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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 07-21-2019, 04:20 PM   #1
JackBBQ
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Join Date: 06-29-17
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Default Gateway Drum Smoker Question

After a lot of deliberation, I've decided to buy a Gateway Drum Smoker. I just can't decide between 30 gallon or 55 gallon.


If the 55 gallon is pretty fuel-efficient, it's the obvious choice. Is it fuel-efficient?


Many of my cooks are on the small side, but I have some large cooks as well, and I like to lay 14-lb briskets flat on the grate.


Maybe the correct answer is "both".
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Old 07-21-2019, 04:35 PM   #2
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I have a PBC along with all of my other cookers. It meets all of my barrel cooking needs but.. would LOVE to have a 55 gallon Gateway. Do it.
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Old 07-21-2019, 05:08 PM   #3
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The majority of the time I am not cooking for a crowd and I still use my 55 gallon Hunsaker over the 30 gallon BHC I have. I'd definitely vote for 55 gallon.
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Old 07-21-2019, 05:25 PM   #4
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You can always do small cooks on a big drum. With the 30 gallon there may come a time you wish you bought the bigger Gateway. 55 gallon all day long.
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:31 PM   #5
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I have 4 Gateway 55's that I use when I compete and also for home cooks. They are very efficient, I can run 8 hours on a basket of charcoal, roughly 8-10 pounds.


I have a friend who has a 35 as well as a 55 and it seems that the 35 is more of a novelty item. Don't get me wrong it cooks fine from what I have seen and appears to hold temp well but I just can't figure out what I would use it for and with just two of us in the house I often cook single pork butt's and I never feel bad about firing up the 55 or feel like I am wasting resources.


The only reason I have four is I use each one for a comp category and each one has always had the same meats smoked in it. OK, I admit I am a little ocd!!
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:47 PM   #6
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I also vote for the 55 gallon drum as a first purchase, later a 30 gallon might be fun to have, or you could get a 18" WSM or make a Mini-WSM with the tamale pot mod.

If you are worried about charcoal consumption, you can always burn lump, because you can refresh the amount and re-light it for your next cook, or you could make a mini-basket for your drum.

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Old 07-21-2019, 06:53 PM   #7
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Go 55 for sure. Fuel consumption isn't going to be that much different. I honestly can even tell a difference in fuel consumption between summer and winter. I'm sure it's there, but it's not a big difference..
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Old 07-21-2019, 07:02 PM   #8
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No brainer. 55.
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Old 07-21-2019, 07:19 PM   #9
JackBBQ
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Well, it's a unanimous vote for the 55 gallon, and honestly that's what I was hoping for.


55 it is. Ordering now...
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:23 PM   #10
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I would probably only buy the 30 gallon, because it fits on my cargo rack without hanging off so I can travel easier. I have a homemade 55, and I love it because of the space. The bigger one would be the way to go, and I would say you wouldn't have a real noticeable difference in fuel use.
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Old 07-22-2019, 09:41 AM   #11
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Probably too late, but they used to offer the 85. Me and one of my cooking buddies on our competition team have built several 55 and a couple of 85 drums. Honestly don't think there is a noticeable difference in fuel consumption for the added capacity. Gateway used to offer the 85 drums. I would also check out the Hunsaker ,they offer 85 gallon drums as well.


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Old 07-22-2019, 10:40 AM   #12
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55 gallon.. you might like these smokers. It is what I use. Ironman barrels.. You can configure them in several different ways, plus colors etc...You can add side doors for adding fuel if needed..Same price ish as Gateways.
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