I feel like I’m asking a dumb question, but there it goes: I don’t quote have a good grasp on using ash drawers. I’ve always used stoves without ash drawers. Last fall I was house sitting and the home had two wood burners with ash drawers (VC Duchwest XL, and some large VC insert). Normally on a stove without an ash drawer I shovel some ash out once in a while when it gets full and leave a good layer on the bottom. When I was house sitting I mostly burned the stove but never 24 hrs/day (only evenings and overnight). I would empty the ash drawer every evening before building a new fire because if I didn’t then ash would overflow and spill into the cavity where the ash drawer sits when I pulled out the drawer. I could have let the ash build up but I figured it would make a big mess when I went to clean it out because I wouldn’t be able to get the drawer back in without shoveling the ash out of the drawer’s cavity. So I was left without any ash in the stove. I didn’t like the feature of the ash drawer because I felt that it made it difficult to keep some hot coals in the stove as they weren’t insulated by any ash. One nice side effect to the ash drawer was that the door to it could be opened in the morning to get the few remaining coals piping hot again. How does everyone else use their ash drawers?