I don't want to come across like I think I'm a hotshot smoker or better than anyone else. The truth is I don't experience all the problems with my MES 30 that others post about with theirs. Now that Bear and a couple of other guys have clarified how the MES controller works, I think my previous temp swing issues were due to my not keeping my hand off the temp adjust buttons. I didn't know that it was normal for the controller to overshoot my set point and that it would come down. So I was continually raising and lowering temps and the controller was responding accordingly. Today in 9-hour smoke where I cooked two chuck roasts (less than 3 lbs each) I adjusted the temp twice. After the controller finished its first cycle or two it stayed on one temp--within a degree or two--until I changed it. So, for the most part I either sat in my chair in front of my computer or did other things while letting my ET-733 monitor the smoker and the meat temps. The most work I had to do was to foil both chuckies when they stalled at 162°. Well, I know the one with the inserted probe did so I figured that the one on the rack above did the same.
Some pro BBQ Pitmasters believe you've got to be at your rig at all times tending to the fire, woodsmoke, and meat or it's just not real BBQ. I disagree. I bought an electric smoker because I wanted smoking to be easy and enjoyable. Either I've gotten to be pretty good at what I do or I lucked out with the smoker I bought, or both. In any case, I thank Bear, Jted, Dr. K, and Chef JimmyJ for demystifying the MES controller so that I can now kick back and for the most part let it do its thing.