So with this smokette, the bottom of the firebox has holes with the heating element directly underneath. So any ash falls through and ends up in the heating element tray. So I can't dump the ash because that tray can't be removed. It's a pain to clean out. As far as flavor. I'd say what i had was a bit intense. No meat flavor all smoke flavor. With the pellet smoker it was about 100x what I got with it and about 10x the Bradley. So I think it did oversmoke it as that's the majority of what you tasted. The wood immediately catches fire once the smoker comes on. With that being the case, would it be worth soaking it first to add some moisture so it doesn't combust so easily?