After 3 years of fighting with a red Brinkmann bullet I recently upgraded to a 30" Masterbuilt digital. Made some great food with the Brinkmann but also had my share of troubles (particularly when it was cold out). Read a lot of forums on this site and decided to go with the MES and found this one on the Home Depot website for $159 so I took the plunge a couple weeks ago. The market had chicken thighs for like 50 cents a pound yesterday (pack of five was $1.77) so these little guys will be my test pilots for the new smoker today. They've been in for a half hour so far (following Bear's "step by step" recipe) and after some billowing white smoke early on I finally have TBS which was almost impossible to do with the Brinkmann so I'm already impressed. I'm having some issues holding the temp high enough but I suspect it may be the foil pan I have under the meat blocking the heat. I consider today to be a learning experience so any edible food will just be a bonus, the main objective is to learn the smoker. I seasoned it and did some dry runs last week and my temps were all over the place. I was usually anywhere from 20* on up hotter than my temperature set point but right now I'm almost 40* low so I may have to pull that pan and see what happens. I calibrated my thermometer the other day and was dead on at 212* so I know I'm accurate there. I'll play around a bit and see what happens. I'm certainly open to any discussion or suggestions anybody has.