Ryan By, Sara Ryan
Best barrel smoker
Best barrel smoker

Our Top Picks

1. Best Overall: Realcook Vertical 17 Inch Steel Charcoal Smoker, Heavy Duty Round BBQ

This heavy duty round cooking BBQ is perfect for your backyard or patio. It can smoke, grill, bake, roast and braise with ease. This 17-inch charcoal grill is equipped with a 2 access door to make it easy for you to open the door according to the needs. When you need to check the status of foods, just open the upper door and you can add charcoal or wood easier. Plus, this smoker comes with a convenient folding handle that brings it down to a portable size when Read Review

2. Best Bang For The Buck: Pit Barrel Cooker Classic Package - 18.5 Inch Drum Smoker

Our Pit Barrel Cooker is a perfect addition to your outdoor cooking arsenal. With it's durable construction and superior-grade porcelain enamel finish, its designed to withstand everything from the internal heat to weather conditions. It's compact design allows for easy storage and transport and is perfect for large or small decks, patios, car tops, or anywhere else. Read Review

3. Best Convenient: Royal Gourmet CC2036F Charcoal Barrel Grill with Offset Smoker

The Royal Gourmet Charcoal Barrel Grill is a premium charcoal grill with a built-in offset smoker. This electric grill is capable of grilling or smoking up to 20kg/44.09 lb. of food, and has an adjustable charcoal pan that allows for better heat control and energy efficiency. The spacious cooking area makes it an ideal grill for large events. Read Review

4. Best Portable: Big Bad Barrel Pit Drum Smoker Charcoal Barbeque - 5 in 1 - Smoker

The Big Bad Barrel is a 5 in 1 smoker that can be used as a charcoal barbeque, charcoal smoker, electric smoker, oven and grill. It heats consistently to 225 degrees to cook your meat evenly. You can adjust the temperature of the barrel with the top vent on the lid. The barrel features a wide cooking surface which makes it easy to cook for large crowds or multiple items at once! Read Review

Good Smoker or not, we all love to eat something after a long day at work. Smoking food gives you that opportunity, and if you have the right smoker, it will be an amazing experience for you. Smokers are commonly found at residences because of their utility and their ability to facilitate outdoor cooking.

While most of them are simple pit smokers with a roof and access sides, more sophisticated models come with digital controls and custom settings. These different features make them more useful in modern times. In this article, we will discuss the top 10 best barrel smokers in 2024. After reading through this article, you will surely know which one is ideal for your needs as a backyard cook or an apartment dweller who loves to barbecue from time to.

Our team spent about 18 hours researching, sifting, and selecting many high-quality models. Realcook Vertical 17 Inch Steel Charcoal Smoker, Heavy Duty Round BBQ is the product that receives the highest award from us. In addition to the other suggestions on this list, which are equally deserving of your consideration, we have also compiled a helpful buyer's guide to assist you in making your decision.

