I cut just a tiny bit past the line I drew around the 90 degree elbow to make sure the hole would be big enough. My elbow fit tight enough that the friction was sufficient to hold it in place. Typically, a mailbox (or other metal box) is situated next to or under the smoker and connected to the smoker's chip loader hole with aluminum dryer duct. You can download my SketchUp file for the dimensions. There's many ways to find the center, but remember that this doesn't have to be perfect and that the hole may be oval. However, there have been a few complaints of pellets going out or the pellets not burning right in the AMNPS, so you may still have to occasionally open the smoker if you have an AMNPS inside. This also makes it easy to secure the mailbox to the shelf. Get Masterbuilt® accessories for grills and smokers here. Next is the "guts" inside the smoker. The mailbox mod essentially moves the chip holder outside of the smoker. I have a Smoking Data Log sheet (xls spreadsheet format) available for download. The Masterbuilt Electric Smoker is a good smoker, but it may work better for you after completing the "mailbox mod".M/p> What's a "mailbox mod"? Most smokers have a chip loader, but sometimes it doesn't work well. To solve this you can position the front of the mailbox to hang off the front of the shelf, or you can raise the mailbox up about 1/2". I decided to use the dremel and a grout removal bit (that's the only bit I had that would work) to make the vent holes match the vent cover. I was also limited by my available tools. The water pan keeps almost all of the drippings off it. First, I built a simple stand. My process was limited to the materials I found on sale or had laying around. Zinc can make you sick and some people are concerned about using galvanized steel with food. After that the 90 degree elbow fit right in. This is a good time to cut the pointy ends off of the tabs, if you want to. The mailbox mod essentially moves the chip holder outside of the smoker. Next, use a duct clamp to connect the flexible duct. I was more concerned if the paint would tolerate the heat. I found this mailbox on sale for under $9. You may follow it to complete your own mailbox mod, or just get some ideas. High temp FDA gaskets & adhesives, hinges, handles grill grates hardware fire box basket baffle plate charcoal basket Completing the modifications was fairly cheap and easy. You simply fill it up, light it, set it inside your smoker and you don't have to worry about opening the door and adding more pellets. If you're having trouble with the chips in your smoker, I'd definitely recommend trying the mailbox mod. Some people have put an AMNPS inside a mailbox with great results. Now you have 8 lines. You may have heard the old saying, "If you're lookin, you aint' cookin". I've never used one, but people seem to really like them. Carefully fit the 90 degree elbow into the hole. Next I held the vent against the mailbox door, marked the center and drilled a hole. This will make a lot of very loud, annoying noise, so make sure to wear hearing protection. I started up the smoker and checked the draft after a couple minutes. What's a "mailbox mod"? You can try to bend them into the mailbox if you want a really nice look, but I suspect it's a lot more trouble than it's worth. Need a little extra something to truly master your outdoor cooking experience? Awesome brisket! The second elbow will slide right into the hole for the wood chip loader. Everything seems to be working great. Consequently, it can increase the required cooking time. Since this stuff isn't doing much anymore, I figured I'd take it out. Masterbuilt makes professional-grade smokers, fryers, cookers, grills and more. If the chips are inside the smoker, you may … Not perfect, but it'll work. Finally, draw 8 more lines half way between the existing lines. An alternative to a mailbox mod is using an A-MAZE-N AMNPS Maze Pellet Smoker. I put a cheap aluminum pan over the heating coil. Then I mounted the vent to the mailbox door with the bolt and nut. I used a pair of pliers to bend the tab up so it's flush with the rest of the vent. Try not to let the metal wrap around the dremel. I suspect that keeping the vent closer to the bottom of the door may help to keep the chips going. Then I drilled a hole in the center. You don't need to tighten it too much, just get it snug so the 90 degree elbow doesn't move. It's only held in my 2 screws and 1 bolt. You may contact me at kevin@kevinsworkbench.com, the FDA has approved galvanized steel to contact food, stable until it reaches almost 400 hundred degrees (F). This means the mailbox won't sit flush with whatever its sitting on when the door is opened. The nice thing about making this modification is that you can now use your smoker as a cold smoker as well as a hot smoker. My mailbox door will rotate down and extend under the bottom of the mailbox when it's opened. In retrospect I probably should have just drilled some vent holes and moved on. With the vent in place, mark the center position for the vent holes in the door. I was never really happy with the chip loader on my MES. Even at this temperature the zinc plating only begins to peel, which shouldn't be a problem if it's away from the food in the chip holder. Many people have used the mailbox mod with galvanized steel without reporting any issues. Without getting into a bunch of complicated geometry, just know that when a cylinder (like the 90 degree elbow) intersects a curved surface (like the mailbox) the hole will be oval. Drill some pilot holes, or just go right to the 5/8" bit - whatever works best for you. I use a stainless steel smoker tube from Target in the mailbox. After the stand was completed I started on the mailbox. The mailbox mod also gives you a little more control of the draft going into the smoker. I wanted the hole near the top of the mailbox, but the top of the mailbox is rounded so I had to tilt the 90 degree elbow as I traced around it so it stayed flush with the mailbox. Next I drew 16 lines equally spaced around the circumference to the center. The Masterbuilt Electric Smoker is a good smoker, but it may work better for you after completing the "mailbox mod". Also, my wife doesn't like it when I blow a bunch of money on crazy schemes (like attaching a mailbox to a smoker) so my budget was constrained. If your elbow is loose, maybe a couple layers of aluminum tape would snug it up. BBQ smoker mod kits smoker parts custom cooker pit barbeque modification parts. No problems there! For the backyard griller or on-the-go meat master. First, I held my 90 degree elbow against the side of the mailbox and traced around it with a white china marker / grease pen. I opted to raise the mailbox with some 2x4s. It required a lot of careful cutting. I didn’t have one of those lying around and I didn’t want to spend 20-50 bucks on a new one just for wood chips. It's held on with a bolt and a nut. Now cut along the lines with a dremel and a cut off wheel. I only see smoke coming out of the front of the mailbox when it's very windy, so the draft seems to be good. Most of the posts in the Smoking meats forum solved their issue with the chip pan by replacing it with a cast iron pan. Perfectly cook chicken, ribs, poultry and veggies. I cut the 2x4s to the width of the mailbox and secured them from the sides with a few screws. In this page I'll walk through the construction of my mailbox mod. Next I removed the vent from the top of the smoker. There are several benefits. Now remove the wood chip cylinder from the side and the wood chip pan … The vent has a tab that's bent down to stop it from turning past the vent hole. Update - I've removed the aluminum pan and the heating coil is doing fine. I can always hold my hand on it for at least 1 second. You may have heard the old saying, "If you're lookin, you aint' cookin". The Masterbuilt smoker makes a great cooker box but it doesn’t smoke well. Opening the smoker lets out all the smoke, heat and moisture. Galvanized steel has a zinc plating. If the chips are inside the smoker, you may occasionally need to open the smoker to deal with them. Why do a mailbox mod? Use another clamp on the other end of the flexible duct to attach the second 90 degree elbow. It's galvanized steel with black paint. Be sure to get the 90 degree elbow rotated to the proper orientation. It's possible that as the smoke travels through the mailbox and duct, creosote in the smoke will condense on the inside of the mailbox and duct - instead of on your meat.