Big Chief with mailbox mod for cold smoking

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Mar 8, 2018
I used to have a MES30 with mailbox mod that I used for cold smoking cheese, bacon and lonzino. But I gave it to a friend when I got a Smokin-It #3. Tried to use the #3 for cold smoking, but it is to well insulated and I want to keep it stock, so don't want to modify. The Bella smoke generator still puts too much heat in for cold smoking in the #3. Everything I tried was a lot of work and a compromise.

So after brainstorming I remembered how my first smoker, a Little Chief never got very hot. So I bought a front loading Big Chief for $20 off of Craigslist and modified it for a mailbox mod on a BBQ cart I couldn't make myself through away. Smoked some sausages yesterday and temp only got 5 deg above ambient. Works very well for cheese too, gets nice color and no melting at 75 deg ambient.

What I needed: Salvaged BBQ cart, Big Chief smoker, small wall mount mailbox, 1 1/2 in brass kitchen sink drain extension and nut, 1 1/2 in brass sink drain with flange and nut, scrap 2 in flat metal ( I had aluminum), red gasket sealer, 1 1/4 in rubber pipe connection, various screws, nuts and bolts.
Here's what I did:
1. Removed the hot plate element.
2. Drilled a 1 1/2 in hole centered in the floor of Big Chief.
3. Put Big Chief on a stainless BBQ cart that I had salvaged from a grill I had.
4. Marked hole location on top of the cart where I put the Big Chief and drilled 2 in hole in top of cart.
5. Drilled a 1 1/2 in hole in front of mailbox towards the back. Placement of hole matched where I held the mailbox up to drilled hole on cart top and allowed lid on mailbox to open.
6. Cut 2 in flat stock in 3 in pieces. Marked center and drilled 1 1/4 in hole in one piece and 1 1/2 hole in other. Then drilled 1/8 in holes in 4 corners for bolts to mount to pipe onto mailbox.
7. Marked and drilled holes to mount the drain pipe onto mailbox. Bolted piped onto mailbox and sealed with red gasket sealer.
8. Positioned mailbox as far down cart as possible and still have access to open lid of mailbox.
9. Trimmed extension pipe almost flush with inside of Big Chief.
10. Put rubber pipe connection through hole in Big Chief floor and over the drain pipe, no need to use sealer.
11. Put Amazn grate in mailbox and light pellets- WORKS !!.


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