Author Topic: Big green egg  (Read 27319 times)

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Offline Pizzaholic

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Big green egg
« on: June 02, 2004, 08:58:33 AM »
Has anyone ever tried to do a pizza in one of these.
It might be cheaper than building a brick oven in your backyard
http://www.biggreenegg.com/

I have seen them in use and they do work great for cooking. Heck, they have em on charter boats when you go deep sea fishing.
They are not cheap though, that is a drawback
Pizzaholic


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Re:Big green egg
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2004, 05:48:17 PM »
I realize I'm only a few months late, but I just registered.  The Big Green Egg makes a fabulous wood burning oven.  I can get it well over 800 degrees, though I cook pizza around 550.  If you are really interested, there are a lot of pizza discussions on the BGE site if you go to the forum on the site linked above.

Offline Aaron

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Re: Big green egg
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2005, 08:15:00 AM »
I have had an egg for years,its one of my favourite cookers.You can Q at 200 or sear steaks at 800.When it comes to pizzas these truly excel.The only problem is alot of pizza stones cant take the heat an egg can produce and hence they crack.

Offline giotto

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Re: Big green egg
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2005, 11:12:45 PM »
I hear that ceramic backyard ovens can be great for pizza; but I've yet to see a picture.  Checked out the green egg site, didn't see a picture for pizza-- pretty elusive.  Does anyone have a picture of their pizzas out of the green egg?

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Big green egg
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2005, 11:42:03 PM »
giotto,

Here you go: http://www.tm52.com/bge/bbq-page7.htm.

Apparently the typical pizza sizes are 12-inch (in the smaller BGE) and 14-inch (in the large BGE). But, I have read that it is possible to use a 16-inch stone, see http://www.nakedwhiz.com/pizza.htm. In all cases, one apparently has to use some kind of ceramic pizza stone accessory to hold the pizza stone in the proper position.

Peter

Offline giotto

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Re: Big green egg
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2005, 12:13:10 AM »
Thanks Pete-zza...  Pretty unimpressive pizza in that picture; but then it was cooked at the 500+ of our ovens.  I've seen multiple notes suggesting that although the egg goes up to 700+ degrees, the pizza is often set to the 550F level-- probably due to size and unflat top of enclosure or something. 

Amici's in Mtn View churns out the most impressive char tasting pizza crust around. The char is a crust in itself, even when their fired oven runs as low as 750F.  It ain't the flour, they use an all-purpose.  I've thought about cordierite, firebrick, and then saw the unglazed quarry tiles, etc.  Most of this stuff would limit the size of my wall oven too much, and I can get as much browning as I want already when making a NY style.   

Offline Aaron

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Re: Big green egg
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2005, 11:32:53 AM »
I have an egg and use it a lot for pie cooking.As stated above they tend to work best at 600 or less.The shape of the dome may have something to do with that.The new extra large egg has an 18 inch plate setter,hence allowing up to an 18 inch pie.The extra larges retail for 999.99$ U.S and 1500.00 Canadian.The draw back to eggs is the wieght of them,a large wieghs in at 150 lbs and an extra large at 200lbs.So they are not very easy to move around.That being said we do take an extra large with us to BBQ comps to compete with,so it is not impossible to haul.We take the guts out and that makes it alot easier to lift on and off the truck.
I would highly recommend one for pizza cooking because it is a multi purpose cooker,Steaks at 800 or ribs at 225.You just set it and pretty much forget it.4lbs of charcoal will cook at 225 for 24 hours without the need to refuel,so they are very efficient on fuel.
Aaron
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Offline giotto

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Re: Big green egg
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2005, 04:25:17 PM »
Hey Aaron:

Must be nice to compete in BBQ.  I enjoyed the book Smokestack Lightning and a few others.  Kinda of caught that bug some time back.  Around here, many use the J & R Red Smokehouse for commercial use.  I'm convinced that ceramic like yours is the most efficient. 

I'm happy with my back yard indirect smoker that sort of resembles a sideways trash can with a grate... I spent a little extra to get it heavier duty.  What a bear to even walk this thing on its wheels a few feet.  With 5 hours of smoking the ribs at 220F, I'm able to get by with a few handfuls of charcoal and some almond or oak.  Not as efficient as the green egg; but as long as I don't open it, it maintains its temp for a 2 - 3 hours.  No controls of course, which would be nice.

