Best way to dispose of ash

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by jwbbq, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. Hey folks,

    I'm getting ready to move into a new house with a very nice yard. The place is a rental so I want to take care of it. Obviously smoking creates a lot of ash that needs to be disposed of. In my current place I just dump it in the corner of the yard because it's thrashed anyway, but in the new place I need a cleaner disposal technique. Trash cans and other container seem to be somewhat obvious but I wanted to see what other options there are.

  2. Chuck it over the fence if you don't like your neighbors. Otherwise, pitch it in the trash can. I live on a big lot and chuck my ash in the bushes and let the rain take care of the rest. I don't know if it can be put in a compost pile or bin. Maybe this thread will answer that.
  3. It is always breezy here in the hill, so I take a snow shovel and fling it high in the air - the universe takes care of it.

    FYI - don't do this in a black shirt or darks pants [​IMG] Ask me how I know!!!
  4. pitrow

    pitrow Smoking Fanatic

    Ash can be good for compost. It's very alkaline, so if your soil is acidic then it's just the ticket. In small quantities it's ok for compost, but I wouldn't dump a whole lot of it in all at once, because it'll likely change the ph of the pile and might kill off the good critters in there.

    At least that's my take on it.

    As a kid we used to heat our house exclusively with a wood stove in the winter and we made quite a bit of ash. We'd just make a pile of it in the garden and work it in with the tiller when it came time. Never really had any ill effects from it.
  5. smoke freak

    smoke freak StickBurners

    Agree with Pitrow.... Wood ash is a good source of potassium. However it is VERY alkaline. A small amount goes a LONG way. In fact wood ash mixed with water makes lye which is a very caustic.

    I use small amounts in my compost and dispose of the rest....
  6. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Once completely cool I put it in the trash.
  7. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I make a circle ring around my peach, pear and nectarine trees. Suppose to ward off wood borers.
  8. tn_bbq

    tn_bbq Smoking Fanatic

    Why not dig a hole? I know it's a rental, but a hole isn't that big of a it?

    I alternate dumping mine near the fence line and behind some bushes.

    An ash bucket would also work fine (then dump in the trash once it's cooled down).
  9. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have a lot of flowers and chile plants, so I just spread the wealth amongst them all. I haven't had any wilt or die from ash.... yet.
  10. pigcicles

    pigcicles Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Use a cart spreader and lightly spread it over your yard (or your neighbors yard at night [​IMG] ) or .... make soap [​IMG]

    Or as stated, wait for it to cool and put it out with the trash.
  11. jerrykr

    jerrykr Meat Mopper

    I keep a couple of empty charcoal bags, and just put it back in the bag and set it out with the trash. Make sure there are no live coals of course.
  12. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    i have had no probs spreading in garden either. i remember back in the day when i was a kid and we burnt wood for heat, all the ashes, and there was a lot more than you will have from your smoker, but they always went into garden. up here we tend to have acid soil so the ph needs to be toned down anyway.
  13. smokeguy

    smokeguy Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here's a good article from the Oregon state extension office. Gives examples of how much to put on and some of the dangers of putting too much on. Like putting too much on creates a salt buildup from the high amounts of potassium for example, which is what I must have done. I used it and killed everything, but I put a ton of it on there instead of just a fine layer. Live and learn! After that I had just been tossing it up in the air on a windy day over the yard like Workoutchamp and I guess that made it where it was thin enough to do the yard some good instead of killing it.
  14. crusty ol salt

    crusty ol salt Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Garden, Compost bin, I have considered putting it in the fertilizer spreader. Anywhere but the landfill
  15. dirtman775

    dirtman775 Smoking Fanatic

    I have found that if i cut the lime i usually put down with the ash it works just fine.......saves on lime too!!!
  16. athabaskar

    athabaskar Smoking Fanatic

    I've always put it in the compost without any bad results as far as I can tell. By the time it is mixed in with the rest of the goodies in the pile and spread over the garden it is so little that it basically is a potassium supplement. I have had the soil tested and my potassium levels are just fine. My ph stands just above neutral. The soil tests always call for more compost, but I don't think you can ever have too much organic matter. I swear I could send a sample of pure compost and the results would call for more. [​IMG]
  17. coyote

    coyote Master of the Pit

    around these parts several master gardeners told me ash is bad for the soil here in N.M. as we have had some much volcanic action many chili seasons ago that the soil has to much ash in it.
    heck..put it in quart zip locks and take to the flea market and sell it $1.75 a bag no tax as skin anti aging ash..the wimin folk will snag it up..
  18. smoke freak

    smoke freak StickBurners

    Smokeguy- I agree with everything in your article except

    The wood ash isnt adding to the salt content of the soil as much as the raising of the pH of the soil. Raising the pH allows other sources of salt ( such as city water to accumulate ). Similarly, using gypsom ( a neutral substance ) will lower pH by allowing soil salts to leach away.

    TOO MUCH!!!!!

    Just go easy on the ashes. Its all good... up to a point.

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