International Seller

Pascal Motafferi

1 450-693-1227, ext 131

Hunsaker drum smokers: So simple yet so complex

I’m now crazy about Hunsaker drum smokers. It only takes a little stroll on site of the American Royal World Championship of Barbecue to see that several teams are now using “drum smokers” of all kinds in competition. One kind stood out in particular and many of the best teams were using it. That’s the Hunsaker.

There are several reasons why you may want to switch to a drum smoker. First of all, they look totally badass.

They work well in competition, but they apply to all lovers of smoked meat who want the best cooking possible.

One of the reasons people like drum smokers is so they can cook “hot’n’fast”. In the old days of BBQ competitions, everyone used log smokehouses. In order to deliver their meats to the judges during the afternoon, the pitmasters were required to stay up all night watching their fire. They would feed it wood once or twice an hour and adjust the air vents for the most stable low temperature cooking possible.

Hunsakers can quickly cook at 325, 350 and even 400 degrees Fahrenheit. On the one hand, cooking takes place much faster. On the other, it only takes a charcoal basket and a few pieces of wood to keep the temperature stable for almost 10 hours.

The problem with quick cooking is that it tends to dry out the meat. However, these drums are so airtight that all the moisture that escapes from the meat stays in the BBQ.

There are therefore two effects which result from this sealing. Moisture builds up in the BBQ and the meat stays much juicier during cooking. This same humidity creates pressure and the BBQ has a pressure cooker effect. All this humidity has only one negative point. Do not open it if you wear glasses. There is so much steam escaping from the lid when you open it that you will be instantly blinded.



Anyone can make a drum smoker!

The growing trend of drum smokers comes from the DIY spirit, or “Do-It-Yourself”. One of the reasons is that these drums smokers aren’t meant to be rocket science. You need a steel barrel, screws, an air inlet, an air outlet, a thermometer and a grill. It is for sure simple. However, a company like Hunsaker has one thing you don’t have: the time and resources to develop a product that is at the top of its game.

It all starts with a Vortex

With Hunsaker drum smokers, first you have a vortex. This very thick steel device, resembling a propeller, is placed on top of the coal basket. When the heat rises, the vortex swirls the heat that rises towards your food. The effect that is created resembles a convection oven. In addition, it reduces hot spots in the BBQ. Your heat is equal, no matter where the meat is placed on the grill.

You do not need to move or turn your meat so that it cooks evenly. You therefore have less need to open the BBQ. And everyone knows: “When you’re looking, you ain’t cooking! ”


Hunsaker drum smokers: 5 levels of grids for “Next Level!” 


The Hunsaker Vortex Smoker


The grid support is wonderfully well thought out. Just grab the handles and turn a quarter of a turn to release it. You only have to go up or down the grid to approach or move away from the heat source and turn it again a quarter of a turn to lock it in place.

It’s quick, easy and eliminates the risk of spilling your meat during cooking by placing the grill on an unstable surface, or having no place to place the meat while you adjust the grill.

The support also allows you to add several grids. You will never run out of space to receive several people at your famous Sunday evening BBQ.


A hinge and wheels worthy of note!


The Hunsaker Vortex Smoker

The hinge allows the smoker cover to be easily opened and held in place. You don’t have to find a specific place to drop it off. You can quickly take note of the temperature and spray your meat with juice, beer or your secret mixture. Heck, you can even drop in a new piece of meat. You will lose less heat and less humidity, and you reduce the risk of sending too much oxygen to your charcoal. The problem here is that you could then ignite and upset all the stability of your cooking.

This hinge is also a beautiful handle that allows you to tilt the smokehouse and roll it easily. In the normal position, there is a third small swivel wheel which can be locked. So you can place it easily wherever you want.

And finally, the Hunsaker weighs in at about 110 pounds. It’s nice to be able to move the smoker with one hand and bring it wherever you want.

It’s fun to BBQ, but …


As nice as it can be to BBQ, it’s also nice to get up at a decent hour in the morning and be able to do something other than look at the temperature of your BBQ when you start long cooking. Who’s with me?

Have you ever imagined yourself finishing work, going home and making spare ribs in as long as it takes to bake a Shepherd’s Pie?

With a Hunsaker, you will take your BBQ to another level. And when you feel like it, you’ll be pretty close to ready for your first BBQ competition!

Want to check out a wide variety of premium BBQs, tools and accessories? Head over the the House of BBQ Experts for all your BBQing needs!

Prefer to shop in French? Rendez-vous sur notre site web BBQ Quebec pour magasiner tout ce dont vous avez besoin!


Follow us on Facebook | Instagram | Visit our shop