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Clean under the firepot?

ratcheerratcheer Posts: 189
edited August 2012 in EggHead Forum
I have had my large BGE for about six weeks. I have learned tons on this forum and things are going pretty well. However, one thing is bugging me.

I notice a fair amount of ash and small charcoal pieces go down through the air holes in the sides of the fire pot. They are obviously accumulating between the outside of the fire pot and the inside of the main body of the Egg. The fire ring is heavy and possibly somewhat fragile. The fire pot is even heavier. The whole egg is mounted in a table, considerably above floor level. I am getting to be an old man and lifting that stuff out safely by myself seems to be risky. When my adult son is at home he can help, but...

Anyway, do y'all see it as necessary to periodically remove the fire pot to clean under it? If yes, do you have any tips for accomplishing it when two strong men are not available?

Tim

Comments

  • I do it almost once a week and I also do it by myself. It's not as heavy as one may think. And again, it's not as fragile as one would think. I can't see how doing this is not a must. You will kill your air flow thus your ability to get it up to temp if you don't get the ash out. I did a post on it a couple weeks ago. Ash will build up all the way to those holes and all the way around the outside of the fire box.

    Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

    This pic is after I already had vacuumed out most of it.


    _______________________________________________

    LBGE & SBGE (big momma and pat)
  • BRush00BRush00 Posts: 196
    Yup - Definitely a must to clean out behind the fire-box once in awhile... I probably do mine after each bag of lump. 

    Easiest way to get the fire ring out by yourself?  Turn your hands "inside out", so that your fingers point "out", that way you can get both arms down inside the ring, and get a grip underneath with both hands.

    Best way to get the fire box out?  Get one arm down in the egg, and use the large air hole (which should be facing forward) as a handhold and pull. 

    They aren't that heavy - the fire box is maybe.... 30 # ish....  But if you don't feel that YOU can do it safely, every time your son comes over, have him handle it for you.  It'll take him 45 seconds, so I doubt he'd mind.
  • A friend of mine uses a short piece of 1" flexible tubing (hose) duct taped into the end of his shop vac hose. He snakes it around the back between the base and the firebox
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,922
    i only clean it out thoroughly when im having dificulty with getting hotter cooks. for years i was averaging about 400 pounds plus a year of lump and taking the box out once or twice a year. i have 3 eggs now and cant remember when i took a firebox out, its been along time, couple years with multiple eggs
  • i only clean it out thoroughly when im having dificulty with getting hotter cooks. for years i was averaging about 400 pounds plus a year of lump and taking the box out once or twice a year. i have 3 eggs now and cant remember when i took a firebox out, its been along time, couple years with multiple eggs

    That's impressive and mind blowing to me. I don't see how u make it that long


    _______________________________________________

    LBGE & SBGE (big momma and pat)
  • i only clean it out thoroughly when im having dificulty with getting hotter cooks. for years i was averaging about 400 pounds plus a year of lump and taking the box out once or twice a year. i have 3 eggs now and cant remember when i took a firebox out, its been along time, couple years with multiple eggs
    That's impressive and mind blowing to me. I don't see how u make it that long
    A lot of his just falls out through the cracks
    :D
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,922
    i only clean it out thoroughly when im having dificulty with getting hotter cooks. for years i was averaging about 400 pounds plus a year of lump and taking the box out once or twice a year. i have 3 eggs now and cant remember when i took a firebox out, its been along time, couple years with multiple eggs
    That's impressive and mind blowing to me. I don't see how u make it that long
    i just reach in thru the vent with the grid lifter and pull whats blocking under the grate out, it doesnt need to be empty, justs a space for air flow. you only need to remove the box when the ash is too built up behind the fire box and that takes a good while before it effects airflow and it only effects really hot cooks when that gets blocked
  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,380
    I use the grid lifter trick too. I just wiggle it in there and make a space for air. Every few months I use a shop vac with a small attachment to get it all out.

    Focus on the result, not the process. In other words, if it ain't broke don't fix it.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • boatbumboatbum Posts: 1,261
    edited August 2012

    I have pulled and cleaned, but not very often.   If I know I am doing something like brisket, then sausage, etc - where I want a 20 hour burn - I want unrestricted airflow.  But I think a good scraping with the ash tool gives me unrestricted airflow.

    But no where near every bag - maybe on the 10th bag.   I used the ash tool religiously, before every light.   Yes, I know there is stuff it misses, but the question I look at is whether I think its going to restrict ash flow.  Not sure getting that last little bit makes that much difference.

