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where to place duct on my version of mailbox mod

jwilson48

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i just can't convince myself to use anything galvanized in my food cooking. love the idea and simplicity of the mailbox mod but i worry too much about long term exposure. as such, i am building it with a small portable grill instead. its a $10 grill on walmart.com

here's the link https://www.walmart.com/ip/Expert-Grill-14-5-Portable-Charcoal-Grill-Spicy-Lime/568271854

where should i install the 90 that connects to the flex duct? i assume where the grill's vent is located would be fine but wanted to know what y'all thought. i plan on using the tube style for pellets rather than the maze as i already have it. thanks
 

SonnyE

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Ohh, Spicy Lime!
Sounds like a good idea, the price is very nice.

I would use the existing vent. And if it has a damper, I'd see if it could be kept functional.

Ya know, it wouldn't be to far fetched to use ~3 brickettes, and chips or even a chunk to get your smoke.
The only draw back for me is I'd prefer electric. So I wanted to go with Masterbuilt Electric Slow Smoker. Claims up to 6 hours from a single loading.
I think your idea is more versatile, fuel wise. Makes a lot of sense.

If/when you get it together, Please post your set-up!
 

jwilson48

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Lol the spicy lime was the only color they had for $10. Function over style right? I can post pics when I'm done for sure. I was gonna go with the thing you have but some owners of it said it would sometimes hang up the chips and stop smoking and the whole idea for me of doing this vs the chip tray it comes with is so I don't have to babysit it anymore. If I need to smoke overnight or when its rainy I don't want to keep running out to check on it. Probably not a big deal as they have rave reviews and clearly better than the smoker without it. I will see if I can keep the exhaust vent functioning when I put it together that's a great idea!
 

daveomak

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I'm paranoid also when it comes to my granddaughters..
and using the flex duct adds more area to condense creosote... works awesome...
 

johnmeyer

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I used a food-grade popcorn tin. I've linked to it so many times, I won't do it again here.

I like your idea a lot more than mine because your device will let you use more than just the AMNPS as the smoke source. Definitely use the existing vent. I would just drill a few holes around the outside of the vent, enlarge them to slits with a scroll saw, and then stuff the duct tabs into those. You don't need a perfect fit because you will have negative air pressure when the thing is operating, and air will be pulled into the vent rather than having smoke exit it.

I also like the price: $9.96!! That is, by far, the cheapest "mailbox" I've seen (other than those made from material already on hand). It's actually amazing that they can sell a complete (albeit tiny) grill for that price.

This may be the best mailbox mod idea yet.
 

SonnyE

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I was having a conversation with a Friend, and mentioned your Spicy Lime Mod.
It came to me that if you can swing two, put two AMNPS trays on the grill for lots of air access, but put the end hole and the start hole of the two together so the burn breeches from first to second (Hole to hole).
I'm not sure how you might want to deal with a lid vent, But, I was wondering about a side vent that turned up, so you could easily open the lid if you wanted without disconnecting a pipe or dryer hose to do so.

I'm faced with a way to make mine work as two separate units, Smoke generator box, and MES smoker box. Separate units so I don't have to fiddle with intermittent smoke from the OEM chip tray. :mad:
As it is, I don't like the lack of smoke and intermittent heat to the chips. So I can see the need for different controls, without relying on the MES heating to bring on the smoke.
Your Spicy Lime Mod appeals to me as a Smoke Generator.

I got a great tasting first smoke today. But the exiting smoke was virtually invisible.
It wasn't TBS, it was scratch and sniff. And only the first load of chips burned up, the second went back in the can later.
And this was running my MES at 200*, which was too hot in my opinion for smoking Salmon. Turned into about 3 hours, what with me fiddling around.

A change is gonna come. :rolleyes:
 

jwilson48

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Glad you guys like the idea. Here it is all set up. Ignore the fact that I haven't cleaned my deck off since last summer. I ended up just cutting the existing vent off as it was freezing rain and cold all day and I didn't want to spend an extra second working on it more than necessary. I must say it is working great and 10 lbs of snack sticks are nearly done. The lid opens and closes just fine without unhooking anything. I'm using the tube smoker but have the maze style on the way to try. Also ignore the fact the maverick and mes show such different temps. I just put the maverick in and it hadn't raised up yet. Assuming the smoker temp gauge and maverick are both accurate (I'm sure they aren't) I'm averaging about 5-10 degree difference between the top and bottom of the smoker. I have checked the maverick in boiling water with the food probe and it was good but didn't the bbq probe for some reason.
 

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dr k

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That is a great price on the mini grill. If the color isn't your style, high temp black flat spray paint works great and you can touch up your smoker over the years if needed.
 

jwilson48

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That is a great price on the mini grill. If the color isn't your style, high temp black flat spray paint works great and you can touch up your smoker over the years if needed.
They did have other colors for $14. The color doesn't bother me so I saved the $4 and got spicy lime. Glad I did now as I can't think of a better name for a MES mod than the Spicy Lime Mod!
Snack sticks came out great now 10 lbs of summer sausage is in
 

johnmeyer

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I really, really like the final result. If my popcorn tin ever rots out, I'm getting what you have. If I ever do get it, I'll want to experiment using real wood in order to get smoke without any binders, etc. (although Todd's pellets supposedly don't use any non-wood binders).

As for temps, given everything I've read about the MES thermometer, I'd pretty much ignore it. The Maverick is usually very, very accurate, and I would base my cooking on what it tells you. Also, as I'm sure you know, you can easily test the Maverick by placing it in distilled water with crushed ice, which should give you 32F, and then in boiling distilled water which, at sea level, should give you 212F. The distilled water is not too important for the 32F test, but is quite important for the boiling test. The boiling point can be different if you have hard water, or if you have other impurities. With impurities, the water boiling point can increase by 1-3 degrees F.
 

SonnyE

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That is just Great!
The most appealing thing, besides the price, is the capability of different fuels.
Of course the Maze or Tube smokers from A-maze-n.
But a few Charcoal Briquettes, or your choice of Lump charcoal, and some chips. Tree branches, chunks from anywhere.
Unlimited possibilities.
And the snap lock handle to hold the lid.

The only thing to worry about is Aliens stealing it.
ET goes home in a spiffy Spicey Lime spacecraft.

Back to Walmart for a replacement...

 

dr k

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They did have other colors for $14. The color doesn't bother me so I saved the $4 and got spicy lime. Glad I did now as I can't think of a better name for a MES mod than the Spicy Lime Mod!
Snack sticks came out great now 10 lbs of summer sausage is in
I saw the black online before the Spicey Lime. Being so low to the ground the Spicey Lime stands out so no one kicks it. This should be the go to solution since it has more uses. What did you do to the top vent to fit the elbow? Just curious if it's harder to cut than the mailbox with tin snips. Was there a rivet to drill out to remove the top damper?
 

jwilson48

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the top damper isn't on when you buy it. it is meant to be installed with a screw and wing nut. I just used my die grinder to cut a star shaped pattern and needle nose pliers to pry them away from the center. Stick the vent elbow in, pry them back to hold in place, and aluminum tape to seal/cover the star of death jagged edges. I'm sure there is a better way, but it was quick, easy, and simple enough I could do it in the freezing rain!
 

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