Quick Question About Flakes

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Preferred Member
Dec 30, 2013
West Texas
Correct me if I'm wrong, but flakes left as flakes and not broken up smoke cooler? I could be imagining this, but I think that's what I'm noticing. And even with ye olde cube method I think it's still cooler than rubbed out.
Anyone else notice such things?

Am I crazy?



Junior Member
May 18, 2013
Not crazy at all! That's the way flakes are meant to be smoked, folded and stuffed... Or rubbed out if you like.
Rub it out = more surface area = burns faster and easier, but doesn't necessarily give you the intended flavor.

Fold and stuff = thicker and more solid = so burns slower giving you a cooler smoke.
I find that folding and stuffing works best when you're outdoors, as even the slightest wind will help keep the pipe lit with ease ensuring you get a slow burning flake with cooler smoke coming out.
Alot of people on this forum prefer to rub out flakes, but it's all a matter of preference really!



Preferred Member
Jan 8, 2013
I have found a measure of joy with the cube cut method, but it depends on the flake. ODF tastes better rubbed to me, but LNF seems to smoke best when left in larger pieces, so I cube it, into fairly large cubes. About 1 cm on each side, works great.



Senior Member
Oct 10, 2013
Dublin, Ireland
Yep, cube-cutting/folding-and-stuffing is the way to go with flakes. Personally, I'm on the fence about whether cubing or folding produces the better flavour - I think it differs on a blend-by-blend basis - but I'd generally advise against rubbing out.



Preferred Member
Aug 28, 2013
The old math teacher in me still bristles when we call them cubes. If you cut them in 1 cm sides it would have to be 1 cm thick also to be a cube. I understand this is a common term and we all understand what we're talking about and calling it a rectangular solid would be awkward. How come we can't just call it square cut?



Preferred Member
Oct 18, 2013
How come we can't just call it square cut?
We can't call it square cut because nobody can cut all four sides equally.
Perhaps parallelogram cut? Rhombus / Rhomboid cut?
I like Rhombus Cut ... it gets my vote! :)



Preferred Member
Apr 14, 2014
Central Ohio

I totally agree with you. I made a comment on the 'what are you smoking" thread a few days ago about this. I LOVE HH ODF, and its best, for me cubed. When the HH Latakia Flake came along I found that cubing it REALLY,REALLY dulled and diminished the flavor. The HH Lat is so much better rubbed out. Too me its weird, but its just an observation.



Preferred Member
Mar 1, 2014
Now I'm really confused. So I'm -not- supposed to cut flakes in strips 1-2mm wide so that the crumbled up results are actually cubes?



Preferred Member
Jul 26, 2012
Nicely said, Russ. I, too, think experimentation is the key. And as you find out what works for you and your blend/pipe you can have a lot of enjoyable, relaxing time. :puffy:



Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
United States
I used to fold and stuff mostly and have found I get a more consistent burn with the cube cut. I cut mine into pretty large cubes so I get the benefit of a cool smoke with great flavor and have not noticed any difference in comparison to a fold and stuff. When I am outside in any kind of breeze I do use fold and stuff as it will burn a bit slower than a cube cut. I never fully rub out a flake as I have found it burns too hot with a noticeable loss of flavor.



Feb 1, 2014
I agree with Coal Smoke. Fold and stuff never worked for me. I'll take GLP gaslight and cut it crosswise and a rub it a little, leaving small chunks, but not huge ones. I find that Penzance and Seattle Pipe Club Plum Pudding don't need much rubbing at all. These two break pretty well, but still provide a long smoke. Bottom line: If you like it, it's a good smoke.



Senior Member
Oct 16, 2013
Thanks Russ, that was a good post.
I don't get a lot of smoking time, so my experience level with flakes is low and my suckiness level with flakes is quite high. I find them frustrating. I have a feeling that I'm smoking them too wet, especially since most of the flakes I've tried have been McClelland. Probably not so great for a novice. This Friday night I'm going to be reasonably free so I'm going to try more deliberate preparation with Penzance and Stonehaven ("oh man, a newb like that is gonna torture THOSE 'baccies?"). Maybe some Wessex Gold VA too, that seems a little "looser" than the McC stuff.



Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
United States
grouchy, Mac flakes are some of the wettest on the market and need a ton of dry time. The Wessex Gold Flake comes ready to smoke, no dry time needed, try cube cutting it.



Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
I may learn a better way, but I find rubbing out flake and cube/square cut gives me a better light

with matches (which is what I use), more uniform tamping, and a better settled smoother smoking

bowl. I admit, I am not especially experienced, but I like Orlik Golden Sliced, Cup O Joes #5, and

GLP Triple Play. They work better for me rubbed. Maybe I'll get brave, and patient, and try to

fold and stuff and similar un-rubbed methods.