Might be late to the party but I’ve experienced the same problem to an extent. I only use the amazen brand pellets. Had trouble keeping them lit then started microwaving for 2 minutes stirring in between. Haven’t had any problems since especially with cold smoking. Problem I think was my MES40 is so well insulated that if you don’t have enough airflow or use water in the water pan then they tend to go out fairly easily. I keep mine inside now in a closet and microwave before I use. Good luck and try the amazen brand I don’t think you will be disappointed.