pellet smoker fuel question

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by adamant, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. adamant

    adamant Member

    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I see the adds in the catalogs on pellet fuel. is it the same as stove pellets ? Is the use pellets for guys that need there smoker to burn for a few hours like working in there big yards? I find that pine needles work fine for me because I only need mine to burn for a short period of time.
     
  2. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: pettet smoker fuel question

    From a newbee here...

    Pine straw has a strong smell to it that is somewhat disagreeable to me. The hardwood pellets seem to have a better smell to them...they don't leave my clothes with the pine smoke stench after I leave the yard. Having said that, pine straw so far has given me the best, thickest, easy to light and maintain smoke between the two. I'm going to mess with the pellets some more, but I really like everything about pine straw better....except the smell. And the pine straw has easily burned long enough for my needs (one colony at present).

    Ed
     

  3. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

    Messages:
    1,249
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: pettet smoker fuel question

    If you ask 10 different beeks about smoker fuel, you'll get 12 different answers. :lol:

    The pellets you ask about are the same as stove pellets. They do burn for a long time, but I don't use them by themselves. My main smoker fuel is pine shavings used for animal bedding. I get both from the local feed store. They handle pallet loads of both, and usually end up with ripped bags. I talked to the guy out back of the feed store, he said "Sure." I got some 5 gal. buckets and got 10 gals. of pellets, and 20 gals. of shavings for nothing.

    My method is to loosely ball up a sheet of newspaper in the bottom, light it, and pump slowly. Once it gets burning, add a handful or 2 of pellets, still pumping. Once these get burning good, pack in the shavings tightly (use your hive tool to pack them in) all the while pumping the bellows. I've got 3 hives, but am still new so I'm slow when I inspect them. My smoker has lasted more than long enough and has not went out. Just make sure the pine shavings are not treated with anything.

    Good luck.
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: pettet smoker fuel question

    intheswamp writes:
    but I really like everything about pine straw better....

    tecumseh:
    the cresote generated by pine is fairly significant. I myself will only use pine straw or scraps only if there is nothing else available.

    gunsmith writes:
    you'll get 12 different answers

    tecumseh:
    not everything is created equal... what is available and works for you will somewhat represents the '12 different answers'.

    adamant writes:
    stove pellets

    tecumseh:
    I prefer horse pellets. nicely packaged and totally organic.
     
  5. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I prefer baling twine. I'm not picky about whether it is the green colored or the natural colored. When I am in SC I will supplement smoker fuel w/ pine straw. When it's around I will use pellets. Sometimes I am w/ beekeepers who use burlap which they get from coffee roasters who get their beans in big sacks. I'm going to see if I can recycle such material from a local roaster.

    I have used road apples to tec. I find them hard to get lit. But I do like throwing them in on top of already burning twine.

    Dried sumac heads work will, I have heard.
     
  6. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: pettet smoker fuel question

    You're right about the cresote issue, tec. As little as I've used my smoker so far, there is definitely cresote building up from the pine straw...I saw some after the first time I used the smoker. I couldn't get the pellets smoking/burning good last time out, I need to get out there and just "practice" with it a bit with the pellets and see if I can do better. I had a lady tell me a while back that she was having good results from spanish moss...I've gotta snag some of that before long and give it a try. Hmm, if I can find someone that has some horse pellets I'll give them a try, too.

    Ed
     
  7. crackerbee

    crackerbee New Member

    Messages:
    554
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I use cypress mulch,a bag doesn't cost a lot and lasts for a long time. :thumbsup:


    I have mulch around my hive stand and it makes it handy if you need another load in the smoker.
     
  8. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: pettet smoker fuel question

    I can imagine that some fuels create more creosote than others, but, don't all slowburning/smoldering fuels create creosote? Which isn't a bad thing. Creosote tightens up a new smoker making smoke come out of the hole rather than around the top seal.
     
  9. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I use pine needles and yes, they generate a lot of creosote. I have to sometimes scratch it off the top with a hive tool, for fear it will plug up. There are creosote drips running down the sides of my smoker and like sqkcrk says, it tightens up new and even an old smoker. I have a cork that I shove in the end and there is a perfect ring of creosote built up around it.
     
  10. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The first time I used my brand spanking new, shiny, whiz-bang smoker it was like "Wow!!! I could treat my own fence posts with that!!!". I that some straw that was trapped between the top and body of the smoker and laying against the outside of the smoker left their outlines in cresote on the sides of the smoker. I think the straw has a higher oil content than the wood, maybe it's the waxy finish that does it?

    Ed