Yo eman, Great Post, and Thanks for the great pics too...
Well done, 50+ pounds of meat is a whooping big load, but looks like ye ol MES did the job just fine.
Did you have a rotation plan during the cook?
Bearcarver: "That's what I thought. That's the same element in my son's new MES 40, and he has the same recovery time problem if he puts more than a couple butts in".
I have the MES 40" with 800 w element. For me the trick is to preheat, minimum preheat would be 1 hour, and 2+ hours depending on how low the outdoor ambient is. The idea is to thoroughly heat all the metal, once all the metal is hot, recovery time is shortened dramatically. Doing a couple of butts or 4 to 6 racks of ribs this past winter with ambient around 30º, initial recovery when meat first loaded was avg 15-30 minutes depending on size of load. Recovery 1 hour into the smoke was 5-10 minutes depending on how long I had the hatch open. (Always try to minimize the time the door is open, play ahead your moves and have everything handy.)