I recently bought a MES and am very new to smoking. I've done a lot of reading so far (including the 5 day ecourse) and have a few questions. Perhaps they should be separate topics but I decided to put them into just one. 1. What is the purpose of a vent in an electric smoker? Why would I want to let the smoke out? 2. Is it bad to "over brine"? I've left some chicken thighs in brine for 10 hours and they turned out great. Would less time in the brine make them even better? I've read that it is bad to thaw out your meat while in brine. This sounds like a very convenient idea. Why is it not the suggested way? 3. Is it OK to presoak your wood chips weeks and months ahead of time? So far, I never remember to soak the wood, until I am ready to put the meat in. It seems like it would be really easy to put a whole bag of chips in a bucket of water and put a lid on it. Then I always have soaked wood when I need it. Does anyone do it this way? 4. Does anyone smoke their meat in a pan? Or just straight on the smoker racks? It seems to me that a pan would keep the meat juicier and keep the smoker cleaner. I've smoked a little chicken in cake pans and it was VERY tasty. Do some meats do better in pans and some better straight on the racks?