Smokin’ Ugly DIY Drum Smoker Kits: Simplifying Building Your Own Smoker

Smokin’ Ugly DIY Drum Smoker Kits: Simplifying Building Your Own Smoker

It's an exciting time for Smokin' Ugly.


We've released our latest product – a trio, actually.

Based largely in part on popular demand, we've now added three complete ugly drum smoker (UDS) kits to our growing catalog of products.

What does that mean?

For the first time in Smokin' Ugly history, you can purchase a DIY drum smoker kit that comes with a barrel.

It also means that no matter where you're at in your development as a master meat smoker or great BBQ gourmet, you'll have a much easier time creating an ugly drum smoker that's safe, designed to last, and truly yours.

Smokin' Ugly Drum Smoker Barrels

What makes our barrels special?

A few things you'll have a tough time finding elsewhere:

  • Like all of our products, the Smokin’ Ugly UDS barrels are American-made and sourced locally from our headquarters. There's nothing we don't know about our barrels.
  • Made from 18-gauge carbon steel, our barrels boast a long, useful life with normal maintenance and upkeep
  • Our barrels come pre-drilled, making it easy to affix the provided UDS accessory kits & parts. Yes, that means you'll no longer need to have a drill handy to build your Smokin' Ugly drum smoker.

For us, the #1 thing we're most excited about is the fact that those looking to add a Smokin' Ugly Drum Smoker to their BBQ repertoire no longer need to turn anywhere else to find a barrel. Our barrels were made to one day be a Smokin' Ugly Drum Smoker. You can rest easy that they won't come with any surprises (no, you won't be getting a barrel that was once filled with toxic waste – more on this idea later) and are ready for immediate assembly with minimal tools required.

A Closer Look at Smokin' Ugly DIY Drum Smoker Kits

To be sure, the 3, 55-gallon drum smoker kits we have are not a case of good, better, & best. Each is American-made and meets our high standards. Consider your choices more of a basic, advanced, and more advanced decision, as each steel drum smoker kit comes with a different assortment of accessories.

Let's take a look at your choices:

  1. The Basically Ugly Kit
  2. The Completely Ugly Kit
  3. The Extremely Ugly Kit

Option 1: The Basically Ugly Kit

This DIY drum smoker kit is for those who want to step into the world of meat smoking with a UDS, but aren't looking for much beyond that. It comes with everything you'll need to build a basic Smokin' Ugly – think of it as the base model for a new vehicle. 

In addition to a barrel, the Basically Ugly Kit includes a Smokin’ Ugly: 

  • Hinge Kit – for easy lid opening, closing, and positioning (open the lid to any position within its range of motion and it stays put!)
  • Latch Handle Kitsecures your smoker's lid and keeps the heat contained
  • Exhaust & Inlet Vent Kitscontrol airflow for perfect smoke and temperature
  • Utensil Holder Kitstop searching for your cooking implements
  • Grill Grate Kitsear those steaks or slow-cook your brisket to perfection
  • Charcoal Basket Kit keeps your fuel in one spot and makes for a quicker & easier clean-up

Option 2: The Completely Ugly Kit

The next step up, this DIY drum smoker kit gives users a little more as they head deeper into the world of cooking on an ugly drum smoking. With this option, you get everything that came with the Basically Ugly plus a few extras to give you a fully outfitted UDS, including:

Option 3: The Extremely Ugly Kit

Consider this the Cadillac option. The Extremely Ugly Kit is for the person who wants to max out their Smokin' Ugly. In addition to everything that comes with the Basically Ugly and Completely Ugly kits, you'll also get one of our favorite drum smoker accessories: our Pizza Oven Kit.

By simply placing this kit atop your Smokin' Ugly, your ugly drum smoker instantly becomes an outdoor pizza oven. As soon as your UDS/pizza oven is up to temp, you'll have no problem cooking wood-fired pizzas to your heart's content. 

But the pizza oven kit lets you do more than cook pizzas. With a quick adjustment, the kit's stainless steel cooking plate becomes a griddle – opening the doors to preparing plenty of other dishes on your drum smoker. Smash burgers, anyone?


Download the Smokin' Ugly Cookbook Here

Building Your DIY Smoker: How it Was (and Can Still Be)

Up until the release of our new kits, the only way to build a Smokin' Ugly drum smoker was to purchase our various kits and source your own 55-gallon drum.

There was nothing wrong with the approach – it's how anyone (including ourselves) brought  Smokin' Ugly smokers to their backyards. 

That approach still very much works as an option to build your own drum smoker.

For those who still prefer a more hardcore DIY route from building an ugly drum smoker from scratch, there's no more important decision than the barrel selection.

The drum you'll outfit with Smokin' Ugly accessories is more than the sum of its parts; it's essentially the foundation of your UDS.

Whether you source a used barrel or buy one brand new, there are a few considerations that should be part of your evaluation process:

  1. Past use – Remember the surprises we mentioned earlier? If you're going the used barrel route, it's imperative to find out the drum's history. Those used for industrial purposes – say, storing crude oil – are not a good candidate to be your drum smoker's barrel.
  2. Is it food grade? – 55-gallon drums are used for a wide variety of purposes and not all are meant for food prep. Some drums have a liner that can be toxic when exposed to high temperatures.
  3. Overall condition – This one’s for those looking at used barrels. In short, a barrel that's rusting out or damaged isn't one worth your time. 
  4. Price point – This is a buyer beware (and nothing bad). Barrels that can be used for meat smoking (they should be made from steel) come at a variety of price points. We've heard of some Smokin' Ugly users getting a great deal on a used barrel, only paying around $50, while others have paid closer to $1,000 for a new stainless steel barrel.

Regardless of how and where you source your drum smoker's barrel, one thing remains true: as long as you have our official kits and accessories, there's no one way to build a Smokin' Ugly.

The Best UDS Smoker Kits for the Complete Smokin' Ugly Experience

There's nothing we love more than welcoming new meat smokers and BBQ'ers of all levels to the Smokin' Ugly family.

With our new American-made UDS smoker kits that come pre-drilled, it's easier than ever for anyone to build a Smokin’ Ugly drum smoker they can use for years to come with pride.

Get Your Complete Smokin' Ugly DIY Drum Smoker Kit

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