Before being smoked, tobacco leaves must be cured -- or dried and seasoned -- and then cut down to a smokable size. For centuries, tobacco has been cut and prepared many different ways. The shag cut of tobacco cuts the leaves into long, thin strips that burn quickly at a high temperature. Shag cut tobacco is most commonly found in cigarettes but can also be smoked in pipes and cigars. Since shag cut is the smallest cut of tobacco, other types of cut such as ribbon, flake and navy can be ground down to shag size. Whole cured leaf tobacco can also be cut down to shag using a similar process.
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Things you need
- Whole tobacco leaf or pre-cut blended tobacco
- Tobacco grinder
Cut the whole, cured tobacco leaf into thin strips with scissors. The strips should be around 1/3 of an inch wide and about two inches long. If you are using pre-cut blended tobacco, remove three pinches of the tobacco from the tin or pouch and reseal the container.
Open the top of the grinder and place three strips of tobacco or three pinches of blended tobacco at the 12 o'clock, 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock positions between the teeth of the bottom half of the grinder. Make sure the tobacco is firmly pressed between the teeth of the grinder and nothing is in the centre of the grinder. Firmly replace the lid on the grinder and press the teeth on the lid of the grinder into the tobacco.
Set the grinder upright and twist the top half back and forth several times. This will shred the tobacco into a shag cut. Keep twisting the lid until it turns smoothly. Tap the bottom of the grinder on a hard surface to settle all the tobacco into the collection chamber in the bottom of the grinder. Remove the grinding pieces of the grinder from the collection chamber. The finely shredded shag is now ready to use.
Tips and warnings
- Smoking can cause health problems.
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