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Mailbox Mod For 30" MES Questions

michaelj

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Joined Oct 8, 2011
I've completed the mod and still having issues with my AMPS not staying lit for more than 30 min.  Now that the AMPS is in the mailbox, can I use the water pan?  Using the mailbox mod should I remove the chip tray (chip loader is removed)?  I'm assuming my vent on the top of the smoker remains fully open, right?  I've been using "Pitmaster's Choice" pellets, should I try a different wood to see if it burns longer? Last question, I've drilled 3 1" holes in the door of the mailbox.  I figured that should be enough to keep a draft going, but I'm interested in what others have to say.
 

daveomak

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Michael, evening.....  If I knew where you lived the answer would be easier.....    Dry the pellets...  I dry mine at 275, in the smoker in an aluminum pie tine for a couple hours while the smoker heats up and gets sterile....  

Water pan is fine if you think you really need it...  mine is full of gravel for a thermal mass.... 

Dave
 

michaelj

Newbie
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10
Joined Oct 8, 2011
Spokane, Washington, the great northwest.  I've heard some say that there's enough moisture from the meat, so a water pan isn't necessary.  I've nuked them, heated them and not done anything at all with the pellets with the same results.  There was one time when it worked as advertised and it kept going even after I was done smoking.  Frustrating part is I don't know what I did right.  Planning to do a couple of pork butts on sunday.  Going to try different methods that I've read about here tomorrow to figure out my AMPS.  Any idea about the chip tray?
 

daveomak

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Michael, morning.....  The chip tray can block the air flow, try removing it when using the MailBox mod...  mine is taken out and it works good....   I do, at times, have to relight it....  It's always due to damp pellets...    Dave
 

michaelj

Newbie
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10
Joined Oct 8, 2011
Good to know.  I will be doing some trial runs today, without the chip tray and I'll let you know my results.  Thanks so much for your advice!
 

michaelj

Newbie
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10
Joined Oct 8, 2011
That seemed to do the trick.  No chip tray and baking the pellets.  The AMPS went 5+ hours on the dry run I did today.  Keeping fingers crossed for tomorrow for the pork butts.
 

daveomak

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Fingers crossed here too....
 

michaelj

Newbie
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Joined Oct 8, 2011
They turned out awesome!  The AMPS worked as advertised with the pellets in the oven first.  Loving the mailbox mod as well.  Thanks again for setting me on the right path.
 

daveomak

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Another satisfied customer....   Glad to hear everything is running smoothly....    Dave...    
 

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