Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
We hope everyone enjoyed their Fourth of July weekend and is excited for more warm weather grilling! This week, we’ll be making these two burgers: Stuffed Portobello Mushroom and Caribbean Chicken, and also eating lots of these Ice Cream Sandwiches in honor of National Ice Cream Month! It's time to think about getting out to one of the many #EGGfests around the country - see a list here

Second (hopefully last?) charcoal survey question

How important is low ash to you when selecting a lump charcoal?  When I do reviews, I give it equal importance as burn time, how much chips and dust, and maximum temperature.  How about you?  Is low ash production A) Very Important B) Somewhat Important C) Not important at all.  Thanks! 
The Naked Whiz
«13

Comments

  • jerrypjerryp Posts: 221
    C. I think price would be a better factor to grade.
  • B&BKnoxB&BKnox Posts: 204
    C. Not important.  Price number 1 initially, quality of lump #2 (scrap pieces, dust, small pieces etc), burn time #3.
    Be Well

    Knoxville TN
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,905
    Answer - C. 

    Natural lump has no additives, so any ash left over isn't added, it's the inorganic part of the wood (minerals, salts, metals).  The amount of ash is generally minimal with natural lump charcoal compared to briquettes, which have fillers added. 

    The amount of ash in lump is going to be primarily a function of the species of wood and where it was grown, not really much to do with the collier's method (other than how much soil sticks to the charcoal).

    Since the ash is minimal even in the worst case, and it has no impact on the quality of the fire or cook, and because I have a dedicated vacuum to clean out the ash, I don't consider it a factor at all that I care about.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,225
    I'm gonna go with B)Somewhat Important. People with grills/smokers that burn more charcoal are going to be more concerned. Doesn't seem to make much of a difference when cooking on an Egg, but when I use my old offset down at the ranch, it does. On long smokes, I have to shovel out the ash buildup under the grate or it will build up and block air flow making consistent temperatures harder to hold. Eggers aren't the only ones who refer to your site, so you might keep that in mind.

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings

     

  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,332
    I'm with Griffin. I see links to your site all over the World Wide Interwebs. Many have little to do with egging(for which I am very thankful that there is minimal advertising on your site compared to others). So I would find it as important as others. Not everything is a high heat sear so low and slowers will find the appeal to having that information.
  • JRWhiteeJRWhitee Posts: 1,728
    B-
                                                                        
    _________________________________________________

    Large BGE 2006, Small BGE 2014, Adjustable Rig R&B, PSWoo3, Thermapen.
    Weber Gasser for the Wife. 
    Founding Member of the Green Man Group cooking team.
    Johns Creek, Georgia
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,905
    Yeah, but he said lump.  And his site has the tag line "Ceramic charcoal cooking, kamado cookers, barbecue, recipes, charcoal reviews and more!"

    In context, C.  I can see it being an issue burning briquettes in a stick burner.  But he doesn't review briquettes nor stick burners.

    If you're an extremely lazy egger, and you just keep adding lump without cleaning out the ash, just maybe buying low ash lump will buy you more time before maintaining the fire box.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • AviatorAviator Posts: 1,429
    edited July 2013

    B

    I agree and look to NOLA's take on most things, but beg to differ here.

    If you have used lump like WGWW or Oo, you will notice that they are very low in ash. And the ash is kinda silky soft. Now try RO. The ash is gritty, sand like and there is a LOT. There is a huge difference. I can go 2 -3 cooks with the first two mentioned but with RO, I need to empty the ash before every cook. So what is my go to lump? Not RO.

    Of course, the primary quality you look for in a lump is how it burns, not the residue, hence the B.

    ______________________________________________ 

    Large and Small BGE, and a baby black Kub.

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

    >:)

    Chattanooga, TN.

     

  • henapplehenapple Posts: 10,505
    C
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • baywulfbaywulf Posts: 9
    C, not really important, as I just vac out a few more times. 
  • MklineMkline Posts: 175
    edited July 2013
    B, just for the reason of long cooks. the longer the cook the more ash build up on the lump, so a lump with lower ash production is easier to run longer at low and slow. 
  • TjcoleyTjcoley Posts: 2,800
    C. I get less ash produced on a 16 hour low and slow than on a 90 minute pizza cook, so not a concern.
    __________________________________________
    It's not a science, it's an art. And it's flawed.
    - Camp Hill, PA
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,730
    edited July 2013
    i cook til the bottom is full of ash almost to the grate and then remove a cup or two for the cook, maybe a little more for a low and slow. pretty much never clean out the egg anymore
    :)) i dont see it making any difference at all when cooking in an egg. kinda cracks me up reading about vacuum cleaners etc, last thing in the world i want to do is disturb my broken up crumbly firebox
    :D us extremely lazy eggers do as little as posssible with the ash, whiz, we are NOT taking the time to measure and weigh it
    :D   so   C
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,905
    Hey, don't knock the vacuum cleaners...mine's dedicated.  Probably the best accessory I've purchased.  I just grab the hose and hit the switch and the ash is gone in 60 seconds.  I'm on my second bag and I started using it 6 months ago.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • Ragtop99Ragtop99 Posts: 1,087
    C. 
    I am much more concerned about it having a neutral smell and not a lot of chips and dust.
    Cooking on an XL and Medium in Bethesda, MD.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,730

