3. Moist Snus

Moist snus is intended for oral use, either loose or enclosed within a permeable packet.

A recipe for Swedish snus from jojjas, a member of the Fair Trade Tobacco Forum from Sweden:

You could use any kind of tobacco leaf you want, even stems could be used (I prefer burley and or Virginia), but they must be very dry or it becomes too heavy to grind them. You could even use unfermented leaves, but only if they are dry.

Grind tobacco leaf to a fine powder, something between fine sawdust and oatmeal flour. When that is done, add an equal weight of tobacco flour with boiling water, with approx 50-70g salt (2-2.75 oz weight). You could use more salt if you prefer.

example: 0.5kg tobacco you should mix with 0.5 liters water (1 pound tobacco: 1/2 quart of water).

Then mix tobacco and salty water together, so everything is well mixed, and then put it in the plastic container and press it hard with the end of a wooden plank or something similar, to remove excess water. Put on the lid and make sure it’s tight.

Place the container in a 90°C (~194°F) oven for 24 hours (Here is where the fermentation occurs.)

After 24 hours, take out the container and mix the tobacco so there are no lumps.

The next step is a little bit critical. Do this outside. If it’s hot direct from the oven, it can irritate your eyes and nose when you mix it together.

Editor’s note: Sodium carbonate is a relatively strong alkali, and will react with iron, aluminum, and other metals. The mixing and heating with sodium carbonate should be performed in a non-reactive container—stainless steel, ceramic, glass, a well-enameled pot without interior scratches, or an oven-safe plastic container, in order to avoid dissolving some metal into the snus. The oven temperature is below the boiling point of water.

Sodium carbonate can be made from sodium-bicarbonate—common baking soda (not baking powder) by heating it in the oven at ~ 93° C (200°F) for about an hour.]

Boil 0.25 liters (1 cup) water with 40-70 g of sodium carbonate, and add to the tobacco. (I prefer 45-50g.) If you want stronger (more nicotine, stronger) snus use, the high dosage. Put it in the plastic container and press it hard with the end of a wooden plank or something similar. Put on the lid, and make sure it’s tight. Place it in the oven for 12 hours at 90°C (~194°F).

After 12 hours, take out the snus from the oven, let it cool down, and mix it well so there are no lumps. Now is the time to add flavor if you want, and perhaps some substance to keep it moist (glycerin or PPG). Store it in the refrigerator to keep it moist and fresh.

A recipe for Swedish snus from POGreen, a member of the Fair Trade Tobacco Forum from Sweden.

This is how I make 5.5 Ibs of ”Swedish Snus ”:

2.2 Ibs tobacco powder (I use a meat grinder to grind my leaves.)
1.75oz to 3.5oz of Salt
1.2 liters or 2.5 pints of water

Heat the water in a saucepan to lukewarm, take the pan off the burner, and pour the salt into the water to dissolve it by stirring it until the water is clear.

Have the tobacco powder in a bucket, and pour the lukewarm saltwater over the powder. Mix them with your hands, or a spoon, if it’s too hot. MIX VERY WELL.

You should have 2 plastic boxes with lids to put the mixed, wet tobacco powder into.

Take a little at a time. Give the powder a light packing all the way to the top. There should be no holes in the lids.

Preheat the oven to 194°F.

Make sure the boxes can take 200°F in the oven. [Microwave-safe food containers should be fine.] Heat for 24 hours.

Warm 1.5 pints of water in a non-reactive saucepan [stainless, ceramic, glass, or well-enameled] to lukewarm. Take the pan OUTSIDE, then add 1.75 ounces to 3.5 ounces (weight) of sodium carbonate. Dissolve it by stirring until it is clear.

Remove the box of heated tobacco from the oven. Pour the tobacco into a clean bucket, together with the sodium carbonate solution, and mix it very thoroughly with a spoon.

Transfer the mixture back into the boxes, and cover it. Return them to the oven at 194° F for another 12 hours.

Allow the heated boxes to cool with THE LID ON. When it’s cooled to about room temperature, store it in the fridge.

The longer you keep it in the fridge, the better.

The sodium carbonate raises the pH (makes it more alkaline), and increases nicotine absorption. For increasing the apparent strength of the snus, consider using stronger tobacco instead of using too much sodium carbonate, which can irritate the mouth.

I have used both a Swedish type of Virginia called Alida, together with Rustica. Rustica is great for snuff, in my opinion.*****

A recipe for snus from Nic, a member of the Fair Trade Tobacco Forum from Finland.

We need:

–An oven

–A meat thermometer to monitor oven temperature

–Roasting bags (that are designed for oven use) and a baking dish to support the bag

–Something to grind the tobacco with, like a meat grinder


–Big bowl or bucket

–Tobacco leaves

Remove the midrib of each leaf. Allow the leaf to dry for a few days at room temperature. You can add some of the midribs, so long as it’s not moldy, to the leaf for grinding. A hand-cranked meat grinder that is connected to a power drill is one way to grind.


–100 grams of salt

–100 grams of sodium carbonate or potash. If you do not have access to this, painting soda or soda ash can be bought from the local hardware store and serves as a good substitute

–1 kg of tobacco flour.

–1-1.5 liters of water.

Step 1: Mix the boiling water with salt, stirring until the salt is dissolved. Mix the saltwater with the tobacco flour in a bowl. Stir well until all the tobacco flour is “wet”. Set the oven at 90°C (~194°F) and let snuff bake in the sealed roasting bag for at least 24 hours.

Step 2: OUTDOORS, mix the sodium carbonate with about 3-5 cups hot water and mix with the baked tobacco flour. Stir well!

Step 3: Bake the snus for 12h in a 90°C (~194°F) oven, in a sealed roasting bag.

Step 4: Pack the snus in buckets or boxes and leave cool for about 2 weeks.

An alternative method is to extend the cooking time in step 1, to 3-5 days and skip step 3. This results in a true black and delicious snus but unfortunately, this method increases the risk of the snus getting burned. The process requires some monitoring. Flip the roasting bag every day, and make sure it is tightly closed. If you think your snus looks dry after some time in the oven, you can add more water.

Choosing tobacco variety:

The choice of tobacco variety affects the flavor of the end product to some degree. The traditional types used in snus production are Burley, flue-cured, dark air, and fire-cured.

–Burley gives a good tobacco taste and is perfect for making snus. Usually rich in nicotine, a personal favorite!

–Flue-cured usually gives less taste and contains less nicotine. Suitable to mix with other varieties.

–Dark Air usually contains more nicotine but, according to me, it is less flavorful than the burley.

–Fire-cured varieties provide a strong, smoky flavor, and are perfect as a complement to the other variants.*****