Mailbox mod

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by murdermode, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. murdermode

    murdermode Fire Starter

    I know this has been beat to death and I know you will all say use the search bar to find out. I have done that and I have come upon many many many builds. None of them tell me how to do it though. The ones o find are all just built already. I realize I just need a mailbox and some ducting and an AMNPS. But do I need to cut holes in the mailbox for airflow? Do I have to rip out the chip leader in my MES? Do I have to drill a hole in te top for more airflow? Is what's there good enough? Does it raise or lower the temp? Will cooking times change? I have no idea where to start other than getting a mailbox and and some dryer ducting.
  2. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yes, the mailbox will need holes for intake air flow.  You can then just duct it to the chip loader hole (take out the chip loader of course).  You don't have to modify the MES at all.  Existing exhaust vent should be fine.  Just keep the mailbox low, and drill your air intake holes low and your mailbox exhaust tube opening high.  You want the air to flow at or below and beneath the pellet tray and and then travel upwards to the exhaust and tube to the MES. That will get the smoke rising and the chimney effect inside the MES will take over from there (chimney effect = heat rises, even if it's just the heat from the pellet tray).

    One trick I remember seeing was to use those magnetic fridge advertising stickers they give away as an adjustable damper on the holes in the mailbox (assuming you have one made from a metal that is magnetic).  I can't remember who came up with that idea, but it is simple and just a great idea.

    Here are a few other threads (most with photos) to give you more info.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  3. murdermode

    murdermode Fire Starter

    So would it be a good idea to drill the holes in the bottom of the mailbox and set off the ground a few niches and have the air rise straight up thought the pellets then? Then a hole in the top back of the mailbox then raise the smoker up over the mailbox and just let it go?
  4. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I took the whole chip tray and housing out of mine.

    You can see I drilled a 1" hole on the front of my mailbox and I use a fridge magnet to control the airflow. Real simple.

  5. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

  6. Nice,       Does the flag on the mail box pop up when its done ???     LOL

  7. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Mine doesn't. It's probably a defective box.
  8. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I would not change anything inside the unit. You are changing the airflow and interior design and could create a hot spot.

    I took out the loader tube and attached the ducting to the outside wall (mine has three screws to hold the chip tray in that I used to help hold the duct).

    I would recomend testing it prior to dilling holes in the mailbox. The one I bought has plenty of mounting holes in it so it drafts just fine without any mods.

    It will not change any temps or times as the MES controller will regulate the temps the same as it did before.

    I don't have a good pic of mine but you can see below that I have it sitting lower than the unit to allow for a "chimney" affect to draw the air up and through the smoker. It works like a charm. I get about 3 hours of good TBS per row of pellets.

  9. hillbillyrkstr

    hillbillyrkstr Master of the Pit Group Lead

    I get 3-3 1/2 hours per row of pellets as well. It depends on how much of the hole I cover with the magnet.

    As far as removing the chip cover/holder I left mine in for about a half year. I decided to take it out one day and I haven't had any issues since doing that over a year ago. Just make sure to keep the heating element covered and you'll be fine.

    If removing the chip loader and other parts has you worried about "hot spots" Maddox Id suggest you running tests with a maverick on the left, center, and right of all four shelves in your mes. I guarantee you find hot spots just the way the smoker sits stock. Mine sure had them.

    I haven't done a lot of testing since I removed my chip loader but now you have me curious. Think I'll do just that.

    nice portable cart for that mes. Mine stays stationary in the barn or Id build one of those to.

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