I prefer the sauce to be the rub + juices:
(https://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/home-ribs.JPG)

They're nice and tender with good color on the inside. 
(https://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/home-rib.JPG)

For meatballs, I need to follow a couple of steps to char them and cook em:
(https://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/home-meatballs.JPG)

I'm accustomed to working with separate equipment.  But I like the all in one of the green egg; 18" pizza would be great.   
- I know a ceramic slow cooker can over tenderize chicken; can this happen with a green egg?
- I assume only 1 pizza at a time can be done and a separate component is needed?
- Do you have any pictures of your pizza?   

I'm looking for a char effect like this-- can you get that?
(https://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/Neo-roll.jpg)

For now, I've got the crispy transparent crust pizza.
(https://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/neo-ny-slice.JPG)
« Last Edit: June 26, 2005, 02:33:21 AM by giotto »

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Big green egg
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2005, 06:53:02 PM »
giotto,

Nice to see another fellow BBQ-er on here. Related to the topic of pizza: One of the most popular things I do for parties is pizza and ribs. I fire up my brick oven for Neapolitan-style pizzas and I use a Klose BYC offset pit for slow smoking ribs over pecan coals. I cheat a bit in that it's a little too much stress for me to tend both the pizza oven and the BBQ pit with hungry guests milling about, so I often smoke the ribs earlier in the day and even the day before. Then at the last minute before serving, I place them on a rack in the brick oven (~800F) for about 30 seconds which serves to restore the bark and heat them at the same time. They come out sizzling and perhaps even better than fresh out of the pit. Works also for crisping the skin of smoked poultry.

BTW, the best commercial BBQ joint in these parts uses a J&R Oyler.
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Offline giotto

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Re: Big green egg
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2005, 12:12:33 AM »
Bill:

Pizza, ribs and veggies over a fire... my life story this past year.  Do you cater or do the parties at your home?  Next day BBQ is always a good thing. Some of the bigger outfits around here use the Oyler.  Everett & Jones in San Leandro is probably the smallest one.  The small joints that seem to get the authenticity awards, like Uncle Frank's out of East Palo Alto and a Memphis Minnies Joint in the city, deal with the 2 different J & R Red Smokers.  J & R sure does have a decent corner on commercial BBQ and broilers. 

While I only do BBQ and grilling with wood and coals, I've had some exceptional pizzas with char that comes off on my fingers out of an 800F gas fired oven.  With only 2 minutes in an 800F oven, a fire from any source would be nice with the right aerodynamics and insulation.

I Just tested my broiler's highest setting with a new temp guage that goes to 700F.  It hit the mark in about 15 - 20 minutes.  I opened the oven, and it drained a 100F in just a little more time than it would take me to put pizza in it, regardless whether I used a stone or screen.  It jumped back in under a minute with the screen though. 

I'd still like something in my back yard with a fire.  I saw one once that was built on a metal cart with wheels, it weighed a ton though.  It's been awhile since I've looked at the thread on building outdoor ovens.  Did you build yours, and is it all fire brick inside, including where the pizza sits?  How much room do you have to build the fire? Would you do anything different with it?  Any pictures of the pizza?

Thanks for the post!
« Last Edit: June 26, 2005, 02:36:00 AM by giotto »

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Big green egg
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2005, 04:52:44 AM »
Giotto,

No, I don't cater - just love to cook for family and friends. I am familiar with the BBQ joints you mention since I lived on the Peninsula for 25 years before moving to Santa Fe 5 years ago. I was a member of the California BBQ Association. The best BBQ in this area (and regarded by many as the best commercial BBQ in the world) is Danny's in Carlsbad, NM. He uses an Oyler, but Danny could create marvelous BBQ with a old oil drum. 

What kind of pit do you use?

Never been to A16 which I hope to remedy next month when I'll in town for a short visit.

