Frequently Asked Questions


What is the difference between the Straight Up Edition and the Sizzle Edition?
The Sizzle Edition drums have a glossy finish paint that can withstand up to 450ºF. The Sizzle drums also include an offset logo plate on the back side of the drum that protects the quality of your logo over time. The Straight Up Edition drums have a matte finish paint that can withstand up to 1000ºF. The Straight Up does not come with the offset logo plate. Rest assured, both editions cook the same way. Hot & Fast! 

Why is my lid leaking smoke?
A little smoke around the edge can be normal. Gateway Drum Smokers are not designed to be air-tight. The lids do not contain a gasket or locking attachment. 

How much meat can typically fit on a grate?
Three to four pork butts (8-10 lbs. each) or 1 large brisket can fit per grate. When using the Rib Hanger Kit, it will hold up to 12 – 16 racks of ribs.

How do I attach wheels?
The feet on the Gateway Drum Smokers Sizzle and Straight Up come standard with pre-drilled holes. Simply align your wheel to the pre-drilled holes and use the self-tapping screws to secure the caster wheel in place.
For detailed instructions, please refer to the User Guide.

How do I clean my Gateway Drum Smoker ? What do I use?
We recommend cleaning your drum after every use by using an ash scraper tool. Periodically you may choose to use an over the counter de-greaser such as Zep for a full cleaning. We also have a drum cleaning tutorial you can find here.

Why are my temperature gauges/probes reading differently than the standard Gateway Drum Smoker thermometer?
Gateway Drum Smokers do not require the use of additional gauges or probes. Location of the probes and/or other factors may vary temperature readings from one device to the next.
All Gateway Drum Smokers come standard with a 3” custom dial thermometer. All quick references and how-to's provided by Gateway Drum Smokers are referencing the temperature readings from the Gateway Drum Smoker thermometer. Always use the thermometer provided as your point of reference. 

REMEMBER: 300°F is the sweet spot for cooking HOT & FAST!

Can I use auto temp control with the smoker?
Yes, you may use an auto temp control with a Gateway Drum Smoker. If you choose to do so, we recommend either the Pitmaster IQ or the BBQ Guru. Both the Pitmaster IQ and BBQ Guru have custom adapters to fit a Gateway Drum Smoker.

What comes with a stock drum?
Your Gateway Drum Smoker will come standard with the following:

o Fully Welded Unit

o Grate Pegs Welded Inside Unit

o Air Adjusting Intake Pipes (2)

o Air Adjusting Exhaust on Lid

o Hanging Hook Inside Smoker Lid (55 Gal and 30 Gal only)

o Removable, High-Capacity Firebasket

o Center-Mounted 3” Custom Dial Thermometer

o Side Handles (2)

o Caster Wheel Kit*** (Certain Models Only)

o User Manual

Is seasoning necessary? What are the benefits to seasoning?
We recommend spraying cooking spray around the inside walls and inner lid. Recommend cooking at 300°F for 1 hour to sterilize. Seasoning your smoker helps lock in the flavor. You may choose to season it after every extensive cleaning.

When do I use a diffuser?
A diffuser is recommended when cooking on multiple levels to tame the heat. The diffuser plate will create more even, steady temps from top to bottom so that items on different levels cook evenly. We also recommend using a diffuser when baking on your Gateway Drum Smoker.

Can you still cook low and slow?
Yes, one of the many great benefits of a Gateway Drum Smoker is its versatility. While the Gateway Drum Smokers are designed to cook Hot & Fast, you may choose to dial the intakes down and use a water pan when cooking Low and Slow.

Should I use a water pan? Where do I put it?
It is not recommended to use a water pan when cooking HOT & FAST on your Gateway Drum Smoker. The Gateway Drum Smoker is designed so that moisture is created from the meat dripping directly over coal.
Using a water pan would be a personal preference. If you decide to use a water pan, we recommend using a ½ aluminum pan filled and placed on the lowest grate level.

Can it cook in all weather?
Gateway Drum Smokers can cook in all weather conditions. Any temps, any altitude and no adjustments are required.

How does the paint hold up?
Depending on which Gateway Drum Smoker model you purchase, the high-temp paint can endure up to 450°F or even upwards of 1000°F. We recommend cooking at the recommended levels outlined within our User Guide.

Our Sizzle smokers, Model#55111,55122,55133,55144, all have a threshold of 450°F. Exceeding this level may cause damage to the exterior paint over time.
Our Blues Hog® Gateway Drum Smoker Straight Up Series (Model#BH55900 and Model#BH30900) and Go2 Smokers have a premium, high-temp paint finish and can withstand temperatures up to 1000°F.

Paint is not covered within our limited warranty. Please refer to the User Guide or Warranty for more information.

What is the typical life expectancy of a Gateway Drum Smoker?
Like any other smoker on the market, its life expectancy is correlated with how well it is maintained and taken care of. We suggest treating your smoker like a car! Clean, wax, and store in a dry area to prevent rust.

What does flat rate shipping cover?
Flat Rate covers Door to Door shipping. It does NOT include any special handling, such as lift gate or inside delivery. The 55-Gallon smokers gross weight is 150 lbs. which includes pallet weight. Flat Rate Shipping assumes 2 people will lift the pallet from the truck at the time of delivery. The carrier will call to schedule a delivery appointment to ensure someone is available to lift the smoker from the truck. White glove service may also be available should you need additional assistance. Additional charges may apply. For a white glove quote, please call 636-390-9898 for further assistance.

Which shipping carrier do you use?
SAIA Freight is our preferred carrier. For all Residential Deliveries, please note you will receive a call at the number you provided to schedule the delivery. Shipping carriers will not deliver LTL Freight to a residential address without scheduling the delivery date. Failing to schedule, will delay your shipment.

I am looking for customization. What are my options? 

Customization options are offered exclusively through Gateway Drum Smokers. We have several different options, so please call 636-390-9898 or email for a quote.

What is the lead time if I place a custom order?
Lead times for custom smokers will vary depending on the amount of detail and extent of customization. Most custom orders take 2 weeks from the time artwork has been approved.

What is the Returns Policy?
The Gateway Drum Smokers Return Policy states that the smoker must be unused and returned in the same condition as received. Returns are subject to a re-stocking fee and shipping charges. Any returns must be handled within 30 days of purchase.

What is the Warranty?
Gateway Drum Smokers provides a limited warranty. For more information, please click here to be directed to the warranty listed online.

What do I do if my Gateway Drum Smoker arrives and is damaged?
If your smoker is damaged, please refer to the initial point of purchase and see below:

Damages: I purchased directly from Gateway Drum Smokers:
All Gateway Drum Smokers leave our facility packaged in boxes and strapped to a pallet when shipping LTL Freight. Please make sure to inspect the shipment for any outside damage before signing for the shipment. If there appears to be outer damage, please remove the smoker from the box and inspect. While we rarely have cases of damage, we recommend taking precautions before accepting the shipment from the freight carrier. If your shipment has damage, please refuse the shipment.

What do I need to report shipping damage when my shipment after I have already signed for the shipment?

  1. Inspect before using – Refusing to sign for the order when there is apparent outer damage, is best.
  2. If you open and there is inner damage, submit pictures to with your initial order information and a customer service representative will contact you for further assistance.

iii. Do NOT use a Gateway Drum Smoker that is being returned and replaced for damage. Using the product will VOID replacement.

Damages: I purchased from an authorized Gateway Drum Smoker dealer: If you purchased from an authorized Gateway Drum Smoker dealer, please contact the dealer first. They will contact Gateway for further assistance.