Great find for me, locating this site. I've read some interesting threads already. After trying to get a Brinkman charcoal smoker to cook anything well, I bought an MES 30. I've tried a couple of recipes and have had a few problems, such as spare ribs taking forever to get tender (they never really did get there after 7 hours at 225°), and two pork butts, which were a little black for the liking of some tasters. But the unit seems to be predictable. Once I get a few more sessions in, i'll know more. Glad to have this site as a resource. So keep the vent (or dampener) open during smiling then? Thanks!