Good evening. Found this forum a while back, but just getting around to registering.
Been smoking salmon and venison for years. Big Chief and Little Chief smokers were what I used from the time I was a kid.
Wife and I have had a Smokey Mountain gas stainless smoker for about 8 years. Done a lot of stuff on it, but we could never get it to smoke consistently below about 220 degrees. We were going to buy another Big Chief, but after seeing how they had gone up in price, decided to splurge and get the MES 30" with window and remote. Sure happy we did! (wish we would have got the 40' though).
Done a bunch of venison jerky, summer sausage, and chicken since Christmas day. Everything has been great; the remote control is pretty awesome.
The only issue we have had is the amount of fat/grease that builds up inside the summer sausage casings. Smoking the sausage, getting them up to 160 degrees over 3-4 hours depending on size, then doing a ice bath. All that seems to do is make a mess; the water gets inside the casings and really makes a mess. Got a lot to learn there!!
Doing steelhead right now, and have a turkey in a brine tonight for smoking tomorrow. Wife is getting a little tired of the constant smoke smell that seems to sneak into the house...but she's the one doing most of the smoking, so I'm not too worried.
Lots of information here, thanks to everyone who shares it!!