... is that it put my MES into early retirement.
I went to a MES from a kettle with a Smokenator because I did not like to babysit fires in general. Even when I had things perfectly chill, I love to sleep so much that I could never wake up during the night to check on things. I get that for some people that's the best part of smoking, but it wasn't for me. I mailbox modded my MES, built myself a nice little rolling stand, got a pellet maze, and was fairly happy with the results.
This year was a good year and I decided to buy an WSM 18 and a BBQ Guru CyberQ. I was all geeked out to mod it up and so I did the lid seal, some thermometer eyelits, and the Cajun Bandit door with a compression latch. I was hoping for the best but thought I would waffle back and forth between the new WSM for shorter smokes and the old MES for anything overnight. On my test run, the WSM ran at 225 +/- 5 degrees for 18 hours. I thought it was a mistake at times and had to hook up my old digital thermometer to make sure the Guru wasn't lying about temperatures. It wasn't. The next few overnight smokes with food were all great, and I consistently got 15-18 hours from a full load of charcoal. And I got back my old friend the smoke ring.
I'm almost sad that I just really don't want to use the MES anymore. But the Guru/WSM combo is one of the easiest, low-effort ways to smoke some great meat. So I guess this is just a big rave.
And don't feel too bad for the MES. YouTube will teach me how to cold smoke or make sausage or something so it can stay in service.