For no good reason I decided I needed another smoker. Being 42 and single with no kids, there was no argument about it.
I've been using a Horizon 16in. Backyard Classic offset either with charcoal or a fabricated LP burner attachment for the firebox and I've added a Magnum PIG cold smoke generator. I'm very happy with it and thoroughly enjoy using it.
On the downside, I've had some difficulty getting consistent results with hanging sausage and jerky. So I decided to lay my hands on a cabinet style electric.
I picked up the MES 40 Gen 2.5 w/bluetooth package from Bass Pro that included the legs (with wheels and handle), cover and a pair of rubber gloves for some reason. So far I've done 2 batches of sausage and one batch of jerky. Here are my impressions:
1. I'm happy with temperature consistency throughout the session. There is some fluctuation of 10 to 15 degrees either way from time to time, but mostly the swing is 5 degrees or so. I've read some complaints about temp swings, but coming from using an offset I find this perfectly acceptable.
2, Temperature consistency throughout the chamber seems reasonable. Yes, if you put something on the right side of the lowest shelf nearest the heating element it's going to be hotter, but I found no significant inconsistency nearer the top shelf.
3. Smoke generation is good, easy to use and easy to clean and generates smoke for about 45 minutes or so before you need to reload chips (which is also very easy. Nonetheless I purchased the AMAZN doohickey which makes things even easier!
4. Bluetooth: So-so. I don't know a lot about the technical side of Bluetooth, but the range is not great and it doesn't pass through walls and windows very well. My RF thermometer has much greater range. Also, my experience is that the bluetooth won't work at all if the unit is facing away from your phone/tablet. Now, that having been said, I can still walk into my kitchen and face the outer wall and connect with the unit located outside and across the yard (about 50 feet). Even with these complaints, I'm still happy with it, if for no other reason than that I can make temp and time adjustments using my phone without having to put on my shoes and coat to go outside in the cold.
Overall, with the exception of the Bluetooth limitations, I don't see how I could be happier with this unit.
Here's a hard lesson learned: having only used the offset smoker I made a big mistake in my first use of this unit. I made a batch of jerky, quite easily hanging the strips with toothpicks. How easy was this going to be! No turning or fooling with it during the smoke! Great! And when it was done it was wonderful. This is the easiest thing ever! Then I realized that I didn't cover ANYTHING in the unit with aluminum foil. Ugh! I spent almost as much time cleaning that up as the jerky took to smoke! I have since bought stock in ALCOA.