i think lady is right. men love to tinker. the majority of members seem to have MBs, they love them, but spend all their time modifying them.
i'm not a mechanic n actually hate trying to fix or modify things.
for my needs n general laziness i think i need an electric smoker that i can smoke on but otherwise ignore.
had i found this site before i bought the trager, i'd own a cookshack. only a few hundred more than traeger. equivalent in price to the big green egg.
now that i've seen the thread about MBs not working in the cold, i'm gonna save up for something like cookshack. i smoke weekly, year round.
i'll save up til i can afford something i'll be happy with.
rick, you are the only one i know here that doesn't run around adding various electrical components n hardware to his MB.
these other folks don't have lemons, just smokers that are sub optimum.
You go with what you think will work best for you. I and others here were under the impression that you had limited funds to spendI chose the MES 30 Gen 1 because it was the best smoker for my limited budget, which is exactly how it was designed and marketed. I still think you should disregard all the guys who like or feel they have to modify it to make it work "better". A lot of guys like to work on cars, does that mean if you buy a new car you'd have to be out in the garage tinkering with it all the time to make it run "better"?
As for as a CookShack, if you've got the bucks they make a great smoker at different price points, all above what you can get Masterbuilts for; CS smokers start at $675. Old Sarge got a great deal on a new but slightly dented model and loves his Amerique (retail $1,875.00) to pieces. But CookShacks are made in the USA and priced accordingly. Heck, if I cook afford one I'd have bought one, too. But Masterbuilts were built for people like me--home smokers on a tight budget--and I feel I got more than what I paid for.
Again, I'm not saying that a MES is the only way to go, many people like Smokin-It and SmokinTex. I believe that either some or all of them, like Masterbuilt, are made in China, which is the only way to keep them cheaper than a CookShack. It all depends on what your needs are and how much you're willing and able to spend to meet them.