Since the right side of my 40" BT MES runs hotter than the left side, I experimented today by making a baffle that goes around the sides of the water pan and sits up against the right wall. ( wish I could post a picture, but don't have the right camera to do so ).
I used my Maverick ET-33 to check the temperature on both sides at the third shelf level. For a while as smoker was heating, the temperature ran from being even on both sides to 2* difference. However, when the temperature got up to around 275*, the right side began running 10-12 degrees hotter than the left side and continued this way up to 300*. The Smoker said the temp was 260* and an oven thermometer sitting in the middle of the shelf said 250*. Maybe I had the Maverick probes too close to the wall, I don't know, but I am sure the wall temp is hotter than the temp is over the water pan where I had my oven thermometer. I probably need to run another test pulling the Maverick probes 3-4 inches away from the walls as well as putting them in the middle of shelf over the water pan where my oven thermometer was.
Anyhow, the wind was blowing 25+ mph. When the temp got up to 300 on the right probe and 288 on the left probe, I kept top vent wide open, but held my gloved hand over it somewhat protecting it from the wind and the left side temp came up a bit and the right side temp went down a bit and once again, they ran even to 2* difference.
A final test I did was pull the chip loader out 2" with dump side down and the left side ran 10-12 degrees hotter than the right side ... a reverse from the test above. ... Then again giving the top vent some protection from the wind, the temps evened up again.
Then last ... I put a few Pitmaster Mix Pellets in the chip loader, dumped them in the chip tray, pulled chip loader out 2" with dump side down and with 2-3 minutes, it began smoking ... and talk about smoke, it flooded the smoker with the heaviest smoke I have ever seen. Way-way more than wood chips do.... in fact too much smoke by far.
Has anyone ever burned pellets in their Smoker?
If I was going to use pellets in the chip tray, I wouldn't start with 18-20 like I did today as it was way-way too much smoke. I would probably try 6-8 pellets at the most to start. That might be a good thing though on the Jack Daniels pellets which don't produce much smoke with the Maze and not much more from the tube. I may try that next time I use JD pellets in the Maze or Tube and dump a few in the chip tray every 25-30 minutes or so. For a couple hrs...