Keeping my Yukon-Eagle Klondike going is pretty easy. Even after many days of burning coal, it seems to drop the ash pretty well upon shakedown. I open my ash pan all the way before shaking, as I learned NEVER to shake a "cool" fire. After about 5 days of burning coal I'll shake it really, really well and throw some wood in for a few hours. Helps burn up any of the unburned coal and upon next shakedown, all of the coal ash is gone. Load it up with coal and we're off and running for another 5 days or so. I also shake down twice a day, every 12 hours.