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Burning Pecan Shells releasing the following known chemicals:
Table 4.3 – Effect of heating rate on the concentration (ml) of gases produced during thermal decomposition of pecan shells in air atmosphere
Heating rate (°C/min)
5 10 20 30 40
Carbon dioxide 0.0924 0.0994 0.0903 0.0826 0.0889
Carbon monoxide 0.0197 0.0164 0.0110 0.0053 0.0031
Isocyanic acid 0.0128 0.0098 0.0083 0.0070 0.0012
Carbonyl sulfide 0.0041 0.0028 0.0018 0.0007 0.0004
Acetic acid 0.0032 0.0034 0.0043 0.0025 0.0007
Nitrous oxide 0.0002 0.0003 0.0003 0.0004 0.0005
Methane 0.0004 0.0003 0.0002 0.0001 0.0003
Ethylene 0.0005 0.0003 0.0009 0.0001 0.0001
Ammonia 0.0006 0.0009 0.0003 0.0004 0.0003
Hydrogen cyanide 0.0022 0.0021 0.0023 0.0016 0.0011
Formic acid 0.0010 0.0001 0.0003 0.0001 0.0001
Formaldehyde 0.0002 0.0004 0.0007 0.0002 0.0002
Methyl isocyanate 0.0385 0.0379 0.0274 0.0346 0.0348
Ethanol 0.0057 0.0059 0.0052 0.0049 0.0051
Methanol 0.0003 0.0002 0.0002 0.0003 0.0001
Well I have been using pecan shells for years. Since we always peel our pecans, we get so many buckets and buckets on the years that we get pecans, we just save the shells in buckets.
What I have learned.
The work fine in any chip holder or tossed onto the charcoal, or a skillet, or in a perforated bean can.
They must be kept dry
The bad pecans left in the shells are not good for smoke Ewwww.
The shells give a darker smoke color and deeper smoother smoke taste.
Try using less than you would chips till you get used to them
The shells must be dry and seasoned (if they are not seasoned you don't want the pecan meat anyway, right).
Be careful where you store them, little critters like nuts too. They will draw rats, mice, and squirrels who think you brought the shells for them.
If you see what looks like spider webs holding small groups of shells together, don't use it for smoke. LOL
I seriously love using the shells. Its one of those things I got to show my Pop that he didn't know about smoking! LOL
After you use them once you'll be addicted. I have 7 or 8 plastic bags of chips that are so old the plastic crumbles when you try and pick 'em up.
Can you tell I like using 'em? And when you shell your own pecans from your own trees, and can get a free by-product it even better, free good smoke.
BTW they are not bitter unless you go crazy!
I have not tryed them in the Masterbuilt cold smoker yet, but I plan to soon!
You owe your buddy a bunch of andouille! You are going to love it.
Never used nut shells but I have used pineapple husks after cleaning fresh pineapple. They work very well for pork butts, ribs or poultry. I have learned that placing them on the fire husk side down produces the best results.
Just make sure they are good and dry. If they sit out a couple a days after the shelling is great because they are mostly done or you couldn't crack 'em. Before they dry the pecans are called green and you can't eat them. Shellls have to dry to crack 'em.
Also make sure and use the shells and not the husks. You don't normally see husks, they are what hold the pecans on the tree. They normally open up do the pecans can drop out.
" I have seen where they are using the shells from nuts and the cobb from corn to use for a biodegradable blasting medium"
Yes Sir and they use them both for smoke.....