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Author Topic: Smoker  (Read 3050 times)
zzen01
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« on: May 10, 2010, 01:22:06 PM »

OK what makes the best Smoker fuel. And how do I keep the ^^%** thing lit and going?  Undecided
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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2010, 01:27:50 PM »

A GOOD CIGAR !  grin

Following that, I like hemp bailing twine best. Burlap is good, along with old cotton rags, IE: bluejeans. Pine needles, wood chips, the list is endless.
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2010, 02:43:46 PM »

I use cedar and pine needles in a soup can liner (which fits snugly inside the smoker itself - I have to use pliers to pull it out.). Someone posted the can trick a while back and I grabbed onto it.
I stuff green needles or leaves into the liner and use a (paint removing) hot air gun through the bunch of holes drilled through it until the bottom contents burst into flames. (be careful not to have your veil beneath you while you do this - please don't ask me how I know)  I also read that certain members of the pine family are a good mite treatment - you'd have to find a site to get specifics for application.
   Just remember  that cool, white smoke is the goal.
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2010, 03:41:45 PM »

Pine needles to get it started, sycamore tree bark to keep it lit and get it hot, followed by almost anything for a longer term burn.

Nothing beats pine needles for a quick check though.  Instant fire, instant smoke.  Sure, you'll smell like a burnt tar ball afterward, but as I like to call it, that's beekeeper cologne.  grin
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Rick
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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2010, 04:50:52 PM »

I just got the complaint  from my wife about the cedar smell in the jeep. The smell never bothered me though - heck she PAYS for cedar insence.
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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2010, 05:04:22 PM »

I use newspaper to get things started, then twigs on top of that followed up with a wad of burlap from a coffee house (no petroleum preservative) on top of that.  The wad of burlap is free and offers good smoke with no flame.  In the cone I loosely put a fist full of green grass to act as a filter to keep any soot chunks or embers from getting out.  It'll last about 2 hours.  MAKE SURE TO NOT PICK UP POISON IVY... embarassed

I need to use the can with the holes idea from Bee Happy. Consistently lighting my smoker is sometimes a challenge. I'll go for a month or even two and start thinking I've finally got the hang of it, then like this weekend, I have to restart it 3 times.  It always seems to go out when I need it most.
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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2010, 05:23:09 PM »


  I buy the cedar shavings for dog bedding ect. from wallyworld. I like the smell, it stays lit fairly well and its cheap. I did try burlap but the smell is just god awful, and its not that easy for me to come by. A $6 bag of cedar shavings go a long way.
  As far as keeping it going, you have to get it going and let it burn for a minute or so to get a good bed of coals, ad some more stuff on top and voila. I still have problems sometimes though. 

David
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MacfromNS
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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2010, 05:42:18 PM »

I take a cardboard box and run it through the table saw to get some 5 or 5.5 in. strips , then roll it up to the size of the smoker, then tape it. I then light it and let it burn for a minute or 2. drop it in and put some green grass on top. If your going to be very long then take a extra roll with you. To get it rolled up I use a stick 1 in. square 12 or 13 in. long with a slot cut in one end for the cardboard
fits into.An hr. work I can have enough for the summer.
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2010, 05:46:58 PM »

Pine needles (AKA pine straw) works great...just make sure to get the smoke really rolling out before you pack it in tightly. In a ten inch smoker it's not unusual for them to smoke for more than an hour. If I need a longer smoke session I use planer shavings from my wood shop. They're harder to get going initially (need to light paper in the smoker first) but they last a really long time. Other than that...anything that's free will work for me...even dry grass clippings.

