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Clay pipes?

Coastal Bend

Get off my lawn.
Patron
#1
I've been smoking a pipe for a long time, but I've never smoked a clay pipe.

P&C just sent out an email about clay pipes and it raised a question. (OK, several questions.) It said "...you can clean them by putting them in your gas or charcoal grill." That's interesting.

Anyone do this? Do you put the pipe with the coals? On the grill? On a pan on the grill? If it's not the charcoals -- since it can be gas -- why not in the oven? Oh, and how does this "clean" the pipe?
 

Ozark Wizard

Well-known member
#3
The idea is to put them in a hot enough environment so as to "cook" the goop, moisture and residue out of the clay and into ash. Like re-firing the clay, and burning off impurities. I did that to a black clay and it turned white like my others. Otherwise it works the charm! Clean as new when dug out of the ashes next morning.
 

Baccy Bert

Well-known member
#5
Used to have one, cleaned it in a roaring fireplace on a couple of occasions. Worth trying, provided you can find one with the wax on the mouth end of the stem, otherwise it'll be an unpleasant smoke with a chalky mouth. Recommended for trying blends for the first time to get a true flavour.
 

Wooda

Well-known member
#6
I've been smoking a pipe for a long time, but I've never smoked a clay pipe.

P&C just sent out an email about clay pipes and it raised a question. (OK, several questions.) It said "...you can clean them by putting them in your gas or charcoal grill." That's interesting.

Anyone do this? Do you put the pipe with the coals? On the grill? On a pan on the grill? If it's not the charcoals -- since it can be gas -- why not in the oven? Oh, and how does this "clean" the pipe?
To answer your questions in order:
I've smoked my clay for 3 years and have yet to fire it. The plan was to build a fire over it in the wood stove, light it, and let it burn down and cool overnight.
Yes, with the coals. I would not put it on a gas grill, or a grate over charcoal. The biggest risk for breakage is thermal shock from heating or cooling too fast.
Oven isn't hot enough.
Burns off the tars
 
#10
I have tried two different clays. The first was very short, 6" and the end of the stem was uncoated. After giving it a tray I decided it wasn't for me. Later I tried one that was about 11", not much better. Some folks came to visit from Holland and brought another and this one is unsmoked and probably 16" or more. It sits in the original box unsmoked, neither of the first two impressed me.
 

psquared

DGErwin, my horse would like a word with you...
Patron
#12
That particular clay of mine has a cork collar that the stem inserts into, so throwing it in a fire doesn't really become an option. Due to an annoying neuromuscular issue I have I cannot clean my pipes so that one gets smoked for a solid year before it goes through the Clear Lake high-octane alcohol soak cleaning to remove the gunk from the well under the bowl. During the year when it gets bad enough I just press a rubber tipped airgun chuck into the cork where the stem seats and give it 125 psi douche.

Honestly? I absolutely abuse that pipe and it refuses to give up. I have even dropped it on concrete. They are lot tougher than you would think. The clay collar is starting to get a little bit hard, so it might be time to have it refitted. If I end up doing that I might use the fire method before I send it back to Floyd for a re-cork.