Wow, JRN goes above and beyond the call of duty!!! His stove must still shine at the end of the season
My maintenance includes, changing ash pans, vacuuming the bottom at each change, cleaning out the exhaust tubes and the stove pipe once a month, and mid way through the winter, vacuuming under the burn plates as JRN described. But, I have never shut the stove down for any of this cleaning. I do have the aforementioned combustion fan hooked to a switch so I shut it off while I have the stove doors open. This just keeps the stove from belching out exhaust into the house and stinking it up.
As JRN mentioned, I have never removed my burn plates either. After last season (my first ), when I cleaned off my plates they looked as good as new, didn't even have to scrape them. Just did as JRN prescribed. I must not have burned the coal hard enough to have material burn on to the plates.
So, maintenance is pretty easy with the kokers, not sure about the hitzers.