Author Topic: Little Black Egg  (Read 398633 times)

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #725 on: September 18, 2009, 03:47:24 PM »
Finally!
The maiden voyage...
I did it and it was amazing.

http://somethink2say.blogspot.com/2009/09/are-you-ready-for-some.html

That's the link to my blog with all the gory details.

I have a few modifications to make,
but the thing works, by golly!

Did I ever doubt it? 
No, not after all the success stories here.

Thank you to all who have come here to tell their stories of LBE creation.
I expect to see a few more of these cropping up amongst my friends.


Nice job. Congrats!

In regards to the lack of oxygen, I'd cut the bottom hole where the burner sits somewhat bigger to create an updraft. That should take care of that problem.
Mike

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


Offline milka

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #726 on: September 20, 2009, 11:20:30 PM »
G'day all!

First off, my sincere thanks to Villa Roma, essen1, pizzacraver, etc (where in Oz are u pizzacraver? i'm in Melbourne). What you've achieved is incredible.

Avid reader of many many pages on here, and am attempting something a little bit "different". I already have a large Big Green Egg, and am attempting to create the effect of the Little Black Egg within the BGE... thus, the Matryoshka! (yeah, might need to google, i certainly did)

Photos will come later, to give you a better appreciation of how much I suck at the handiwork. Sufficed to say, within the Big Green Egg I have the standard BGE porcelain grate with a 13" pizza stone on top of it. With a fair bit of experimentation, I've ended up with a 18" domed stainless steel colander (yes, a colander), with another 13" pizza stone screwed into the roof of the colander. I'm heading out ASAP to buy yet another pizza stone to use as a buffer (last nights cook resulted in a pizza that caught on fire in under 2 minutes, in addition to nearly killing me - this bitch can get a bit hot). My fuel source is currently mangrove hardwood charcoal, which I'm getting for $AU23 / 20kgs bag, and I'm having a lot of fun lighting it with a MAPP torch (something I may end up using on the top of the pizza if I don't have luck with the 3rd stone).

Over the course of my experimentation, I've managed to get the lovely leopard spots on the base of a pizza but am still struggling to get enough heat onto the top of the pizza. I'm hoping that the 3rd stone (the buffer), will help out by moving the pizza up and closer to the top stone, which I manage to get fairly hot by putting it on before the bottom stones to get some flame directly on it.

I'm seriously hoping that the buffer is all I need to get that 2 minute pizza-heaven. I'm trying to hold off purchasing an IR thermometer, because I also need to buy a Thermapen Instant Read thermometer for everything else I cook on the BGE. I'd rather not drown in expensive add-ons!

Will report back with a photo or 10 and my findings after adding the buffer into the mix!

Cheers,
milka


Offline pizzacraver

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #727 on: September 26, 2009, 09:22:18 AM »
G'day Milka

Thanks for the kind words.......

It's great to here that there are other Aussie LBE enthusiasts out there.

Look forward to checking out your pics.

PS    I'm in Sydney.



Pizzacraver  :D
« Last Edit: September 26, 2009, 09:26:08 AM by pizzacraver »

Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #728 on: September 26, 2009, 05:59:09 PM »
G'day Milka

Thanks for the kind words.......

It's great to here that there are other Aussie LBE enthusiasts out there.

Look forward to checking out your pics.

PS    I'm in Sydney.


Pizzacraver  :D


Jesus Christ...are you still alive???  ;D

Well it's good to see you posting again! How's it hanging down under?
Mike

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

Offline pizzacraver

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #729 on: September 27, 2009, 05:02:54 AM »
Yes I am alive, and well........  hanging a little to the left today if you really must ask :-D

All jokes aside I'm well thanks Essens, summer is just around the corner and things here are good down under bro.

How you going?

Still pumping out  great pies in your LBE?

I've been a little  pre occupied with family things and works been real busy so not much time for pizza making at the moment for me.

