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Isopropyl alcohol (99%) for lighting pellets in a tube

simoon

Newbie
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20
Joined Aug 13, 2014
I apologize if this has been posted before. I did a search, but couldn't find anything.

In the past, I've read here people lighting smoke tubes (A-Maze-N type, or others) with propane torches, or fire starter cubes. For me, each one is problematic. Standing there for 10 minutes holding a torch is annoying, and using the cubes takes careful placement among the pellets. I've had them go out too soon if they get covered by the pellets.

I was recently on Ebay looking for a longer tube (for longer smokes), and one of the people rating the product, stated that they used Isopropyl alcohol (99%) for lighting the pellets. For me, this is easily the best way to light my pellets.

Fill up a shot glass or something of similar size, with pellets, cover them with the 99% isopropyl alcohol, and soak for 15 minutes or so. Even though the alcohol soaks into the pellets, it does not cause them to swell like water does. Pour off the excess alcohol, pour soaked pellets in the tube with the dry pellets and light. So, far, this method is pretty much foolproof. I don't have to stand there with a torch, I can tend to other tasks, and I don't have to worry about starter cubes going out. The only thing to watch for, is getting too much alcohol, which might cause too many of the pellets to light and smoke, shortening how long the pellets in the tube last, or creating too much smoke.

And it's cheap!
 

SlickRockStones

Smoking Fanatic
345
207
Joined Mar 12, 2018
Been using IPA soaked cotton balls to light off my SnS and chimney. I’ll try this on pellets. Thanks.
 

SmokinGame

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Never tried the IPA trick for tubes. Interesting. But I probably will stick to the propane torch. My A-Maze-N tubes light within 30-45 seconds. Never an issue unless I close the smoker lid immediately and limit the O2.
 

HalfSmoked

Epic Pitmaster
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Yup that's me HalfSmoked :emoji_wink: :emoji_laughing:

Sounds like a great idea.

Warren
 

baby kong

Fire Starter
34
7
Joined May 13, 2021
I apologize if this has been posted before. I did a search, but couldn't find anything.

In the past, I've read here people lighting smoke tubes (A-Maze-N type, or others) with propane torches, or fire starter cubes. For me, each one is problematic. Standing there for 10 minutes holding a torch is annoying, and using the cubes takes careful placement among the pellets. I've had them go out too soon if they get covered by the pellets.

I was recently on Ebay looking for a longer tube (for longer smokes), and one of the people rating the product, stated that they used Isopropyl alcohol (99%) for lighting the pellets. For me, this is easily the best way to light my pellets.

Fill up a shot glass or something of similar size, with pellets, cover them with the 99% isopropyl alcohol, and soak for 15 minutes or so. Even though the alcohol soaks into the pellets, it does not cause them to swell like water does. Pour off the excess alcohol, pour soaked pellets in the tube with the dry pellets and light. So, far, this method is pretty much foolproof. I don't have to stand there with a torch, I can tend to other tasks, and I don't have to worry about starter cubes going out. The only thing to watch for, is getting too much alcohol, which might cause too many of the pellets to light and smoke, shortening how long the pellets in the tube last, or creating too much smoke.

And it's cheap!
Took a survival course a while back, for my late fall/ winter hunting..Part of the tiny weightless container 4"x 2" you brought along was a bunch of dryer lint you rolled tight between your hands.. If needed, you take it spread it out to make it puffy ...It is a fire starter . Light a match and there you go.
 

Colin1230

Smoking Fanatic
367
274
Joined Jan 18, 2021
My A-maze-N tube came in a kit with a lb. of pellets and alcohol gel. I tried it per instructions and got that sh!t everywhere and didn't get my pellet lit. But that was me trying to follow instructions. :emoji_laughing: About 15-20 seconds with the torch has worked every time.
 

douge

Meat Mopper
SMF Premier Member
217
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Joined Apr 13, 2010
Standing there for 10 minutes holding a torch is annoying,
Shouldn't take a minute or two, at most to get the tube going, then let it sit there for 5 or 10 minutes, blow the flame out if there is still one to blow out.
 

Fishonshawn

Smoke Blower
86
73
Joined Jul 10, 2019
Lol stand there for 10 minutes? I set the tube straight up outside on the patio, torch straight down into it, for about 10-15 seconds. Thats plenty enough time to light the top layer and it stays on fire. Leave it on fire for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes if the fire hasnt gone out itself just blow it out (and when I say gone out itself i just mean the flame, the pellets are still smoldering like they should and smoking). I then grab the tube with a gloved hand and carefully tip it on its side and put it in the pellet grill. Its not even an inconvenience. It sounds like your making a mountain out of a mole hill.
 

D.W.

Meat Mopper
273
306
Joined Jul 13, 2018
I don't use a tube or pellets but my father in law does. Benzomatic torch for 20-30 seconds and you're good to go. Instead of pellets he'll also stuff with apple or cherry twigs and light the same way. Works really good with his propane q's.
 

lovethemeats

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Ha. By time the pellets are soaked then put in the tube. My torch lit my pellets and I'm off and smoking 5 to 10 minutes later. It takes 1 minute to light the pellets and I've never had a problem with them going out.
 

Steve H

Smoking Guru
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I think some people get the instructions confused with the a-maze-n tube. You wait 5-10 minutes after lighting the pellets. Not hold the torch on them for that long. I also just use the propane torch for about 30 seconds to get them lit. And let them burn about 10 minutes before blowing out the fire and start smoking.
 

normanaj

Master of the Pit
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Joined Feb 2, 2014
I think some people get the instructions confused with the a-maze-n tube. You wait 5-10 minutes after lighting the pellets. Not hold the torch on them for that long. I also just use the propane torch for about 30 seconds to get them lit. And let them burn about 10 minutes before blowing out the fire and start smoking.
This I would agree with!
 

AllenRR

Smoke Blower
SMF Premier Member
111
35
Joined Mar 12, 2018
Never tried the IPA trick for tubes. Interesting. But I probably will stick to the propane torch. My A-Maze-N tubes light within 30-45 seconds. Never an issue unless I close the smoker lid immediately and limit the O2.
I'm the same way. Propane torch works great. I guess if that didn't work, I would limp back to the shop, and grab the oxy-acetylene torch and fire it up. LOL
 

phathead69

Smoking Fanatic
620
442
Joined Dec 23, 2016
if you know the right person you might be able to get the alcohol free if they are doing it right.
 

WaterRat

Smoking Fanatic
745
430
Joined Feb 14, 2018
I think some people get the instructions confused with the a-maze-n tube. You wait 5-10 minutes after lighting the pellets. Not hold the torch on them for that long. I also just use the propane torch for about 30 seconds to get them lit. And let them burn about 10 minutes before blowing out the fire and start smoking.
^^^This^^^
 

AllenRR

Smoke Blower
SMF Premier Member
111
35
Joined Mar 12, 2018
I use Lil' Devil pellets in mine. Put the torch to it for 30 seconds and stand by for a bit. Works great.
By the way, mine is a 12 inch A-Maze-N. Smokes for a long time.
 

chef jimmyj

Epic Pitmaster
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simoon simoon Thanks for sharing your IPA trick. For guys without Torches, the Alcohol and a Lighter would make lighting the tube a lot easier...JJ
 

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