Don't soak the chips. You can use chips mixed with pellets ,small chunks(split your regular chunks with hatchet) ,and broke up lump charcoal . Just don't try to over stuff the unit . It will work great . Will keep smoking for hours . I don't bother to use the hook arrangement because I take it off after each cook . Cover won't fit over both pieces .Just make sure you push it tight against smoker you will always see a little leakage no matter what. No big deal. Have fun .
i have had one for quite a few months now. i fitted a piece of 3" heating duct pipe up to it about 3 feet long so the smoke is even cooler in my MES. as for leaks ... i just wrap some duct tape around the spots and keeps them in.i have used chips, pellets, sawdust !!! watch out that sometimes it doesnt fall down the chute, it kinda burns upwards and then stalls out so just jam it down a little with a piece of wood. it will fall down and fill the bottom again and keep smoking. use wood not metal... ITS ELECTRIC DOWN THERE ... LOL
to fill it i use a large wine making funnel, just keeps things tidier. i have even built a longer top and new lid for it so i can get a longer smoke out of it. even adapted it to my BIG SMOKER!!
i have built a dolly that this all sits on with coasters to wheel it in and out of my shop. thats why the pipe is the length it is. this was made BEFORE i new of the 3" metal flex pipe that is cheap like borscht !!!!! 3" x 8' for like $7 here where i live. probably alot cheaper by you. that way you can make a longer lead if you think you need it. the end of the pipe that goes into the MES has been crimped down so it goes in a bit more than the actual smoke gen does. you can seal up any leaks with plain old duct tape or go hi tech with metal heating tape. i have done cold smoking with this and dont even turn on the MES