I have read with interest everybody's ideas about the perfect smoker fuel and for many of them i have been there and done that except for the sumac. I probably used the burlap and cedar chips the most which both made good smoke. The wood shavings were sometimes too hot or if I needed to get it revived it would start throwing sparks if I pumped too aggresively. I have finally cast them all off for a much better method. It is not original with me but I am a believer. I was looking through the Beekeeping For Dummies book and the author mentioned that he had started using pellets for a wood pellet stove so I thought I would give it a try. I have found it to have the best features needed for a smoker. It is cool, starts easy, smells good and keeps going without any attention. In fact, after I get done with a full inspection of my six hives and I go back to the house it sits outside the rest of the day until all the pellets have burned up. All I do is throw some wood shaving in the bottom, light it with a butane torch or lighter, pump it a few times to get a flame going and then just fill it up with pellets. In less than five minutes you can set it down and let it smoke away. A few puffs and you've got a cloud. I bought a 40# bag at Attwoods for $5 and that will last a long long time.