Tubes and Trays and Dust.... Oh My....

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HowlingDog

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Jan 16, 2019
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Am in the process of building a smoker for things like cheese and perhaps bacon and sausage. Plan is to use charcoal for heat (ya, we will see how that goes..), but smoke will be tubes or trays. Smoker is about half done:
IMG_4090.JPG

I have used a tube with pellets before, but I was curious about trays so I acquired one of those. I was also researching dust and ran across "How to make Dust from Pellets" by Dave O Mak (Thank You!!). I took a big handful of Maple, added hot water ended up with a tray of dust:
IMG_4075.JPG

Finally got around to testing the tray today. I only put a little in and used the torch I borrowed from my neighbor. First mistake was holding the torch too close to the dust and I blew half of it away. Kinda funny and kinda frustrating at the same time. I did get a little lit and watched it for a bit. I only managed to get the surface lit and I need to figure out how to get the front part lit, and not the whole top of it.

IMG_4102.JPG

IMG_4103.JPG
It smoked pretty well, but as I do, I wanted to futz with it. I had a tube of the lighter gel and I tried to light the other end to see if the gel made any difference in starting..... and it did, but not in a positive way. It just sorta bubbled and never really did anything. Perhaps operator error.

Overall, the smoke was lighter than a tube with pellets and I think that would work well with cheese since I have noticed my cheese is a bit bitter at first. Once it mellows for about a month it is really good. But I think that the lighter smoke and a little less time will be the way to go.

Since I had time, I decided to try some dust in the tube as others have mentioned. Only filled about a quarter of the tube and rammed it down. I generally use a starter cube with pellets so I tried it with dust. While it worked, I think the torch would have been a better way to go. I just have to remember to hold it about 5 inches away, otherwise burning dust goes flying.... I think I will be throwing the started gel away....

IMG_4105.JPG IMG_4106.JPG
Once it got going, along with me blowing on it a couple of times (carefully), it produced a nice light/moderate amount of smoke.
IMG_4109.JPG
It was fun and interesting day of experimenting. I think the dust is a little on the "fine" side but very useable. I was considering trying to mix a few pellets in with the dust to see what that does, but decided to save that for another day. I think maybe I need to pack the dust a little harder in the tray and maybe cover it with foil while lighting it to keep it contained.

Thanks for looking and once I get the smoker done I will post those pics. It is taking longer than I want, but hay, it is a hobby and no rush, right???

HowlingDog
 

gmc2003

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I use one of these to lite my dust. It won't blow any of it around, and you get a good lite. Once you have the dust flaming for a short bit, gently blow it out. Remember just because you can't see the smoke. Doesn't mean it's not smoking. Use your nose to tell you if it's working properly.

1651500758144.png


Chris
 
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Brokenhandle

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I'm just curious as to which choice words were said after dust went flying everywhere! Lol. Some guys definitely like the dust better. Look forward to your smoker being finished as well!

Ryan
 

Brokenhandle

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Darn older threads...wonder if the smoker is done yet?

Ryan
 

smokedcaveman

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Aug 5, 2008
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Sorry bout that, was reading and wound up replying - daft me, being in the hospital atm, couldn't remember how to delete it... apologies for confusion
 
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fxsales1959

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Dec 17, 2019
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Am in the process of building a smoker for things like cheese and perhaps bacon and sausage. Plan is to use charcoal for heat (ya, we will see how that goes..), but smoke will be tubes or trays. Smoker is about half done:
View attachment 630709

I have used a tube with pellets before, but I was curious about trays so I acquired one of those. I was also researching dust and ran across "How to make Dust from Pellets" by Dave O Mak (Thank You!!). I took a big handful of Maple, added hot water ended up with a tray of dust:
View attachment 630710

Finally got around to testing the tray today. I only put a little in and used the torch I borrowed from my neighbor. First mistake was holding the torch too close to the dust and I blew half of it away. Kinda funny and kinda frustrating at the same time. I did get a little lit and watched it for a bit. I only managed to get the surface lit and I need to figure out how to get the front part lit, and not the whole top of it.

View attachment 630711

View attachment 630712
It smoked pretty well, but as I do, I wanted to futz with it. I had a tube of the lighter gel and I tried to light the other end to see if the gel made any difference in starting..... and it did, but not in a positive way. It just sorta bubbled and never really did anything. Perhaps operator error.

Overall, the smoke was lighter than a tube with pellets and I think that would work well with cheese since I have noticed my cheese is a bit bitter at first. Once it mellows for about a month it is really good. But I think that the lighter smoke and a little less time will be the way to go.

Since I had time, I decided to try some dust in the tube as others have mentioned. Only filled about a quarter of the tube and rammed it down. I generally use a starter cube with pellets so I tried it with dust. While it worked, I think the torch would have been a better way to go. I just have to remember to hold it about 5 inches away, otherwise burning dust goes flying.... I think I will be throwing the started gel away....

