Author Topic: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project  (Read 67962 times)

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Offline gtsum2

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #225 on: August 22, 2010, 08:15:08 PM »
Hey T,

I was out in the garage looking around and low and behold I spy the necessary equipment to make one of these!  I happen to have a smokey joe and a 22 inch weber that I dont use anymore...as well I have a 180k btu bayou classic burner...I also have a propane line tied into the home tank (buried 500 gallon) on the deck.....hmm.....so, I assume  you just place the cooker on the burner (not bolted, etc)?  I am thinking of making one out of my 22inch...I assume the whole to cut out on the bottom is going to be dependent on the burner size?  So you are using a pan filled SS pan right above the burner, and then stacking 2 stones on the main cook grate?  It looks like the more space between the outer edge of the top stones and the sides of the cooker will result in a higher air temp above the stones, right?  My pizza stones are only 16 inch...might be too small to use on the 22 incher?  18 incher would be perfect I guess?  Any other tricks to go about making this?  I think I am going to do it this week and give it a whirl. 


Offline gtsum2

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #226 on: August 22, 2010, 08:32:21 PM »
I just measured the burner..I have a 6 inch burner (big one!)...I am thinking the 22 incher would be better suited to hack up then my smokey joe.  Any recommendations on how big a hole I should cut out of my 22 incher?  Also, how are you getting the alum foil to stick and not fall off the sides of the weber?

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #227 on: August 22, 2010, 08:49:32 PM »
Score on the weber sitting around!  I bet you didn't know you had a pizza oven in parts laying around.  Here's the quick and dirty...

MBE:  good if you are only feeding 2-3 ppl.  Max pizza size will be around 11".  I can eat about one and a half of these myself.  11" because you need about 1" airgap.  Functional diameter of the grill is really 13.5" or so.  Stone will be about 12".  Max pie size you can load without making a mess is 11" unless you build the pie on a 12" pan.  Down side is that the lid slopes a bit.  Pies can rise too close to the lid and cut off some valuable airflow.  This results in a white ring around the top.  I talk about this earlier in this thread.

LBE:  18" is perfect for a 16" stone but these are harder to find.  The dome is a good height and won't likely have the same problem as discussed above in the MBE.  max size pizza will be 15-16".  Downside again is that you'll really be limited to NY style pies or elite NY at best.  I've only seen one member make a pie that resembles a NP (Neapolitan) and that's member 8 slice on page 40 or 41 I believe in the LBE thread linked to earlier.   It's just hard to get the temps way up there.  Well you can but the bottom gets much hotter than the top and that results in burning issues.   To get high top heat you need refractory cement on top.

LBE 22" This is the size you need for making NP style pies.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10057.0.html  If I wasn't going forward with the WFO, I would consider making one of these.  Used 22" webers are all over craigslist and refractory cement is cheap.

Chau

Also I do not use aluminum foil on the walls.  They disintegrate after a few cooks.

buceriasdon

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #228 on: August 22, 2010, 09:10:36 PM »
I can't get heavy duty aluminum foil here in Mexico, tried using regular foil and just gave up, too much hassle changing it out every few burns. Your mileage may vary. Good luck on your LBE.
saludos, Donaldo


I just measured the burner..I have a 6 inch burner (big one!)...I am thinking the 22 incher would be better suited to hack up then my smokey joe.  Any recommendations on how big a hole I should cut out of my 22 incher?  Also, how are you getting the alum foil to stick and not fall off the sides of the weber?

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #229 on: September 13, 2010, 10:28:59 AM »
Made some changes to the MBE.  Member jet-deck suggested that I moved the stone forward to block the air flow from the front.  Even though I had some foil down in that area, this stirred me to revisit Essen1's metal disk mod for the LBE found here...

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.msg57620.html#msg57620

To see if a version of this mod would increase my heat output, I pulled the stone forward and layed down some foil to block the airflow from the sides.  Immediately I notice an increase in the heat and airflow out the front vent of about 30-40%.  With 2 test runs so far, I noticed the heat up times have decrease between 25-50% depending on the size of the gap in the back.

Previous heat up time: 20m to ~700F
Current heat up times with the sides blocked off: 10-15m to 700F.

I also pulled the sand bowl towards the front.  Here are a few pics of the current setup and a pie I made last night.   This pie was a 50/50 blend of AP/BF.   It was baked at stone temp of 700F and baked for 2 min.  I did notice that the rim was charring faster than before, so all in all I would say this simple mod is a functional improvment over my old setup.

I would like to reiterate Mike's tip on turning down the burner a bit after the pie is loaded to control the amount of charring.  You can also load the pie closer or further from the back edge to control how fast the rim chars as well.



« Last Edit: September 13, 2010, 10:34:37 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #230 on: September 13, 2010, 01:49:50 PM »
If you black egg users could just put a couple hinges on the lid, I would guess that you could load the pie, and turn it when needed much faster.  I would think that it would save a ton of lost heat, instead of completely removing the lid, and setting it aside.  But maybe you can hold the lid in one hand and turn the pizza with the other?  Oh, good looking pie Chau.

