You are going from a fireburner to electric, think of a stove in the kitchen. A gas stove heats water quickly were an electric takes its time. Its the same with the smoker. Electric is a more precise temp. but it has to really work to recover lost heat. A charcoal or gas recovers fast but it fluctuates (OMG, spellchecker says I spelled that right).
This means with an electric its is very important that you leave the door closed. I read somewhere it takes 15 mins. to recover from opening the door although I doubt that long it does take time. lets say 10 mins. when you expect a 12 hour smoke and open the door once an hour that's a 2 hour adder. Whereas with a fireburner you have to tend the fire, which means you are allowing the moisture to dispensate.
Electric, keep the door shut, doesn't require the moisture like moping, spritzing, injections. In over 30 years of being around electrics I can't remember a smoke ring. Push/pull, I can live without the smoke ring, and I can sleep all night not needing to tend the fire. Suggest you either remove the water pan, I use mine for a drip pan. Or some foil line it and fill it with sand, in regards to the heat loss, they use it as a heat sink.
Now we move to the disputed subject of vent position.
If you throw it full open, it will dry your food some, which is desired with brine or cured smoking. But..... if smoke a normal piece of meat/fish/fowl I use the vent to regulate the smoke. When full open you are working the heater maintaining temp., you are burning excessive chips/pellets to smoke. When the vent is regulated or partly closed depending upon the adjustment, it is better using the smoke while more easily holding your temperature.
If you invest in a good aux. smoke generator and not use chips, it is fine either way you decide. If you want to use chips as designed, you need to regulate it. Your call, you must decide how you want to run your smoker. I have done both ways, I have even smoked for years in a totally closed smoker which when done right does fine. Its about mastering what you want to do.
IT (internal Temp) this is how everything is gauged. I assume you know about it since you have smoked before. If you have a good remote response thermometer and you are smoking, you can go to bed. It will tell you when the food is done.
Lastly, if using chips, I think the general consensus is don't soak them. The only reason I can see for soaking them is allow the food a preheat before it starts smoking. Why? Because from what I have seen here somewhere, maybe Jeff E-Message or a book.... Well from 100 to 140 food is really susceptible to smoke, above and below it has diminished returns. 100 to 140 is when the food is the happiest, other than that you are just pouring the smoke to it. Its all your call. Some like a lot of smoke.
All the other smoking rules I believe are still in effect. LOL....
Lets see.... Slow recovery keep the door closed, smoke sweet spot 100 to 140, no smoke ring, no moisture needed, learn what you want for your vent adjustment. add a RF thermometer and sleep all night. Its really easy to use.
I always forget something and surely someone will come along and give you their opposite opinions. That's smoking, its mastering how you want to do it.
For awhile I suggest you take notes, that way its easier to learn a new smoker and different techniques. Have patience, its hard to mess up as you already know.
Most of all just enjoy the smoke! A day when you smoke is always a beautiful day.
BTW chicken is great to get a good run thru....
Edited by Foamheart - 10/1/13 at 11:55pm