One more "Mail Box Mod" for the AMNPS and the MES30 ...NEW PICTURES FOR ATTACHING ELBOW TO MAILBOX

Discussion in 'Slicers, Grinders, Tools, Equipment' started by daveomak, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. OK guys! ... and Todd J ... I hope you can chime in on this one!

    I was totally jazzed to receive my Christmas presents of:  an AMNPS and an aluminum mailbox!!  Wow!

    So, I assembled all the necessary parts, modified my electric smoker (Todd J says it's similar to an MES analog) ... and set-er up to smoke a venison tenderloin and some ABTs!

    Well, seems like there are a few tweaks needed to get this working properly.

    First off, I drilled 3 holes (about 1/2") in the bottom of the smoker near the drip pan (as per Todd J's instructions).

    Then, I drilled 3 - 3/4" holes in the door of the mailbox and in the back of the MES knock-off.

    As you can see I connected the mailbox smoke chamber to the MES knock-off with 3" duct.

    The problem is that the smoke from the AMNPS doesn't draw out of the mailbox and up and into the the smoker.  Actually it back-drafts a ton! ... even with the doorof the mailbox open, it doesn't pull the smoke into the smoker.  Do I need more heat? (I saw some guys talking about that issue).  Do I need more holes (actually I plugged the holes in the bottom of the mailbox 'cause the smoke was pouring out of those also.  I'd prefer not to have to hook up a fan or air pump ... in my mind, I'm thinking it should draw fine.

    Any and all suggestions are welcome!  (oh, and the tenderloin turned out great anyway ... as did the ABTs!!  I simply put the AMNPS inside the smoker and let-er  go!)

    Thanks!  ... The Wisconsin White Rhino!





     
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
  3. dwsmith43

    dwsmith43 Fire Starter

    Love the mailbox mod. I have a question about sufficient exhaust from the smoker. I saw a video of mailbox in action and noticed an extension using a soup can. My question is, do I cut out the butterfly control on top? Don't want stagnant smoke kissing the meat.
     
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    In the MES 30, the extension helps with the "chimney" effect and keeps the wind from blowing "down into" the smoker... The exhaust on the MES 30 is sufficient... the video is "maybe" the one I did.... With the heat on, exh. ext., and chip tube, chip tray removed, the MES 30 breathes better than most Chinese built smokers... Leave the butterfly in place...

    Dave
     
  5. dwsmith43

    dwsmith43 Fire Starter

    Thanks Dave. Yes it was your video i'm pretty sure. I have learned so much from this site. I have the mes with the window. Going to do the mailbox, already have the AMPS. Will use a swivel exhaust pipe to aid in wind direction adjustments. Does anyone know a link to bypassing the thermostat control and using a infinite switch? Dont really like the ups and downs my mes has.
     
  6. With the distinct lack of mailboxes in the UK, is there a recommended size for a box to be fabricated? My father in law is a welder and I've got some plate that will do the job nicely to get this made and plumbed into the fridge conversion.
     
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Lunch pails, ammo tins, tool boxes, bread box...... about anything will work.... air in one end, exhaust out the other.... prevents recirculating smoke choking the burn process....
     
  8. bayil7

    bayil7 Newbie

    Thank you Dave for this thread. I plan to test run my mailbox mod tomorrow (Thursday) with chicken, and have a few questions for the community:

    In attempting the mailbox mod I have noticed the the 3” elbow seems to just sit in the hole rather loose as there is a “fin?” that comes down from the top. I forces you to put the chip loader in right side up. Are you bending the end of the elbow to somehow fit under the fin, or just leaving the elbow in the hole as tight as you can get it?

    The mailbox has a metal flag, but it is attached by plastic parts. Should I remove the flag and plastic for safety, or do you think it will be alright?

    Should I season the elbows before using them? If so, should I also season the mailbox somehow?


    Quick note: I got a MES 30 for Christmas, and broke it in last weekend with some pulled pork. This weekend is my boy’s birthday and I plan to smoke some chickens and brisket for his parties. I have many questions heading into this weekend, and will try to post each question is it’s proper place. After which I will try to cross link the posts in case anyone is interested.

