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When to clean BGE

KyleKyle Posts: 156
edited 7:29PM in EggHead Forum
Earlier this evening I did two nice filets on the BGE and fortunately they turned out tasting great.[p]Nevertheless, the BGE took much longer to reach the 700 degree temp than in the past. (I have had the BGE not quite 3 weeks and have used it for several cooks.)[p]The space below the ceramic charcoal bowl has had almost no ash in it. That surprises me and I am suspecting that the ash is still in the charcoal bowl and is now beginning to restrict the airflow to the extent that achieving the desired maximum temperature is difficult. I have burned probably 7 lbs of lump and have virtually removed no ash.[p]I am wondering how often the charcoal should be completely removed from the bowl and the vents completely cleaned.[p]Do those having more experience than I with the egg routinely do that?[p]Thanking you in advance for your help.[p]Kyle


  • Mike in MNMike in MN Posts: 546
    I assume you have stirred any remaining lump/leftovers and made sure that the air holes and bottom vents are cleaned out and free of obstructions. Also, we are assuming that the bottom vent and the firebox all line up.[p]Good lump produces very little ash, because there is no "junk" in the lump as residue, fillers, binders or whatever they put in briquets to make those perfect little forms.[p]Clean out whatever ash you can get out through the bottom vent, and from around the sides. Use an ash tool or a vacuum cleaner. Make sure it hasn't been used for a couple of days, and store the ash in a steel can for a few days before you dispose of it. [p]I have been amazed at how little ash is actually formed. You don't have to clean it that often, just stir everything up and add more lump as required. EZ.[p]Mike in MN

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    "I am wondering how often the charcoal should be completely removed from the bowl and the vents completely cleaned."[p]
    About every 2-4 years works just fine. [p]Tim

  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    I hardly ever clean out my large egg except for the ash directly below the grate. Yesterday, I just happened to take my egg apart, and after a year of cooking, I didn't have enough ash down the sides to block the air vents, so I wouldn't worry about cleaning out behind the firebox. Just make sure your grate is clear and that your lump doesn't contain a lot of little pieces after you stir it. Airflow is obviously very important.[p]TNW

    The Naked Whiz
  • CRCR Posts: 175
    Kyle, as the other have said there is a very little ash from the lump charcol. I will clean out the bottom on my LBGE every few cooks. There is not much ash especially if you were expecting amounts like you get with briquettes.[p]From the sound of your post it seems that you are not stirring the lump in your firebox to help any ash and small pieces drop to the bottom. Before each cook stir the remaining lump and make sure the air holes in the grate and firebox are clear, then add additional lump if needed.

  • Kyle,
    When my firebox has little unburned lump left in the firebox and it is cool, I do a quick check and clean. I remove the large pieces of lump and place in a paper bag or can for future use. I discard anything smaller than a nickel. I brush out the firebox of any ash through the holes in the fire grate with a small clean paint brush. I inspect the fire box for any large or minor cracks. Then I will remove the fire grate, without disturbing the fire ring nor the firebox to see how much ash is beneath it. You should hardly ever need to remove the firebox... especially if it has any cracks. If you do, be “Very” careful not to cause further cracks during handling. Best if the firebox is just left alone and undisturbed. You can remove some ash and small lump pieces when the fire grate is removed but always leave about a half inch or so of ash in the bottom for insulation. [p]How often this is really needed depends on several things:
    1. How often do you do hi-temperature cooks? ( 500 + degrees.) This burns more lump.
    2. How often do you do long (overnight) low & slow cooks? This burns more lump.
    3. How many grill/smokers do you have that you alternately cook on? The more you have and use, the less each one will need to be cleaned. (This is why Tim M cleans so seldom, I believe… hee hee)[p]You can always look into the lower vent with a flashlight to see if the ash is getting high and close to the fire grate which could cause restricted airflow. You can always remove some ash through the lower vent with a long spoon before even doing a cleanout from the top, but be sure you don’t clog the groove the lower vent slides in with ash. Brush the groove with a small clean paint brush to be sure no ash has fallen into the slideing vent groove.

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