I built my outdoor oven from an Earthstone kit using refractory brick for the deck and dome. It has a 35" diameter area for the fire. See http://www.earthstoneovens.com/m90.html

My outdoor kitchen has 4 built-in stations: brick oven, Klose offset wood-burning BBQ pit, Hastybake charcoal grill/rotisserie, and a 100kbtu wok/deep fry propane burner. Both the brick oven and the BBQ pit are fired with pecan logs. I use Kamado coconut lump chacoal on the grill. It had long been a dream of mine to have a kitchen like this and I cook in one or more stations out there almost every day. If I had it to over again, I would have built a bigger oven so I could bake more pizzas at one time.

I've posted pizza photos on this board. Today I'm making hybrid pizzas (Neapolitan crust with Marco's Camaldoli starter and NYC toppings - see thread in NYC sub-forum) and I'll be posting photos their later today.
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Offline Aaron

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Re: Big green egg
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2005, 11:50:14 AM »
Morning guys.The BGE does make an extremely moist piece of chicken or anything else you care to cook.You are also limited to one pie at a time.Unfortunately I do not have a digital camera to share pictures with you but the egg does a great job on the crust.
Danny does make some mighty fine food,his last oyler is in Canada at a friends house on the prairies,it has been fixed up and given a new life.That pit has cooked over a million pounds of BBQ according to Danny and shes still going strong.If you are looking for a good BBQ at a reasonable price the egg fits that to a T.It also has a lifetime warranty,so you have no worries if anything breaks.
Aaron
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Offline giotto

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Re: Big green egg
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2005, 08:14:46 PM »
Thanks for the info on Earthstones and the Green Egg.  As for Klose, I sometimes wonder if special R&R tracks are made for him in Texas for some of his incredible BBQs.   Your pictures, Bill, show well.  And I have the highest regard for ceramic interior, Aaron.  If I had an outside BBQ area, it would have a slow cooker crockpot in it somewhere due to its amazing efficiency and moist results.  I've seen the earthstones on the web before.  I'm always amazed at the 1,000 - 1,700 lb deliveries for the small residential styles.  It looks like they use mostly alumnia content (80%). 

I recently saw a fired oven where the food moves around in a circular fashion around out skirts of the interior and past the fire.  It stops for your feed and forms a rotisseri for beer butt chicken, while meeting the handling for pizza at 800F all in one.  I'm thinking about making my own with some help from a friend and research from Amici's in Mtn View (they are not all the same) and maybe A16.  If I could get my favorite outer edge from Amici's with that circular motion, I'd be cookin' full time (instead of just 75% like now).

One thing about cue' at home is that you can make it according to your taste and texture.  Some prefer the Kansas City saucy style, while others prefer the vinegar and mustard pulled pork of East and South Carolinas, or strong characterization of Texas, while others swear by the outskirts of Memphis for their ribs.  And then there's all the cue that exists in all those other states.  Like the myriad of styles of Pizza (Chicago, NY, etc.), I love em all when done right.  BUT most of all, I like mine.

As for pizza, my greatest praise was when my brother-in-law who's lived in NY his whole life (and is up there in age), said that the Brooklyn pizzas can eat their hearts out.  And he ain't a real nice guy.  Ask me for the home-made recipe that I was using for my NY style 6 months ago, and I can only tell you that I wasn't messing with a starter (I get plenty of taste with a multi-day old dough with different ingredients) and moved it around my 600F oven with a screen to get it exact.  Other than that, who knows.  BUT with his complaint about a recent burnt pizza, and weaker teeth, I think I just had the home court advantage at the moment.

Our past is made up of people who had little more than an oil drum to make their BBQ, and their favorite days were bragging rights at local churches when they had their week-long occasional feasts.  I walked into a club the other day and saw an older German member smoking a whole pig over a pit that he had created on the dirt ground over in the corner.  He was using a rotisserie that was held up by a couple of welded bars and some herbed branches to oil it.  The pig had come from a farm down below San Jose.  We also a well-made BBQ from a local vendor that requires me to crank on the handle to get the height that I want.  It's lined with fire brick; but people who use it are not smart enough to take care of it.  I prefer my oil drum style at home with the smoke moving from left to right.  I got it from BBQ Galore-- heavier gauge than Home Depot styles; but simple.  I place the heat on grates for oxygen, and keep the ashes removed after use.  Other than the oils, it will always look new. 

