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Cleaning Ash From Around Firebox

FairalbionFairalbion Posts: 139
edited 9:27AM in EggHead Forum
The area outside the perimeter of my firebox gets pretty badly clogged up with ash and lump chips as a result of normal combustion & also my stirring the used lump between cooks. The result is that I get reluctant fire startups and then uneven burning... so I have to dismantle and brush out every few weeks.[p]Does anyone have an easy non-vacuum-cleaner technique for cleaning around the firebox perimeter without dismantling the Egg?[p]Thanks!
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Comments

  • Fairalbion,
    I just cleaned mine yesterday. I'm a bit reluctant to remove the fire ring and fire box because they are cracked so I just clean everything I can by hand and then use an old shop vac (the kind with a bag) to suck the rest out. It does an excellent job of getting the stuff back behind the fire box but certainly not all of it. I could easily attach a piece of flexible rubber hose but I really don't think it's worth the effort. And another idea is to take my 200 mph leaf blower and stick it in there for a few seconds. The EPA would probably surround my house within the hour if I did that though.[p]There are a lot of Eggheads who never totally clean their Eggs. They just rake out the ashes every now and then (often leaving a few for insulating the bottom) and keep on cooking. I suppose you could do it this way for many years without a problem.[p]By the way, I wipped down the outside with some oven cleaner (the cold kind) and it took the black yucky stuff off from around the neck. Looks good.[p]Spring "Clean Egg" Chicken
    Spring Texas USA

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  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 16,924
    Fairalbion,
    how much ash are you actually getting in the back. i find that i get a fair amount on the sides of the opening and regularly clean that out by hand, but it takes a good 6-8 months to get it built up in the back of the egg. i dont clean the whole thing out until i can see the buildup in the air holes.that would work out to about 30 bags (330 pounds) of wicked good being burnt until i needed a thorough cleaning. mowing the grass and cleaning the egg should only be done twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. i do find that my new small needs to be cleaned more often, but the large has no real problems

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  • RRPRRP Posts: 15,280
    Fairalbion,
    I've had moderate success using a piece of plastic coated steel round braided cable 1/2" thick. I then cut a small block of wood and drilled a hole and expopied it in the end of the wire. Then push the wire around the outside of the firebox and then pull the block end through. It's kinda messy but at least that precludes the dismantle routine for months on end. A word of caution though if there is a build up of small lump chips even the wire won't go through and that's why I say I've had moderate success. PS I'd posted a picture but I can't find the darn thing this morning!!!

    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
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  • KyleKyle Posts: 156
    Fairalbion,[p]I am sure you must have a reason for not using a vacuum but I find that my shop vac hose will surround the perimeter of the firebox on my large with a bit of coaxing.[p]Many do not clean that area out very often, but I find that on low and slow cooks (for me) it works better if I vacuum it out prior to the cook.[p]Just my thoughts. Good luck.[p]Kyle

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  • FairalbionFairalbion Posts: 139
    fishlessman,
    I would say that I have to clean out every 8 weeks; I get a pretty severe build-up at the back. I wonder if I'm stirring the old lump too vigorously, because I only use the egg for about 4 cooks per week.

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  • Mark BackerMark Backer Posts: 1,018
    Fairalbion,[p]Possibly so. I don't stir first as much as I push it around with a spatula. that gets the lion's share thru to the bottom where the vent opening is, and I clean that out there. The amount that gets thru the holes in the firebox should be relatively small...[p]
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  • ranger rayranger ray Posts: 812
    RRP,
    great idea.... i'm gonna make something based on that idea... thanks! ray

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  • billygbillyg Posts: 315
    I haven't made a real attempt to clean the backside of the firebox. I have been using Cowboy lump which is rated by the Naked Whiz as the winner of the least ash produced. And since I am down to cooking on it about 5 or 6 times a week I don't worry too much about it. I do clean out what I can with the tool before every experience. From what I ve read I think you are correct in not trying to dismantel the fire box. This appears to have more of a down side than up. I am going to try my new Dirt Devil cordless in a couple of weeks. Good luck
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  • FairalbionFairalbion Posts: 139
    RRP,
    Thank you for the tip. I think I have some TV co-ax cable lying around that may fit the bill.

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  • RRPRRP Posts: 15,280
    Fairalbion, sorry I've been gone today but I doubt TV coxial cable will be sturdy enough to push thru the obstructions. Even that 1/2" braided steel cable tends to flex and take off on its own - but let us know.

    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
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  • RRPRRP Posts: 15,280
    IMG_0580.jpg
    <p />I finally found it...BTW the cable is 42" long and the block of wood is about 1.24 x 1.75 x .75
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
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  • FairalbionFairalbion Posts: 139
    RRP,
    Thanks for the advice. Where did you get the braided steel cable?

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  • RRPRRP Posts: 15,280
    Fairalbion,
    you can find it at any "good" hardware store or big box like orange or blue. It's really cheap and you just want to make sure it is the plastic coated which makes clean up a snap.

    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
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