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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Belchertown, MA
    Posts
    105

    Default Wood Stove Pellets for Smoker Fuel

    I reviewed some of the previous posts on this and seems like folks like it or say it burns too hot. Any input? Thanks all!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    314

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets for Smoker Fuel

    I use cedar chips, and thought that I would add some wood pellets to help prolong the length that the smoker stayed lit. Bought a bag at Home Depot or Lowes and used them about a half-dozen times last year.

    They did burn hot, but not terribly so. Some grass or mint leaves in the funnel of your smoker will dampen the heat.

    My main issue was the smell, I didn't like it at all.

    If you get out to 128/95, I'm just off the Pike in Waltham, and you're welcome to the bag of pellets I'm not going to be using.

    Tony P.
    There must be a harder way to do that... let me find it for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Belchertown, MA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets for Smoker Fuel

    Thanks for the offer Tony, I appreciate that. What was the smell? My neighbor burns wood pellets and I like the smell. Was yours offensive?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    314

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets for Smoker Fuel

    Compared to cedar smoke, I thought so. But I think cedar smoke smells great coming from my smoker, or on my fish...

    If you're going to be in my area, PM me and you can pick them up. Worse case scenario you don't like them and give them to your neighbor for his stove.

    I'd rather someone use them than they go into a landfill. They're sitting in my garage taking up space.

    Tony P.
    There must be a harder way to do that... let me find it for you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Belchertown, MA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets for Smoker Fuel

    Gotcha. I may be in your area in a few weeks for a class and will let you know. Thanks again Tony!

    John

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,110

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets for Smoker Fuel

    I don't like the way they smell much either, and they seem to produce a lot of residue in the smoker - but a few of them do help keep it burning for a long time. Since i've learned to light my smoker i've come favor plain old pine needles.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,936

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets for Smoker Fuel

    You have to bed them on pine needles to get them going. You need to screen the smoke spout to keep them from falling into the hive. I went to punky wood on pine needles for a long burn.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,397

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets for Smoker Fuel

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    You need to screen the smoke spout to keep them from falling into the hive.
    I'll second that. Wood pellets will stay lit along time but my bees did not appreciate those smoldering pellets coming at them and landing in between the frames and bottom boards. I just use cedar chips now. Easy to lite with a torch and the damp fog here keeps them from burning out too fast.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Whitsett, NC
    Posts
    491

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets for Smoker Fuel

    Agree with posts above that they smell, but I thought they also burned very hot, which made the smoker hot and thus the smoke.
    Just some thoughts.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    967

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets for Smoker Fuel

    I use wood pellets in a tin can smoker insert.
    I've never spilled them into the hive, I've just been aware of not tipping the smoker far enough to pout them out.

    Properly used, the smoke is cool enough to blow against the inside of my wrist without discomfort.

    Once the pellets are lit (from the bottom), by filling the tin can the rest of the way up with fresh pellets, you get a good, dense smoldering burn.
    Hardly ever need to pump the bellows to keep it lit, and a gentle squeeze makes a good dense puff.

    I like them.

    Dried corn cobs also work very well

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,397

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets for Smoker Fuel

    Quote Originally Posted by Beregondo View Post
    I use wood pellets in a tin can smoker insert.
    I've never spilled them into the hive, I've just been aware of not tipping the smoker far enough to pout them out.
    I happen to enjoy a little brew while singing to my girls during hive inspections so that's not going to work for me.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tulsa OK. USA
    Posts
    846

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets for Smoker Fuel

    I use pellets and like them but you do need to put metal window screen in the spout to prevent possible spillage or I have grabbed a handful of grass clippings and stuffed on top of the pellets to stop them from rolling and to help cool the smoke. Jim
    Stop and smell the flowers, 50,000 ladies can't be wrong
    Bsweetapiary@aol.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets for Smoker Fuel

    I got a bag of the pellets. They were really hard to get lit by themselves. They make great mulch for flower seeds.
    Once they get wet they break up to saw dust, and hold moisture well. I went back to my mesquite BBQ smoker chips.
    Mesquite smells a whole lot better. The bag on the pellets said it was hardwood. It didn't say what type of hardwood.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Belchertown, MA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets for Smoker Fuel

    Great advice from you all. Thank you!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets for Smoker Fuel

    I've used burlap for years and still do. I once bought a pile of burlap feed sacks at a farm auction that filled the back of my pickup, so I've had a good supply. I've started using wood pellets along with the burlap in recent years.

