MES Mailbox Mod! for use with AMNPS

Discussion in 'Masterbuilt Electric Smoker (MES) Owners' started by chrisblunck, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. bgolden49

    bgolden49 Fire Starter

    Imagine that hooked to the bottom vent of my Weber kettle grill as well ....[​IMG]
  2. Did the mailbox mod.

    An $8 aluminum mailbox from Amazon, 2 adjustable elbows, some silver tape and 4 ' of flex duct.

    Drilled a small hole in front of box for airflow and mounted box on brackets attached to my 'smoker stand' (old dorm fridge)

    Did a cold smoke to season the box and I got 5 hours of lovely smoke on only 2 rows on AMNPS.

    Looking forward to much better internal temp control on MES, and better taste due to less creosote from AMNPS.

    Previously, I had noticed a bitter taste on cold smoked cheeses, especially the hard cheeses, and the cheese above the AMNPS always melted slightly.

    This should solve that issue.

    AND, more room for stuff in my stand, since the wood chips will be gone!

    Many Thanks to Mr T 59874  for his suggestions on an external smoke generator for my cheese smokes!

    And Thanks to chrisblunck  and the other contributors on this thread and others on the Mailbox Mod!

  3. What is the diameter of your "small hole"? I see one of these in my near future.
  4. victor

    victor Fire Starter

    Try it before you drill any holes. I was only getting 7 1/2 hours of smoke time with my box. I was barely cracking the door open, and left the small oblong hole on the bottom of the box near the back wall uncovered. I park my tray at the back wall of the box over that hole.

    After covering the small oblong hole on the bottom of the box, and closing the door all the way, I am now getting very close to 10 hours of smoke.

    My mailbox has gaps along both sides. I ty-wrapped both sides, and pretty much closed off the air intake there. There is also a gap at the front of the box under the door. I don't need to drill any holes at all, and have no problem keeping the pellets smoking. No hassle at all.

    I was going to put a butterfly vent on the front door, but not now.
  5. The hole is 3/4". The mailbox I got has almost no gap under door when it's closed and it has 4 or maybe 6 small screw holes in bottom.

    It just wasn't getting a good pull on a cold smoke. I'm sure when I use it with smoker turned on, it will draw better, and I may use the silver tape to fully or partially cover the hole?

    I experimented with the position of the AMNPS in the box, and it seemed like the best spot was about 3/4 of the way towards back.
  6. victor

    victor Fire Starter


    There is probably many variations of the ol mail box. It's all about tweaking whatever you have with your unique setup. The mailbox mod is really sweet! It's the perfect setup for a lot of people. And, it's inexpensive.
  7. victor

    victor Fire Starter

    Oh, I forgot. I've seen where some of the guys are using refrigerator magnets to adjust the air flow on the hole(s) on the box door. You might consider that.
  8. Not on an aluminum mailbox, which is what I have.
  9. solidbob

    solidbob Fire Starter

    Hi all. Just ordered my pellet smoker, excited to get it and try it out. I'm also about to do the mailbox mod on my MES 30 analog. Had a question about the size of the hole. Looks like most of you have done the 3" hole as that is the size of the hole in the MES with the side loader. I don't have that so I'll be drilling a clean hole in my MES as well as the mailbox. Would a smaller size work just as well, maybe just a 2"? I live in NYC so I don't have a lot of tools available. Heading to home depot today to pick up supplies. I haven't seen a lot of 3" hole saw bits, hopefully they'll have one. I have an old electric drill but it's on it's way out. Hopefully I can make it all work.

    Also, can you suggest any caulk or sealant for the holes? I saw the tabs someone did but to get a better seal, how did y'all attach the  flex to the mailbox and the MES?

  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Bob, morning..... I used 2 each, 3" aluminum elbows and aluminum flex... you can use 1 or 2 aluminum elbows.... however you can fit stuff up ...... I split the end of the elbow and inserted it in the hole with half of the tabs bent outward at 90 deg. then bent the tabs inside the MB to hold it in place.... I haven't used any sealer... seems to seal well enough but if you have leaks, use high temp silicone or aluminum high temp duct tape... and hose clamps on the flex.....

  11. solidbob

    solidbob Fire Starter

    Thanks! I went with the 3" pipe. Trying to do this stuff in NYC can be frustrating. Our Home Depot doesn't have everything. They had the elbows but not the actual flex pipe so I have to track that down. Also, as expected, they don't sell regular mailboxes in the city. Need to track down one of those or order one online. Got my AMNPS yesterday so I'm excited to get this done and try it out. Will report back.
  12. solidbob

    solidbob Fire Starter

    So finally got all the pieces needed for the mod. Took a bit of hitting up a few different stores. Mod was easy and went together quick. Got it all set up, seasoned my AMNPS, dried my pellets in the oven for awhile and did a little cleaning on my MES. Already kinda late in the day so I just threw some chicken breasts and wings in there to test it out. As far as I can tell, my pellets lit up pretty quick with the torch and are still smoking about 30 minutes in and I'm getting good smoke in the MES.

    Only things I see I might have to play with is maybe shortening the piece of flex pipe. All I could find was the dryer type stuff so it's easy to cut to length. Also, I have some high temp silicone seal I might use to seal the back of the mailbox. Sooner or later I might need to put some more vent holes near the top of the MES as it only has that small one in the back. But, so far so good. Thanks to everyone here for all the advice. Excited to fire this up Memorial Day weekend.

  13. Great Mods guys... [​IMG]
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looking good...... have you tried gravel or sand in the water pan for a heat deflector/thermal mass...... I use it and it sure helps in my MES 30....

  15. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Just saw this mailbox mod by Tomzo in another thread and it was kind of a "Duh, why didn't I think of that?" kind of moment.

    Skip the flex hose/tubing and just add legs to the mailbox so that it lines up directly.
    broilerking and maxgunner like this.
  16. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The flex hose helps to cool the smoke if needed.....
    demosthenes9 and denmo like this.
  17. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Good point.
  18. Plus you can raise the flag to tell you that you are smoking something... You know in case your nose isn't working. [​IMG]
  19. scott forman

    scott forman Newbie

    I've had all kinds of trouble keeping my AMNPS going during hot smokes.  I swear it worked when I first got it but for a long time it hasn't and always snuffs out.  So, I decided to finally do this!! Cost about $45 and about 2 hours of time including going to Lowes.

    I added a PC fan at the back to draw air through and hacked an old wall wart for power.

    Doing a test run today with the smoker at 225 and the pellets going!  Hopefully it works, sure seems like it will!

    The tubing comes apart easily, but I may have to get a coupler and try the leg idea!
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
  20. scott forman

    scott forman Newbie

    Lesson learned, don't put the tray close to the fan!  As the pellets at the rear of the tray started to burn the fan caused them to catch fire.

    After this I put in a new fan then placed the tray more towards the front and it's running perfect!

    bradt35 likes this.

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