Author Topic: BGE Pizza  (Read 9616 times)

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Offline Vindii

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Re: BGE Pizza
« Reply #40 on: May 13, 2011, 12:13:34 PM »
Your set-up with 2 stones and the spacers is the same set-up I use in my Big Steel Keg which is basically the same as a large BGE.  It works great for keeping the direct heat from the bottom of the stone.  I can get my stone and hood temp to be pretty much the same.

Ive tried raising and lowering it and didnt seem to make much difference.  Now I just use the plate setter with a stone on it and 1" spacers and and another stone.  Works great.+

My opinion is that the thermo mass doesnt have any effect on the max temp of the grill.  It only effects how long you have to preheat it.  More mass is better as it helps it recover faster when you open the lid.

Temps can be effected a lot by lump.  When I want to cook more than 2 pies at temps of over 600 I make sure to use mostly fresh lump.  I found that the left over lump from your last cook will not burn as hot.  If you use all fresh lump you will be well past 800 if you want.  I let mine preheat for at least an hour to get the stone and hood the same temp.

650 is my sweet spot right now.  They cook in about 5-6 minutes.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2011, 12:18:45 PM by Vindii »


Offline tscaife

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Re: BGE Pizza
« Reply #41 on: May 13, 2011, 12:48:02 PM »
Vindii

How big is your stone that is on the bottom? Mine is 15" and I thought that may have been restricting air flow. Does air flow have any effect on max temp in your experience?

When you say 650* are you talking Dome or stone temp? (EDIT: I see you said dome and hood are same temp)

When I used the firebricks and the setup with the plate setter it was over an hour and the temp seemed to be stalled. I was also using cowboy lump which doesn't seem to burn as hot. I have also been using leftover lump.

The most recent setup worked well and the temp was easy to control. I am cooking 4 pies on Sunday vs 2 earlier this week. I will see if I can maintain the temps using the most recent setup and leftover lump and make adjustments as needed in the future.

Thanks for the info!!
« Last Edit: May 13, 2011, 12:49:58 PM by tscaife »

Offline Vindii

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Re: BGE Pizza
« Reply #42 on: May 13, 2011, 04:12:29 PM »
Both my stones are 15" kiln shelves from Axner which might be the same place you got your spacers from as mine are exactly the same.  I looked back at your brick set up also and i really the set-up was not the problem but a lump issue.  Ive had the exact same problems with the temp not getting up high enough and I think its all lump.  The last time I cooks 6 pizzas I took all the old lump out (saved it for later of course) and stated with fresh lump.  Plate setter, 2 15" stones, and the spacer all preheated for an hour.  I cooked all 6 pizzas at 650m and it held temp great.  Fresh lump is key for high temp cooks.

Clean out the lmp and give it a try.  Im thinking you will agree.

Cowboy lump seems to not burn as hot too.  Ive heard that before.

I tried to make some Neapolitan type pizzas with this set-up and had issues getting the top cooked fast enough.  I was cooking at 800 though and the bottom just cooks really fast.  I think the best I could do is about a 4 minute NY/Neo hybrid pie.  Still experimenting though.  biggest problem is that you lose so much dome heat when you load the pizza that the bottom cooks faster.  Such a short window at 800+ that its hard for it to recover from opening.  I have not tried it again since I figured out the fresh lump thing so i need to try again.

Here my failed tests and some pics of the set-up

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13251.0.html

Ive now taken the first spacer off the plate setter and just put the lower stone on the plate setter.  I didnt think raising it up in the dome was helping.

Here the first attempt before I started using two stones.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13232.0.html

Offline tscaife

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Re: BGE Pizza
« Reply #43 on: May 14, 2011, 04:07:54 PM »
Vindii,

I think you are correct about the lump. My normal process is to empty out the egg clean out all ash and make sure that the holes are clear. Then I put some larger pieces of lump in the bottom, dump a chimney full of hot lump, dump the leftover lump from the last cook and then use fresh lump to fill at least to the top of the firebox. I was so focused on air flow and trying to protect the stone from direct heat I wasn't thinking about the fuel source. I am now cooking 7 pies on Sunday (more people coming last minute) so I will use fresh lump and see how it goes.

I did get the kiln shelf and spacers from axner. Your threads actually gave me the idea to try the two stone setup. The top is a ceramic stone from Big Green Egg though. I have read other threads that Ceramic has different effects than coerderite on high temp cooks because the ceramic is more porous I believe. It may be worth looking into.

