Hauling ash

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Chasdev
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Hauling ash

Postby Chasdev » Sat Nov 21, 2015 6:32 am

I was cleaning out my offset smoker yesterday and was surprised to find my fire grate/plate was siting on ashes, which blocked off all the vent holes.
It was a medium/short cook, around 6 hrs, and I did notice toward the end that the maintaining the fire and getting the "good smoke" got more and more problematic the longer it went.
So my question is, how do you guys deal with ash build up during a cook?
I'm a little wary of extracting hot ashes/coals during a cook so I'm raising the cooking grate so build up will take longer to block air movement.
Still will have to deal with it on long cooks, and I am concerned about this.
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k.a.m.
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Re: Hauling ash

Postby k.a.m. » Sat Nov 21, 2015 7:44 am

Once you raise your grate go down to the local Home Depot or lowes and buy a small fireplace scoop the handle is usually 18" to 24" long and the sides are not tall. Then buy a 2 gallon metal bucket and when you need to clean out just scoop the ash into the bucket. Let it cool and dispose of it. :D
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

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Chasdev
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Re: Hauling ash

Postby Chasdev » Sat Nov 21, 2015 7:51 am

I've been looking around for a fireplace shovel but nobody sells one as a stand alone..they all want to sell me the whole set and want to charge two arms and a leg for it..
My local Home despot and Lowes don't even stock the sets much less the shovels..guess not too much call for fireplace gear in Austin.
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Chasdev
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Re: Hauling ash

Postby Chasdev » Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:06 am

Amazon.com is my friend..several to choose from and quick shipping...onward through the fog!
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OldUsedParts
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Re: Hauling ash

Postby OldUsedParts » Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:35 am

I would imagine that a large hand shovel for Gardening would accomplish the same thing and they are sold separately. - - - - - :idea:
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k.a.m.
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Re: Hauling ash

Postby k.a.m. » Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:42 am

If you have a welder friend just have them rig you up a rake with a curved bottom that you can drag the ash out with.
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

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My Hybrid cooker.
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Chasdev
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Re: Hauling ash

Postby Chasdev » Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:22 am

My welder is my friend, known him 30 years but he still charges for his services..that's one of the downsides of retirement..I can't offer to repair his truck in trade for welding any more..
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k.a.m.
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Re: Hauling ash

Postby k.a.m. » Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:44 am

If you lived closer I would knock one out for you out of my drop pile.
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

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My Hybrid cooker.
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Chasdev
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Re: Hauling ash

Postby Chasdev » Sat Nov 21, 2015 1:02 pm

Well thanks anyway!
Here's how much I raised the fire plate surface (found a use for my excess tuning plates) and when I checked the temps across the cook chamber I found that the chimney end got hotter than the firebox end! Seems like raising the fire does what the tuning plates do.
I was testing with tuning plates in position so I moved them around a few times and the chimney end was still hotter, so I removed all the plates and the heat distribution stayed the same, hotter left than right.
Decided to smoke a chicken just so the wood burned did not go to waste and that brought up another observation which leads to inform me of something that has confounded me from the start, and that is which gauge to "believe" when the two disagree.
I find that placing the meat under the gauge lowers the reading by 30/40 degrees compared to the "uncovered" gauge.
Chicken is positioned between gauges but moving it 1 inch left or right changes the reading quite a bit on the gauge that is even partially covered.
So, two things..where should I place gauges to monitor the cook chamber average temps, perhaps below the cooking grate and how do you guys figure out how hot the meat is cooking without the meat itself messing up the readings?

I need to add that changing up the airflow using the chimney cap has become very effective in moderating chamber temps now that the fire is higher in the box.
Fire height changes up the internal heat/smoke dynamics for sure..
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