I've read numerous postings from smoking beef to fish on this site. Also read discussions on wether or not to leave the vent open or not. I've used the smoker twice. Each use, the meat was tender and juicy. I only had issues with my rub\sauce. Either too salty or not enough. My next smoke will be chicken and a regular beef brisket. I've seen comments where folks put sand instead of water into the "water pan". I can see how this helps the heat regulation. Btw, the MES regulates heat very well, I don't understand how it helps the moisture level ? Do you put water into the sand ? What are the other tricks for the MES ? I also heard about placing a can on the vent opening. I think it's supposed to help the smoke draft. Is there a problem ? or only for cold smoking. Based on all the comments from this site, I'm going to purchase the AMNPS 5X8 for unit. It will give a cold smoke option as well as smoke for the longer cook times. What other add-ons should I consider ? I have the MES 30 w/800w element. So far love it.