MES 30 MAILBOX MOD HELP!

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by jeffro99, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. jeffro99

    jeffro99 Newbie

    Hey guys I just picked up an AMNPS and am looking to do up a mail box mod for it.

    I am wondering what you guys have done with the chip tray part of the mes 30 when you do this mod

    do you remove it all? I had a 3" elbow laying around and I pulled out the chip loader and went to insert the elbow in and I notices inside the loader tube there is a lil flange that stopes the elbow from slidding all the way in as I have seen on others.

    how are you guys going about this??

    thanks
     
  2. Remove the chip loader completely. The 3" elbow should slide into the chip loader hole (from the outside) about 1". Thats how I did mine atleast.
     
  3. OK,  I have an MES 30 and an AMNPS...........but what is a mailbox mod? Pics?
     
  4. Basically you take a mailbox and connect it to your MES using some 3" dryer vent. You place the lit AMPS in the mailbox and it feeds smoke into the MES. Do a search for "mailbox mod" in the search bar above for threads of peoples builds. Dave has a very good step by step write up. I forget who came up with the idea but a lot of MES guys have them. Below are a few pics of mine. It works great!



     
  5. jeffro99

    jeffro99 Newbie

    do you remove anything to do with the chip tray inside??

    also do you think the hole in the mail box matters if it was in the back or on top?

    to me the top would make more sense?
     
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    In the back is the way I did mine.... You do not want the smoke to recirculate inside the MB..... If it does, it lowers the available oxygen for the pellets and could screw up the "burn".... Air in at the front, smoke out at the back, will help avoid any problems.... Here's my install..... They are twins.....


    I left the chip tray in as "thermal mass and deflector plate" for the heat from the element.... and also so I can use it to use chips for a short smoke, like mesquite on a reverse sear steak or shrimp.... mesquite smoked Rib Eye with a side of mesquite smoked shrimp then on the BBQ is one of my favorite meals....


    And the "water" pan is now a gravel pan.... when I add water, I will put a 1/4 cup in an aluminum pie tin and set it in the smoker somewhere....
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
    nightrod06 likes this.
  7. Yep. Dave has you covered. I used his method because it works great. Another good reason to have it exit the back of the MB is for ease of install into the flat portion of the MB rather than trying to fit the vent piece into the rounded top portion.

    As mentioed in other posts, some suitable vessels other than a mail box include; metal toolbox, metal ammo can, etc. Basically anything that is the rough size of a mailbox and has some kind of lid for easy access to the AMPS.
     
  8. Does the mailbox get hot at all?  I'm going to do this soon and I am trying to figure out the best place to put it, My smoker stand is wood.  I was thinking maybe just set it on a brick to keep it away from combustibles?
     
  9. It gets warm. I would say not hot enough to cause any issues. You might have to give it a try and see.
     
  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Maybe 1 Tbs. of pellets are "burning" at one time... that doesn't create much heat.... and depending on the MB used, there is an air gap on the bottom for insulation....
     
  11. Thanks guys, just don't want to be on an episode of Never Ever Do This At Home. 
     
  12. Just to follow-up I got my mailbox all set up last night and just experimented a bit on an empty smoker.  The top of the box right over the spot that is burning in the tray gets pretty warm, but I could still rest my hand on it for 10+ seconds.  The bottom stays cool to the touch, and the sides only slightly warm.  It works awesome with heat, but draw with cold smoking seems lacking, smoke seems to pool in the bottom of the smoker, like when I open the door there is very dense smoke about halfway up from the bottom then it thins out towards the top, and only barely wisps out the vent. I tried fanning the door it mostly puffed back through the box, I eventually put the shop vac near the vent when nothing was coming out after 5 minutes and got some air moving it seemed to help.  
     
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Is the top vent wide open ???? If so, you need to fire up the smoker for a bit to warm it up.... that will start the draft " chimney effect" and everything will be fine....
    With the top of the MB warm or almost hot, there is no air flow.... air flow is a MUST HAVE.....

    Post pictures of you complete set up....
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
  14. Did you drill holes in your door?  Mine only has 4 small screw holes in the floor.  I'll try to get pics tonight.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
  15. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you look at the previous posts, you will see my set up..... post 6......
     
  16. You need to have a whole in the door of the mailbox for sure if you have not done so already. That will help with the draft for sure. I drilled one 3/4" hole in the ceneter of the door on mine as suggested in other Mailbox Mod threads.

    Also, make sure the mailbox is below the chip loader hole (where the dryer vent enters the MES) as much as possilble to help with the drafting effect. Make sure you dont have any sharp bends or bellies in the dryer vent either. You want as smooth of a flow as possible. Let us know what you come up with.
     
  17. Just a quick question, I looked at the mail boxes at home depot and lowes and they seem to be galvanized. Where are you finding non galvanized ones because of the heat factor....Thanks
     
  18. Yep, I missed drilling the door hole[​IMG].  The box is below the chip loader hole, I tried to keep the flex pipe as short as possible, its less than 18" long and it does make a smooth upsweeping 90 degree turn into the smoker.  I think my problem was air flow.

    I'm going to drill two or three like Dave's setup and use fridge magnets to adjust flow as required.
     
  19. Mine I got from Lowe's it is galv steel I'm pretty sure, but I'm not that worried.  If the mailbox is exceeding 700* to start vapourizing zinc I've got worse problems.  The ducting is galv too, its not touching food or getting seriously hot so me personally, I'm not concerned, but Lowes or HD does have aluminum I saw for a bit more money.  IF you were constructing something inside the smoker itself, very close to the element for instance, I would and have used stainless sheet.
     
  20. Nightrod and Mr. DaveOmak thanks for your help. I drilled 3 x 1/2" holes in the door and it drafts perfect now without heat.
     

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