I have always used one of the foil pans from Sams in my MES 40 to catch drippings. Someone mentioned on here the other day that the pans may block heat. It got me thinking that my last batch of ribs had a slightly different color to them like they didn't get as hot as usual. They were done in the appropriate amount of time and were good but they didn't look "right." After reading that it made me wonder if that might have been why. If I remember right had foil pan on bottom shelf, 2 butts on the second shelf and the ribs on the shelves above that. Does anyone use pans or do you just let the tray in the bottom catch all the drippings? Personally I like the pan if I can make it work because it makes cleanup so much easier.