Wine Barrel Smoker Buyers Guide

Wine Barrel Smoker - Napa Wine Smoker Company

The Napa Wine Smoker Company’s Wine Barrel Smoker

Wine barrel smokers lend eye appeal and taste to your meat smoking adventures.  Buy one or make your own.

The latest trend in smokers could be wine barrel smokers.  The advantage of a wine barrel smoker is that it looks great in your yard and the wine-infused wood adds a unique and pleasant flavor to your meats.  The downside is that you don’t get to play with fire, since most wine barrel smokers rely on a electric heating element. (Depending on how you look at this, it could be an upside).  Another upside is that you get the added bonus of watching smoke stream from the top of the wine barrel, which looks pretty damn cool.

We found three places to buy a wine barrel smoker online.  You can’t go wrong with any of these, but we’ve carefully reviewed each website and product online and have outlined some key distinctions between the three.   We’ve also sketched out a bill of materials for making your very own charcoal-fired wine barrel smoker.  Enjoy.

Wine Barrel Smoker – Staving Alive (Boise, Idaho)

Staving Alive Wine Barrel Smoker

Staving Alive’s Wine Barrel Smoker – Note the temperature gauge and the three-chain lid brace.

Despite the website’s somewhat spartan appearance, this wine barrel smoker appears to be well-engineered and has a nice vintage look to it.  We like the subtle look of the three chains that connect the lid to the body (see left).  And if that isn’t enough, this smoker also has a large amount of  vent holes in the top and bottom that can be plugged with wine corks.  Added bonus:   Staving Alive might just be the best name of the bunch.

Staving Alive Wine Barrel Smoker Key Features:  

1.  Built-in temperature gauge.

2.  Four grates – One for wood chips, one for a water pan and two for meats.

3.  Hatch door for adding wood chips / chunks

4.  Smoke vents at top and bottom that can be plugged with corks

5.  Electric heating element

$625.   Shipping cost unknown.  Item # 1111

You can order Staving Alive’s Wine Barrel Smoker here.

Wine Barrel Smoker – The Napa Barrel Smoker Company (Napa, California)

Napa Wine Barrel Smoker

The Napa Wine Barrel Smoker – Note the lighter look of the barrel vs. the other two options.

Napa Barrel Smokers are made from white oak barrels that have been holding cabernet sauvignon for five to six years.  Napa Smokers definitely have the more premium feel to them.  Their barrels appear lighter  and more uniform in color.  This could be because they have better access to barrels since the owner of the company comes from a winemaking family.  The Napa Barrel Smoker doesn’t have temperature gauge that we can see.  The website also includes some useful videos on how to use the smoker.

Napa Barrel Smoker Key Features:  

1.  At least three grates (possibly four) – the lowest grate is for your wood chips / wood chunks.  The second lowest is for your water pan.

2.  Hatch door for adding wood chips / chunks

3.  Smoke vents on top that can be plugged with corks.

4.  Electric heating element

$799.  Includes shipping to the lower 48 states.

Order a Napa Barrel Smoker Wine Barrel Smoker here


Wine Barrel Smoker – Wine Barrel Woodcraft (Sweeny, Texas)

wine barrel woodcraft wine barrel smoker

Wine Barrel Woodcraft’s wine barrel smoker – note the polyurethaned finish.

Wine Barrel Woodcraft makes the only smoker that has a shaded and polyurethaned finish.  This adds a more polished look to the smoker and will protect it from weathering.  Depending on your personal taste, this may be a good thing, or it may not.  These wine barrel smokers are handcrafted in Texas.  They have three racks and a temperature gauge as well.   We couldn’t see any vents, but the gentleman who makes these smokers says he will do custom work, so you can probably ask him to build these into your unit.  We also did not see a hatch, but again, this can probably be added if you ask.

Wine Barrel Woodcraft Smoker Key Features:  

1.  Polyurethaned Finish

2.  Built-in temperature gauge.

3.  Three grates

4.  Electric heating element

5.  Customizable

$650 + $200 shipping (custom features may cost extra)

Buy a Wine Barrel Woodcraft Smoker here

Screen Shot 2014-01-25 at 11.16.33 AMMake your Own Wine Barrel Smoker

If you’re more of the do-it-yourself type, you can also build your own charcoal-fired wine barrel smoker for about half the price of the smoker’s we’ve profiled above.  It looks pretty simple, and there is video for reference we’ve posted below.   You’ll need the following:

Wine Barrel

Wine barrels can be procured relatively cheaply – Just $224 delivered from

Fire Brick

Six fire bricks for $23.51 at Essential Hardware.   It looks like you’ll need about 18 bricks in total.

Barbecue Grates

We’ll also add in some L-brackets.  These can be had for a  few dollars at The Home Depot.  The BBQ grates can be had for as little as $13…if you shop around, but dare we suggest a custom-made college-logo grill grate?  I think we do.

Other Materials for your  do-it-yourself wine barrel smoker

  • Aluminum pans for holding the wood chips and water
  • Charcoal
  • A Chimney starter
  • Courage

We’re still not convinced this guy isn’t going to lose a hand someday.

Man your Wine Barrel Smoker.

The Pit Boss

BBQ Pit Boss Logo - Red

by Michaelangelo Monteleone
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