How to Prepare Plug Pipe Tobacco     April 20th, 2011


By Bob Tate

Plug Pipe Tobacco 01Plug pipe tobacco is another form of tobacco that needs to be prepared and cut before it is able to be smoked. It is another form of tobacco that can seem intimidating to prepare, but once you know how to do it, it is really quite simple. Plug tobacco is basically large pieces of tobacco leafs that are layered on top of each other and pressed into a block, or plug, of tobacco. To prepare it, all you will need is a sharp knife. You want to either shave off some of the tobacco or cut off tobacco into flakes and then prepare the flakes.
[To see how to prepare flake tobacco, see my article: Flake Pipe Tobacco Preparation]
Plug Pipe Tobacco
Explaining how to properly cut plug tobacco is quite difficult to do in the written word, but I am attempting to do so. It is always easier to actually see how to do something than to read how to do it. That is why, like always, I have included a video that will show you how to properly cut plug tobaccos.

When cutting plugs you always want to cut the plug downwards and against the grain of the tobacco leafs. This way you will get some of all of the different tobaccos used in the blend and get the flavor that the blender intended.

You never want to cut into the plug going sideways and with the grain of the leaf. Doing this will separate the layers and you will only get some of the different tobaccos used instead of all of the tobaccos used. This will not give you the flavor profile that the blender was going for.


I know that the written directions may be a little difficult to understand, so without further ado, on to the video:

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="480" height="360" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]


Now that you know how to cut and prepare plug tobaccos, you have no excuse for not trying them. Go out and get some plug tobaccos and give them a try!




12 Responses to “How to Prepare Plug Pipe Tobacco”

  1. cortezattic said:

    Thanks for the timely article and video, Bob. It certainly helps to actually see someone doing the cutting because it also gives me some idea of how dry and hard the plug is — apparently “not very” on both counts.

    I think Greg Pease has really started something here first with Jack Knife Plug, and then with the recently announced Triple Play. I guess I’m gonna have to get on the bandwagon and try my hand at this “new” old-timey tobacco.

  2. duncan said:

  3. Bubba said:

    Another great how-to Bob! You are a true asset to the new and seasoned pipe smokers looking for information!

  4. dawk said:

    Thanks for the how to Bob, now I can handle my Jack Knife Plug and enjoy it much more. Great link!

  5. schmitzbitz said:

    Excellent (and very timely) article Bob.

  6. Bob said:

    I am glad that you all enjoyed the article and that it is helping some of you.

  7. Kurt Simmons said:

    Playing with fire AND sharp objects! Beats the heck out of running with scissors.
    No wonder I love my pipes.

  8. zwolanek said:

    Super video, Bob!

    Just for kicks, I’ll try using a mandolin slicer and report back. I have visions of Ron Popeil slicing and dicing his plug tobacco.

  9. classicgeek said:

    Great video, Bob! Well done.

  10. romeowood said:

    Great refresher course, and helped me open up the flavors of my jackknife plug–really looking forward to testing out triple play when it arrives!

  11. nabottle said:

    Great video Bob. I’ve learned a lot today.

  12. baronsamedi said:

    My 8″ Henkels Chef knife should make some really fine slices.



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