Hi all, haven't posted very much lately. Smoking meats in NYC is very much a seasonal venture. I'm going to be doing some pork shoulder for a charity event at my local bar coming up and was hoping to pick y'alls brains on my smoker set up. I've searched through a lot of the threads and haven't come across my particular situation but close.
I'm pretty confident in my rub and actually cooking the shoulders but I really want to up my smoke game and get a lot of smoke into these things. Right now, my set up is the MES 30 Analog with the mailbox mod. I have the mailbox vent going into the MES on the bottom right, right above the heat coils. There's probably about a foot and a half of vent pipe coming out the back of the mailbox into the MES.
I'm also using the AMNPS with either pellets or dust. (I just ordered the 12" tube smoker to experiment further) Some of it burns better than others. i've generally had some luck keeping the pellets and dust smoking but I have had to do some relighting. So I'm looking for some advice on my airflow mostly. I keep the pellets/dust dry or microwave for a bit before lighting.
I have my mailbox sitting on two cinder blocks, about 8" from the ground so air can get under it. Besides the mounting holes in the bottom, I drilled about 5 or 6 small (1/4"??) holes in the front door to get air in. I noticed a lot of you have bigger holes. Have you found this made a huge difference? Recommend 1/2" or 3/4" holes?
As for the actual MES box - the analog box only has one pretty small (1/2") hole in the top right back for ventilation. Would you recommend making a bigger hole or another side vent on the top side? Would I get better airflow, maybe pulling the smoke out of the mailbox better? I see some of you have that 2" or 3" hole with the elbow vent on the side or top. You think this would help airflow a lot better than the one small hole?
Inside the MES I have the water tray and chip box filled with sand to hold heat. I have both of those covered with foil to keep them cleaner. Using a pan on the bottom shelf to collect drippings.
Here's a pic of my setup. Note: I shortened the vent pipe by probably half since this pic was taken.