My husband and I are beginners at smoking foods and right out of the box this unit was easy to set up and start. Note that this smoker DOES NOT include any starter bisquettes, so you'll need to purchase those separately before getting started. We used an applewood & smoked chicken leg quarters & wings as our first try. It came out beautifully and the meat was tender and packed with a ton of smokey flavor! My only concern was that this unit did seem to take a longer than expected time to cook the legs thoroughly and reach the 165 degree internally target. We cooked at 210 degrees and smoked the legs for about 4 hours with total cooking time of 6 hours. I will say though that this could have been due to us opening the door a little too often due to us wanting to make sure the unit was working properly (advancing pucks, smoking, water level, etc).