Also what type of materials insulate the Big Steel Keg? The thermal mass of the ceramic helps the BGE get back to temp quickly but, working with a 2 minute bake time it probably won't be fast enough.

Keep us posted if you figure anything out.

Thanks!
TS

Offline Vindii

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Re: BGE Pizza
« Reply #44 on: May 15, 2011, 11:18:04 PM »
Vindii,

I think you are correct about the lump. My normal process is to empty out the egg clean out all ash and make sure that the holes are clear. Then I put some larger pieces of lump in the bottom, dump a chimney full of hot lump, dump the leftover lump from the last cook and then use fresh lump to fill at least to the top of the firebox. I was so focused on air flow and trying to protect the stone from direct heat I wasn't thinking about the fuel source. I am now cooking 7 pies on Sunday (more people coming last minute) so I will use fresh lump and see how it goes.

I did get the kiln shelf and spacers from axner. Your threads actually gave me the idea to try the two stone setup. The top is a ceramic stone from Big Green Egg though. I have read other threads that Ceramic has different effects than coerderite on high temp cooks because the ceramic is more porous I believe. It may be worth looking into.

Also what type of materials insulate the Big Steel Keg? The thermal mass of the ceramic helps the BGE get back to temp quickly but, working with a 2 minute bake time it probably won't be fast enough.

Keep us posted if you figure anything out.

Thanks!
TS

The keg is double walled with oven insulation inbetween.  Holds heat like you wouldnt believe.  A egg may radiate more heat as the ceramic will hold more heat than the keg but otherwise they would be the same.  If i overshoot my temp on a low and slow cook it takes a long time to bring it down.

Let us know how you pies come out.  The last batch of 6 I did I cooked at 650 for 4-5 minute each.  Had all 6 done in 45 minutes.

Im convince that 2 stones with a little space between them is the best set-up for these types of grills.

Offline tscaife

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Re: BGE Pizza
« Reply #45 on: May 16, 2011, 07:30:45 AM »
Yesterday was a disaster. I had friends coming over and planned to cook 7 pies. Lit the grill and got the dome temp up to 675* in about 30 minutes. Then the temp dropped to 625* and ten minutes later I was at 575*. I opened the grill to see what was going on and my raised grid had collapsed  :o. I was able to lever the stones back up and put a spacer underneath but, by that time the grill was open so long that I had no chance of getting back up to 650* + or even 550*. I moved the 14" stone to the oven and cooked the pies in there.

Next time I will try the plate setter, stone, spacers, stone setup with fresh lump and see how it goes.


Offline Vindii

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Re: BGE Pizza
« Reply #46 on: May 16, 2011, 11:08:47 PM »
Yesterday was a disaster. I had friends coming over and planned to cook 7 pies. Lit the grill and got the dome temp up to 675* in about 30 minutes. Then the temp dropped to 625* and ten minutes later I was at 575*. I opened the grill to see what was going on and my raised grid had collapsed  :o. I was able to lever the stones back up and put a spacer underneath but, by that time the grill was open so long that I had no chance of getting back up to 650* + or even 550*. I moved the 14" stone to the oven and cooked the pies in there.

Next time I will try the plate setter, stone, spacers, stone setup with fresh lump and see how it goes.



That figures when it happens when you have people over.  So you werent using the plate setter?

Another thing i learned is to use lots of lump.  Not sure how the BGE is but my keg burns a lot of lump holding 650 for hours.  The first time I made 5 pies I ran out of lump near the end and temps started to drop.

Offline tscaife

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Re: BGE Pizza
« Reply #47 on: May 25, 2011, 10:33:12 AM »
New setup pic below. This setup worked really well. Cooked pizzas at 650* - 675* dome temp with a stone temp of 625* - 650*. The strange thing is that when I use a 2 stone setup these temps under cook the bottom. With one stone these temps will cook the bottom faster than the top. I am measuring temp through the top hole and I know that it drops when I open the grill to put the pizzas on.

My guess as to why this is happening is that with a one stone setup it is still getting some direct heat from the coals below. Heat transfers from the stone to the pizzas so if it is still taking direct heat it will transfer more heat and cook the bottom faster even at the same initial temp. Going forward I just need to figure out how hot to get the stone in relation to the dome to get the right balance.

The positives are the tops cooked really well. The peperoni was almost like crisp bacon. The stone also heated up much slower between pizzas. Normally I am in a huge rush to get the next pie on. This time I actually had to wait by the grill for a bit before putting the pies on. For me this is a huge plus. The pizzas tasted great as well!

