I have had this smoker for about six years. When I bought it I thought bigger is better. On reflection, I wish I had bought an 18". Why? Because I think it uses too much charcoal and the temperature is harder to control, particularly in cold weather. Not to say I have not had many successes with it. And there is no substitute if you have a big crowd. Yesterday I had to smoke a small pork butt (3.8 lbs) as that is what my wife came home with. I followed the slathered mustard recipe. I was afraid it would dry out before it reached 190. I had to take it off after 7 1/2 hours at around 185 as dinner had to be served and it had to sit. . It was quite delicious (yummy bark) and five adults consumed every morsel. But I used 3/4 or so of a bag of Kingsford regular charcoal..five chimneys or so. Sure, the coals continued to burn for a number of more hour but that is what I needed to keep it at 225 to 250.