Scott
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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2010, 06:02:45 PM »

I have only recently stumbled onto something that stays lit for an hour....I take a strip of cardboard the height of my smoker and roll up a "smoker cigar" stuffed with 4-6 small dry pine cones (I had my kid collect a bag for me last summer), dry grass or old hay, and some old cotton t-shirt material.  The key...is to light it at the bottom, get it flaming, and put that end into the smoker first so it burns up through all of the material.  I used to fill the smoker with fuel and light it at the top and it would always burn iself out.  I have done this the past two times and my smoker has outlasted my lengthy, multi hive inspections with billowing white smoke.  I'm sure there are lots of ways to do it, but it took me a year to come up with something that worked for me.
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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2010, 06:48:47 PM »

My mainstay for smoker fuel is burlap sacks and bark off of red cedar (I always have cedar fence post laying around)

I like to make a "plug" out of the burlap and bark, just roll it up and tie off with some old baling twine. I lite it with a propane torch and will last upwards of three hours, great for doing cut outs. Tough to get started but will smolder for a long time.

For quick looks in the hives a nice big roll of burlap works great.

To get your fuel snuffed out and saved for next time whittle down a large stick or corncob to stuff into the mouth of the smoker when you are finished. The charred end of the fuel will light much quicker next time also.

G3
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« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2010, 07:04:09 PM »

The best smoker fuel I have found is the rolled up cardboard and a piece of old tee shirt. Cut the cardboard tall enough to fit in your smoker on top of a small bed of embers. Cut a strip of cloth as long and tall as the cardboard. Lay it on top and roll it up. Put it on top of the burning kindle and it will smolder for a long time. If you need a longer time for smoke, use a longer piece of cardboard and cloth.


Dennis
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Cheryl
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« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2010, 08:35:01 PM »

To keep mine lit, I made a liner out of hardware mesh (cut to fit, rolled it up, let it spring open inside). It keeps the little round 'grill' from falling sideways, which is usually what causes mine to go out.

For fuel, I use chunks/pieces of palm flower frond stems that I cut into segments with a pair of loppers. The long flower 'stems' dry up an fall off my tree, and I pick them up and use them. They don't last very long, so I have to keep an eye on it to add fuel -- but that's what I'm using right now.

I'm taking lessons from the rest of you guys! Smiley
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JP
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« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2010, 10:11:15 PM »

My favorite is burlap. In a jam any kind of dried up leaves, old vines.


...JP
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« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2010, 07:18:05 AM »

I've been using dry pine needles mixed with paper from my shredder.  It lights fast and keeps lit for my 5 hives.
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« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2010, 09:03:25 AM »

I use hardwood pellets with an insert can.  Once lit,  it will go 12+ hours on a full can without going out.  At ~$5 for bag of pellets, that last me a whole year or more, it is not worth the time to collect other types of fuel.
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Damonh
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« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2010, 09:51:42 AM »

I would be careful using cedar for smoker fuel. CEDAR OIL for more than a 1000 years is and has been a proven method of pest control that emphasizes simple, inexpensive, 100% organic practices that cause no harm to people or the environment. It is toxic to insects, and bees are insects. Do a google search and see.
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« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2010, 01:58:20 PM »

I had trouble getting it started at first - I go newspaper then twigs/wood chips to get it rolling - oh, and you have to pump the bellows once the twigs/shavings start to burn or it goes right out.  Then when I have some coals I stuff in plain (not green treated) baling twine.  But if I am running out in the field I just grab a couple of handfuls of dead grass, wad then up tight and shove them in - usually plenty of heat left to get them smoldering.

JC
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« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2010, 03:59:24 PM »

I use hardwood pellets with an insert can.  Once lit,  it will go 12+ hours on a full can without going out.  At ~$5 for bag of pellets, that last me a whole year or more, it is not worth the time to collect other types of fuel.
I like this idea very much. I will invest in a bag of pellets.
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Bee Happy
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« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2010, 08:39:56 PM »

I would be careful using cedar for smoker fuel. CEDAR OIL for more than a 1000 years is and has been a proven method of pest control that emphasizes simple, inexpensive, 100% organic practices that cause no harm to people or the environment. It is toxic to insects, and bees are insects. Do a google search and see.

It was an organic/ natural beekeeping site I got the idea from; very experienced natural beeks using juniper smoke, we don't have juniper, so I search some more. I did check on cedar boughs for mite treatment, and for regular inspections with the side effect of treating for mites; I had to really search but I did find that many organic practitioners have been using cedars and junipers for years with decent success.
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