As a lot of you know I had a MES 40 for a couple of years, then sold it to a friend & bought a WSM. My friend is still using it & is very happy with it. I also bought a Smoke Vault a few months ago because I was doing a lot of cold smoking & needed something with a lot of room. I later realized that the Vault is excellent for any kind of poultry due to the ease that it will hold higher temps. No my latest thing is making sausage. I have been using the Vault & it is OK, but requires a lot of babysitting at the lower temps. So I new the answer was to just get the new MES at Sam's. I have to say I am very impressed with the 1200 watt element. It really is a huge improvement over the 800 watt one that I had. It heats up very quickly & the recovery time is amazing for an electric smoker. I set it at 275 for testing purposes last night with a Maverick probe inside to see how accurate the controller & factory probe was. I was pleasantly surprised. With the controller set at 275, the factory probe read 273, & the Mav read 271. The thing that really surprised me was the chamber temp did not have huge swings like my old one did. The Maverick stayed between 268 & 272 for the whole time I had it on ( about 2 hours ). It has the small chip holder, but since the only thing I will use it for is sausage. I won't ever put any chips in it anyway. My AMNPS & AMNS will provide all the smoke I need. Now the really cool thing is the remote. When I have to bump the temp up 10 degrees, I can do it sitting on the couch watching TV. Lets see, pepperoni, kielbasa, andoulli, hmmm what will be first.