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An idea for making bisquettes for Bradley smokers - Page 2

post #21 of 40

No sorry I don't, I have just had a look on tinternet, but couldn't find anything 

post #22 of 40




Originally Posted by Olesen1985 View Post

Anyone who knows the diameter and thickness/hight of a original Bradley bisquette when it's laying flat on the table???

  I measure 2 1/4" diameter ( maybe 2 15/64 ) X 9/16" thick. Converted to metric I measure 5.6 x 1.5.


post #23 of 40

Why not just cut limb wood to thickness or length depending on your point of view.

post #24 of 40
Originally Posted by ssorllih View Post

Why not just cut limb wood to thickness or length depending on your point of view.

  I have experimented  going just that when I had an apple tree blow down in my back yard, in fact that started my trying to make pucks. The smoke output is quite low due to the wood being more dense than the sawdust. Tried drilling holes in wood which made for more smoke, but still short on smoke even with 8 - 7/16 holes drilled all the way through. While it does work, they took to much time to make into proper size then drill holes. Plus lower smoke output caused me to work on making them from sawdust.


post #25 of 40

How much smoke do you need? I can put 4 1"X 3" discs of apple in my Weber and get plenty of smoke. Put a small apple branch in my offset and there's plenty of smoke. You don't need to smoke out the neighborhood. You also don't want to smoke the entire cooking time. If you do, you will end up with something resembling the pavement out in front with the same flavor.

post #26 of 40

I would rather prefer to buy from Amazon than go through such a big process.

post #27 of 40

Way too much work and the binder is not gelatin, it's Carboxymethyl Cellulose, AKA Dippity-Do.( see if your daughter has some) That's what's in your briquettes.  I got to go through a briquetting plant once (no, it was not Kingsford) and they had a pallet of CMC there and I asked about it as we use it in drilling fluids both as a viscosifier and a fluid loss control agent and was told exactly how it was used. Gelatin would not stand up to the heat and you'd have sawdust. Oh, I hope you have an arbor press and the molds, going to need them to make briquettes.

post #28 of 40

this to the OP, nothing personal, but this a whole thread of your time, photos and all this talk, STOP, just to go out  throw a 1/2 bag of commercial coals on your weber, have a couple drinks, enjoy the company of you significant other, and cook some meat, ANYTHING has to be better that spending hours making your own coals, and all the BS and time that goes with that, and then  spend hours on the internet finding deals on the ingredients, making the coals,  then cooking something, then taking pics, then posting it on here , then replying to the posts,  damn no wonder I meet so many ladies that are just dying for some attention, I know how easy it is to get totally fixated on something, but dude life is too short to spend the majority of your time obsessed with cooking meat over a fire, we have been doing it for hundreds of thousands of years, this is one of hundreds of ways to cook something to eat. so p;ease enjoy the fuck out of your outdoor cooking, and please share your experiences, but please also enjoy other things in life, your time  on this earth is way to presious to waste in trying to come up with a formula for the perfect briquette, when good one are only $8 a bag.


The best part of this whole little tantrum , is that this sites spellcheck still does not recognise the word " Weber" I have been on here for several years and the admins of this site have still not figured out how to add the word WEBER to the list of dictionary words in their server, so I I'm a proud member of a meat smoking forum that the admins can not figure out how to add WEBER to heir servers dictionary,  Jesus who runs this place anyway?


okay let the flaming begin, how could I expect anything less from a bunch of flamers

Edited by orlenz - 3/4/15 at 6:01pm
post #29 of 40

Right on.  It's one thing to enjoy something, another to get obsessed. I do the Weber most of the time, the propane when I'm just burning a steak and the smoker when I'm getting serious. I don't need to smoke everything all the time. I also like my deep fryer. Like to make big one-pot meals like ham and beans, chicken and dumplings using the leftovers from smoked or grilled meals. 

For those attempting to make your own briquettes or bisquettes, invest in an arbor press because it requires tremendous pressure to keep them together and the binder is Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose. AKA Dippity-Do. More of a pain in the ass than it's worth. Just put some charcoal in the chimney, fire up the newspaper and use the Weber.  Go have a beer or a glass of wine while it's firing up, play with the old lady and enjoy life. If you want to smoke split the coals on the Weber, put a water pan in between  and you can do a ham in the middle with no problem, just need some wood chips. Just remember, the temperature is controlled from the bottom, not the top.  The top will extinguish the coals. I've seen so many people who've never figured that out.

post #30 of 40
Originally Posted by mw-smoke View Post

Finished pressing the next batch and now they're air drying.

