Wood Stove With vs. Without An Ash Pan

Wood stove ash pans is one of those things that homeowners either love or hate, but let me tell you, the ones who dislike it either haven’t tried a properly built one, or simply have not invested enough time into trying one.

In any away, I’ve written this article so you could make up your mind by yourself. Do it as you see fit.


The mess is kept inside the stove

If you’ve been dealing with wood stoves long enough, you know how dirty it can be to clean one.

Using an ash pan that comes with a stove helps you reduce all that mess that gets stirred up when removing the ashes.

Doing the whole cleaning the classic way, i.e. with a shovel and a pail, lets all that ash dust escape into your house, mainly when you are dumping the ash from a shovel into the bucket.

Now considering that many of the stoves that come equipped with an ash pan also have great grate systems, all you may need to do is rake the inside of the firebox a couple of times to let the ash fall down right into the pan below (though this normally happens by itself, when you are tending the fire).

Then, you just open the ash pan door, and take the container outside into a metal bucket that is far away from any combustibles! As clean as that.

And because all of the action happens right inside the stove, any dust that gets agitated will more likely than not go up the flue, not inside your room!

Easy to separate coals

The thing about the shovel and bucket method is that you have to separate the coals from the ashes each and every time you need to clean up.

Everyone has their own way to do it: some push the coals all the way back to the firebox, and then take out the ashes; others to the side, you name it.

You do not have to mess with any of that when you get a stove with a proper ash pan system, that is, one which has a grate.

You just take out the ash pan whenever it fills up, that’s really it. If it really needs to, you might have to rake the inside of the firebox a bit to let more ash fall through.

Minimal dust, simple and easy. Just a better way to do it, I think.


Might need to be dumped more often

The thing about panless wood stoves is that they often can be not cleaned of ash for longer periods of time, simply because all of the burnt matter is left inside the firebox.

Some stoves that come with ash pans fill them up rather quickly, depending how big they are.

In other words, if a stove has an ash pan, you might need to empty it a couple of times a week, compared to once a week or so if it has no ash pan at all.

But this depends entirely on the make and model of the wood stove. The best thing you can do is ask the dealer about the size of the ash pan, and pick one that is suitable for your needs.

It’s just not as simple

Cleaning the ash from a wood stove with a shovel and a pail is a tried and true method. You know what they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

And that’s really what an ash pan is – it makes the already simple and easy process different than it really needs to, kind of…

Some might say it’s for the better, others who have done it the old fashioned way will say it’s just a waste of money.

Me personally? I think a well designed ash pan is a great idea!

Dealing with all that ash with a shovel is just “not as modern” for me. I don’t know, the ash pan really did grow on me over the years.

It’s just so much more clean to take the ash pan right outside, instead of first dumping it into the bucket and creating a dust cloud, messing with the lid, etc.

In conclusion

If you’ve been using a wood stove that did not have an ash pan before and you were perfectly fine with it, the next purchase you make might as well be of the same design.

But if you’ve never dealt with stoves before, or want to try something that can truly be better, I really don’t see why you shouldn’t give a wood stove with an ash pan a shot.

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  1. I have a United States stove that has a hole and plug on the bottom of the inside. When I start a fire is the Plug supposed to be in or out.

    thank you

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