The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Tuesday, 17 September 2013]

There shall be airflow!

Nic cleans out the firebox on his Kamado grill.

One of the drawbacks—or Opportunity for Manly Activities, if you prefer to look at it that way—of a Kamado grill (like the Big Green Egg) is that every once in a while you end up with so much ash in the fire box the airflow gets choked.

This will make you sad because it will take longer and longer for the grill to warm up despite your having raked the ashes from the lower intake vent.

Dirty kamado
After many burns, here be ashes and a grill that can't breathe.

At that point the fire box has to be emptied and cleaned. It’s a dirty job, but also satisfying in that there will be grime and heavy lifting and once done, you will have yourself some awesome grilling power indeed.

Step one is to remove the fire box. Yes, it is a heavy piece of ceramic full of charcoal and ash. Do you even lift, bro?

Kamado firebox
The fire box, extracted from the grill and ready for some TLC.

Then empty the ashes into a suitable receptacle. Since you’re not an idiot and are doing this after the grill has cooled down, a normal trash can works fine. A word to the wise here is to do this work on a nice, calm day, or you will be eating ashes.

Empty kamado firebox
Nice! We can see the bottom grate.

At this point it’s just a matter of putting the fire box back in the grill and filling it up with fresh charcoal.

Costco Take’n’Bake pizza in the process of turning into deliciousness with fire
Costco Take’n’Bake pizza in the process of turning into deliciousness with fire.

And then, we can get some serious airflow. Fire good!

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