    Hey, don't knock the vacuum cleaners...mine's dedicated.  Probably the best accessory I've purchased.  I just grab the hose and hit the switch and the ash is gone in 60 seconds.  I'm on my second bag and I started using it 6 months ago.

    :)) :)) :D

    wonder if anyone here has a maid service for the house, make sure you hit the egg before you leave
    :D
  • jaydub58jaydub58 Posts: 1,168
    C.  My rosebushes love the ash!
    John in the Willamette Valley of Oregon
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,410
    Im with @fishlessman, Never take all the ash out of my egg, in fact I even throw the small stuff that fell through the grate and was snuffed back into the bottom after I give it a rake to ensure air flow. I've never made the call to not buy a specific type of lump due to the amount of ash, so to answer the Whiz's question as it relates to kamado style cookers, to me the answer is C) Not important at all. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,905
    I don't remove all of it either.  60 seconds to clear an air passage and I'm back in bidness. 


    image
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • bccomstockbccomstock Posts: 324
    I'd go with B..

    It's not extremely important, but in terms of maintenance requirements, having lump that produces more means less cooks between cleans.. And there have been several times recently that I can't seem to get good temps quickly.. I push some ash around in the bottom, and it takes off.. Maybe I'm just too lazy and need to utilize my shopvac more often.. :D
    LBGE
    Proud member of the Who Dat Nation!
    My Not Frequently Updated Blog: http://datcue.wordpress.com
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 10,905
    I used to use the shop vac from my manbearcave - it has the regular stock dry filter.  That ash would clog it up in 30 seconds.  I got a dedicated vac (around $50 at Amazon) and use the bags.  They DO NOT CLOG. When they're completely full, they weigh 20 pounds (of densely packed ash).  No muss, no fuss.  Yeah, I've scooped it out too.  Get a bag, big spoon or something.  Inevitably you have ash on the deck.  Not a big deal and I'm not ADHD or anything, but I'd spend $50 on the vacuum over a looflighter any day.  I use a cheap torch with propane, works like a champ.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    No City.

  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,773
    I'm thinking that something like burn time is linear.  More is better.  More more is more more better.  Lots more is lots more better.  Ash is more like a threshold for many.  If the amount of ash produced is so great it seriously impacts your ability to do a long overnight cook, that's real important.  Otherwise, it is only a slight bother as to how often you have to clean it out.
    The Naked Whiz
  • scottc454scottc454 Posts: 65
    C (Seems like there needs to be something between B and C.  I care, but I don't believe there are significant differences between lump brands)

    For grilling, it doesn't matter. I only care about ash for low n' slows and most of the ash probably comes from wood chunks/chips.

    I'm not picky. If it burns, I can cook with it.
  • MrCookingNurseMrCookingNurse Posts: 3,737
    C. It is something that has never effected my cooking and I have never cooked with one of these 
    "low ash" lumps.  I, like nola, vacuum out my egg before a large cook where air flow and time is important. 


    _______________________________________________

    LBGE & SBGE (big momma and pat)
  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,773
    scottc454 said:
    C (Seems like there needs to be something between B and C.  I care, but I don't believe there are significant differences between lump brands)

    For grilling, it doesn't matter. I only care about ash for low n' slows and most of the ash probably comes from wood chunks/chips.

    I'm not picky. If it burns, I can cook with it.
    There are enormous differences between different brands.  I can check when I get home, but the worst lumps (as far as ash is concerned) produce something like 6-7 times as much as the best.
    The Naked Whiz
  • BOWHUNRBOWHUNR Posts: 1,378
    C

    I'm ashamed what I did for a Klondike Bar!!

    Omaha, NE
  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 2,420
    C - doesn't matter

    -----------------------------------------


    Large BGE. Small BGE Henderson, Ky
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,588

    I say C.

    The two main lumps I buy are Nature Glo, which gets great review from NW and B&B, also gets good reviews. In my experience, B&B produces less ash and there are bigger pieces, but I prefer Nature Glo over B&B because it lights fatser and burns clean faster.

    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
Sign In or Register to comment.