Our Top Picks

  • 【2 ACCESS DOOR】 - The advantage of 2 access door is you can open the door according you request, more flexible than the one access door. When you need to check the status of foods, you just need to open the upper door. Open the other door, you can add charcoal or wood easier.
  • 【QUALITY PROTECTION】 - Build-in thermometer with detailed temperature scale and adjustable air supply on lid for greater temperature control.Porcelain-enameled water pan and charcoal pan can provide you the stable use. The heat resistant bakelite handles make transport, basting and cooking a breeze.
TOP Choice #2 Pit Barrel Cooker Classic Package - 18.5 Inch Drum Smoker
Our Score:
Pit Barrel Cooker Co.
  • DURABLE: Each Pit Barrel Cooker is made with a superior-grade porcelain enamel finish that looks great and is designed to withstand everything from the internal heat to weather conditions
  • VERSATILE: The cooking possibilities are endless. For the perfect smoked meat, grill or hang ribs and brisket using the hooks and steel grill grate or use our custom GrillGrate for sear-marks and to smoke everything from burgers to desserts
  • PORTABLE: Our cookers are made to be lightweight and compact to fit in most vans, SUVs, and truck beds. Use the handles on the side to easily lift and transport to wherever your grilling skills are in demand. Easily fits 8 Racks of Ribs, 2-3 Pork Butts/Shoulders, Turkey Hangers allow for 2 16 lb Turkeys
  • EFFORTLESS: Whether you’re new to outdoor cooking or an expert trying to perfect your craft, cook perfectly every time with the Pit Barrel's 360º All-Round Heat Dynamics. Our vertical barrel cooker technology produces consistently great-tasting, flawlessly cooked meat, veggies, and more
  • THE COMPLETE SMOKER STARTER: Everything you will need to get started: The barrel (33” tall, including the lid and stand, and 21.25” wide, including the side handles), 2 Hanging Rods, 8 Stainless Steel Hooks, Standard Grill Grate, Charcoal Basket, and Hook Remover Tool (Seasonings Not Included)
TOP Choice #3 Royal Gourmet CC2036F Charcoal Barrel Grill with Offset Smoker
Our Score:
Royal Gourmet
  • Side Charcoal Door: Easy to tend the charcoal up to 1.2kg/2.6 lb. with the heavy duty handle on the offset smoker, no worries for insufficient coal and no need to remove the entire grates.
  • Offset Smoker: Firmly attached to the main body for good circulation of heat and smoke. And it can also provide additional grilling or smoking cooking space for small side dishes.
  • No Fussy Cleanup: The removable grease drip cup and charcoal pan help collect residues for hassle-free cleanup.
  • Tremendous Cooking Space: Caters for 8-10 gathering with 654 sq. in. cooking grates, 267 sq. in. warming rack and 267 sq. in. offset smoker. All are made of heavy gauge porcelain-enameled steel wire.
  • Adjustable Charcoal Pan: 3-level height adjustable charcoal pan creates better heat control and energy efficiency. It can hold up to 3.5kg/7.7 lb. of coal which is enough for large events.
  • 🔥🥩🍗 Made with supreme quality materials to keep up with all your heavy duty grilling needs. Never worry about the grill not keeping up with griller!
  • 🔥🥩🍗 beginner or Pro - Whether you’re a Pro with smokers and grills or just getting started, the Big bad barrel comes equipped with 6 stainless Steel hooks, 3 utensils, an independent charcoal pit, and standard stainless steel grilling rack. Enjoy cooking with pork ribs, hamburgers, fish and specialty meats.
  • 🔥🥩🍗 cooking time – the Big bad barrel heats consistently to 225 degrees which is the optimum temperature for smoking. Temperature Can be Adjusted with the top vent on the lid. The consistent temperature throughout the barrel creates wonderfully evenly cooked meats. Meats are usually smoked from 2-6 hours depending on the thickness and style of meat.
