Large or Small – Which Size Smoker is the Best For You?

If you love smoked food and planning to buy a smoker to cook delicious pulled pork, briskets and what not, then the first thing you need to decide is how big of a smoker you need. It is important that you buy a right sized smoker if you wish to not waste your money on a bigger than required smoker, or end up having one that doesn’t even cook enough food for your needs. Here are some of the things you should consider that will help you buy a right size smoker for your needs.

Domestic or Commercial Use?

If you run a restaurant or a BBQ eatery, then you will surely need a large size smoker to keep up with the demand. Even if you do not have much requirement right now, you will end up upgrading a few months down the line. That’s why you will be better off with a big smoker from the very first itself. On the other hand, if you are buying it for home use, then a big smoker doesn’t make sense unless you have a huge family, exceeding 8 or 9 people. At home, you really don’t need a large one, unless you have a large family and plan and smoking large pieces of meat or a lot of food. A 30″ or 40″ should work well.


Your budget can make or break a deal. Just because you have a big budget, it doesn’t mean you have to splurge and vice versa. In fact, if your requirement is for a small or mid-size smoker, then there are many smokers that come loaded with great features, which will be worthy of your money. Similarly, if you are strapped for cash, then you can find a suitable large size smoker at a decent price. However, it might throw a few compromises at you in the quality department. Do some research before you buy one. Luckily, we have done most of the homework here for you.

Food Quantity

If you have never cooked with an electric smoker before, then a big, expensive smoker is not going to be any more useful than a small one. For beginners, it is always better to learn the art of smoking on a small cooker, and then graduate to a medium size or a large one. On the other hand, if you do have some experience with smokers, then the next factor that should be considered is the number of people. If you are alone, then a small smoker will do the job for you. If you have a family with kids, you can go up to a medium size smoker. Do you know what fun it is to invite your friends and their family over, have a barbeque party every weekend or the other?! If you are that kind of a person, then depending on the number of people you expect in your parties, you can either go for a smoker of medium or large size.
Just because you can fit all the food in the racks, it is not enough to just shove everything in there without space in between. When you place the food inside the smoker, the food should be exposed in as many directions as possible, so that the smoke penetrates the food easily from all the directions. So, when you are calculating the ideal size, take into consideration the free space that you want to leave inside as well.

BBQ Boss

Brian aka "The BBQ Boss" has been grilling an smoking since he was young when he used to watch his father and grandfather cooking up something 'real nice' out back. He created 'Wired Barbeque" to share his knowledge and help you become a 'King of the Grill'.

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