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Ash removal

Sanjosedaale

New member
I’m in the market for a new Pellet Grill. I’ve been using a Green Mountain Grills, Davy Crockett for the past 5 years. I purchased this for the portability in our RV, and its given me a good understanding of pellet cooking, it suits me perfectly.

In doing some initial research, I had come to the conclusion that MAK was one of the best suits sold. Although it’s doesn’t seem to be in the same league, the Camp Chef, with the ash removal feature really hits home for me. I’ve learned my Davy Crockett needs very frequent ash removal, in fact I‘ve gotten into the habit of emptying it for every cook, to get best performance. I’m guessing Camp Chef has a patent on that feature, it seems like such a convince that others would offer if they could?

My question is about ash removal on MAK, Yoder, RecTec (my 3 main contenders) in terms of ease and frequency? Perhaps, a larger unit my not need the frequent cleaning that the little Davy Crockett has required?

Great forum!
Dale
 

mcschlotz

Member
It will come down to what pellets are used (some create significantly more ash than others) and how long each smoke takes when it comes to a fire pot starting to fill up, which can cause a unit to flame out. Bottom line cleaning out the fire pot is always a good practice regardless of which smoker or pellets one uses. Nobody wants to deal with an issue in the middle of a 10-16 hour smoke where you would have to remove meat and handle hot pieces of equipment to resolve the problem. I can easily run a few (3-4) shorter smokes on my MAK 2 Star using BBQ'rs Delight pellets without clearing the pot but, before I start a long smoke I always make sure the fire pot is cleared out. Personally, I use an Ash-Vac. The entire process takes maybe 2-3 minutes max.
 

Sanjosedaale

New member
Thanks, I too use BBQers Delight pellets. So, of the brands I considering, they all require taking out all the grates, diffuser, etc to access and empty the ash? None are easier or less time consuming?
 

Salmonsmoker

New member
Thanks, I too use BBQers Delight pellets. So, of the brands I considering, they all require taking out all the grates, diffuser, etc to access and empty the ash? None are easier or less time consuming?

I can disassemble my MAK 2-star for ash clean-out in less than 15 seconds, so not a big deal. You also might keep in mind that MAK's Flash Fire igniter blows away any igniter used by other manufacturers.
 

mcschlotz

Member
Agree with Salmonsmoker, it's very easy and fast to get at the firepot. Shove the vac hose tip in and 5 seconds later it's cleared out.
 

sschorr

Member
I owned a Camp Chef DLX before selling it and getting my MAK 2 Star. I really loved the ash dump feature of the CC - no disassembly of anything, just pull the slide to dump the ash into the cup beneath the firepot/cooker body, then dump the cup into the trash. Easy Peasy. Blazn also has a quick ash dump feature.

The MAK does require removing the main grate(s) and at least the Flamezone cover and diffuser plate to get at the firepot. Then it is very quick to lift the whole firepot out, dump the ash and replace it. For more thorough cleaning of the area around the firepot that definitely gets ash buildup over time, you need to also remove the inner Flamezone body. This exposes the entire inner cooking chamber which allows you to either vacuum out the body, or use the very convenient hole that is over the grease tray to brush any loose ash or material into the grease tray. Doing this takes a few minutes. I'm a bit OCD about cleaning my cookers, so I do this after every cook, but it really does not need it that often.

Hope this helps.
 

Sanjosedaale

New member
Thanks guys. I’m a bit OCD about cleaning as well, which is why I clean my GMG every time. I’m now fairly confident I will get the MAK. I just need to decide between the 1 or 2 Star. I really won’t be using the pellet for grilling, I have many other grills in my yard for that, so only smoking. Don’t mind spending the extra money for features I’ll use, but?? I guess it just comes down to SS Vs painted, and the cold smoker/warmer box.
 

dubob

Member
SJD,

I'm a Camp Chef owner, so I'll give you my opinion on this subject. The ash dump system on the Camp Chef is 100% marketing hype. It's bovine excrement of the highest odor. Emptying the fire pot ash into the cup below by pulling out the slide will get you just about 1 Tablespoon of ash (maybe 2 if your lucky) in the cup below. The other 98% of the ash will be inside the cooker spread all over the bottom 1/3 of the barrel and diffuser. You will STILL have to vacuum out the cooker every 2 to 3 cooks. The benefit to the ash dump system on the Camp Chef is 99% hype and of no real benefit at all to the user.

Other than that, I am very happy with the ease of use and the quality of the smoked meat products I get from my Woodwind SG24. I have no issue with recommending the Woodwind to anybody as an entry level or lower midlevel smoker/cooker. I just upgraded my controller to the wifi/PID controller, but haven't used it enough to fully recommend it at this point. I am having some issues using it with my android phone and the company told me yesterday that there are still some unresolved issues with the android phones. I'm going to reset everything on my phone/computer/grill today to see if that will help. The company said if that doesn't work, they will send me a new controller. I've found their customer support to be excellent so far except for the fact that it can take a half hour or longer for them to actually answer a phone call. But this problem is wide spread across many industries due to COVID19.
 

Sanjosedaale

New member
That’s very good info, thanks Bob. I have decided MAK is the way to go, I’ve already been smoking on a much less expensive Green Mountain Grills, probably comparable to the Camp Chef. Looking now for a much higher quality and larger smoker, so MAK it is. The only other consideration was the Yoder, but I read so much negative stuff about rusting problems and we get a lot of rain here in the winter.
 
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