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Love New Fire, BUT!


CentralTexBBQ
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I really do love the new firebox design and having the peace of mind that I'll probably never see this thing crack. Great concept, looks great, etc... That said, cleaning the Big Joe used to be such a simple proposition of removing the ring and firebox, vacuuming, and replacing them. Now, it is much more of a hassle- so much so that I definitely clean less and even then, try to do so when I have another pair of hands available to reset all of the pie pieces (let's call them) in place. I am also a clean freak and the ash that finds it way into the cracks between the pie pieces drives me nuts. :-D

 

Not wishing to go back, just bemoaning the additional hassle somewhat.

 

Also wondering, has anyone successfully bent their ash collector flaps in order to reduce the air gap between it and the firebox? Just wondering. May just be a byproduct of using the Kick Ash Basket but, a lot more ash is finding its way around the collector.

 

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My ash tray is also bent a little (off skew) and I may try to bring it back to square the next time it's heated.

 

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I removed the ash tray a few years ago and don't miss it. Yesterday I removed the new firebox for only the second time since it arrived earlier this year because I was changing a gasket and needed to dust out all the old gasket bits. I agree it's a kind of ceramic Rubrik's...bowl...but I also wear latex gloves which helps me to grip and manipulate the pieces. Keeps my fingers from getting roughed up as well.  

 

If an owner likes to clean out the bowl frequently I can see where the new design would be more work, but if I hadn't changed the gasket the new firebowl would have stayed put until next spring when I typically do an annual inspection. And now that inspection has been pushed out to next September.  :) 

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3 minutes ago, LargeRedJoe said:

I removed the ash tray a few years ago and don't miss it. Yesterday I removed the new firebox for only the second time since it arrived earlier this year because I was changing a gasket and needed to dust out all the old gasket bits. I agree it's a kind of ceramic Rubrik's...bowl...but I also wear latex gloves which helps me to grip and manipulate the pieces. Keeps my fingers from getting roughed up as well.  

 

If an owner likes to clean out the bowl frequently I can see where the new design would be more work, but if I hadn't changed the gasket the new firebowl would have stayed put until next spring when I typically do an annual inspection. And now that inspection has been pushed out to next September.  :) 

 

It may just be in my mind but, I find that I am getting so much ash that it affects air flow if I am not being more proactive in getting it out regularly.

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I don't use an ash tray either, just vacuum it out periodically. I've never taken my new firebox out since I got it in...March or so? And I do cook on it several times a week, typically.

 

I also don't worry about getting it spotless each time though :)

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I clean at the beginning of the spring once a year. I find myself doing turkeys and brisket more in the cooler months. Don't need a lot of airflow for low temp cooks. 

 

The new design is a bit more challenging to assemble so that might stop me from doing it more often. 

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