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How to get even burning joints

Tip #1 Lighting Technique

This is THE most important factor to get an even burning joint. If you takeaway only 1 thing from this post this should be it!

First remove as much excess paper as possible from the end of the joint.

Then hold the end of the joint a few inches above the tip of the flame until the entire end is glowing red hot. Avoid touching the flame to the joint, this will scorch your smokeables and will result in less ideal taste. Patience is key! It’s much better to apply too much heat than not enough if you care about having an even burning joint. With a torch this will take 15-30 sec. With a lighter it will take 30-60 sec.

Blow on the end of the joint. If you see any dark spots it means they aren’t yet hot enough. Apply more heat to the dark areas by holding the joint above the flame again.

Now the fun part! Your first puff should be slow and smooth. This will help evenly distribute the air amongst the embers and will enable any embers that weren’t already hot enough to achieve the same temperature as the other embers.

Tip #2 - Packing Density

How tight your cone is packed influences how evenly it burns. Ideally you want to pack the cone tight enough that it holds its shape, yet loose enough to easily allow even airflow.

The looser your cone is packed the faster it will burn because it is easier for oxygen to flow through and combust your smokeables. The tighter you pack your cone the slower it will burn becau se it is harder for the oxygen to flow through and combust your smokeables. Cones that are packed too tightly may also have trouble staying lit.

It may take a little practice to figure out how hard you need to pack your cone to achieve the ideal packing density. It’s better to press too soft than too hard because cones that are packed loosely are less likely to burn unevenly than joints that are packed tightly.

Tip #3 - Grind Consistency

Particle size and consistency of size are equally important factors to get an even burning joint.

The ideal particle size is somewhere between fine (small) and coarse (large). Ideally the particles are all roughly the same size. The easiest way to achieve the ideal particle size and consistency is to use a manual herb grinder. These devices have been around for a long time and are tried and true.

Particles that are too fine restrict airflow through the joint. This restricted airflow finds the path of least resistance and all air flows through this path. Only the smokeables in this path burn while the rest of the joint doesn’t.

Particles that are too coarse result in empty spaces in the joint. Airflow easily passes through these empty spaces causing them to burn while the rest of the joint doesn’t burn. This also causes the joint to frequently go out and need re-lighting.