It's large enough for home use. When planning a party, more size would be nice, especially if ribs are on the menu. If a lot of folks are coming over, smoke in stages. Beans a couple days earlier. Appetisers day before. Main course, day of party.

That said, at times you'll wish you had larger. I've gotten pretty good at coordinating in stages and with the grill.
Hi Colo4o,

It really depends what you want to cook and for how many. If you are looking just to feed your family or a party or two the SM 025 is just fine. I have cooked a 8lb butt and 7lb brisket for a party with no problem before. But again after I bought the sm 025 i bought an fec 100 a few months later.
I just finished two racks of baby backs on the top shelf of my 025. I used a rib rack that stands them up. After 2 hours I removed them from the rack to sauce them and decided to lay them down on the regular shelf. I could have fit two more slabs on the lower rack for a total of 4. I have a family of five and do not seem to need more room inside (but i guess it all depends on your budget and how much room you have to store it). I have fit a 13lb brisket on one rack with out a problem. Have not yet used both racks at the same time yet. I suppose if I had a party, I would have no problem, only had it for less than a month so far. Oh, I have done 5lbs of jerky with no problem as well. I love the 025 and I am sure I would love any smoker from this company as well. Good luck with your decision.
I have owned the 040 which is the three shelf model for about 18 months now. I wanted the extra space that the three shelves would give me in the ability to cold smoke two shelves of cheese, etc. The extra shelf space does come in handy from time to time. So far I have only loaded all three shelves a couple of times and then I was glad to have the extra space. I've always thought it is cheaper to go a bigger capacity in the beginning than to get to a bigger unit in two steps. Just my .02 cents. Jer

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