    I pay much more attention to whats in the firebox, making sure the residual ash is off existing charcoal.  Making sure I don't have "too many" small pieces.   If I have alot of small, often times I will remove the small pieces, do new larger pieces out of the bag, then fill in the small on top.

     

    Cookin in Texas
  • doubledouble Posts: 1,214
    I just shop vac every few weeks. I don't bother remove everything unless it's really bad
    Lynnwood WA
  • and like was mentioned, it falls thru the cracks
    :D
    imageimage
    I meant the cracks on the outside
  • and like was mentioned, it falls thru the cracks
    :D
    imageimage

    ^#(^


    _______________________________________________

    LBGE & SBGE (big momma and pat)
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,229
    I find I MUST take the firebox out and clean the ash around its base about every 100 cooks. 1 clue is that vent settings that usually produce a 250 dome will only produce 200. I have MBGEs. That works out to roughly a clean every 200 lbs of lump.
  • misumisu Posts: 213
    i only clean it out thoroughly when im having dificulty with getting hotter cooks. for years i was averaging about 400 pounds plus a year of lump and taking the box out once or twice a year. i have 3 eggs now and cant remember when i took a firebox out, its been along time, couple years with multiple eggs
    same here
  • jlsmjlsm Posts: 745
    I do it with the large only when I rebuild the entire firebox for a long and slow (and I don't do this unless the thing is going to cook 10 hours or more). I do it pretty frequently with the mini, though. the mini is much more temperamental and will refuse to get roaring hot unless it's clean. 
    *******
    Owner of a large and a beloved mini in Philadelphia
  • DuganboyDuganboy Posts: 1,118
    About once a month and that is cooking 5 nights a week. Any more than that and you are just doing it because you want to. Like my buddy who changes his oil every 2500 miles.
  • ratcheerratcheer Posts: 189
    Thanks for all the tips, everyone. I am digesting them.

    Tim
  • dlk7dlk7 Posts: 975

    Until I saw this thread, I really didn't think about pulling the firebox to do a "full" clean out.  Last night I pulled everything out and found almost nothing had fallen behind the firebox.  Maybe the XL isn't affected as much as the large.  Maybe the holes are higher.  I've cooked on this XL every night and hadn't pulled the firebox for over 2 months.

    Two XL BGEs - So Happy!!!!

    Rudderville, TN

  • dlk7 said:

    Until I saw this thread, I really didn't think about pulling the firebox to do a "full" clean out.  Last night I pulled everything out and found almost nothing had fallen behind the firebox.  Maybe the XL isn't affected as much as the large.  Maybe the holes are higher.  I've cooked on this XL every night and hadn't pulled the firebox for over 2 months.

    Same here, been cooking quite regular with a few overniters over the last two months.  Took firebox out to do a complete clean and I was very surprised that very little ash was build up.  I do use the scraper every second cook tho.

    XL BGE Nested

    Several Weber's

    Chargriller TRIO


  • Hoppy & HoppetteHoppy & Hoppette Posts: 38
    edited August 2012

    I have owned my egg for over five years now, and have never cleaned behind the firebox.

    It still operates very well without any problems.

    Question: Has anyone ever tried one of those lint removers that are advertised for dryers and a simple wet-dry vac to remove the ash? 

    Seems like it would be much easier and less risky than removing the innerds out of the egg.

  • AviatorAviator Posts: 1,435
    I have also considered doing a modified shopvac tube for cleaning out this recess, think it is safer for the egg components. Have not had a problem yet with temps.

    ______________________________________________ 

    Large and Small BGE, and a baby black Kub.

    And all the toys to make me look like a Gizmo Chef.

    >:)

    Chattanooga, TN.

     

  • njlnjl Posts: 768
    Its not that hard to pull the fire ring and fire box.  The fire ring is only tricky because there's no good place to grab it.  Once its out of the way, you can grab the fire box by the bottom vent.

    I suppose if you wanted to avoid lifting them out, you could periodically shopvac around them with a flexible hose through the bottom vent.
  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 970
    Simply putting the shop vac hose on the firebox vent holes will suck up pretty much all the ash behind the firebox.

    ____________________
    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • One thing I haven't heard mentioned is the the ash tool surprisingly enough will go back pretty far between fire box and the egg through the vent opening thus allowing you to scap some of the ash out that has accumulated behind the holes. I do this when the egg struggles to get to higher temps. I will also level out the ash when it gets to high. When it's time to do a thorough cleaning or a long cook I take the ring and box out and us an ash vacuum to remove everything. As someone mentioned above I think I will try and adapt a hose to the ash vacuum and see if that works rather than disassembling it.
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