Here's the recipe:

5 parts wood chips
1 part water
1 part potato starch

Mix thoroughly, creating a moist but not watery solution. 

The resulting mash should easily crumble in your hands:

I press the bisquettes using:
- a 4" long, 2" diameter PVC pipe
- three 2" diameter, circle cut pieces of 1" thick oak board
- a vice

First, with the PVC pipe, drop a 2" circle cut board inside:

Next, fill with the wood mash. This is pretty much eye-balled, but it might be about 1/3 cup.

I know there is enough mash if the next circle cut board fits almost flush with the end of the PVC pipe:

Place the next 2" circle cut board on top:

Place in the vice press and squeeze. 

The vice will be just about flush with the PVC pipe.
Its okay if it isn't perfect or if the pipe is slightly cattywampus... it will still feed through the Bradley smoker. 

Remove the pipe from the vice and push the 2" circle cut board through. 
The bisquette will be slightly stuck to one of the 2" circle boards. 
I've found the best way to remove it is to slightly twist the bisquette, like opening a soda bottle. 

I smooth the edges off slightly before placing on the drying rack.
If not, they'll naturally fall off since they fit around the sides of the compression and aren't really tight on. 

Here are 24 freshly made bisquettes.

I started off slow this time since I had to remember my technique and I was trying to be a bit more scientific about the proper ratios for mixing the mash. 

For comparison, an official Bradley smoker bisquette on the far left. Notice how perfectly round and smooth it is. 

Mine are definitely not as clean looking, but they work perfectly. 

I'm also able to control the exact ratios of wood that I want to burn.

When it comes to making my own wood mixes, I could probably get very similar results by mixing and stacking different flavors of Bradley bisquettes. 

This is definitely cheaper in cost; I can press these out in less than a minute per bisquette, and the raw ingredients are way, way cheaper.

Either way, cost or no cost savings, it's all a hobby and its been fun to experiment. 

One last thing, notice how much finer these wood chips are cut compared to the first batch seen in the photos from the previous post. 

What is the amount to 5 parts chips,1 part water, 1part starch Cup tablespoon?
post #31 of 40

It makes no difference, the ratio is just a guide to ensure you have the correct consistency.  If you want to make a handful use cups, or if you want to make a bigger batch, use pints etc. 



post #32 of 40
Originally Posted by smokewood View Post

It makes no difference, the ratio is just a guide to ensure you have the correct consistency.  If you want to make a handful use cups, or if you want to make a bigger batch, use pints etc. 


That's ok I figured it out I mixed 5 cups to 1/2 cup water to 2 tablespoons potato starch. I didn't mix water with wood this time comes out crappy. I took a small amount of water out of my 1/2 cup and mixed the starch up. Microwave the rest of the water about 2 min. Mix the starch one more time then dump it in the hot water it will be like glue. Then dump it in your wood chips and mix it good. I used gloves to mix it works much better just don't burn yourself. The texture should be like cookie dough. If you need more water sprinkle it with a spoon.
Edited by wildcat706 - 5/13/15 at 7:19am
post #33 of 40
No offense but you have way to much time on your hands. lol
post #34 of 40

Offence Taken, everyone is different, and you don't know his circumstances.....mine is commercial

post #35 of 40
Thread Starter 

I didn't know there were updates on this thread until just now. It's really funny to see some folks get all wound up over some homemade bisquettes. 


I enjoy learning and experimenting, so this sort of thing is fun for me. And now that I know how to do it, the costs are negligible.


I've got a pretty good idea for a hand press, and that'll be my next project. I'll post those and wait for those cranks in the earlier posts to spontaneously combust. :)

post #36 of 40
Originally Posted by mw-smoke View Post

Finished pressing the next batch and now they're air drying.

Here's the recipe:

5 parts wood chips
1 part water
1 part potato starch

Mix thoroughly, creating a moist but not watery solution. 

The resulting mash should easily crumble in your hands:
This recipe didn't work for me in my first attempt. I don't have a spare blender so I added the water straight to my pellets. It wasn't enough. The pellets barely absorbed the water. After an hour of messing around with it, my recipe was closer to:

4 cups pellets
3 cups water
4 tbsp cornstarch mixed in with 4 tbsp water (aka slurry)

By the time the pellets became a mash, they had bloomed to about 12 cups. I got 32 bisquettes out of it.