Just a random thought.
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Offline Essen1

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #231 on: September 13, 2010, 05:52:42 PM »
Chau,

It looks like you're having a field day with your MBE. Great pizza!!

I'm glad the little adjustment turned out well and cut heat-up time in half and improved the airflow.

Regarding the burner control, I have had too many black Frisbees coming out of mine when the burner was left uncontrolled so now I'm just turning it down to low and increase it when needed, see the temps dramatically drop or when it's breezy outside. But other than that, dialed in to low keeps it at a nice ambient temp for the pizzas.
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #232 on: September 13, 2010, 06:05:19 PM »
Thx guys I have some work to do yet to dial in the new settings.   When I varied the space between the back wall and the stone from 1" to 2" there was a marked increase in heat up times (25%). 

My old set up was working fine, but this gives me more flexibility.  I have a wider range of heat to utilize and take advantage of.  I was impress that I could get the entire rim charred via rotation and have a finished pie in 2 min.  I think that is about the upper limit on bake times for a NP pie.   

I think the right thing to say about the MBE/LBE is that like recipes, it really does take some tweaking to optimize the end result for each user.  I'm not sure one setting or recipe will work for everyone. 

I will definitely be doing some more testing with AP/caputo flour in the MBE in an attempt to make something close"r" to a NP pie.  I will keep you guys posted.  For now I'll have to put my WFO plans on hold.   ;)

JD - I like your ideas.  Without a doubt a hinge lid would improve efficiency.  As it is, it takes the MBE very little time to recover once the lid is off and on again.   With the 2nd and 3rd turn, the puffed up rim goes from white/light color to char in about 15 seconds.  Since I'm not too hand with the tools I'll save it for a possible later project.  I bet it would be a piece of cake for you.     I kinda wish we lived closer so you could help me put a heat source in the lid.  That would really be ideal IMO. 

Chau

« Last Edit: September 13, 2010, 06:09:23 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #233 on: September 16, 2010, 05:49:20 PM »
Tran Man-nice looking pies. I haven't gotten around to modifying my Weber yet, but I'm doing a lot of experimenting with a cast iron griddle and the broiler and recently cooked some pies that are :-D :-D :-D :-D amazingly similar looking to the ones in your pictures. BTW, do you like pizza? :-D
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Offline gtsum2

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #234 on: September 17, 2010, 07:41:25 AM »
Looking good!  I made the same mods to mine and heat up time was definitely faster....as well as my top heat was quite a bit hotter (800 or so).

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #235 on: September 17, 2010, 03:17:35 PM »
Thanks Guys.  I'm always trying to improve.  David let's see those pies.  ;)

Gtsum, I'm glad those mods inspired by Mike's disk mod helped.

Here are couple of 8 hour pies made in the MBE this morning with Ischia starter.  Getting a bit better with the leoparding but still contending with that white ring on top. 

Also FB is too thick in my set up and the QT (quarry tile) is in 4 pieces and shifts too much.  Had to go back to the 12' stone from Sears.  This thing conducts heat too well so for future bakes I have to load it at a lower hearth temp like around 600F.  Anyways these were made with AP flour. 


Offline Jet_deck

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #236 on: September 17, 2010, 03:28:23 PM »
...  Getting a bit better with the leoparding but still contending with that white ring on top.... 


I bet i know where the ring is coming from.  Hint: In the mountains that surround you, do you see where the snow drifts on the leeward side of the mountains?
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #237 on: September 17, 2010, 06:48:08 PM »
I bet i know where the ring is coming from.  Hint: In the mountains that surround you, do you see where the snow drifts on the leeward side of the mountains?

That's a good analogy JD.  I had the same problem when I was doming the pies too much by using the thick firebricks, but now there is sufficient room on top for the airflow and still this happens.  The problem I suspect is that the airflow is much great now from front to back due to the recent changes.  This causes the leeward side from getting sufficient heat.  To fix this, I'm planning on plugging the front airvent, and opening up the original top vents.  I'll also have to remove the disk in the lid since it's block the top vents. 

I hope this will create some turbulence causing the air to swirl around the lid a bit before exiting the top.   I'll report back. 

buceriasdon

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #238 on: September 17, 2010, 07:51:19 PM »
I've been reading with interest the latest posts on the MBE, which I have realized size wise what my little oven is. 17.5 inches in diameter. I however do not use a high pressure burner in mine. Not really a MBE, but a hybrid. Takes 20 minutes to reach 700.  I thought I should  post some pics of my configuration. Lid open showing the chains on both sides with foil blocking all but the open back edges on the tile. The hinge showing the upper half, similar below and the chain showing one side. I do need to fabricate an easier to use towards the front lid handle.
Saludos, Don

buceriasdon

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #239 on: September 17, 2010, 09:09:37 PM »
Same day Mexican AP and cake flour. 3 to1. Ran out of panela. Walmart mozz. Nice and light pizza with spinach and cherry tomatos.

