OK, this is kinda funny and kinda scary. I just got my new MES30 SS (Its the 20070411 version with half loader but full tray burner). I have been a stick burner for years and had the epiphany this year that I would probably eat much more BBQ if it weren't such a huge labor to pull it off. My first round of actual Q is in the new unit right now, but during the seasoning and during the initial ramp up to smoke, my chips appear to...well...explode into flames. It seems like a flash-over effect, where the wood chips heat to near combustion where they release flamable gases which all of a sudden ignite in the box along with the wood. The result is a small explosion inside the unit....poooommmffff! This little explosion shoots a smoke plume out the top and last time literally blew my loading tray about 4 inches out the side of the unit. Its not too scary, and it makes me giggle like a school kid each time it happens, but obviously, this was unexpected even if it happens with some consistency. I don't think it is too dangerous, unless it blows the door off or the hot loading tray is ejected and sets my deck or grass on fire. Anyone ever heard of this?
I am using alder and apple wood chips (a small handfull, maybe as much as half a cup). The temperature is cold outside (34 F), which I am guessing maybe contributes to the heating unit running hotter/longer and igniting the wood chips faster, but I thought these units were particularly good for smoking in cold weather (which my old Brinkman Smokin' Pit is definitely not).