Hello everyone! My name is Donnie and I reside in St. Louis. We have hot and humid summers, cold and damp winters. With that being said, I'm guessing I will need a smoker with pretty good insulation to protect against the elements. I am quite the novice when it comes to smoking. Pretty much have only smokes ribs on my Charbroil smoker. I discovered this forum when researching cabinet smokers, more specifically when I stumbled upon the A-Maze-N Products website. I currently own a Charbroil Smoke'N Grill canister smoker. I am looking to purchase a cabinet smoker. Initially I was thinking seriously about the MES40 with the AMNPS. After reading many reviews on the Masterbuilt smokers and other cabinet smokers I am more torn that I was before. I have read a lot of reviews. I looks as if you either love or hate your MES and it appears to be driven around the specific generation of your MES. I am looking to purchase a smoker in the $250-300 range but would be willing to go a little higher for quality. One member suggested the SmokinTex and Smokin-it smokers noting that they clearly stand by their product due to a longer manufacturers warrant over the Masterbuilt smokers. Those smokers are a bit smaller than the MES40 but appear to be made like little tanks. Also, besides a smoker what other accessories would you suggest purchasing? Rib racks? Electric thermometer? In regards to electric thermometers are they used to confirm the true temperature inside the unit, the internal temp of the meat or both? I am very excited to stumble upon this site and I would love to hear any input or suggestions from the expert smokers on here. Hope you all have a great weekend! Look forward to hearing any feedback you can provide. Happy smoking!