I am on my 4th smoke box in 50 years and the MES 30 is the best for me. I wrote "for me" because I realize the propensity for some to trash the opinions of others.
I purchased mine for $160, free shipping from the River Country Store. I have had boughten and homemade smokers that were much larger but I for one, see no reason not to lop the rack of ribs in half. Presentation means bubkes to me. Simple!
For cold smoking, I use my converted pressure cooker smoke generator that keeps pooping it out for 12+ hours with free orchard trimmings, run through a friend's garden shredder or roadside chips provided by work crews. No further purchases necessary. Simple!
The element is 1500 watts. The box will exceed 400 degrees. The Maverick's wires should not exceed 400 if you want them to last. So I use the door. Simple!
Clean-up is a cinch. Two nutless bolts with combo slot/phillips heads, remove the element and cleaning the stainless steel interior is a snap with a stainless steel scrub pad, dipped in hot water. I also use a spatular to scoop out the baked drips and scrubbings. Simple!
The thermometer on the door is off by 30-33 degrees according to the Maverick probe. So rather than use a probe for cabinet temp. I subtract 30 from the door to focus on what I am actually running at. Only the brain dead cannot do the simple math to run a tight ship. Simple!
The temp difference between the middle and the top shelf is 3-4 degrees. Not worth sweating over. Simple!
I rigged free sausage bars doing a conversion, seen elsewhere on this forum. Simple!
The MES ANALOG 30 has solid construction and none of the digital system that some have had trouble with in the past. Simple!
A new 1500 watt element is $29.95 at River Country Store. Simple!
The controls are set & forget. The insulated box holds the temp forever IN MY OPINION! Simple!
I did stove cement a wood-stove rope gasket around the door and now it's as tight as a frog's a$$. Simple!
I'm a newbie and my opinions are my own and possibly worthless to others in the grand scheme of things but I am only a forum newbie, while I am a grand-daddy to smoking. Simple!
Oh! BTW...I never use MSG, nitrates or nitrates.