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Sifting Charcoal

EggspertEggspert Posts: 142
edited 6:25PM in EggHead Forum
Does anyone have any secret way of sifting through the charcoal? I am trying to think of an easy way without building anything major.


  • Eggspert,

    If you are near a restaurant supply grab a large spider. Similar to the brass and wood ones you get for woks but stainless. About 5" across.



    Caledon, ON


  • Do you have a picture of this spider you are referring to? I am not really familiar with it.
  • MaineggMainegg Posts: 7,787
    the spider like Steven said is great for scooping out of the egg directly. I also got a fri basket from the restaurant supply by us and it fits into the top of a large pot. I can dump a bag and loose all the dust and tiny stuff and sift used lump too and it keeps the mini fed :)
  • I was looking and this was all I could find on the internet. You want something without the mesh. I'll post a pic of one of mine later.



    Caledon, ON


  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 8,779
    Sifting charcoal???

    Everybody knows there’s three acceptable condiments for a hot dog; there’s mustard, onions and stagnant cart water! That’s IT!   ... Jon Stewart

    Central Connecticut 

    The best advice I know is don't sift. I started out by sorting, small/medium/large and loading the egg carefully.

    No I just dump and don't worry about sifting/sorting. Unless it is an over night cook I don't worry about mixing old and new lump nor do I clean out the ash before every cook. I haven't cleaned out behind the fire box for over a year now. I will do it before winter just so I can see how much build up there is.

    What I have found is important is not to have large air pockets (no lump) in the lump bed. If there are large air pockets that will produce a hot spot and lump will burn quicker/hotter in those areas. Load the lump uniformly keeping the holes in the fire grate and fire box from becoming clogged or blocked. Once in a while I use a wiggle rod to clear an air path up through the lump bed.

  • RRPRRP Posts: 16,402
    Here's my simple wooden frame with 1/2" hardware cloth. Works for me!
    Dunlap, IL
    I think this is what Steve is referring to. This picture is a small spider.

    If you are referring to sifting used lump then you can go to a store that carries gold panning supplies. They have sifters and 'sorters/sizers'. You can find some that will sort as small as sand to ones that will sort up to I think 3/4 inch. These are about 12" to 15" in diameter and have a nice size lip to hold material. You can also go to a hardware store and find expanded metal and fencing which has different size squared cross hatch and make a sorter.

    I have 2 buckets from Lowe's. I drilled holes in the smaller one. A broken piece of paver brings the lip of the smaller one up to about the same height as the other one and gives an insulating space between them. I clean my egg into this set up and reclaim unburnt lump. The last low and slow I did I loaded up with just reclaimed lump, it burned great. I store the sifted, reclaimed lump in empty charcoal bags, it recycles them.




    Since I took these photos I have increased the size of the holes to at least 1/2".


    RRP has the material I was talking about above.

    However, for me if the lump won't fall through the fire grate then I use it.

    Here is a cook with leftover small pieces of lump. All pieces are about the size of the thumb to the first knuckle or smaller. I filled the used small lump lower in the egg.


    The flame is due to the dome being open when taking the pictures.



  • Whenever I use old lump, I cant get the temp up over 400. What are you doing different?
    Make sure the holes in the fire grate & fire box are not blocked or plugged. If a fire is slow to light or if there is a temperature stall I use a wiggle rod to clear an air path up through the lump bed.

    If I am wanting a hot fire I light the lump in 4 to 5 places. On this particular cook I started the lump and left it alone - it didn't take a long time to get to the max temperature. Bottom vent and screen wide open and no DFMT on the egg.

  • Richard FlRichard Fl Posts: 7,937
    DITTO I have his southern cousin and just place the screen over a large garbage bucket and works great.
  • Kent,

    Close. The ones I'm talking about have a deeper bowl and a more pronounced bend. They use them in deep fryers for pulling bigger stuff, like fish, out of the oil. They come with a long handle which is good if you want to move burning lump around.
    I'll try and get a pic of mine in a bit.



    Caledon, ON


  • if you want to sift out and discard the "fines" then RRP has the answer. if what you want to do is "sort" the smaller pieces from the larger pieces, empty the whole bag into a large rubbermaid tub, then shake it up and down (the same motion as you would do in using a colander to drain water from pasta), and the smaller pieces will fall to the bottom of the tub.
  • DreggsDreggs Posts: 147
    Now I feel guilty for using a Weber chimney as a sieve.
  • This is what I suspected. Are you using the wiggle rod through the bottom vent?
    Yes, when the temperature stalls or the lump is slow starting.

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