MES w/ mailbox vs Recteq

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What advantages do you get by hooking up an Auber PID controller to your MES, and modifying the MES40 by linking the power cord straight to the element? Additionally, why is it advised to maintain the mailbox? Furthermore, how does the decision between MES30 and MES40 impact this advice?

Just asking because I am planning to buy one. Could you please give me some advice, as a big brother?
The advantage of using a PID is that it will hold set temp precisely,this is a must when smoking certain foods like sausage.A stock MES has large temp swings by design,it cycles the element on and off to burn chips in the chip tray. Most ditch the chip tray and use an Amazen tray or tube that will burn pellets or dust,this can provide up to ten hours of smoke and eliminates the need to load chips every half hour. The mailbox mod eliminates the need to ever open the door to the smoker. I personally don't use the mailbox,I use a ubolt modified tube with dust and place it on the bottom left of the smoker.

The advice applies equally to the 30 or 40.
 
...I think 30 would be ok for me.
These vertical smokers with adjustable shelves are bigger than you think, partic if you've only used one-layer grills, Webers, etc in the past. If you think you'll be smoking a lot of nuts or anything thin, you might even consider getting extra shelves/grates.
 
If a rewire is done and a PID used, does it matter if the MES is a Gen 2? Also, is there any real danger in eliminating the safety limit switch when using a PID? Can a whole rack of ribs or a brisket fit in 40? There’s a used Gen 2 40 in good condition available where I am for $40.
 
Doesn’t matter 30 or 40, PID will work with either smoker. For $40 I’d buy the smoker. If you live in a cold winter climate the PID is invaluable for cold smoking. The MES without a PID is too hot to cold smoke anything. At -20C I can run the smoker at 4C and keep my beer from freezing. I would keep the safety limit switch, you just never know when you’ll need it.
 
Doesn’t matter 30 or 40, PID will work with either smoker. For $40 I’d buy the smoker. If you live in a cold winter climate the PID is invaluable for cold smoking. The MES without a PID is too hot to cold smoke anything. At -20C I can run the smoker at 4C and keep my beer from freezing. I would keep the safety limit switch, you just never know when you’ll need it.
What about my size question? I have a 30 to rewire, but to fit I have to cut ribs in half and either separate a brisket, point and flat, or set up the grates to put it at an angle. Will ribs and a brisket fit whioe in a 40?
 
True, most rib slabs will lie flat in a 40 but need a cut to fit flat in a 30. A lot of folks hang ribs in a vertical smoker, although if you like to sauce them up at the end, that makes it a bit harder. And if you overcook them, I suppose the meat below the hook could fall off so I'd make sure I had a grate under the lowest hanging slab to act as a catcher.
Both 30 and 40's are great. I'm not discouraging you against a 40, just saying that, compared to a grill, the 30 works out bigger than just the footprint may indicate.
 
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