Hey all, I figured since I've been lurking the forum doing research on what smoker to get and how to use it that I should join up now that I made the jump.
Honestly, I've been using an electric smoker for 2 or 3 years now, having inherited an old Bradley 'Bullet' style from my parents (no thermostat or control over the heat).. And being fed up with the limitations of that one (even though I have produced some great food on it) I've been planning an upgrade..
So, week before last, as an early birthday present My wife bought me (or, at least wasn't mad at me for buying) my MES 40. After reading WAY too much on them, I settled for what I could find local, which was a 20070613 model from Lowes.. 40", 1200 Watt, no window and no remote..
And I'm happy to report that despite all of the negatives I've read, I appear to have scored a model with an accurate thermometer (verified by my own calibrated 'trusted' thermometer) that holds its temp well.
Anyhow, thanks to the advice I've read here, after a 'test run' on a chicken (which was amazing) I took the plunge and smoked the Thanksgiving turkey and Ham for the entire family with great success. In retrospect I should have taken photos, but it was a 22lb bird and a 10lb ham (Wife had the turkey before I could request 2 small ones instead)..
Brined the bird for 24 hours using tips/recipe hints from here, let is 'dry' in the fridge for another 12 hours, then smoked it with the ham above it for 10 hours over apple wood and produced a legendary (among the family) pile of smoked meat.
Thanks for all of the info, and I'll be lurking around hoping to find discussions I can add some of my limited knowledge into :-)
PS - MES 40 gurus, this is a 2nd Gen MES 40 but does not have a remote. Does anyone know if I can simply add one to what I have and it will work? Or would I have to replace the controller board?