The shake and bake method of creating meth is faster and takes up less space, but it carries a significant risk for explosions, chemical burns and poisoning.

Article at a Glance:

  • Shake and bake is also known as small capacity production labs (SCPLs) or the one-pot method for cooking meth.
  • It is a way to simplify the meth cooking process, but it carries a high failure rate and significant risk.
  • Shake and bake is extremely dangerous and is linked to fires and explosions.

Shake and Bake Meth

“Shake and Bake” is a process for making meth that simplifies how meth is created. It is also known as small capacity production labs (SCPLs) or the one-pot method.

In traditional meth-cooking labs, required equipment includes devices to heat chemicals, glass beakers and multiple ingredients. In contrast, the shake and bake method of creating meth is faster and takes up less space, allowing people to do it even while in their car.

In the shake and bake method, chemicals are mixed in a soda bottle, rather than a lab. While it may seem like a quick fix for people who want to make meth, it’s extremely dangerous.

How Common Is Shake and Bake Meth?

Shake and bake meth is a common way of producing the drug. At first, most meth was produced in home-based labs. That has changed over the past few years, with most meth products being trafficked into the United States by Mexican drug cartels.

However, some meth is still produced in the United States, often using the shake and bake method in SCPLs. This method has an advantage over home-based labs in that it is portable and can be done anywhere, and that it requires less of the component pseudoephedrine than traditional methods of making the drug. However, it has dangerous downsides.

The Dangers of Meth Production

Attempting shake and bake meth is very dangerous and has a 50% failure rate. Risks of shake and bake meth production include:

  • Explosion: The chemical reactions that take place in the mixing bottle often lead to an explosion when the cap is removed. Even the smallest error can lead to an explosion and fire.
  • Skin Burns: Serious skin burns can result from an explosion of shake and bake meth.
  • Poisoning: The chemicals used in shake and bake meth are dangerous. This is especially true if there is an explosion or a spill, which can expose people to toxic compounds. Every one pound of meth produced yields five to six pounds of toxic waste.

An added danger to shake and bake meth production is that people often make it in their cars and discard the components as litter on the side of the road. However, these components are still toxic and can explode. This puts animals, drivers, construction workers and road clean-up crews at risk.

How Is Shake and Bake Meth Made?

Shake and bake meth is made by combining a variety of ingredients in a large drink bottle. Common ingredients include:

  • Pseudoephedrine tablets
  • Solvent
  • Lithium
  • Sodium hydroxide
  • Ammonium nitrate
  • Water

The person making the meth uses the ingredients to create a chemical reaction to make the meth. However, chemical failure is common in the shake and bake meth process and has been linked to a high risk of fires and explosions.

If you or a loved one live with methamphetamine addiction or are using methamphetamine recreationally and want to stop, it’s time to seek professional help. The Recovery Village provides care to those struggling with methamphetamine. Reach out to one of our knowledgeable representatives today to learn how you can start on your path to recovery.

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Editor – Rob Alston
Rob Alston has traveled around Australia, Japan, Europe, and America as a writer and editor for industries including personal wellness and recovery. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Jessica Pyhtila, PharmD
Dr. Jessica Pyhtila is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist based in Baltimore, Maryland with practice sites in inpatient palliative care and outpatient primary care at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Read more

U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration. “Drugs of Abuse.” April 2020. Accessed April 27, 2021.

Saulny, Susan. “With Cars as Meth Labs, Evidence Litters Roads.” New York Times, April 14, 2010. Accessed April 27, 2021.

Drug Enforcement Administration. “Methamphetamine and the CMEA.” July 2014. Accessed April 27, 2021.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.