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How Do You Pull The Old Charcoal Out?

greggw2gsgreggw2gs Posts: 4
edited 5:45AM in EggHead Forum
I want to re-use my charcoal but need to pull it out, add new coals, and then after its lit, re-load the old stuff ontop. I need to do this for my high temp recipes like Pizza and Steak. Does anyone have a good setup of a tool to pull it out and a metal can or something to put it in? Thanks Gregg


  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,171
    I don't understand why you don't just add new lump on top of the old.

    That being said, a pet food scoop or grain scoop would work well with a 5 gallon bucket to hold it. If you got a plastic scoop you could always carve the end to a custom radius that would make a better fit in the firebox.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i don't know anybody that does that, honestly.

    i stir the old lump to dump the ash. add new, stir again, and light.

    if i ever need to get the lump out, i use my hands.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • I am having a hard time getting high temps with a lot of old coals. Now maybe I am just using too much charcoal and thus have too much left over. I need to cook with less I am thinking...
  • ZippylipZippylip Posts: 4,347
    Gregg, put on a pair of these & scoop away (I knock the lump around as I am scooping it out to get rid of ash, then put it into a chimney for re-lighting, add new lump if I need it to the clean egg, & put the used but newly lit stuff on top, keeps the stock rotating):

  • Nice idea... Thanks
  • ZippylipZippylip Posts: 4,347
    regarding your reply to Fidel, I think maybe you aren't properly cleaning the egg, as he & stike said, you do not have to remove it, but you do need to stir it to allow the ash to fall through the grate so that you have proper air-flow, then you should not have a temp issue
  • Cpt'n CookCpt'n Cook Posts: 1,917
    I guess everybody has there own style, I stir mine around to get rid of the real fine stuff and scoop the rest out with a flexible 1 gallon pail, re-load the egg with fresh lump and add the old stuff on top and light that. Seems to shorten or eliminate the burn-off period for the new lump.

    It works for me.
  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    I just stir the old lump with the ash tool to get the fines to fall through the grate then add new. The only reason you would have trouble getting high temps is if you have too much small stuff blocking airflow. -RP
  • emt_24emt_24 Posts: 94
    I guess I'm in the minority then. I fill the egg and when most of my lump is gone I use disposable latex gloves to remove the old lump after stirring. I then use my mini shopvac to vacuum out the egg, add new lump and then put the old lump on top.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 17,990
    mine gets above 900 easily with just old lump, even when its full. my lump grate is bigger and has more holes for increased airflow and i light with a weedburner as well which probably helps. i wouldnt go hand picking old lump out, i just stir out the ash and add more. some here modified their lump grate with bolts that lifts it about a quarter or so higher to increase the airflow, maybe someone has a pic of it. its not the lump, its the airflow being blocked.
  • DarnocDarnoc Posts: 2,661
    On the same subject matter a wok spatula is a great tool for removing the ash.

  • DarnocDarnoc Posts: 2,661
    Here you go.



    Hope this helps.
  • What i do is stir up the lump to get the ash to fall through the holes once that is done i put new lump in and fire it up and all is well only time i remove old lump is on a slo and low i clean out everything put in new then old and fire it up
  • WilbyWilby Posts: 155
    I never take out the old lump. I just toss in a load of new lump right on top.
  • Darnoc,

    The setup u posted what are the benefits of it and what all did u use set it up
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 17,990
    it creates additional air space around the perimeter of the grate which increases airflow (helps especially if a couple holes get clogged)
  • DarnocDarnoc Posts: 2,661
    It is for better air flow my friend.I have found it a lot easier to fine tune the amount of air flow that you want simply by turning the large washer in or out to get the space you want. I have opted for about 1/4 inch gap all around the grate or a pencil thickness.

    Materials needed cost about $2.00 to $3.00 dollars.

    3 1x1/4 inch bolts
    3 2inch washers
    3 1 1/2 inch washers
    3 1 inch washers
    3 1/4 inch nuts

    Put the bolt through the 1 1/2 inch washer then through the 2 inch washer then through the fire grate.Put the three washers on the bolts that have passed through and then hand tighten the three nuts.You then will realize that you will be able to turn the large(two inch) washer in or out to get the desired spacing that you want to achieve.You can then snug them up if you want to but I leave mine finger tight because in time that grate will warp and you still will be able to adjust it.
  • MillzyMillzy Posts: 24
    i know i am new, but following the "Elder Ward" directions---Clean EGG + properly placed charcoal, i have had NO problem getting a nice high temp (750) for searing steaks.
  • EggZonaEggZona Posts: 108
    Charcoal washes off your hands easily with soap and water. Dig in.
  • That is a REALLY good idea. Thanks for the info!
  • I've had this problem as well and have isolated the problem to using lump coal that has a high ash yield. That ash fills up the air holes and precludes temperatures much above 425F. This includes having the vent wide open and even the Egg 'topless'.

    After a long low-n-slow or after a >600F cook, I put on the yard gloves I bought for egging purpose, pull the firebox out, and place the firebox into a contractor grade trash bag to empty it out. I keep the coal around and use it to compliment the new lump coal. I, too, am a believer of Elder Ward's cleanbox philosophy but must admit I can be lazy from time to time. :whistle:

    I'm doing a pork butt tonight and have switched over to the Cowboy lump purchased at the Ace Hardware to replace the BBQ Galore lump that I feel doesn't get as hot and produces quite a bit of ash. Hopefully this will burn a little "cleaner". :)

    Good luck.
  • I purchased a cheap cement pointing trowel for $3 similar to this one:


    I made a single rounded cut with a jigsaw (hacksaw or scroll saw will also work) to remove the tip at an angle which matches the inside curvature of the egg. Then I bent the handle up.

    This makes a great tool for removing lump from on top of the fire grate. The trowel is perfectly flat and thin so it can also be used to scoop ash out from under the fire grate. Just set it down inside the egg and rotate it to slip it under the lump or ash then lift. If you do a good job cutting your tip off then it will mate with the inside of the egg and allow you to clean it out to the last drop with very little time or effort.
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