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I had a very interesting phone call yesterday evening,  I have put in an order for wood chunks with Smokewood Shack.  When the order went through for whatever reason the first line of the address was back to front, and this call was from the owner just checking our address was correct.

Well, we got chatting about this & that and I mentioned that I was going to start a cold smoke this morning on some bacon and that I always pop the dust into the microwave to make sure it's dry.

Turns out that he has done loads of tests on the subject and there's no need to do this, the dust will still burn, a little slower but that means it will last longer. One of the main things when smoking is to make sure whatever type of cold smoker you use is clean off any carbon buildup no matter how fine it is. He cleans his with oven cleaner to make sure, as any carbon in the mesh can starve the dust of oxygen causing it to go out.

I did suggest he do a writeup on this subject, I do hope he does as it would be very interesting.

 

Ice.

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It also depends on the smoke generator you are using, the time of year and how you store your dust.

James from Smokewood Shack is a great guy and very knowledgeable. Under most circumstances I would agree with his advice, however there are times when it is necessary to reduce the water content of your dust - potentially through microwaving.

  • If, for whatever reason, your dust does nor burn reliably (very frustrating when it goes out part way through!) then one of the easiest first checks is to reduce the water content.
  • If the dust has been stored badly under moist conditions. This can easily happen in winter if it has been stored in the shed in a bag that has not been sealed.
  • If the outside temperature is cold. The microwave will also slightly raise the temperature of the dust making the burn more reliable.
  • If your smoker is restricting air flow over the smoke generator (through either restricted top or bottom vents) then it is more likely to burn unreliably. Reducing the water content will help improve this.

On normal spring, summer, autumn days I would totally agree with James, however in the winter it can really help to increase the reliability of the burn. I sometimes have whole batches of dust that, for whatever reason, go out part way through the smoke - even in a ProQ dust generator. When I get a batch like this I microwave the whole batch and then place it in a ziploc bag or even vacuum pack it. 

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4 hours ago, Wade said:

I microwave the whole batch and then place it in a ziploc bag or even vacuum pack it. 

I did mention you at the time,  and James said he knew you well,  as you say he does seem to know what he's on about. At the moment (lunch)  it's going well,  down the first lane, aroung the corner, and 2/3 of the way back up.  🤞

 

Ice.

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i never microwave it. i store it well and never had a problem

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Well, I've just taken the bacon out and as you can see there's loads of dust left.  That was a 9-hour burn,  so looking at that photo it could possibly burn up to 12 maybe even longer???

IMG_20190701_172303439_HDR.thumb.jpg.9127bb257fe2df25e028c34d638b6e3b.jpg

 

Ice.

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very nice. Is the dust and the wee chunks the same type of wood? Also I have only used mine once and found the metal rim a little rough when running my finger over to make sure the dust doesn't jump are they all like that or is it just mine and my delicate fingers? 😊 

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7 hours ago, hoogl said:

Is the dust and the wee chunks the same type of wood?

No hoogl...the dust is Birch, the very small bits are Oak that PrpQ send out with a new smoker.  I did my last run the same way, just to see if it added anything to the taste? we both liked it, but can't say that we can pick out the two woods. My next bacon will be just the Oak to try on it's own.

8 hours ago, hoogl said:

the metal rim a little rough when running my finger over to make sure the dust doesn't jump are they all like that or is it just mine and my delicate fingers? 😊 

I can't say I've noticed anything on mine...try using a flat file very lightly over the top may smooth it down???

 

Ice.

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Nice good to know. I have a couple of different woods in dust. I may try to mix it and see if that has an effect. 

Yeah I'll run a file over the edges or a dremmel. 

 

Cheers

 

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