1. Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Looking into building a mail box mod.

Discussion in 'Info and Practices' started by Steve H, Dec 5, 2018 at 3:45 AM.

  1. Steve H

    Steve H Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Thanks to my wife I'm going to be smoking about 15 pounds (or more) of cheese for gifts. I'll be using my gas smoker as the cabinet. But the A-Maze-N tray has a hard time staying lit. I've seen people here use a computer fan, or a muffin fan. But I am concerned that it would provide too much air and maybe ignite the pellets. So I got a 120VAC muffin fan. And wired a motor rated speed control to it. I think this will do the trick. I'll find out soon enough!

    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018 at 3:51 AM
  2. Fgignac

    Fgignac Fire Starter

    I've been thinking of putting together something similar so I will be interested in seeing how it turns out.

    If it works well maybe you could post some pictures of the setup so I can see how you went about it.

    Good luck!
  3. I have a 10 cfm fan I've placed on top of the 3" vent 90 I put on the exhaust of my MES 30 as a wind block when cold smoking cheese. Sometimes when cold smoking there is not enough heat to induce a natural draft so a mechanical draft is needed. I also use a mailbox mod and the pellets I have yet to ignite.

    The rheostat is for dialing down the fan but in a pinch simply taping over some of the face of the fan will restrict the amount of air it'll move.
  4. Winterrider

    Winterrider Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I have MES 40 and going to smoke some cheese for the 1st time. Is there not really enough airflow to keep a tray of dust going in a mailbox mod without assistance? I do have Auber PID, which I don't know yet if I could set that at about 45 degree if that would help (if goes that low)?
  5. More often than not there is enough natural draft to keep air flowing. I ran into problems when cold smoking in the summer with ice in the MES to keep the interior cool. With a cold mass of air in the MES the small amount of heat generated in the mailbox mods was not enough to induce a draft.

    If you are having trouble inducing a draft then yes you can turn on the heater inside the smoker to 60 or 70 degrees. As long as the air inside the smoker is warmer than the air outside the smoker it'll rise and a draft will be induced.
  6. Winterrider

    Winterrider Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, I'll try the low heat before more mods 20181102_144216.jpg
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  8. Steve H

    Steve H Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Morning, and thanks Dave. I was thinking of using the mail box mod. I'll be attaching the fan to the front of the mail box. And have a hose coming from the back of the mail box going through the bottom door of my smoker. If I'm doing it this way I shouldn't be concerned with the pellets going out. Or with drafting concerns.....I hope!
  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If the smoke enters below the burner, the flame will consume it... hence, no smoke.....
    Flame is a tool used to eliminate pollutants..... Ever notice no smoke when a fire is burning good ??
  10. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I just use Dust, instead of Pellets.
    Then I put a Jug of Frozen Water in to cool it down.
    Below is my old MES 30 set up for Cheese:


    I would think Since a Gasser is hard to keep the Temp down, you could just use an amazing smoker in there without the smoker turned on, and get enough warmth for smoking cheese. (Without Ice)

  11. Steve H

    Steve H Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Oh, I understand what you're saying. I should have made myself clearer. This will be used for cold smoking only. The burner in my smoker will not be lit.
  12. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Master of the Pit

    That fan, even if slowed way down, is probably going to produce way too much air. I'm not sure you'd ever get much smoke concentration because all that air will dilute the smoke.
  13. Braz

    Braz Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I use a computer fan and run it through a voltage controller to vary the sped. I have also raised it up a bit so it doesn't pull the smoke out too fast. Run an AMNPS for cold smoke.
    Steve H and 5GRILLZNTN like this.
  14. Steve H

    Steve H Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I think this will work. On low speed you can see the blades rotating clearly with no blur. And not pushing air hardly at all. But, we'll see.
  15. Steve H

    Steve H Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    That's interesting. And you're drafting enough to keep the tray burning good? That maybe the better, and cheaper, way to go. If I keep the bottom door to my smoker open to allow air to flow that might work well.
  16. Braz

    Braz Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    No problem keeping the pellets burning. I have this setup in an MES and have a sheet of aluminum laying on the bottom tray which extends about 2/3 of the way from R to L. This serves to direct the air from the intake on the lower right of the box to the pellet tray on the left. It would be pretty easy to devise some ducting to move the air flow where you want it. For cold smoking you could even use cardboard.
  17. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit

    I do something similar to Braz. I copied a large design another member had but I made it small and it works great!
    Another benefit of having the fan over the vent to cause draft to suck air/smoke up and out of your smoker is that you greatly reduce the chances of having stale smoke when you cold smoke.

    I was getting a little stale smoke on my salmon lox cold smokes that would go away with letting the meat mellow out in the fridge for a day or two. I created my little cold smoking assist device and BAM, stale smoke issue went away AND I had no more issues with my pellets staying lit in my Mailbox Mod.

    My device simply blows up a chimney that I place over my MES vent and that causes all the draft I need for cold smoking.
    Here is what my computer fan based cold smoking assist device looks like:

    Best of luck and I hope this info helps! :)