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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 03-25-2013, 09:32 AM   #1
BbqScientist
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Default Ash tray / pan interest?

This is primarily an interest check thread;

I have developed an easily removable stainless ash tray for the big green egg. It allows you to remove the fire grate, lift out the tray full of ash (even when hot), and dump into a bucket or wherever. Another prototype also holds the fire grate and lump, which makes it really easy for those of us who have a ‘save’ bucket for lump that still has some life left, or to dump out used lump and refill mid-cook. Both designs account for thermal expansion and should not crack your ceramic grill nor do they impede any airflow.

This ash tray has cut way down on my prep time for getting the grill ready. With an egg you really need to scoop out the ashes every 3 cooks to maintain proper airflow. Cleaning out the ash is usually a ~10 minute affair, depending on if you use a shopvac or whatnot. My ash tray has cut prep time down to 2 minutes or less and keeps your hands clean.

I am currently building these by hand which is VERY time consuming. The only way to feasibly sell these at any quantity is if I have a die made, which presents a significant upfront cost. If I go in this direction I would like to have at least two styles made; one for the large green egg and another style.. Maybe for the weber smokey mountain, UDS, or one that you all suggest.

I’m considering making this a kickstarter project if there’s enough interest.





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Unread 03-25-2013, 09:41 AM   #2
HeSmellsLikeSmoke
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Sounds interesting; however, I can't really get a picture of it in mind from your description.

For whatever it is worth, I have never considered lump ash removal a problem that needs to be solved. In fact it has never crossed my mind.
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Large and Medium Big Green Eggs , Black 18.5" WSM, Blue Weber Performer - Stainless, Green Weber OTG Kettle , Brinkmann SnP Pro, and a Stainless UDS. One retired Portable Kitchen grill.

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Unread 03-25-2013, 09:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeSmellsLikeSmoke View Post
Sounds interesting; however, I can't really get a picture of it in mind from your description.

For whatever it is worth, I have never considered lump ash removal a problem that needs to be solved. In fact it has ever crossed my mind.

Hah thanks, that was kind of the point. I have actually already applied for two patents for both styles, but I don't really want to post pics until I'm further along in that process.

Basically, it's a small stainless steel tray that goes right on the bottom of the egg (one version extends up to hold the fire grate). Ash falls through the fire grate and piles up in the tray.


I tried the shopvac method (loud, requires either keeping the shopvac handy or running cords all the time.. also clogs filters and IMHO isn't good for the shop vac motor even with the sheetrock filter). This is a 10 minute process, although at least it's "clean" (no risk of ash everywhere)

The 'scrape into a pan' method is the worst. Takes 10 minutes, you really don't get it all out, and is just a pain in general.

The best method I found before making the ash tray was just scooping everything out with gloves on. It's the fastest, little less than 10 minutes, but gets ash on the grill gasket and is just messy.



This all started because I cook on my egg every single day. This means I'm cleaning the thing out at least three to four times per week, often times after work, and that become the least enjoyable part of the cook. That meant I had to come up with a way to make it more enjoyable.
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Unread 03-25-2013, 10:01 AM   #4
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Do you use briquettes? They might cause ash removal concerns.
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Red Thermapen, Maverick ET-732, EdgePro Apex Sharpener.

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Unread 03-25-2013, 10:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeSmellsLikeSmoke View Post
Do you use briquettes? They might cause ash removal concerns.

Nope, I use only lump hardwoods, either BGE, WW, or royal oak.

Basically for an 'easy' cook (IE less than a couple hours, less than ~450f temps) I just stir the used lump, throw in a firestarter, maybe sprinkle on a little fresh or still-good lump.

The problem is that anytime you stir the lump it causes ash to fall down through the fire grate. So you can do the stir/relight thing about three times before there's enough ash to impede airflow. If it's an 'easy' cook then it's not a huge deal, but if you're doing pizza or a low and slow then the grill needs to be clean.
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Unread 03-25-2013, 10:10 AM   #6
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Also... Just to add to this... Because I'm a 'scientist' /insert <evil mwahaha laugh> I am all about efficiency.

My overall method for using charcoal involves three 5 gallon buckets. I have a 'fresh' lump bucket, a 'used' lump bucket, and an 'ash / trash' bucket.

The idea is that no usable lump is thrown away... For my process I simply dump the used but good lump into the 'used' bucket, then dump the ash tray into the 'ash' bucket. I dump some fresh lump into the grill, throw on a firestarter, then dump some used lump on top of that. This makes my entire clean and light process a 2-3 minute thing with no waste.. Very easy... And easy is my style
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Unread 03-25-2013, 10:15 AM   #7
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Does it look anything like this?
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Unread 03-25-2013, 10:46 AM   #8
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I quit using the ones in the picture many moons ago for they will not hold up to the heat and not sure if they're zinc coated or not. Looks like it. As far as the ash pan idea, a picture might help explaining it. If you've started the patent process, you've given up the pics. Anything that makes things easier, saves time and won't hurt anyone is always worth looking at. Good luck. Steve.
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