  • 🔥🥩🍗 multi-function - our 5 in 1 barrel gives much more than meets the eye! It can be used as a Table to set down any item, an independent fire pit for winter, a BBQ pit with an adjustable cooking rack to manage the desired cooking temperature for meat or pizza, adjustable barrel Height for child safety, and the option to hang your meat as the perfect grill smoker.
  • 🔥🥩 Portable – unlike solid barrels our 2 piece barrel can be dismantled to make easy for transport. A large barrel cannot fit into cars and a truck is necessary. Ours can be transported in most cars and all SUV; s along with trucks. This makes it very convenient for use at parties, Tailgating, beaches and parks. Quick and easy assembly and storage. Plan on 1-1. 5 hours of assemble to set-up the big bad barrel. Packaged for better shipping with extra padding there will not be any damage in ship
  • Better Heat Control: Easy to tend charcoal with side charcoal access door for ensuring minimum heat loss; adjustable air damper controls air circulation for better heat control.
  • Offset Smoker: Firmly attached to the main body for good circulation of heat and smoke, the offset smoker can provide additional grilling or smoking space for small side dishes.
  • Adjustable Charcoal Pan: With a capacity to hold charcoal up to 4.4 lb., the 2-level height-adjustable charcoal pan can fine-tune temperature to facilitate better heat control and burning efficiency.
  • Ample Storage Space: Side table offers more space for placing seasoning and preparing; 3 hooks on the side table help place accessories neatly; the bottom shelf provides additional storage space for large grilling tools.
  • Sufficient Cooking Area: Suitable for large events with 443 sq. in. porcelain-enameled steel wire cooking grates, 184 sq. in. chrome-plated warming rack and 184 sq. in. offset smoker.
  • Custom sleeve for smoke stack
  • 3-Year Warranty
  • Double-stitched seams
  • Fits charcoal grills with smoke stack (left side) and assembled dimensions of up to 75.35" W x 34.5"D x 60.0"H (191.4 x 87.6 x 152.4cm)
  • Nylon side handles
  • Mesh side vents
  • For use with Dyna-Glo grill models DGSS962CBO and DGSS962CBO-D
  • Hook and loop fastener adjustment straps
7 Oklahoma Joe's 19202089 Barrel Drum Smoker, Black
Our Score:
Oklahoma Joe's
  • Unique airflow control system and sealed lid allows for precise temperature management
  • Removable ash pan and porcelain-coated components make clean-up easy
  • Heavy-gauge steel construction ensures durability you can trust
  • Oversized charcoal basket holds enough fuel for all-day smoking
  • Cooking grate and meat hangers enable a custom smoking setup
  • Cool-touch spring door grip provides safer access to food
  • Features three chrome-plated cooking grates and a total cooking space of 681 square inches
  • Keeps the Pit Barrel Cooker temperature steady for up to 12 hours on one load of charcoal!
  • Foods cook in a smoky environment that is naturally moist resulting in foods that are juicy, fall-off-the-bone tender, and simply delicious.
  • Allows precision temperature control on the Pit Barrel Cooker
  • As seen on Good Eats "Right on Que". Alton Brown said: "It's so cool!!"
  • Everything included (except Pit Barrel Cooker) in kit for operation from AC power; 12VDC cigarette lighter power cord available separately.
  • 【Easy to Add Charcoal and Wood Chunks】In the front of the chamber, there is a door for adding charcoal and wood chunks, just switch the handle and open, easy but sealed. Our customers can control the smoking time according to the food flavor by this design.
  • 【Enamel Grates & Bowls】The smoking grates, charcoal grate, charcoal bowl and water bowl are made of enamel material, which is acid-proof and high-temperature resistant, which not only maintains the food original flavor, but also is safer.