Offline giotto

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Re: Big green egg
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2005, 03:26:34 PM »
Bill:

I'd appreciate your experience with the CA BBQ Association?  What were the benefits and what was involved in joining? Were there local groups, get togethers, meetings? 

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Big green egg
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2005, 03:38:21 PM »
Giotto:

Everything you want to know and more: http://www.cbbqa.com/. Frank Boyer in Los Gatos was (is?) the main CBBQA guy in the Bay Area. Great guy. Great BBQ cook. Say hi for me.
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Offline giotto

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Re: Big green egg
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2005, 05:17:24 PM »
Bill:

Thank You.  I especially enjoyed the KCBS juding stories.  I have to admit though, at times I prefer marrying techniques and tools.  I don't limit myself at home to what's authentic in BBQ rules (charcoal and wood is a part of the process).  I guess this is because I grew up with an Aunt that made unparalleled roasts.  I've learned to char meatballs, infuse them with sauce over time, and re-heat after a cooling off period.  I don't cut corners in time, I just find alternatives to putting water in a pit or injecting the meats, and Cattlemen's winning sauce ain't for me.  Ribs are my one exception-- it's gotta be on a pit. 

I love the heart of BBQ though.  I'd like to go to one of their events as a visitor, and someday maybe as a judge.  But not much is listed so far.   Initially, I didn't see a chapter in the bay area, or Frank's name... 
« Last Edit: June 27, 2005, 05:40:53 PM by giotto »

Offline Rubino

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Re: Big green egg
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2006, 07:22:15 PM »
Guys,

I made pizza on my dad's BGE a few weeks ago and just couldn't get the temp high enough for long enough. I'm hoping to reverse my fortunes this weekend. I'd appreciate any help or advice.


Offline Aaron

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Re: Big green egg
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2006, 08:54:26 AM »
Rubino,i have a couple of suggestions,here goes,clean out the firebox and make sure the holes on bottom are clear.Start by stacking lump in from largest on bottom to smaller on top.Make sure the air vent on bottom is lined up with the door for max air flow.Load the firebox with lump up to the fire ring.Start your fire then place a plate setter legs down,then pizza stone on top of it.Leave the bottom vent about 3/4 open and the daisy wheel off,give it about a half hour and you should be in the 600* range.Then you are ready to go,watch the pie through the top to limit the times opening the egg.
Aaron

Offline Rubino

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Re: Big green egg
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2006, 09:09:27 AM »
Aaron,

With the method you just described, do you get a pretty even bake? I'm worried about getting too much of a char on the bottom and raw taste on top. Is there a way to prevent that?

Many thanks,
Rubino

Offline Aaron

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Re: Big green egg
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2006, 09:34:48 AM »
Rubino what I do is cook the pizza on a pan then about a minute or two before finishing I put the pie on the stone to char the crust.
Aaron

Offline TonyTrey

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Re: Big green egg
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2006, 11:31:54 PM »
I use a Kamado BBQ which is similar to the BGE.  The main difference between the two grills is the Kamado walls are very thick.  My grill is 500 lbs.  One of the reasons I bought the grill was my life long goal of the 'perfect pizza.'  I can easily get the Kamado up to 700-800 degrees.  I only tried it once at those temps because of the high heat.  Lifting the dome up, requires a couple of hands.  I prefer to use two hands when I slide the pizza off my peel which is hard when I'm trying to also hold the dome up.  So I have gone back to cooking in my oven using a Fibrament 15" X18" stone.

Offline tonymark

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Re: Big green egg
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2006, 08:04:41 PM »
Rubino what I do is cook the pizza on a pan then about a minute or two before finishing I put the pie on the stone to char the crust.
Aaron

Is the pan on the pizza stone?  Are we talking a standard aluminum pizza pan or perforated?

I just installed the new un/official BGE high temp gasket on my large BGE (I am now considered one of their guinea pigs).

Goal:  Cook NY style at 800 F on the BGE.

The Plan:  Double up the fire ring (that is the top ring), of which I have two.  Follow that with the grill and then the heat deflector with legs down.  Heat the egg until the external temp on the top is 780 F (is that possible) using an IR thermometer to measure temperature.  Open the top and place the pizza stone on the deflector, which will probably break it, or will it?  Wait 15 min and check stone to see if it is up to 750.  Throw on a pizza and 2.5 minutes later I should be in heaven.  Will this work?  Ever tried it?

