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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:43 pm
by yotmon
Anyone ever use peat as a fuel to smoke their goods. Also wondering if it could be processed down to a fine state to be used in the csg and if so, would it be a fast burner or similar to wood dust ?


Re: Peat

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:46 am
by BriCan
Sits on the side lines wiv a good pint supping away ever so gently awaiting the out come ...... :D

Re: Peat

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:38 am
by GUS
Peat, carbon locking resource, not good fuel as heating, albeit free to some.
if using packet peat, is it necessarily not actually peat but rather the modern-recycled mass with lots of contaminants within?

If real genuine bog peat, has it had a wetting agent or similar added & how does that affect the burn under lab conditions? ..what has been used within the area? it's not food grade & generally peat absorbs all sorts of schmutter which may remain within, doubtless petrol, diesel & oil spillage within the cutting area as part of mechanised recovery means.

(I used to find allsorts within bags of peat especially fag butts).

I gave my brother a wood gasifying campstove whilst he was doing up a croft, no water, or electric, he cut & used peat as part of his heating source, as well as cooking / hot smoking with gorse & heather, though I never asked for results with regards to taste.

it's a dirty cumbersome fuel, on a small scale user basis (imho) but obviously has been used for centuries.
I have access to peat ..but it's laying on fields sprayed with god knows what over the years... bog wood is available as it rises up & is ploughed to the surface, & used to be a regular source of burning wood, but I cannot comment on how it would work for food smoking, i'd be tempted to grab some & give it a go,but am too wary as to what it's absorbed.
In older folks traditional croft houses, the ventilation was dodgey & there was generally a fug of smoke from the cold burning peat, it was always a lot of work for a poor heat return.
if you are going to experiment, i'd dig some from within a grove of trees away from a regular field & therefore crop spraying residue, & not too soaked, (ie the water table) pop it in a conservatory to utilise spring solar heat gain & take it from there.

Needless to say it's used for malting grain, & that's for consumption...

ideally, realistically, speak to a Scottish smokehouse who will have direct experience & guide you as to possible ratios dependant on what you intend to experiment with.

source your peat upstream of the local sheep dip tank! :shock:

Re: Peat

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:07 am
by GUS
Nice to see a newish smokehouse in Aultbea, I remember when the local smokehouse closed down in Gairloch back in the 70's, we'd pop in the propped open shed doors & point to a smokie which took our fancy, still on it's hook just metres from the waters edge, wrap of paper, drive 2 minutes back to the croft & be tucking in, must have been 5yrs old.
Thank goodness for the internet getting the love of food back out there & giving small crafts businesses visibility & elbow room in the marketplace

Back on topic, think they mention a mix of peat & oak for salmon, ..maybe worth a call & enquiring their process & how fine the peat used is / duration & methodology.

Having seen their scallops i'm raring to give those a go.

Re: Peat

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:30 am
by yotmon
Thanks Gus, I'm surrounded by mosslands here in southwest Lancs, most of which is drained and used for potatoes/carrots and other veggies. There are still banks of untouched peat if you know where to look. At the east of my town which was dominated by coal production there is a small pocket of wild heather growing on peat which could be fruitful.
What I wanted to know was if anyone had used the product successfully and that it had given a decent flavour. I think I'll gather up a small sample to dry out for use in the summer and check the 'aroma' given off.

Re: Peat

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:44 am
by GUS
The detail I came across, cited 50/50 used with oak from skim reading (but gave no location or description with regards to the result or on what it was used, which is why I suggest more use of info via pro-smokehouses where peat comes up in keyword searches.

I guess the devil will be in the detail for a CSG as to mix or to part pack & lay a thin run of peat sausage before covering over, (lest it block the mesh holes).

I'd be keen to know how you get on, guess you'll sterilise it as part of the process?

you're lucky to have some untouched land, here it's all phosphate soaked soil in the fenland, & a massive crisscross of old WW2 airstrips with all the carefree pouring of "stuff" not a good prospect.

Re: Peat

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:55 pm
by yotmon
Haha ! That made me laugh Gus. The whole town used to be surrounded by 'hills' made entirely from industrial waste. Most of them are still here. Locals call them the 'burgies' and were a legacy from the Alkali chemical works and later on the glass industry from the 18th century onwards. Any other 'hill' you see will be a grassed over coal tip ! I have a brook near me that has the name 'Stinky brook' because when the temp drops near to minus you can smell the sulphur which would normally dissipate within the atmosphere. To be quite honest, it really annoys me that in 2014 these conditions/land pollution still exist in our home towns and villages, yet we send money to 'developing' countries' ( 2 of which have space programmes) to assist their development. Sorry to become 'political' but when Salmon try to come back up these small rivers and brooks after an absence of two hundred years, only to be killed by poisonous chemicals dumped centuries ago then I know where I'd be spending public money ! Bring on the shale gas :shock:
Back on subject as I swiftly fall off my soap-box, I'll let you know how the experiment goes. I want to dry the peat as much as possible and try to reduce the fibrous matter into a dust if possible but may have to blend it with some hardwood saw dust to get it going - we'll see. :wink:

Re: Peat

PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:38 pm
by GUS
Not at all, I'm with you there, but it'd cost good ol government :roll: cash to sort, lest they admit there was a problem with oversight for WAY too long, besides, we can't afford to fix it, so will just send money as foreign aid to people neglecting our own in the process.

you can't give aid without first being able to afford to in my book, that means sorting out home to enable doling out elsewhere, i'm truly sick of it, austerity has eaten into my nature with regards to the NHS & unwarranted use of services, & privatisation especially PFI ! the hell is paying out typically 6.3 x the cost of 1 single facility ever affordable!?

Stay healthy & commit to healthy ways & means ..we cannot afford to get sick these days.

this says it all....

What I enjoy smoked I endeavour to reduce elsewhere in my diet, hard work with tastey food , (better quality 1/2 as much).

Re: Peat

PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 2:39 pm
by yotmon
It's all scary stuff. My parents taught me not to spend money that I didn't have and guess what, I don't have debts. I wished the parents of our government had taught them the same ! I used to work in the public sector and couldn't believe the waste. Little things (to them) would annoy me, such as opening windows to cool the place down because the heating was too high. Nobody would ever think of actually turning the boiler off. Simple things can save money - look at the tea and biscuits bill in the House of Commons. Here's a link to the cost of drinks at the 7 bars in the House - where else in the centre of London could you order a Whisky for £2.55 ! All subsidised by little old us. ... ists-2011/

It's good to be in it together !

Re: Peat

PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:28 pm
by johngaltsmotor
It's nice to know that people on the other side of the pond feel the same about giving handouts to foreign countries (who would rather shoot you than shake your hand) while raising taxes and reducing services at home.
As for the original comments about peat... I'm intrigued. I like a nice 2 fingers of Caol Ila now and again so the thought of peat smoked foods has possibilities.