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ash cleaning

jake42jake42 Posts: 932
edited 4:46AM in EggHead Forum
OK, maybe I am just a little anal about this. but am I the only one who cleans the ash out of the bottom before each cook no matter how small of an amount it is? Just happened to read the Naked Whiz section on that and it seems that it is not neccessary. In fact it said that it might be a good idea to leave some in the bottom for insulation (as ong as it does not restrict the airflow of the bottom vent to the charcoal). I'm not sure if it meant insulation between the heat of the charcoal and the bottom lining of the Egg. Or the insulation between the heat of the charcoal ,the bottom lining of the Egg ,and the surface that the Egg is setting on. If it is the latter I should br fine because i have plenty of room between the bottom of the Egg and the surface that it sets on. Does anyone else have an opinion on this theory?


  • RRPRRP Posts: 21,817
    there really isn't a need to clean so frequently - surely you don't mean taking the innards out and vacuuming as well do you? I just take a tool and rake the ashes out every three or four cooks. Now OTOH if I'm going to be using my Guru, I always scrape ashes before the start of that cook. About once a year I knock my eggs down and do the vacuum thing. Question though might help you answer your own question - do you clean your cooking grate after every use? If so you MAY be a complusive cleaner and what floats your boat is your business!

    L, M, S, &  Mini
    And oh yes...also a 17" BlackStone gas fired griddle! 
    Dunlap, IL
    Re- gasketing AMERICA one yard at a time!
  • jake42,
    I'm glad you asked this question. I think that I am doing too much cleaning too. Before every cook I stir the left-ever lump, making sure to put big pieces over the vent holes on the bottom sides of the egg so the vents do not get clogged up with little pieces. I then clean out the ash on the bottom each time with the ash tool. [p]Quite frankly, I would use my Egg more if I didn't clean it so often. For some reason I got it in my head that I had to clean it thoroughly before each cook. I look forward to the responses to your question because I think that I can save myself a lot of unnecessary work and enjoy the Egg that much more. [p]Mark

  • NessmukNessmuk Posts: 251
    Mark from Utah,
    You are not cleaning too much. For efficient burning, the fire must get air. It is a "drill' but must be done.[p]BGE could add an extention to the grate & cut a slot in the side so we could insert a tool & shake the coals down as we did in pot bellied stoves.[p]Some ash should be left in the bottom to hold the heat. [p]I have a pot bellied stove from a railroad station in my building in the woods. I insert the poker & shake out the ash before I light the fire. It is early 1900s & fires well. In fact I burn wood in it at 1000 degrees plus weekly.[p]

  • LuvmyeggLuvmyegg Posts: 86
    I clean my large egg out when I think about it, which believe me, isn't all that often. I use an electric starter, so there is not the extra ash you would get from the newspapers used for a chimney. For a few months, I didn't even have a grate, and my cooks were fine even though the coals and ash were in the bottom of the egg. Finally was able to replace my broken ceramic grate with the cast iron one. I always clean it if I am doing a long cook like a brisket.

  • SigmoreSigmore Posts: 621
    Nessmuk, Wiggle Rod! I use mine to smooth the ashes down to
    a flat bed of ash. If it ain't but about a quarter way up the inside, I caller good. Ain't lost a butt yet.

  • mollysharkmollyshark Posts: 1,519
    Mark from Utah,[p]Cleaning it thoroughly? You mean like take all the rings out and the firebox and all that? If you're really doing that, yeah, you're waaaay overdoing that. Just stir up the existing charcoal in there so the ash drops down. Then just scrape out the ash from the middle and from between the firebox and the sides where you can get to it. It takes me about 10 seconds total before a cook. I clean it "thoroughly" once every 3 months maybe? You'll know if you need to do a thoroughly because you'll start having a harder time getting up to any decent temps.[p]Relax a little and you'll enjoy it more![p]mShark
  • jake42,[p]My thoroughly "scientifical" approach to pre-cooking cleaning is to stir the coals, and "flatten" the ashes on the bottom of the egg so that they are at least even with the bottom of the vent opening. This really means that I stick a set of tongs dedicated to coal and ash duties in the vent area, and make sure there's no ash above the bottom of the vent.[p]Once the ashes show any resistance at all, I finally relent and scoop them out with my trusty SS spoon from the kitchen.[p]After this has happened a few times, I expect that there's a bit of ash in the sides under the (very broken, multi-piece :) ) firebox, and I break it down and clean it out. [p]That last chore takes me about 15 minutes. The pre-cook thing is measured in seconds.[p]It really should be no big deal unless you have a lot of residue form your fire starting method. I use MAPP gas to light the egg, so I don't have any ash other than the lump itself.[p]bc

  • BigfootBigfoot Posts: 154
    It sounds like you are doing too much cleaning. I do what everyone else does and just stir up the old coals a bit, add some fresh lump and put the torch to it. Now if I am doing an overnighter I pop the grate out and scoop out the ash from the bottom of the egg with my hand, put the grate back on and load her up![p]This isnot like the olk kettle grill where it had to be cleaned each time.

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