I'm been lurking on this forum for many years now ever since I built my my first smoker, an "Alton Brown" cardboard smoker that I used for fish. I loved that smoker. It was perfect for taking on our yearly fishing vacation. Broken down it takes up almost no room and travels very well. However, my original burner burned out, and I have yet to find one that works for smoking. They all have built in heat lockouts now, and they don't work for more than an hour or two.
Shortly after I built the cardboard smoker, I bought a Brinkmann Gourmet Electric Smoker. I have used it for years smoking pork butts, stuffed chicken thighs, and fish. For the last few years my family's business has served food and cookies on Sundays between Thanksgiving and Christmas. My pulled pork sandwiches have been very well received for two of those weeks each year.
This year while smoking pork butts for work, my heating element started to go out. Luckily I was able to get everything cooked, and my wife bought me a MES 30 for Christmas. She actually purchased it before the problems, but I can't be happier to have a new toy to play with.
I had been thinking about making further mods to my Brinkmann such as getting a PID controller, increasing the door size, and switching from water to sand. Maybe I'll get back to the Brinkmann, but for now I am focusing on getting my MES up to snuff. I have purchased a Maverick thermometer and an A-maze-n pellet smoker for my first smoke this weekend. Next week is my boy's 3rd birthday. Unless shomething terible happens, I'm thinking of trying some ribs and/or brisket for it.
I hope that someday I can payback some of the knowledge I've already received from this forum.