Thanks for looking!!!
TS

Offline Vindii

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Re: BGE Pizza
« Reply #48 on: May 25, 2011, 03:34:46 PM »
Pies look good.  I love it when the peperoni gets crispy.

I think a longer preehat time will help you bottom cook faster.  Another option is to preheat longer and then once the stone is up to temp shut down the vents a bit to bring the dome temp down.  Then your stone will be slightly hotter than the dome.

My last ones were the same way.  Bottoms could have used maybe 2 more minutes but the top was done.  I rushed the preheat and tossed the pies on after running for 1/2 hours at 400 and 15 minutes at 700.  I didn't measure the stone temp but Im sure it was still in the upper 500's.

When I looked for spacer for my stones I wanted to use those BGE feet that are in your pics.  I saw a pic of them but didnt know they were the feet.  I looked all over trying to find where they sold them...

Offline tscaife

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Re: BGE Pizza
« Reply #49 on: June 12, 2011, 09:40:43 PM »
I haven't posted in a while but, I have been doing pretty much the same thing and am getting consistently good results. Setup is in first pic.

These pizzas were 63% hydration, 3% salt with 1% starter. 12 hour bulk rise and 12 hours balled at room temperature (76*). I am going to stick with this setup going forward but, still need to tweak dough, sauce, etc.

Thanks for looking!



Online norma427

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Re: BGE Pizza
« Reply #50 on: June 12, 2011, 10:34:14 PM »
tscaife,

Good to hear your are getting consistent results with your BGE.  You pizza looks very good!  :)

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline tscaife

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Re: BGE Pizza
« Reply #51 on: June 13, 2011, 03:31:48 PM »
Thanks Norma!

Offline texmex

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Re: BGE Pizza
« Reply #52 on: June 29, 2011, 01:57:20 PM »
Great looking pies there!

My brother just purchased the XL BGE 2 weeks ago.  He made the best damn pork tenderloin I've had in a long while, and he's already a great cook, but the BGE bumped it up a notch.

Naturally, he is going to want to make pizza.  I did mention to him that he may need an extra pizza stone, and "buffer" mechanisms to make better than average pies with higher heat.  Not sure if he's got the BGE baking stone yet, but he does have plate setter.

I will be directing him to this and other threads I've discovered in my many, many dough related/ stone related/ BGE related searches.

tscaife, what are those thinner spacers you are using in your last modification?  kiln furniture?
Reesa

Offline tscaife

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Re: BGE Pizza
« Reply #53 on: June 29, 2011, 02:51:34 PM »
The spacers in the most recent pics are the feet that come with the egg. They are made to prop the egg up if it is sitting on a flat surface.

Offline texmex

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Re: BGE Pizza
« Reply #54 on: June 29, 2011, 03:38:49 PM »
Ah, okay, thanks...I should have known they came with the egg.  I saw that they were also on your first pics, until they disappeared for awhile while you were modifying, and you brought them back in the later pics.

Maybe my bro will be satisfied with non-neapolitan, but in case he ain't...I 'll know where to direct him.
Reesa

Offline tscaife

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Re: BGE Pizza
« Reply #55 on: August 26, 2011, 09:42:27 AM »
I haven't posted in a while and thought I would share a recent bake. My grill setup hasn't changed but, I do tweak dough, sauce and topping almost every bake.

100% KABF
60%  Filtered water (cold from fridge)
1.5% Ischia Starter (right out of fridge but, I do feed it weekly)
2.7% Morton's Kosher Salt

The process was to mix the starter (Right from the fridge) into all of the cold water. Then I mix all of the flour in by hand until there are no wet spots. I let it rest for 30 minutes then add the salt. I then mix by hand until the dough feels consistent and bulk rise in a plastic container at room temperature (75ish). This time the bulk rise was 20 hours. Next I ball them up for 3 -4 hours. The dough balls were 325 grams for 13" pizzas.

Sauce is 6 in 1 tomatoes with about 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Cheese this time was fresh Mozzarella I got from target. I slice the cheese with an egg slicer then put the slices between paper towels with a heavy cutting board on top to drain. I also drizzle olive oil on top right before they go on.

I used the two stone set up pictured in post #47. I have found with this set up the top stone never get's too hot so I no longer rush to get pizzas on. For this bake the grill and stone temp were both 675*. I didn't time the bake but, I would guess it was 4 - 5 minutes.

Thanks for looking!!!
« Last Edit: August 26, 2011, 09:52:52 AM by tscaife »


 

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