I recently picked up one of the MES 30 analog smokers. I've got a few other grills/smokers, but wanted something that was easy to use and convenient.
When I first tried using it, I had a hard time getting it to really make any smoke out of the chips in pan.
Temperature control was 'ok', but not ideal.
I already had this little pid controller I picked up off of ebay to use for a sous vide thing I was going to make, so I decided to just go ahead and rig it up to use for the MES.
I couldn't be happier with the performance of the PID. It truly makes it set it and forget it.
Still had a problem with smoke, and the addition of the PID probably didn't help, since it seems like the heating element doesn't really need to run all that much to maintain a temp of 225.
So I ordered the amazenproducts AMNPS pellet smoker. I was a little apprehensive about ordering it, because some people posted reviews about having trouble getting it to stay lit.
Well, my MES doesn't have any vents, other than a little hole in the upper right back, and another in the bottom middle.
I fired it up today and I have to say this seems like a pretty ideal combination. I filled the AMNPS halfway with pellets, lit it, let it burn for a few minutes then put it into the smoker.
I did the 3-2-1 rib method and things turned out just great. Maybe a little too fall off the bone tender for my taste, but that's the way the wife likes it. A small sacrifice to make to keep the complaints about my purchases to a minimum.