How to Clean Ash Out of a Big Green Egg

How to Clean Ash Out of a Big Green Egg

You’re the envy of all your neighbors. That Big Green Egg sitting on your back deck is the talk of the neighborhood, and now you’ve become the designated grill site for everyone within a 10-mile radius of your house. But to get the best performance out of your Big Green Egg and keep the title of neighborhood grill-master, you’ve gotta keep it clean!

Cleaning the ash out of a Big Green Egg is a pain. Because of how the grill is designed, you’ll have to do some deep-grill diving to get all the ash and leftover charcoal out so you can start your next grill clean and tidy. So grab some gloves and get to it!

Here’s How to Clean Ash Out of Your Big Green Egg

1. The most important step to traditional cleaning is to make sure that your Big Green Egg has cooled! Don't try to clean it if it’s still hot. You’ll burn yourself, singe your eyebrows off, and maybe set your yard on fire. Just wait until it cools down completely to get started.

2. Shake the ashes out of the remaining charcoal. If you’ve got charcoal left in your grill, go ahead and spread them out evenly for your next grill session with the poker.

3. If you want to remove the leftover charcoal, you’ll have to do this manually. With the grill completely cool, use gloved hands to reach way down into the Big Green Egg and remove the leftover charcoal piece by piece. It’s a good idea to store these leftover charcoal pieces in a metal storage container like a large baking pan for a day or two in a safe place just to be absolutely sure they are completely cool.

4. Pull the ashes out of the lower vent hole on your grill and empty them into a fire-proof ash bucket. This can be tricky, and messy. Some BGE owners buy a separate ash-removal tool for this. We find that metal ash buckets are the most convenient because they’re light as well as fireproof. Plastic buckets will melt if there are any leftover hot coals, and those suckers can hide for days. So avoid plastic ash buckets. Ceramic will also work (like a large flower pot) as long as they don’t have any drainage holes.

Sounds Like a Mess, Right? Yeah, It Is.

Cleaning a Big Green Egg is one of those situations where you need to be dressed head to toe in black and take a shower right after, which sounds like the most ominous advice ever, but it’s appropriate here.

There’s got to be a better way!

There is. If you want to avoid scuba diving into the black abyss of your Big Green Egg, we’ve got you covered.

Two Better Ways to Clean Your Big Green Egg 

The right tools for the job make all the difference. In the case of cleaning ash out of your Big Green Egg, those “right tools” are a Kick Ash Basket, a Kick Ash Can, a grate hook and to catch the ashes.

1. Use a Grate Hook to remove the grate from your Big Green Egg safely and cleanly. Ever fumbled getting your grate out because it’s still warm or your gloved hands are too big to get a good grip? A Grate Hook fixes that. You can move and hold your ceramic heat deflector out of the way with a Super Lifter, too.

2. Get a Kick Ash Basket charcoal basket and stop dumpster diving in your grill. With a Kick Ash Basket, all you do to remove your leftover charcoal is lift up the basket. The ash falls down into the bottom of your grill, and all the bits of leftover charcoal come up with the basket in one fell swoop. You can pick out the unused pieces and reuse them, which saves a load of money, especially if you’re using expensive charcoal or rare wood. The only thing that gets dirty with soot is the gloves you’ll be wearing if the grill is still warm when you go to clean it.

3. A Kick Ash Can will take your Kick Ash Basket all the way. The assistant to the regional manager, if you will. With a Kick Ash Can, all you do is lift out the basket with leftover charcoal, give it a shimmy, and all the ash falls into the Kick Ash Can below. Grab the basket, empty it into a fire-proof ash bucket, and place it back into your grill. You’re ready to grill again in seconds with no fire-clogging ash cramping your style.

Will Any Old Charcoal Basket Do?

You invested in a Big Green Egg because you’re serious about grilling. And that big investment deserves a charcoal basket and ash can that are built to last and specifically designed to fit your egg. Got questions about how a Kick Ash Basket and Kick Ash Can will help you retain your title of Neighborhood Grill-Master? Read more tips and tricks on our blog here!