The second attempt (yesterday) I did this recipe:

2 cups pellets
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup boiling water
2 tbsp cornstarch mixed in with 2 tbsp water

I added the water to the pellets in a large bowl, gave it a few tosses and waited about ten minutes. The pellets absorbed the water and had become mash. I added the slurry to the boiling water, quickly mixed to make the gel and added it to the mash. As you can see, my ratio is almost equal parts pellets and water. This worked very well.

My measure for the right consistency is it should hold together when you squeeze a handful of it and a little bit of water should squeeze out. This recipe yielded 15 bisquettes.

My mold is a 2 1/4-inch ring mold (from my pastry kit). My press is a coffee tamper.

I put the bisquettes in a food dehydrator overnight and by morning they are dry and solid. In fact, one was a little too tall so I took a bread knife and sliced about 1/4 inch off of it and it didn't crumble. There were a few cracks in them (like a Himalayan salt block) but they're holding up. I'm using these homemade ones to smoke a ham today.

Going forward I'm going to experiment with different flavor profiles. I'm thinking ground spices added to the mash might impart some flavor. And if I'm using apple wood why not use apple juice instead of water to make the mash? My hesitation on that is the sugar in the juice would scorch and leave a bitter taste on the food. But that's what experiments are for. :)

I have over 200 lbs (7 different woods) of pellets that I bought when I bought a pellet smoker, which turned out to be a POS so I haven't used it nearly as much as I would like. So the pellets are just sitting in the basement. For this reason repurposing pellets to bisquettes makes sense to me.
post #37 of 40

I have been attempting to make my own brisquette's as well, and after trial and error, as far as making the brisquettes to turn out the same diameter of an original bradley, you want to press it in a hole that is no more, and no less than 2 and 3/8 of an inch. If you're trying to be exact, then this is your measurement. however, you don't need to be exact. Keep in mind, though, that anything larger than this, will not fit into the feeding tube of the smoker. So, if you want to go smaller, go ahead. Besides, an original puck does't completely burn off over the 20 minute duration (most of the time), so don't feel bad about having a slightly smaller puck. Think of it as saving on materials. 

I tried a 2 and 1/2 inch diameter at first, and  they were slightly too large to fit inside the feeder. 

Just teaching you how to fish, so you can eat for a lifetime, rather than for a meal ;) 

post #38 of 40

Ha ha! 

No offense to you at all, but in defense to the OP, keep in mind that people like this enjoy the aspect of DIY. They get the same rush and feeling of figuring out a process that will save them money in the long run, which makes them feel that they have control over how and what they do with their hobbies. Smoking meats in and of itself is a hobby. With your attitude, why not just go to the grocery store and buy a turkey, rack of ribs, etc. that is already smoked? After all, you'll certainly save on time, but certainly not money. Right?

On another note, after doing all the math on the making smoker pucks, vs. buying them: once the process is figured out, the DIY approach, literally saves you at least 7 times as much money as compared to buying them. Not only that, you get more control over the blends you want to create, as well as the satisfaction of knowing that you don't have to call, drive, or go through the hassle of ordering extremely overpriced products just because Bradley knows that "sheeple" are willing to be taken advantage of because they don't want to figure it out for themselves. Noting wrong with that approach, either. To each their own.  Just my two cents. 


post #39 of 40

HI new to the forum . I am about to use the pellets my self but came up with an idea on how to turn them into bisquettes. I am going to wet them in a mixture of Knox gelatin and water then use my shop press by using 2" pipe and washers. I'll put a layer of mash and a washer in a 10' piece of pipe until full and them compact it with my shop press. Will let you know how it turns out.

post #40 of 40

Find a friend, your local mechanic,  who has an arbor press. Same formulation, but it's slower burning. We went on vacation this summer, a friend had a thoroughly dead apple tree he was cutting. I said just load it on the truck.  Took it over to another friend who has a tub hay grinder, didn't take very long and I had a pick-up load of wood chips, tarped them down and headed for Texas. My mechanic and I used cast iron rather than PVC because the very first disc ruptured the pipe. Took us a few hours, I had a partial sack of potato starch from a drilling job I'd been on and we'd make up slurry on Saturday and press it out on Sunday. Drink a few beers. I'm sure we have half a ton. 

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