What to Look Through Prior to Selecting the best barrel smoker?

You may be aware that purchasing something is not actually an easy action. Your everyday life will be affected if you choose the most fantastic product. What variables, though, will make this acquisition successful? Whether you're seeking for best barrel smoker to meet your needs, you'll be wasting your own time.

Nevertheless, it would be preferable if you weren't so worried. We've enlisted the help of a team of professionals to investigate best barrel smoker, and we've provided accurate data.

There seem to be several important considerations to make. But only a few of them are really concentrated. Here are some crucial reviews while purchasing best barrel smoker:


Smokers of full size can weigh in at between 50 to 100 pounds, and they are large. Because they are bulky, full-size smokers cannot be moved and must remain on the patio or back deck. You can also find smaller, lighter smokers, which weigh in at less than 20 pounds. These are small enough to be carried along with you to tailgate events.

Fuel Type

Although chips are easy to find, they require frequent refilling the chip boxes during smoking. The versatility of pellets is great across all heat sources, but special orders may be required by the manufacturer to reduce the chance of spontaneous barbecues. Charcoal generates considerable ash. Wood produces an equally large amount of ash, but it requires more space storage and log splitting.

Material And Build Quality

A smoker must be capable of maintaining a constant temperature throughout the day. It must be constructed from high-quality materials to achieve this. Smokers are usually made from steel coated with thick powder coats that prevent rust.
Smokers should fit tightly together without visible seams. This will prevent heat from escaping. The lids and doors must be tightly fitted together without any gaps where heat could escape. Multiple flues are required for pellet and charcoal smokers. These flues allow you to adjust the heat by closing and opening them.

Heat Source

Do you prefer electric, natural gas or charcoal? Are there restrictions on the fuels you can use in your area? For even temperatures, electric is an excellent and consistent fuel choice. While gas provides the same heat and control as electric, it is not as convenient to have an outlet nearby. However, a propane tank or gas line has limitations in terms of ventilation and storage space. Wood and charcoal take some time to discover the right cooking temperature.

Size And Cooking Space

There are many sizes and shapes of smokers. This affects not only the amount of cooking space but also how much land they take up on your deck or patio. Because they are tower-shaped, bullet and vertical smokers have the smallest footprints. This type of smoker will measure approximately 20 by 20 inches in width and depth, and provide 500 to 700 square inches of cooking space.
The pellet smokers can hold more meat because they are both shorter and wider. The entry-level pellet smoker is approximately 41 inches in length and 22 inches deep. It has a cooking area of 60 square inches.


Although construction materials may vary in quality, the main thing you should look at when choosing a smoker is whether it can retain heat. The smoker's heat is emitted from thin construction, meaning that the smoke does not cook the food. The heat escape can cause temperature fluctuations that could lead to dry and tough foods. Worse, you may find your fuel running out.


Is A Smoker Easy To Use?

The type of smoker will determine the ease of its use. The easiest smokers to use are the electric or gas smokers, as they maintain consistent temperatures with little help from the chef. They don't need fuel to smoke.

Can You Smoke On A Gas Grill?

Yes. Because of their low ignition temperatures, wood chips are the preferred choice. You have many options for pans and boxes that can be used inside of a gas grill. To add a bit of spice, some people prefer to soak their chips in rum and bourbon to enhance the flavor.

How Do Smokers Work?

Two chambers are needed to make a smoker: one chamber houses the heat source and the other chamber holds the food. Cooking the food for a prolonged period of time is possible by heating the fire chamber. The trays that hold wood chips or water bowls are also available to smokers. These help add flavor and keep the food moist.

What Is The Difference Between Smoking And Grilling?

Slowly cooking food for 5-12 hours is what smoking involves. Indirect heat at low temperatures (around 220°C) is used. Grilling is cooking meat directly at higher temperatures, 350-500 degrees for shorter periods.

Do I Need To Clean My Smoker After Every Use?

Your smoker, just like your grill needs to be maintained regularly if it is going to produce the best results and keep its value for many years. After each use, clean up any food, grease or ashes. You may also need to periodically reseason your smoker to keep its protective coating intact.

How Long Does A Smoker Last?

Smoker grills can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years depending on the way it is maintained and how good the smoking material. You can extend the smoker's life by cleaning it frequently and covering it when it is not being used.

The figures we've presented here aren't all of them. Alternatively, we continuously update it as new information becomes available. It's advisable to keep in mind the points we discussed related to buying guide.

We always appreciate your feedback and handle it with the utmost importance. As a result, the most up-to-date data will come to your mind as soon as possible. You are supposed to contact us and give us your reviews as well as problems so that we will try to support you. Hope you have a pleasant shopping experience!

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About Sara Ryan

Sara Ryan

Sara Ryan is a freelance writer for CampFireHQ and avid diver. She first discovered her love for diving while on vacation in the Caribbean and has been hooked ever since. Sara loves exploring new dive sites and observing the fascinating creatures that live beneath the waves. As a native of Colorado, Sara enjoys spending her free time hiking and camping in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. She also enjoys writing about her adventures in diving and wildlife conservation.

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