This month, we’re examining how to take a perfect low temperature flavor dab, and we’ll even convince you that cotton swabs are a necessary tool in the contemporary dabber’s tool kit. This dabbing technique will work on any nail, but we find that a quartz bucket style “banger” works best and delivers the cleanest, most flavorful dabs.
Follow this simple procedure to dial in your low-temp flavor dab. First, you’ll need a stopwatch (you probably have an app for that) and an infrared thermometer (they run about $15 online). Your target nail temperature for a flavor hit is between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit—this is the temperature zone that will vaporize cannabinoids and terpenes most effectively while not burning any plant materials or impurities that may be in your dabs.
The first step is to heat up your nail until it glows red. This initial heating will burn off any residue from the previous dab. When quartz is glowing red, it’s above 800 degrees—this is way too hot to dab on and if you put hash on a nail that hot it will leave carbonized material behind. However, it is the perfect starting point for finding your flavor dab temperature.
Once your nail is glowing red, start the timer on your stopwatch and use the thermometer to monitor the temp on the nail as it cools. In our experience, this takes about 35 seconds with a quartz nail. Once you know how long it takes to hit your target temp, you can simply heat that same nail to a red glow and count down the seconds for perfect low temp flavor dabs (without having to carry around a stopwatch and thermometer).
At the low-temp target, the concentrate will boil in a puddle and eventually stop boiling while turning slightly brown in color. Cover the bowl with a carb cap and allow convection to burn off all the remaining terps and cannabinoids. If the dab completely burns away, you are hitting it too hot, so add another five seconds to your wait time for the next session. If you think too much of the dab is being left behind on your nail, shave a second or two off the wait time.
Next, we break out the Q-tip. While the remains of the dab resemble an oily liquid, wipe out your bowl with the cotton swab to prepare the rig for the next hit. While all of this may sound like a pain in the ass, once you start hitting a rig like this, you will never want to go back. So make some room in your dab kit and stock up on Q-tips.