    I start the smoker with a few pieces of burlap on the botton, get it going good, then throw in 1 or 2 handfulls of pellets. Then I fill the rest of the smoker with more burlap. With the pellets sandwiched between layers of burlap they never blow out with the smoke and I've found that they extend the burn time of the smoker considerably.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,221

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets for Smoker Fuel

    we have used every thing to make smoke for the last 50 yrs and we now use pellets. as far as pellets falling into the hive you have to be smarter than the smoker.. cut up an old t shirt and put that on top and it also cools the smoke.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets for Smoker Fuel

    My daughter wanted to know what to get me for Christmas. I'm just starting out and read all the good remarks about wood pellets. My mentor uses them. So I told my daughter she could get me some wood pellets....she bought me two bags. The problem is it takes an act of congress to get them lit and then they easily go out. I'm using the Kelley's 10" smoker. For the life of me I can't get the pellets to burn. I had been using pine straw but it has a strong smell and I was looking for something a little less harsh...I'm back to using pine straw, though...gotta have the smoke. I use some punky wood that works pretty good, but it's kind of sporadic on getting it to burn good....I think it may be due to varying moisture levels in it.

    But, the experience that I've had with pellets....I don't like them. Maybe I need to do like others have mentioned and start a bed of pine straw and then put pellets on top of it. ????

    Ed

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    967

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets for Smoker Fuel

    How I light wood pellets easily, keep them lit, and cool the smoke:
    (This works for me, it might for you, too.)

    As mentioned earlier, I have a tin can insert in my smoker.
    It's homemade and looks similar to this one, but the holes in the side of mine go about 3/4 of the way up:
    SmokerInsert3.jpg (Photo from Michael Bush's site at http://www.bushfarms.com/images/SmokerInsert3.jpg)

    1) I put a loosely wadded sheet of paper from a 1" thick phone book in the bottom of the can. The phone book rolls up nicely and stays in my bee yard tool box. A similar sized piece of newspaper is just as good.

    2) I put another one in the bottom of the smoker after lighting it, and one slightly more tightly wadded on top of that.

    3) I give it a few bellows puffs and get a good flame, then slip the can in and give another puff or two.

    4) I put a couple of big handfuls of pellets in the can -- cover the paper by at least 1/4" of pellets.

    5) I give the bellow a lot of short (3/4 to 1" or so) fast squeezes until the smoke is very dense.

    6) IMPORTANT Fill the can the rest of the way up with pellets to cool the smoke!

    7) Close the top and give a gentle puff or to to get a good draw.

    8) That's it!

    If you are gentle with the bellows, the fire will stay at the bottom of the pellet column, and the pellets above the smoldering ones will damp any sparks or embers, and cool the smoke.

    You will get a thick, dense smoke that will stream out even if the smoker is left sitting a while. It only takes a couple of short puffs to renew it if it dies down.

    When smoking the bees, a soft, steady, gentle squeeze of the bellows will reward you with a nice stream of smoke.

    Being heavy handed with the bellows will push the fire too high up the pellet column in the can. That will waste fuel and reduce the cooling of the smoke and damping of sparks and embers.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    908

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets for Smoker Fuel

    "they seem to produce a lot of residue in the smoker" - anybody worked out how to get rid of the residue ( I guess it is Creosote?)

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Indiana, Clay County
    Posts
    568

    Default Re: Wood Stove Pellets for Smoker Fuel

    I use a solvent and scrap/burn it off

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