I've just purchased, seasoned, and used for the first time a Masterbuilt 20070411 30" electric smoker. So far, so good. My first shot, smoked chicken breasts, came out really great! Still, I think anyone who's used one of these would agree that the owner's manual leaves something to be desired and there are a few things that I'm not sure about. I suspect that most of this has already been covered on this forum but I didn't find answers on a quick search so, if you'll permit me:
1. The 30" MES has a water bowl and a grease tray at the bottom. From what I can tell, nothing will ever go into the grease tray. All the drippings will fall into the water bowl. Is that correct? Do I have things configured properly?
2. How much water should go in the water bowl? Should the water bowl be used for all meat smoking or just for certain meats?
3. The owner's manual says to never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever allow the unit to get rained upon. This seem logical as there is the electronic control panel on the top so surely one would want to avoid allowing that to get wet. But what happens if you're smokin' away and it starts to rain? Or what happens if you're done smoking but the unit is still too hot to cover? Is it OK to just put something on top of the control panel to keep it from getting wet?
4. I was going to ask about the vent, i.e. keep it open or keep it closed, but I can see that there is an entire branch of the Internet devoted to opinions on that subject. I think I'll just experiment.
5. Finally, I bought a 30" Masterbuilt cover to go over the smoker. The insert in the package has a huge note saying that it is for indoor use only! WTH? What's the point of a cover if you have to use it indoors on a device that's going to spend its life outdoors??
Thanks for your input.