Hello all. I have friends with smokers and have loved the food they have shared. So I bought myself the 30" MES with the digital control on top rear and the steel door. Loved the concept of adding chips without opening door, digital temp and timer and the price was right. Now I need help. I have tried to educate myself online as much as possible. I have followed recipes and techniques I have read about. With the exception of a Christmas chicken and duck, my results have been poor. My last two attempts were 2 chuck roasts and venison jerky. All of my attempts have had a bitter taste and black, black meat. I have tried everything I can think of. Vent open or closed. More chips, less chips. 3 different kinds of smoking wood. The jerky was on the smoker for 8 hours and I used only 4 pieces of hickory, each about the size of a matchbook, and not all at once either. It came out dark black and bitter. I have read about creosote problems, but how do I correct this in my smoker? I cannot achieve TBS as I have read about. I have read about the AMNPTS as a solution, but I would like to be able to use the MES the way it was designed. Any opinions would be appreciated. Thanks.