Originally Posted by Rings R Us
Is there reasoning behind some people's mailbox mod having greater length of pipe to cooker? Some better filtered and a more "PURE" smoke delivery? (As opposed to being in the cooker or using a short span of pipe)
Yes. Creosote condenses as high as 250*F. So short pipe is fine for hot smoking because the smoke that touches the mailbox instantly attracts the heavier bitter undesirable volatiles out of the smoke before going one foot to the smoker. So longer pipe is great for cold smoking, because your cheese etc. is the coolest thing coming out of the fridge or room temperature, and through thermoforesis where particulates gravitate to cooler surfaces in a warmer environment, smoke jumps all over the cooler surfaces faster and for a longer period of time than hot smoking. So with hot smoking, after your food surface heats up your getting less smoke attraction than cold smoking with both having the same length of pipe for the same duration. Unless you spritz the hot smoked meat for the evaporative cooling effect, attracting smoke. This debunks the myth that after so much time in the hot smoker that food cooks and can't attract smoke. Smoke doesn't penetrate deeply into meat so you can spritz to cool the surface of meat to the point that the bark attracts so much smoke that it's inedible. In the Fall, Winter and Spring with the mailbox sticking out of the side of the smoker with no pipe extensions the mailbox inside surface condenses heavier incompletely burned volatiles in smoke that no pipe is needed but to connect to the smoker and still have black condensation dripping from the mailbox. Mr T has great cold smoking tips. Put a bag of ice on your mailbox and/or piping, not in with the food your smoking. Also, don't cold smoke in an insulated box like the Mes. Do the exact opposite and use your grill in the shade to absorb heat not contain it in an insulated box that cuts your cold smoking time in half before cheese starts sweating at 80*F or so. I've mentioned this many times that I'm not using my Mes as intended for smoke generation so for safety reasons, not warranty, I produce smoke away from the proximity of heat (heating element) and more fuel (grease drippings) = fire. Some people say that mailboxes are only for mail but it's way more time installing a mailbox for it's intended purpose than a mailbox mod for a smoker. With hot smoking with a mailbox mod on a long pipe, you may loose flavor you may like compared to having just enough pipe to connect to the smoker. Keep it simple and go from there $20.00. In the pic below I use my deck stairs to lay the aluminum flex pipe on between my mailbox mod and grill for a natural convection just from the heat from the smoke.
There is no right or wrong. It's what you like. When it comes to safety I believe there are right and wrong ways to generate smoke from the disasters I've read about So this is my preferred smoking style with the Mes.