Another thought, stack 2-3 layers of firebricks on top of grill with pizza stone on top of bricks and then preheat until external temp of lid is 780 F.  That should keep the pizza stone from breaking, but that may overheat the stone and cause the bottom of crust to burn!

My thinking is that if the top is hot enough and the pizza is high enough, the top of egg should radiate enough heat to cook the pizza quickly.  I may try this method this weekend.

TM
« Last Edit: April 04, 2006, 08:55:23 AM by tonymark »
Making Pizza is not cooking, it is Performance Art!

Offline Aaron

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Re: Big green egg
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2006, 10:06:00 AM »
I will add my two cents Canadian( abouy 1.2 cents U.S).
Tony I would not heat an egg to a temp that high on the outside of the lid,the egg exterior will not get that hot.I would heat the inside to that temp though.The part about raising the pizza as high as possible inside the dome is right for doing pizzas,the heat will radiate down onto the top,so you will get a more even bake,top and crust will cook more evenly.Both methods of raising the stone you mention should work,a bit of experimentation will get you there,the best part is even the mistakes are edible.
Hope that helps.
Aaron
Make sure you put the pizza stone in at the beginning,other wise it will probably crack from thermal shock.

Offline tonymark

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Re: Big green egg
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2006, 11:02:40 PM »
Last Thursday I created my first 3 minute pizza on my Big Green Egg (BGE).  My dough recipe and pictures of resulting pizza are found under the Pasty’s clone thread in New York Style forum.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,1053.msg25942.html#msg25942

Here is the setup on the BGE:

Place a second fire ring on top of the first ring (the ring is the thing above the fire bowl).
Stack lump charcoal up to the top of lower ring and light charcoal and close lid.
Cover bottom of BGE pizza stone with aluminum foil (shiny side down) and center on top of platesetter.
Once BGE is preheated place platesetter (legs down) on top of upper fire ring.
Once top of pizza stone is up to 700 F place pizza on stone.
Close lit and put daisy wheel on top with just a little opening.  This part is important for the top and center of pizza to cook.
(I am not sure what the bottom vent should be doing at this point.  1” should be good if dome is preheated correctly.)

Comments

First of all, with that much charcoal the BGE does not seem to get enough draw to support a proper fire.  This may have been due to the second fire ring, but I believe it to be a draw issue.  I was getting a flashback every time I opened the lid during the preheat.  I then recalled that a friend of mine build a 2’ stainless chimney to improve draw on his BGE for searing steaks.  So a grabbed an empty 28 oz can and placed it on top of the exhaust opening.  This helped slightly, but I had to crack the lid about 1” to get more air into the fire. 

After 35 minutes the external temperature of the lid/dome was 560 F +-30 F.  I then installed the platesetter with pizza stone and waited for the top of stone to reach 700 F.  The trick here is to point the IR thermometer down through the exhaust port to take the stone measurement.  This works surprisingly well.

Key for following photos:

The first is the makeshift chimney extension
The second is the extreme chimney exhaust
The third is my stone setup.
The last is one of the 5 pizzas made that night

FYI – the metal band that holds the lid and base to the hinge was so hot the metal expanded and became loose.  The next day I had to loosen all the nuts and adjust lid to get it to sit flush on the base again.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2006, 11:11:01 PM by tonymark »
Making Pizza is not cooking, it is Performance Art!

Offline tonymark

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Re: Big green egg
« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2006, 05:17:20 PM »
Well it looks like I cracked my BGE at these high temperatures.  I returned it to the BGE store today (all ceramic parts are fully guaranteed not to crack from heat).  They brought out the product development guy and he was not too happy about what I have been doing.(I posted on BGE forum)  They agreed (with a lecture) to replace the cracked portion of the egg this one time.  I was told not to repeat these activities.  I am still unsure of the range of the warranty, but I now know I crossed the line.  I really didn't think the thing would crack.

Oh well, I guess I will have to settle on a 7 minute pizza for now.

It will be a few years before I can manage to build a proper brick oven.

TM
Making Pizza is not cooking, it is Performance Art!


 

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