Offline Ronzo

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #240 on: September 17, 2010, 10:12:31 PM »
I love the hinge, Don! That gives me ideas... :)

What do you use to heat it if you don't use burner?
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buceriasdon

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #241 on: September 17, 2010, 10:35:36 PM »
Oops, Sorry about the misunderstanding, I don't use a high pressure burner that others use in the LBE and MBE. Overkill IMO. I use what I call a star burner but low pressure. More fuel efficient with close to the same heat up and recovery times. I don't know that such a critter can be found in the USA.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.920.html
that is the larger version, I have since stepped down to a even smaller one.
Don


Offline Jet_deck

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #242 on: September 18, 2010, 10:36:12 AM »
Don, your star burner is similar to what I call a banjo burner.  Its available in both low and high pressure (I think) from Tejas :  http://www.tejassmokers.com/castironburners.htm  I'm glad you did the hinge, I've been trying to convince JT to do the same.


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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #243 on: September 18, 2010, 10:41:52 AM »
...  To fix this, I'm planning on plugging the front airvent, and opening up the original top vents.  I'll also have to remove the disk in the lid since it's block the top vents. 

I hope this will create some turbulence causing the air to swirl around the lid a bit before exiting the top.   I'll report back. 

I wish you much success, but, I don't think it's going to work.  Do you have a picture of your top lid, before you remove the disk?
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #244 on: September 18, 2010, 12:10:40 PM »
JD, the hinge at this point is low priority.  It is a good idea though.  I'll see about implementing it after i get my airflow issues worked out. 

No worries about removing the disk.  It's very easy to take off and put on.  I tried removing the disk this morning, plugging up the front vent and opening up the top vents.  You're right.  It didn't work.  I could tell right away that the airflow suffered.  So I closed up the top vent, unplugged the front vent, and baked without the top disk

Now, without the top disk there is more air volume up above but also allows the air to shoot up in an arching manner rather than straight across the pie.  The result was that I got rid of the top white ring.  I now have even browning across the rim.  The downside is that it took longer to brown the rim.  Rim browing time went from 2 min to 3 min to brown. 

So my next idea to try is to leave the disk out and recover the inside with foil to see if that makes a difference and/or using a smaller disk up top.

Picture from this morning's experiment. 

Thanks for your suggestions JD.  They are helpful.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2010, 12:12:54 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #245 on: September 18, 2010, 12:26:23 PM »
You are most welcome.  Remeber those cheesy looking curtains of beads from the 70's? I'd like to see about 30 strips of aluminum foil, 1/2 inch wide, stuck to the roof of your egg.  Put them in some random pattern right above where the pie cooks.  Make the strips long enough to be only 1/4" from the top of the pie.  Give that some thought. :chef:
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #246 on: September 18, 2010, 12:53:06 PM »
You are most welcome.  Remeber those cheesy looking curtains of beads from the 70's? I'd like to see about 30 strips of aluminum foil, 1/2 inch wide, stuck to the roof of your egg.  Put them in some random pattern right above where the pie cooks.  Make the strips long enough to be only 1/4" from the top of the pie.  Give that some thought. :chef:

How should I attach them JD?  Are they suppose to disrrupt the airflow?  With blocking the side airflow off now, the airflow from the back is so strong I'm not sure strips of aluminum foil will hold up.  BUT  What if I drilled random holes into my existing lid disk (you know the one I took out)?   I will throw around some ideas, do a few test bakes and report back. 

Chau

buceriasdon

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #247 on: September 18, 2010, 09:57:17 PM »
Tonight's 2.5 minute pie. Would have been less but I was interrupted and didn't turn the pie soon enough. 24 hour cold proof AP and cake flour with pistachios, spinach, panela cheese and cherry tomatoes. Outstanding except for the salted pistachios, must find unsalted.
Saludos, Don

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #248 on: September 18, 2010, 10:07:08 PM »
Decent looking pie Don. Are you having any issues with the bottom burning?  If you don't mind, can you post a pic or a link to your current setup?
I am also in the process of playing around with mixing pastry flour and AP flour.  I haven't tried pistachios on pizza yet, but will need to try it soon. I thought pine nuts would be good as well.

buceriasdon

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Re: MBE (Mini Black Egg) Project
« Reply #249 on: September 18, 2010, 10:14:00 PM »
They are called vortex generators. Ah the memories, those curtains, Ravi on sitar followed up by Moody Blues, some far out hashish, the chick from your English class who thought your gotee made you look cool..............
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vortex_generator

You are most welcome.  Remeber those cheesy looking curtains of beads from the 70's? I'd like to see about 30 strips of aluminum foil, 1/2 inch wide, stuck to the roof of your egg.  Put them in some random pattern right above where the pie cooks.  Make the strips long enough to be only 1/4" from the top of the pie.  Give that some thought. :chef:


 

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