Forming Cake Properly in Your Pipes

The subject of cake – that layer of carbon buildup on the inside of your pipe’s bowl, is a subject of much hand wringing, sleepless nights, fiddling, and fussing. At least if the nature of so many of the questions that hit my contact form and YouTube inbox are any indication.

In this video I hopefully put things in perspective.

  • Scott Swan

    Good video Eric. Agreed that some will have a different opinions, but I am so a similar opinion. I do tend to smoke all the way to the bottom of the bowl, but with new pipes, I just determine what tobaccos I will be smoking the pipe – Latakia, Virginia/Burleys, aromatics, and then I just set aside a good 30 to 45 minutes (depending on bowl size), load to the top and gently puff away. One ritual that I do perform after all smokes – new or or broken-in pipes is to so gently stuff the ash at the bottom of the bowl and then give it a few easy shakes and then dump the ash straight down. The ash will adhere to a freshly smoked pipe. This seems to encourage the caking process, as well as imbue the pipe with the kinds of tobacco I intend to smoke in it. Thanks again for another great video. Nice bloopers by the way!

    • Scott Swan

      I meant to say “stir the ash,” not “stuff the ash.”

    • Eric

      Glad you liked the video and thanks for commenting!

      I’ll never stop a good smoke provided I have time to smoke, but I’m just not obsessed about forcing myself to get to the heel.

  • Marty

    I agree with you. As long as you pack the pipe properly, develop a nice even draw rhythm to your smoking the cake will form. Too often smokers get caught up in making pipe smoking a technical pursuit rather than a recreational one.

    • Eric

      Thanks for commenting Marty. Well said. Anything that gets in the way of relaxing has to go.

  • Fred Terling

    Great video…thank you!