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/157604/questions-before-first-brisket-smoke

    http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/74461/martini-poultry-brine#post_1133803
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Can you cut a slot in the elbow to fit past the indexing notch.... That might work..... Dave
     
  10. bayil7

    bayil7 Newbie

    Sure I could. Is that what you guys had to do? My thinking is that cutting it with snips might be less effective than doing it right, but maybe that is how it's supposed to be.
     
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have the old MES 30 and don't remember what I did.... I do know the crimped end of the elbow was visible inside the smoker and I attached a short piece of the flex tube to it... and put a clamp on it... That was to move the smoke to the center of the smoke.... Here are pics of the elbow inside the smoker..... Looking at the pic, there are screws visible.... I must have removed the "notch" when the rest of the stuff was removed....

    ,,,click on pics to enlarge.....
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
  12. bayil7

    bayil7 Newbie

    You are so right. I pulled out the whole thing and it went in like a charm. I also cut a short tube to extend the smoke into the middle of the MES. I don't have anything to cover the heating element except the drip pan. I hope that for now. I have some leftover tubing that I might be able to use if I can just find a way to use some wire or something to hold it above the element. 

    I wasn't sure about the TBS. After getting everything going I ended up taping up the flag hole on the mailbox, and slowly closing the top vent in the smoker almost all the way. To me the smoke still seemed a bit on the white side. I took a video of it to see what you guys thought. However when I went to check on it just now, it was definitely blowing TBS. I'm not sure what really changed, but maybe that will come from more experience. Thanks.

    PS. I noticed that the chicken seems to going up in temp rather fast. When I put the chicken in I put one prob of my Maverick into a bird thigh, and one in the box for the true box temp. The bird as 38 degrees when it went in. Now it is at 138 degrees in about an hour and fifteen minutes. The MES thermometer says that it is at 275, and the Maverick says it is 255. Is this normal for smoking chicken, or is it more likely that I have the probe in the wrong place?

     
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member






    Can you slide the chip tray back in to it's original position......

    Leave the top vent fully open when smoking.... or your food will taste like [email protected]
     
  14. bayil7

    bayil7 Newbie

    Did you think that the video was what I thought was TBS? No that was the one I took to have you guys look at to confirm that I wasn’t getting TBS. I was getting bellowing white smoke after first lighting my AMNPS and starting the warm up. Slowly closing some holes in the mailbox and most of the vent at the top had reduced it down to that, but I was hesitant to close it further. I then took the video to ask for help, fiddled around a bit trying to find out how to get a video in my post, went to check on my son, and walked by the smoker when I saw it, TBS!

    When I first looked I thought that the AMNPS had gone out. At the wrong angles it could be very hard to see. I was definitely thin, faintly blue, and certainly not the white smoke of the video. Maybe I just didn’t give the last adjustments enough time, or maybe there was something else that I am missing. The TBS continued until my wife took the chicken off the smoker and turned it off.

    This brings up another thing I love about this smoker and mod. I can feel comfortable leaving my wife to tend to things (today I had to run into work for a bit) and not be worried. Once I had the temps I wanted and TBS I had no problem giving her the remotes and leaving the house.

    I am loving this smoker and mod. Thank you guys for all your help.

    Bayli7
     
  15. what does this mod do to the top end temperature on the mes with this higher amount of air/smoke into the smoker?  275 deg  and up!
     
  16. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I generally don't add smoke above 140 degrees F.... You need a good air flow for good smoke flavor in the meat... The MES won't go above 275..... I generally don't operate the MES above 210 deg F....
     
  17. Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
  18. Thanks Dave.  I normally run my temp at 225 if I am doing a 10 t0 12 lb. brisket with full smoke going. Then after about 3 hours smoking, smoke goes away and I wrap the meat in foil (am going to try butchers paper) and finish cook till about 1 1/2 hours per lb. 

    My question is still how does the larger intake hole and exhaust hole (effect/affect)   the temperature in the smoker? Does the larger air flow cool off the smoker a little, none at all or a lot??
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
  19. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Cools it off a little....... After the smoke up to 140 ish degs.... then I up the smoker temp.... The holes in the MB mod, don't increase the air flow a bunch.... consider the flex duct and it's length... all the friction in the entire system.... What little increase in air flow, is very good.... In my opinion, the MES didn't have enough air flow to begin with.... Check the color of these 2 butts I did last week... 6 hours of smoke... smooth flavor... no acrid bite.... But that's the way I prefer to smoke stuff....

    ....click on pic to enlarge.....
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014

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