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Steve j

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Hi guys need a bit of advice today I decided to smoke some cheese and butter. I dried some dust in the microwave and it burned out a full  pro q spiral in about 3 hrs put some more in without drying and it looks like it will burn for about 15 hrs I realise this is moisture related but how can I ensure a slow even burn that produces ample smoke

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Hi Steve - sorry I missed your post.

If your dust is quite dry and burns without going out then you do not need to microwave. The microwaving is more important for pellets or dust that has been stored in a damp environment.

So long as there is some smoke passing through the chamber that is usually sufficient. You no not need clouds of smoke in order to impart the desirable flavours. When I smoke there is often little smoke visible coming out of the vent but you can certainly smell it.

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On a related noted, and hopefully not too much a thread hijack, how does one slow down the burning when cold smoking? I've been using a 30cm piece of stainless perforated tube (thanks for the tip Wade) which works nicely but it seems to burn down very quickly and only lasts about 3 1/2 hours.

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On 30/10/2017 at 8:40 PM, Steve j said:

Thanks wade as you say the second burn resulted in very little apparent smoke but there was a nice colour on the cheese. so no more microwave as my dust has been stored in ziplock bags. I'm still on the learning curve with this cold smoking ?

Although we are all trying to end up with similar end products our equipment, location and storage will all affect how our equipment functions. We just need to learn how it will work in our own individual environments. All sawdust and pellets are not the same either. Even when I microwave some pellets they are a real problem to keep alight - others will burn right through straight from the sack.

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On 31/10/2017 at 12:52 PM, valve90210 said:

You saying that has made me think, if I close down the air inlet vents a bit would that reduce the airflow and increase how long the tube lasts?

I am doing some trials today to see how we can manage the burn in the tube. Hopefully I will be able to post my findings tomorrow. You need to try to retain a good air flow through the smoke chamber at all times and shutting down vents will affect this.

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The speed of burn along the tube smoke generator can be controlled through the use of foil. 

To ensure that the burn was a true comparison the same tube was used for both, it was filled with pellets from the same bag and the burn took place in my commercial cold smoker to eliminate any effects of temperature or wind. Each tube was left to burn for exactly 2 hours.

Tubes were filled with the same weight of pellets and lit.


Tubes placed in tray inside cold smoker


For the first run the tube remained standard

After 2 hours the tube had burned about 2/3 the way along


For the second burn a length of double foil was wrapped along the length of the tube leaving an open strip along the length at the top


After the 2 hours the burn had travelled only about 1/4 the length of the tube.

This confirms that the speed of the burn in the tube smoker can be controlled through the use of some foil wrapping.

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