So i have been using my MES30" every day for about a month now. For my first 5 smokes I just used water in the pan, but after that and after reading here I switched to sand in the water pan. What I have noticed is that when using the sand my unit seems to hold a bit more steady BUT the smoker also gets much much more dirty! I think the steam helps to keep the unit clean some how. My thought is to put the water back into the pan and just place a brick on one of the racks. What say you?