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PBC Mod: Ash Catcher

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  • MBMorgan
    commented on 's reply
    Haven't tested Oil-Dri in the PBC yet ... but I've figured out how I plan to use it. Rather than spreading the granules all over the bottom of the barrel, I'm just going to use some sort of scoop to spread them all around the perimeter of the coal basket ... once it's been placed in the PBC, of course. After the cook, they should be pretty easy to dump or vacuum out with the captured grease. More on this when I've got some actual data and pics ...

  • danmahoney
    commented on 's reply
    Thanks for the insight on short-comings of "ash catcher". I have only used PBC once and have yet to accumulate sludge/grease.

  • MBMorgan
    commented on 's reply
    I'm pretty confident that it would be safe to use under the coal basket/ash catcher combo. I wouldn't claim to be unequivocally "sure" until I've had a chance to test it ... which in my case won't be until sometime next week at the soonest.

    Mike

  • fzxdoc
    commented on 's reply
    So it's safe to leave directly under the coal basket during a cook, MBMorgan ?

    K.

    P.S. Jon , it's good to hear you use the unused variety of kitty litter to soak up oil. The alternative sounds positively yucky!
    Last edited by fzxdoc; December 28, 2015, 05:22 PM.

  • MBMorgan
    commented on 's reply
    It is very much like a clay-based kitty litter ... not nearly as dusty, though.

  • MBMorgan
    commented on 's reply
    Geez, Jerod ... you mod buckets, too??? 😀

  • MBMorgan
    commented on 's reply
    I tend to replace them whenever they get gunky enough. In the Old Smokey (which has a pretty effective dripping catching bowl under the grill grate), that's averaged once a year, or so. The granules appear to be made of a clay-like material that has been unaffected by proximity (approx 1/2 inch) to the electric heating element ... which is admittedly not running as hot as charcoal. My assumption (hope, really) is that the PBC ash catcher will provide some shielding from the direct effect of the burning briquettes. It's probably a good idea to try a burn with only a few granules at first in case of a problem. I suspect that the granules we manufactured by a process employing kiln-drying which, if true means they've already seen more heat than charcoal can produce. Additionally, the manufacturer says they are specifically for use in "barbecue grills". I figure that it's at least worth a shot.

    Edit: Just confirmed on the Oil Dri website that is indeed kiln-dried with no additives ... pure clay.

    Mike
    Last edited by MBMorgan; December 28, 2015, 04:54 PM.

  • Jerod Broussard
    replied
    No, I haven't got around to it. I've been sweeping mine out since I have it on blocks and modified a bucket to sweep all the ashes into.

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  • Jon Solberg
    replied
    Oil dri- its kinda fancy kitty litter sorta. I tend to use kitty litter in place of it. (new unused of course) I have not used it in a cooker.

    Leave a comment:


  • fzxdoc
    replied
    Would the Oil Dri granules stay in the bottom of the PBC of the all the time? Would you ever vacuum them out and replace them? If so, how often? Would they be impervious to the high heat that is generated directly under the coal basket?

    I'm not familiar with the product, MBMorgan , so am really interested. Thanks in advance.

    Jerod Broussard , you immediately came to mind when I saw all that grease on the bottom of my PBC. I remember once you mentioned that on some of your cooks, the grease pours out of the vent opening. Wowza, that's some grease!

    I seem to recall you made an ash-catcher mod and wondered how it worked with so much grease. Did you buy the PBC Ash Catcher too?

    Kathryn

    Leave a comment:


  • MBMorgan
    replied
    I've had an Old Smokey electric for years. In it I keep a thin layer of Oil Dri absorbent granules (the stuff that you spread on a garage floor for oil spills) in the bottom. I'm thinking I'll try the same thing in the new PBC to make grease catching & cleanup easier and more effective. Basically just set the charcoal basket with PBC ash catcher directly on the Oil Dri granules and see what happens ...

    Leave a comment:


  • Jerod Broussard
    replied
    You should see the metric ton of grease under an ash pan after a 4 brisket cook.

    If you cook enough it cooks out.

    Mine was so big I needed slits to bypass the tabs. It barely held all the ash. The super hot B & B warped that dude pretty good.
    Last edited by Jerod Broussard; December 28, 2015, 04:02 PM.

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  • fzxdoc
    replied
    Well, I've used the PBC Ash Catcher for half a dozen cooks. I'm ready to give it away. If I was giving it a score, I'd say it scores an 8 for catching the ash and a 0 for catching the grease.

    From the very beginning, I found that there was always a ring of fine ash on the bottom of the barrel around the edge of the ash catcher. No biggie, I figured; I just shop vac'd it out and was good to go. Then I decided to just put the aluminum foil back down first to catch that spillover ash and that worked fine. Remove the basket, dump the ash, remove and wad up the aluminum foil and move on.

    Then came yesterday when I smoked 3 six-pound chickens in my PBC. It was the first really full cook that I had done since getting the ash catcher. Fortunately I did put the double-layer heavy duty aluminum foil down in the bottom of the barrel before adding the basket with the ash catcher attached.

    I had a ton of grease from those chickens, and it caked up along with the ash on the top of the ash catcher and pooled under the ash catcher. If I had not had the aluminum foil under the ash catcher, the floor of the barrel would have been coated in chicken grease.

    Now I don't keep the sides and lid of the PBC clean as a whistle, but I never like the idea of letting a pool of grease stand in the bottom of it. I keep the bottom clean. I don't like surprise incendiary events if I can avoid them--for one thing, I like keeping eyebrows on my face.

    So at this point I don't see much benefit in continuing to use the PBC Ash Catcher. It doesn't really catch all the ash, and it certainly doesn't contain the grease. It's just something for me to scrape off after each cook and/or scrub the grease off from the underside and from the bottom of the barrel. I'd rather just wad up the two layers of heavy duty aluminum foil that I place in the bottom of the barrel under the coal basket and throw them away at the end of each cook. Cleanup is so much simpler that way.

    I'm hoping that someone can tell me that I could be using the ash catcher in a better manner--hints for the well-behaved PBC Ash Catcher will be gratefully accepted!

    Kathryn

    Leave a comment:


  • smarkley
    commented on 's reply
    Thanks! I needed to hear that!

    you da man!

  • David Parrish
    replied
    I confirmed this with Noah. The ash pan works with all PBCs and there's no need to use foil.

    Leave a comment:

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