I used my MES 30" analog for the first time last weekend. I smoked a 12lb beef brisket and was amazed how easy it was. My only experience smoking was with my Weber gas grill so I was pretty nervous. I was tickled with the outcome. The beef was tender and juicy and the smoke flavor was outstanding!
Today I'm going to try two pork loins using John McLemores rub recipe. :yahoo:
Cons - Inability to add wood chips without losing heat
I bought model 20070612. Plate on door indicates it is the PRO model. No clue why it is different than any other MES 30" analog. Purchased from local Home Depot. I've used it a lot, for brisket, fish, ribs, and chicken, since. Keeping watch on temp was done with long probe thermometer though top vent in rear of cabinet. That method worked ok but checking that temp was a pain. Took forum members advice and bought a Maverick ET-732. THAT made ALL the difference! A full bowl of wet Oak chips will last a few hours which gets the meat well-smoked so the door doesn't need to be opened until the meat registers correct temp. I put wet chips in the water tray too. I tried an AMTS but the 'taste' from pelleted wood was very different from seasoned wood. I'm going to try my first Pork butt this weekend. Price of brisket is getting ridiculous here. This is my first electric smoker and overall I'm happy with the unit.
Received this as a gift for Christmas. I've used it a ton once the weather warmed up. The first few smokes you do it is hard to get the temperature up to where you want it, but after it is used a few times seems to break in just fine. For someone like me who is just learning to smoke it is great and pretty easy to use. Replacing water/wood chips can be a pain having to open the door all the way, however I don't have much problems getting the heat back up quickly. Drippings do tend to come out of the bolt holes at the bottom and a lot of the smoke travels out where the power cord is. That's not to say though the meat has plenty of smoke flavor for me. I have been pleased with it in the first 6 months it's been used.