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The Kick Ash Basket Review

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As I said, if one of these fit my Vision, I would get it.  However, I did a little making do and came up with something that works for me, and because it works so well I often find myself choosing to use the Vision rather than my Akorn Jr. because the lump charcoal starts better and is easy to lift out and rake over a bucket.  No more little ash hole (I know what I said, and I mean it) to carefully rake out the ashes of my Vision.  But in defense of the Akorn, it is very easy to dump the ashes also, and today it's my choice for pizza.

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I am on my 5th or so cook with the KickAsh basket and I LOVE it. H has used it a few times while I've been out of the house and he also thinks it's pretty awesome.

 

I haven't noticed any airflow issues since getting it (and I had a few a while back), shaking out the ash and cleaning out the grill is super easy. 

 

I ordered the larger size (15" around at the top) bsaed on my measurements of my grill. I probably would have been fine with the standard size, but this one also works fine. My firebox is slightly oddly shaped - the base opening is a hair under 10", but the top of it widens to a tiny hair (like 1/16th of an inch) under 15". So the basket actually fits firmly wedged into the firebox and is about 1" up from where my original grate sat. 

 

I think the regular size would sit about 1" or 1.5" lower, which would probably be better overall for my grill. It would rest on the firebox at the bottom rather than wedging into the top.

 

HOWEVER, that said, the large size is working great and I love it. Well worth the money. 

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I just received my kickash basket yesterday.  When I opened it up I was worried that it was too tall to fit in my 2013 Classic with the D&C rack, but there is plenty of space between the top of the kickash basket and the bottom of the D&C rack.

 

I ordered the larger size of the kickash basket, too, but I don't have to wedge it in whatsoever.  It fits fine; in fact there's a nice gap of about 3/4" all the way around the outside of the basket.

 

Seemed to work well for the quick cook I did last night.  Will have a better test on Saturday with Atlanta brisket.

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Follow-up on this:  I did a brisket cook for 12 hours a couple of weeks ago WITHOUT the kickash basket, and used less than 1/2 of the lump in 12 hours.  I did my Atlanta brisket for 6 hours last week WITH the kickash basket, and it used practically all of the lump.  I was very surprised at how little was left.  Now, the conditions weren't exactly the same as I ramped the temperature up to 350 for the last three hours for this last cook, but there was a significant difference.

 

No basket:  12 hour cook, less than 1/2 used (all 12 hours at 240)

With basket: 6 hour cook, almost all the lump used (3 hours at 240, 3 hours at 350)

 

Maybe there were other variable I'm not thinking of.  I notice that my basket has a pretty good airgap all the way around, whereas without the basket the lump obviously sits against the fire ring and the airflow is only from the bottom.  I'll have to keep an eye on it and see if this occurs every time.  

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Follow-up on this: I did a brisket cook for 12 hours a couple of weeks ago WITHOUT the kickash basket, and used less than 1/2 of the lump in 12 hours. I did my Atlanta brisket for 6 hours last week WITH the kickash basket, and it used practically all of the lump. I was very surprised at how little was left. Now, the conditions weren't exactly the same as I ramped the temperature up to 350 for the last three hours for this last cook, but there was a significant difference.

No basket: 12 hour cook, less than 1/2 used (all 12 hours at 240)

With basket: 6 hour cook, almost all the lump used (3 hours at 240, 3 hours at 350)

Maybe there were other variable I'm not thinking of. I notice that my basket has a pretty good airgap all the way around, whereas without the basket the lump obviously sits against the fire ring and the airflow is only from the bottom. I'll have to keep an eye on it and see if this occurs every time.

Maybe other gurus have some ideas. I have trouble thinking the ash basket caused more charcoal use. If you assume x amount of charcoal ( by weight ) produces y amount of heat, then going though 2x charcoal means that heat must have gone somewhere. I bet 350 degrees had a lot to do with it.

What do others think?

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Maybe other gurus have some ideas. I have trouble thinking the ash basket caused more charcoal use. If you assume x amount of charcoal ( by weight ) produces y amount of heat, then going though 2x charcoal means that heat must have gone somewhere. I bet 350 degrees had a lot to do with it.

What do others think?

 

That makes sense, but I don't know if 3 hours of +100 degrees is sufficient to account for twice as much charcoal.  What you say is probably true by weight, but perhaps not by volume.  The two loads may not have been the same by weight.   Also, if the second load of lump had more fines some of them may have fallen through the basket and into the ashes below without burning.  Finally, kicking it up to 350 probably lit up more lump so more heat would be lost during the shut down. 

 

Other than possibly having fines fall through the basket (which may or may not be bad), I doubt the basket could account for any differences in lump usage precisely for the reason Mewantkj stated. With that said, I wouldn't be surprised if some people overshoot their temperatures more often (at least initially) with the basket and thus burn a little more lump, but probably not anywhere near twice as much.

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After 75+ cooks on my KJ without the kick ash basket, I have a pretty good indication of how much lump I use, and I definitely used more with the basket.

 

That being said, it was only one time.....I'll keep an eye on it.  I'll be cooking again this weekend!

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After 75+ cooks on my KJ without the kick ash basket, I have a pretty good indication of how much lump I use, and I definitely used more with the basket.

 

That being said, it was only one time.....I'll keep an eye on it.  I'll be cooking again this weekend!

 

I can definitely appreciate that, but it does seem unlikely that it could cause difference that big - even with a couple of hours of higher temps.  I will be very interested to see if you continue to get similar results.  It might be worth keeping a closer eye on the ashes when you clean them out - maybe embers are falling through and going out as the pieces of lump get smaller.

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 It might be worth keeping a closer eye on the ashes when you clean them out - maybe embers are falling through and going out as the pieces of lump get smaller.

 

I already had a replacement grate for improved airflow on the bottom which had about the same spacing as the kick ash basket.

 

Yes, I'm a bit hard pressed to explain the difference....but my observation will be confirmed---or not!---after a few more cooks.

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That  is interesting, I have the kick ash basket in my large BGE and I have noticed not really noticed an increase in charcoal use. In fact when I shake and lift out the basket I am often amazed how much is still in there. The attached pic is whats left after a high heat pizza cook. After I cooked my pizza i let the kettle run at 600-650 for about 15 minutes to clean it out a bit. 

 

post-3401-0-50621600-1406678708_thumb.jp

 

I did not do a scientific measurement but I think that's quite a bit of lump left after a high heat cook, what do you guys think?

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 It might be worth keeping a closer eye on the ashes when you clean them out - maybe embers are falling through and going out as the pieces of lump get smaller.

 

I already had a replacement grate for improved airflow on the bottom which had about the same spacing as the kick ash basket.

 

Yes, I'm a bit hard pressed to explain the difference....but my observation will be confirmed---or not!---after a few more cooks.

 

 

Have only done quick cooks for a while until I did my 3-2-1 ribs last weekend.  I'm happy to report back that when I opened up the grill again on Sunday (after cooking Saturday) to pull out the heat deflector and clean up, that I seemed to be back to normal consumption with more than half of the charcoal remaining after a 6 hour cook.

 

I was glad to observe that the Kick Ash basket doesn't appear to have been the cause for my high consumption earlier.

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I just received my KickAsk basket yesterday. Are those of you who have this product removing your charcoal grate or leaving it in? Not sure if it matters but I have a Vision Classic.


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