I used the Mesquite Pellets in the 5 x 8 Maze and all went well with the meat having just the right amount of smoke. I tried something different in that I didn't preheat the Smoker. I lit the pellets 20-25 minutes ahead and got them smoking really good and then put them in the cold Smoker. I then put the Tri-Tips in and set Smoker @ 235*. Also put two Charcoal Briquettes in the wood chip box and pulled it out 1" but used no wood chips, so I didn't get a smoke ring not that it matters as the smoke ring offers nothing to the taste anyhow, only the looks. I just wanted to see what happens. I took the chip loader completely out and turned the smoker on. Surprisingly, it was up to 235* in 19 minutes. I then put chip loader back in with dump side turned down and out 2". Smoker over rode the 235* to 246*, then dropped to 229*, then up to 243*, down to 231*. From then on it would go 6* over and 6* under 235*, thus cycling great. I put a portable thermometer on each side of shelf and the left side averaged approx 10*+ less than the right side, so I may make a baffle later for the right side like some of you do, to even out the temperatue. The whole process took 2 1/2 hrs from the time I turned Smoker on until the meat reached 150* internal temperature. From 120* on, it moved slow, way too slow almost like a stall. I began raising temp 5* at a time the last 45 minutes to get the temp rising inside the meat, and ending the set temperature at 265* as I had to get the meat internal temp up.. My goal was 225* to 230* shelf temperature and I didn't watch it like I meant to and I unknowlingly let it slip to 210* -215* a few times, which took it longer to get done than it should have. Next time, I will start smoker at 240* and when it makes it's first over run, raise it to 245* and go from there with final adjustments. Also next time, I will leave the Charcoal Briquettes out and see if it has any effect or not compared to this time. Also with the success I had with the smoke and smoke taste today, I will continue to experiment with not pre-heating the Smoker like I have always done in the past and simply turning it on after the meat is put in and also pulling the chip loader completely out until temp gets to the set point, then put it back in with dump side down and out 2". The bottom line of all of this is that the Tri-Tips were PERFECT in Smoke Taste, Pappys Taste (dry rub) , and tenderness. This has to be the best Tri-Tip I have ever done. I don't mean to brag , but I will have to give it a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. My wife thought it was perfect too. It was really tender and juicy.