We caught up with Rocky Richmond, the maker of the smokers you see in our videos, The Big Drum Smoker. We wanted to provide our audience with a little insider view on how Rocky got started. Enjoy
HUCK: Hey Rocky, long time no hear. Glad we had this time to talk. We’d like to know who inspired you to start Big Drum Smokers?
Rocky Richmond: My inspiration came from a need for meat to be smoked directly over the
coals North Carolina style.
HUCK: Who is Rocky?
Rocky Richmond: Rocky Richmond is a 47 year old single male living in western North Carolina. My background includes working in various barbecue joints, supermarkets, cutting meat, restaurant managament, and water treatment. I have also done internet research for businesses, BBQ catering, and wrote a book.
Huck: When did you get started?
Rocky Richmond: I started building my first Big Drum Smokers in 2000. By the end of 2003, the design was ready after 15 prototypes.
HUCK: Wow, 15 prototypes. Are you going to build any smokers bigger than your Mega 3143 model?
Rocky Richmond: There will not be any larger models than the Mega 3143.
HUCK: OK. What kind of products can we expect from you in the future?
Rocky Richmond: The Big Drum Smoker product line is complete and will likely not change.
Some models might be removed, some might evolve slightly though.
HUCK: Slightly evolve, hmm good to hear. We really like the look and durability of the stainless steel models. Do you see the stainless steel prices going down?
Rocky Richmond: I doubt stainless steel prices (or regular steel prices) will ever go down. Once they go up, they never go back down unfortunately.
HUCK: Yes, I guess you’re right. would you consider working with a distributor?
Rocky Richmond: I would only consider a distributor if they would be willing to send a truck
here to pick them up and pay in full in advance. Everybody seems to expect
me to pay to have them shipped to them and on conignment. No way.
HUCK: Ha, can’t blame you there. Tell me something, where do you see your product/company in 5 years/10years?
Rocky Richmond: It is hard to say where Big Drum Smokers will be in 5 to 10 years. This company might stay the same as it is now, or it might have become a larger entity that has units for sale in catalogs and retail stores. I don’t have a crystal ball to be able to predict these things, but this has always been something I have tried to establish.
HUCK: Understood, and that’s something that we’re trying establish with our “still young” brand as well. Tell me, do you have a count or list of teams using the BDS on the competition circuit?
Rocky Richmond: There is already a list of teams using the BDS available for the public to see
on the BDS Forum.
HUCK: I’m sure you’ve been asked this before but can you compare the WSM and your BDS Midi 1839?
Rocky Richmond: I don’t want to compare the WSM and the 1834 (not 1839). I already have a WSM vs BDS comparison posted on the BDS Forum for the public to see. The BDS and WSM are like comparing apples and oranges.
HUCK: I see, I see. How much charcoal fits in a midi, in a mini?
Rocky Richmond: The mini 1427 charcoal ring will hold around 4-5 pounds charcoal briquettes. The small 1829 and midi 1834 charcoal ring will hold around 6-7 pounds of charcoal briquettes.
HUCK: Yes, from our test cooks, they seemed to be really fuel efficient. Can a custom unit be ordered?
Rocky Richmond: Custom units can’t be ordered, except for slight modifications like adding an
extra cooking rack or relocating a single rack to replace 2 racks.
Thanks Rocky, we really appreciate you taking the time out to join us. Good luck in the future with your product. We’ll be watching and reporting!!!