When I first started with my MES, I knew going in from reading/research, that electrics do not produce a smoke ring. There was a lot of discussion on this electric forum about trying to produce that smoke ring. I tried the charcoal in the tray, but had mixed results. Since everyone agrees that the flavor is still there and the Q produced from an MES smoker rivals that produced by any quality smoker, I decided the effort to try and get a smoke ring wasn't worth it. The only place a smoke ring matters is in competition Q, since electric smokers are not allowed in smoking Q competitions, there is no point in trying to get a smoke ring from an electric smoker.