I'm new to smoking meat and just got a MES 40" Model 20072612. I have been reading quite a bit in the forums here and have come up with a few questions about getting and alternative smoke source. I noticed the side load chip tray only lets you add 1/2 cup of wood chips during a smoke. The downfall is that the smoke doesn't last that long maybe 45 minutes. So I can add chips but they burn up within an hour. I have read in some of the threads here that MES owners buy after market smoker called the A-Maze-N products. And this sounds like a great alternative smoke source but by default it uses pellets and I have read that there is a big difference between using compressed wood and natural chipped wood. I would love to use the MES without having to reload the chip tray every hour if I could. My questions are:
1. Can you use chips instead of pellets in the A-Maze-N smokers or do you have to use pellets?
2. If chips can be used, how long do the chips last in the A-Maze-N smoker vs the pellets?
3. What size and type of A-Maze-N smoker should I get for my MES?
4. What are the differences in Round type A-Maze-N and tray type A-Maze-N?
5. Where should the A-Maze-N be placed in the MES unit and what is the logic for its recommended location.
If I could get a supplemental / alternative smoke source then I would not have to open the smoker and interrupt the process.
Any help or input on this would be greatly appreciated.