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ash buildup in firebox during long cooks

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Post Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:12 am
jhumpert well done
well done

Posts: 327
Location: Greensburg Indiana
After long cook sessions I am getting lots of ash buildup in my firebox and I am pretty sure that is killing my airflow. Currently I have 3 paver bricks sideways across the bottom of the firebox then 4 bricks lengthwise 2 on each side which my grate rests on then I build my fire on that. Seems like I am having a super hard time keeping my fire going because the ash cant get past the bricks and is choking my airflow. I have bad problems keeping my fire going sometimes and lose my heat quick sometimes. When I beat on the firebox to help drop some ash away I always have ash drop out of the gap on the end vent.

Any budget friendly ideas that I could do to get rid of the bricks possibly and still keep my grades high enough in the firebox to get the heat at the mouth of the cooking chamber but yet allow the ash to drop down where I can maybe get some pulled out to keep airflow?
Jeff
Char-broil offset smoker- Freenie, Pit Barrel Cooker- Barry
Image

Trollby well done
well done

Posts: 1244
Location: MadCity, WI

I take it you have a Chargriller w\side fire box?

Image

Here is a picture of mine, I can not find the better ones with the charcoal basket removed

If you look at the picture you see the two bolts on outside, look inside and you will see a plumbers strap. They come in 3 types:

Galvanized (DO NOT USE)
Stainless Steel
Copper

Image

I got the copper one and cut to fit across the fire box at the bolts, use the grate on that and BOOM instant raised ash tray you can remove all your ash on those 16 hour + smokes with out issue and I can do 10 hours before needing to worry about build up

jhumpert well done
well done

Posts: 327
Location: Greensburg Indiana
Not sure how this got posted twice other than my cell phone posted twice. I actually have a Char-Broil offset so my firebox is on the left side of the grill instead of right like the chargrillers. I usually use whole logs when I smoke and can handle an 18" log but I think I am going to start using smaller pieces because I had a hard time getting the cherry in because my father in law cut them too big.

The last cook I did over memorial day weekend I did 2 pork butts and they were on just over 9.5 hours and I could never get the temperatures below 375 and went thru almost 25 pounds of charcoal and cherry logs. I was watching my maverick and you could literally watch it lose 2 degrees every 30 seconds or so once the ash started building up. I finally ended up shoveling all the hot coals to the very front for the last push and the temp shot up to almost 490 and as soon as I went in I literally watched it drop and by the time the butts finally hit 200 I was at almost 220 at the grid over about 30 minutes or so. I have to say though when I pulled the first butt off with my bearclaws a strip tore off on the grid so I got a snitch before getting in the house and butt 2 as soon as I dug the bearclaw in fell apart in 3 pieces. Once I foiled them to set for about a half hour I grabbed both bones and both came out super clean.
Jeff
Char-broil offset smoker- Freenie, Pit Barrel Cooker- Barry
Image

jhumpert well done
well done

Posts: 327
Location: Greensburg Indiana
I do kind of like your setup, that could possibly work well with my firebox.
Jeff
Char-broil offset smoker- Freenie, Pit Barrel Cooker- Barry
Image

CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5692
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
I've locked the duplicate post, so we should all use this one now for replies.
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

jhumpert well done
well done

Posts: 327
Location: Greensburg Indiana
Thanks CG
Jeff
Char-broil offset smoker- Freenie, Pit Barrel Cooker- Barry
Image

jhumpert well done
well done

Posts: 327
Location: Greensburg Indiana
Trollby wrote:
I take it you have a Chargriller w\side fire box?

Image

Here is a picture of mine, I can not find the better ones with the charcoal basket removed

If you look at the picture you see the two bolts on outside, look inside and you will see a plumbers strap. They come in 3 types:

Galvanized (DO NOT USE)
Stainless Steel
Copper

Image

I got the copper one and cut to fit across the fire box at the bolts, use the grate on that and BOOM instant raised ash tray you can remove all your ash on those 16 hour + smokes with out issue and I can do 10 hours before needing to worry about build up


Trollby,
Where did you get the basket that you have in your firebox? I got remembering we have aluminum siding laying around outside that I can cut into strips and use that for the support straps and bolt them in then support my grade plate on it. I looked on lowes.com and also Meijer and a couple other places and all I have seen is the weber metal ones. I did see the Charcoal Companion Non-Stick Shaker Basket for Grilling with Rosewood Handle on ebay and amazon but not sure how well that would work if at all.
Jeff
Char-broil offset smoker- Freenie, Pit Barrel Cooker- Barry
Image


Posts: 10
Location: Troy, Michigan
At Home Depot they sell a vegetable grilling basket.
I put 4 bolts 8 washers and 8 nuts in the corners of the basket and it sits perfect in
the firebox on top of the clean out drawer rails.
Big mistake was using a long metal rod to poke the ash.





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Posts: 22
Location: Old Town, Maine
Cook with wood-

Image

Creates a lot less ash than briquettes.

jhumpert well done
well done

Posts: 327
Location: Greensburg Indiana
Michigan Mike wrote:
At Home Depot they sell a vegetable grilling basket.
I put 4 bolts 8 washers and 8 nuts in the corners of the basket and it sits perfect in
the firebox on top of the clean out drawer rails.
Big mistake was using a long metal rod to poke the ash.





Image

Michigan Mike,
This looks like the basket that I saw on Amazon. I will probably do the setup like Trollby has because I have aluminum strips that I can use to make the straps with. My firebox doesn't have a cleanout drawer that I could use the bolt setup like you have. I keep a sturdy stick that I use to beat on the firebox and poke ash with.
Jeff
Char-broil offset smoker- Freenie, Pit Barrel Cooker- Barry
Image

Trollby well done
well done

Posts: 1244
Location: MadCity, WI

I got mine at Lowes.

One thing to make it last longer is to empty and spray with oil when done, I do this and mine after 2 years still is in great shape

Also do not use a NON-stick one since it will burn the "non-stick off and add toxins to your smoke

jhumpert well done
well done

Posts: 327
Location: Greensburg Indiana
Trollby wrote:
I got mine at Lowes.

One thing to make it last longer is to empty and spray with oil when done, I do this and mine after 2 years still is in great shape

Also do not use a NON-stick one since it will burn the "non-stick off and add toxins to your smoke


I never thought about the non stick part and burning off, I think the one I looked at on Amazon was the non stick version. I will have to look at that again to make sure it isn't non stick.
Jeff
Char-broil offset smoker- Freenie, Pit Barrel Cooker- Barry
Image


Posts: 19
Location: Douglasville, GA
Trollby wrote:
I got mine at Lowes.

One thing to make it last longer is to empty and spray with oil when done, I do this and mine after 2 years still is in great shape

Also do not use a NON-stick one since it will burn the "non-stick off and add toxins to your smoke


Yep the one I saw on amazon says it's non stick coated
Have Smoke Will Cook

Char Griller Duo+SFB
Masterbuilt Electric Smokehouse
Weber Kettle

ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7110
Location: Stoughton, WI
Would it be possible to "season" the non-stick basket with a propane or hotter torch prior to use in order to remove the coating? Or maybe a "no-cook" fire?


Posts: 19
Location: Douglasville, GA
ScreamingChicken wrote:
Would it be possible to "season" the non-stick basket with a propane or hotter torch prior to use in order to remove the coating? Or maybe a "no-cook" fire?


I thought about the no-cook fire but I'm not sure that would work either.
Have Smoke Will Cook

Char Griller Duo+SFB
Masterbuilt Electric Smokehouse
Weber Kettle


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