I endorse this 100%Do yourself a favor and get a propane torch with auto ignite no matter what fuel you are using. I use almost exclusively pine straw (long pine needles). Use the leftovers from last burn as a starter and pack fresh needles over top. Key is to pack them down tight so it burns long. I can light a smoker in 2 minutes and it should last three hours.
This works.I find the secret to getting a smoker to light really easily lies in the last time you use that smoker. At the end of a session, ensure there's some fuel still remaining in the smoker, and then cap the spout with something - a wad of paper, a cork - whatever's handy.
Per my non-scientific research, horse radish roots (dry) in the smoker drops mites too...... but over 90% of phoretic mites fell to the floor, which sounds good to me. So, for the last three years I have been using tobacco smoke..
What a time saver this is. The idea about poking a hole to the bottom on the air inlet side and being able to relight a filled or partially filled smoker without having to dump out and start from scratch each time. It is essential that the fire start at the bottom next to the air jet and this is the way to do it.Put an empty cardboard box in your trunk with a pair of gloves. Next time you drive past a bunch of pine trees along a country road pull over at a safe spot and fill up the box with dry pine needles and pine cones from the ground. Pine straw works better than anything else, and best part is it is free. Until the time you can collect a box of pine straw, a bag of hamster bedding from the pet store works well, make sure it is unscented and untreated wood shavings, you don't want those chemicals in your smoke. Small pet bedding doesn't fuel the smoker for as long as pine straw but it's cheap and easy to get. Before you close the smoker lid grab a handful of green grass, weeds, or leaves, roll them into a loose ball, and insert loosely into the smoker spout from the inside. The green foliage will cool the smoke so you don't singe any little bee wings. If you have a self igniting torch it is a big time saver. You can pre-fuel an unlit smoker with packed fuel, make a hole for the torch tip with your hive tool, shove the torch tip to the bottom of the smoker and pull the trigger for five seconds. Ta-dah! Lit smoker.
Keep in mind that hole when a hot ash will fall out and start a fire.What a time saver this is. The idea about poking a hole to the bottom on the air inlet side and being able to relight a filled or partially filled smoker without having to dump out and start from scratch each time. It is essential that the fire start at the bottom next to the air jet and this is the way to do it.
I think you must have me confused with someone who said to make a hole at the bottom of the smoker to light the charge. JConnolly I am sure was talking about prying a hole in the fuel all the way to the bottom on the bellows side that will allow the flame of the propane burner to blow down and light the fuel right by the air inlet. At least that is what I do. Then tamp that hole full from the top and pack everything down while pumping the bellows. Pack that temporary chimney full and add some more. Pine needles are pretty clumpy and no tendency to spark out.Keep in mind that hole when a hot ash will fall out and start a fire.