View attachment 630714 View attachment 630715
Once it got going, along with me blowing on it a couple of times (carefully), it produced a nice light/moderate amount of smoke.
View attachment 630716
It was fun and interesting day of experimenting. I think the dust is a little on the "fine" side but very useable. I was considering trying to mix a few pellets in with the dust to see what that does, but decided to save that for another day. I think maybe I need to pack the dust a little harder in the tray and maybe cover it with foil while lighting it to keep it contained.

Thanks for looking and once I get the smoker done I will post those pics. It is taking longer than I want, but hay, it is a hobby and no rush, right???

HowlingDog
i've had a love, hate relationship with my smoke tube, and some pretty little circles scars on my hand playing fire without gloves, while partaking of Malted beverages.
If I could keep the little blankety-blank lit for longer than an hour, I'd be tickled.
 
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smokedcaveman

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Aug 5, 2008
149
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76240
i've had a love, hate relationship with my smoke tube, and some pretty little circles scars on my hand playing fire without gloves, while partaking of Malted beverages.
If I could keep the little blankety-blank lit for longer than an hour, I'd be tickled.
Yeah, I've heard that's sometimes a problem for tubes, but I've always found good success with the 5x8 tray.
 

Brokenhandle

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i've had a love, hate relationship with my smoke tube, and some pretty little circles scars on my hand playing fire without gloves, while partaking of Malted beverages.
If I could keep the little blankety-blank lit for longer than an hour, I'd be tickled.
Also don't take it out of the smoker grabbing at the bottom end that just went out not long ago! Don't get far from the smoker lol! A friend told me...he'd been drinking as well!

Ryan
 

JLeonard

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i've had a love, hate relationship with my smoke tube, and some pretty little circles scars on my hand playing fire without gloves, while partaking of Malted beverages.
If I could keep the little blankety-blank lit for longer than an hour, I'd be tickled.

Also don't take it out of the smoker grabbing at the bottom end that just went out not long ago! Don't get far from the smoker lol! A friend told me...he'd been drinking as well!

Ryan
Kinda like cast iron skillets.....Them things stay hot for a while. Got a scar to prove that!
Jim
 
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HowlingDog

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Jan 16, 2019
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Darn older threads...wonder if the smoker is done yet?

Dang, I disappear for a couple months but a thread lives on! Sorry about disappearing and leaving everyone in the dark, but my wife and I acquired this:
IMG_1338.jpg

And she grew into this:
IMG_4728.JPG

She is a wonderful dog, but she is our first true working line German Shepherd and she is kicking our a**.... We have had GSD's for 20 years, some rescues, some purebreds. I volunteered with two local GSD rescue organizations for about 8 years combined and I have learned more about the breed from this one dog than in all my other time handling them. Just Wow. Energy, Focus, Drive..... She is off the charts. It is like ordering a nice 4x4 utility pick up truck to have around and they end up delivering a new Ferrari 296GTB.

No, Ryan, the smoker is not done yet, but seeing this thread again is giving me inspiration to get it done. I am out of smoked cheese too so there is a need for it. Perhaps I will drag it out of hibernation and start working on it again tomorrow.

Take Care all!

Mark
 
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DougE

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I have been packing dust in a tube and put some pellets in the end you light. Keeps the torch from blowing the dust out and gets it going nicely.
 

Brokenhandle

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Dang, I disappear for a couple months but a thread lives on! Sorry about disappearing and leaving everyone in the dark, but my wife and I acquired this:
View attachment 648340

And she grew into this:
View attachment 648341

She is a wonderful dog, but she is our first true working line German Shepherd and she is kicking our a**.... We have had GSD's for 20 years, some rescues, some purebreds. I volunteered with two local GSD rescue organizations for about 8 years combined and I have learned more about the breed from this one dog than in all my other time handling them. Just Wow. Energy, Focus, Drive..... She is off the charts. It is like ordering a nice 4x4 utility pick up truck to have around and they end up delivering a new Ferrari 296GTB.

No, Ryan, the smoker is not done yet, but seeing this thread again is giving me inspiration to get it done. I am out of smoked cheese too so there is a need for it. Perhaps I will drag it out of hibernation and start working on it again tomorrow.

Take Care all!

Mark
Definitely a pretty dog! We now have a 6 month old puppy, and a 3 year old Dobie...what a pair they make...toddlers! And a 14 year old that tolerates them, but has done his fair share of teaching them to be good varmint dogs.
Actually lucked out tonight...found cheese on sale for under $5 lb. Good luck on the smoker...but no rush, just giving you a hard time.

Ryan
 

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