Well, I am planning on smoking a chicken this weekend...first time smoking anything. I thought it to b a good idea to go ahead and do some test runs on the smoker. I haven't ever used one and i have no idea how it will perform. I started by filling up the water pan and then I ran the thermometer probe under the grill. The last step was to tackle the incredible complicated task of plugging it in. It took 32 mins for the ECB to come up to 225. My thermometer alarm sounded and the smoker held a rock solid 225 for 30 mins. Never wavered. Time to add some smoke and see how she does. I added the soaked wood chips and the smoke began to flow. Looked real blue and thin for 15 mins or so. Then I noticed that the temp started to climb steadily. I let it climb to 250 and then headed outside to investigate. Yep the chips were on fire... just as I had suspected. Why ere they on fire? UHH.. Because I decided it was a good idea to put the chips on some heavy foil and place it directly on the element. Yes, I do know what happens to aluminum at hight temps. I just wasn't thinking. Just playing with my new toy and trying to make some smoke. All in all, not really a bad run. The smoker did great at holding a steady temperature in our 28 degree Kentucky night. I can see why they don't install a thermometer on the electric units. My plan is to do another test run tomorrow. I am planning on purchasing a 9'' cake pan for the chips this time. I am assuming that placing the pan on the element will not be a problem. Definitely won't melt.