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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Mount Sterling, KY. USA
    Posts
    110

    Default Smoker, keeping it lit

    Whenever I use my smoker, it stays lit for about 10 minutes, just enough time for me to get fully involved in my hive inspections before it goes out. I am using burlap by the way.
    Can some one clue me in on the proper way to load a smoker and keep it going ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,867

    Default Re: Smoker, keeping it lit

    - empty smoker from previous uses
    - light some tinder or paper and deposit at the bottom of the smoker
    - place a single sheet of burlap on top of the tinder in the smoker
    - pump until burlap catches fire and starts to smoke well
    - place additional burlap as desired on top of what you have in the smoker
    - pump some more
    - close the lid and start your inspections
    - pump between hives to make sure the smoker is still lit
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Charlottesville, Virginia
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Smoker, keeping it lit

    Here is a video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKmI...8&feature=plcp

    It changed my life!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: Smoker, keeping it lit

    All the stuff that has been mentioned but I'd like to add that after the fire is started well, use different layers of fuel. If you use a type that will burn fast, then it will go out fast. Mix it up.

    I use a torch to light my smoker.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    waynesboro, virginia
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Smoker, keeping it lit

    I use cotton batting as smoker fuel - light it once, pack the smoker full - puff to get going and it will not go out until the fuel is gone (which in my smoker moderately packed is about 1.5 hours or so)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: Smoker, keeping it lit

    I use a blowtorch to light cedar chip pet bedding mixed with pine pellet horse litter - filled about 1/2 full in smoker. After this is going good, I close the smoker and snuff the fire, then open it and dump in pine needles or bunched up dried dead grass or weeds. Close it up and pump it like heck. Should stay lit for quite a while. If it doesn't - open the smoker lid and pump like heck! Then close it up and back to business.

    I used to use the organic cellulose/wood fiber pet bedding but quit because it made so much tarry nasty smoke. Stayed lit great - it never went out. You might end up with Black lung though. I much prefer weeds and cedar chips.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,841

    Default Re: Smoker, keeping it lit

    I find rolled cardboard great for about 5 minutes then it seems to really just keeping getting hotter and hotter. Maybe I need to stuff more stuff on top of it to keep it from building up. If you don't want your smoker to go out you need to puff it time to time to keep it lit if that's your issue. Either that or you're compacting your fuel too much which is why layering was mentioned. I use whatever trash paper/cardboard I have, get some going, then stuff the smoker with a layer of paper bag or napkins (typically from fast food), whatever fuel I had left over from last time next, and then a layer or 2 of dried grassy weeds to filter out any debris. I usually find it harder to keep the smoker from just blazing up after 5-10 minutes so I usually stuff a paper towel in the tip to keep it down and just pull it out when I need to puff.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,373

    Default Re: Smoker, keeping it lit

    1/4 full of pine shavings
    Torch to light
    pump until you see flames across the top of the shavings
    tamp down
    Pump until embers glow
    Fill smoker
    Pump until you get thick cool smoke
    Pump occasionally when not using
    Will burn until fuel is gone
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,976

    Default Re: Smoker, keeping it lit

    Pine needles.. Light a small "wad" pump til smoker goes "woof woof" add more pump add more and close.

    It's something you just need to get a feel for!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Albemarle County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Smoker, keeping it lit

    Several of you have mentioned using a torch to light the smoker. What kind of torch do you use, and where does one get such a torch? I have been using a Bic lighter, and that takes forever.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Cecilia, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Smoker, keeping it lit

    I use a propane torch like the ones plumbers use for soldering pipe you can get them anywhere Lowes, Home Depot, or any hardware store they aren't to high and work great for lighting smokers and cleaning the inside if you get a lot of tar build up.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    121

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,373

    Default Re: Smoker, keeping it lit

    Plumbers torch that has a automatic lighter in it.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

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