Still like to check out what some are doing with their LBE setup's though.

It keeps me motivated.

Anyway take care for now bud and if you get a chance post some more pics of your your pies!!!!

Pizzacraver.

 
« Last Edit: September 27, 2009, 05:04:30 AM by pizzacraver »

Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #730 on: September 30, 2009, 07:17:44 PM »
Yes I am alive, and well........  hanging a little to the left today if you really must ask :-D

All jokes aside I'm well thanks Essens, summer is just around the corner and things here are good down under bro.

How you going?

Still pumping out  great pies in your LBE?

I've been a little  pre occupied with family things and works been real busy so not much time for pizza making at the moment for me.

Still like to check out what some are doing with their LBE setup's though.

It keeps me motivated.

Anyway take care for now bud and if you get a chance post some more pics of your your pies!!!!

Pizzacraver.

 

I'm doing fine, Bro. Thanks for asking.

I haven't had much of a chance, to be honest, to use the LBE since I moved. I'm living up in the hills and there's always a good amount of wind in the evenings that has prevented me so far from using it. But the brighter side of it is that I got to tinker around with formulas for my home oven.

For what it's worth, the weather should calm down a bit this time of year and hopefully this weekend I can fire it up again. That reminds me, gotta get myself a new bottom stone... :-\

Mike
Mike

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

Offline smarttowers

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #731 on: December 10, 2009, 03:52:30 AM »
Thanks,
Hope that WFO turns out great for you .I may pick one up from northern just to have for the beach pizza. That would be way cool, and as I said a big hit!  I would not expect to get more than 2 seasons out of it. Matter on fact $50 was our last pizza delivery to the beach! So It would more than pay for itself quickly and I can get prpane from work too. I could also continue cranking high heat pies thru the NJ winter without damaging my Baby.
Do I need a stone on top too? a cheaper thinner one perhaps. and Go witht the Fibrament 16" for the grate right?
Thanks again
John

John did you ever get one of the brinkermann's and if so how did it work for the pizza? I'm thinking of trying out a LBE myself and if it worked well may be what I look into.

If John didn't get on any chance anyone else took Matt's suggestion and tried it out?

http://www.amazon.com/Brinkmann-810-5000-0-Outdoor-Cooker-Black/dp/B00006WS5E

140.61 shipped to your door from an amazon seller.

Any input on this would be great.

Offline Matthew

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #732 on: December 10, 2009, 06:28:10 AM »
John did you ever get one of the brinkermann's and if so how did it work for the pizza? I'm thinking of trying out a LBE myself and if it worked well may be what I look into.

If John didn't get on any chance anyone else took Matt's suggestion and tried it out?

http://www.amazon.com/Brinkmann-810-5000-0-Outdoor-Cooker-Black/dp/B00006WS5E

140.61 shipped to your door from an amazon seller.

Any input on this would be great.

Unfortunatelly I never ended building it because I built a WFO instead.  I still think though, that it would work extremely well as a LBE.

Matt

Offline hotsawce

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #733 on: December 15, 2009, 12:43:49 PM »
Hey all

Have been following the LBE thread for a while now and I think I'm finally ready to make my own.

However, I have a few questions.

First and foremost, I'm limited on funds, so I'd likely be shooting for the mini black egg using the Smokey Joe Weber Grill. For those who have made a mini black egg, will the temperature reach that of the larger ones? I'd be looking to make neapolitan pies, so I'd need it to get as hot as possible.

Secondly, what is the most cost effective way to make one of these, and is there a set of "standardized instructions" for construction? I know there have been quite a few modifications done over the years, and would like to know the best recent modification to the LBE.

For example, is there a cheaper, but equally reliable alternative to using fibrament stones in the LBE? Would a fibrament stone only need to be used as a buffer to prevent the top stone from cracking?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #734 on: December 15, 2009, 02:35:19 PM »
hotsawce.....I believe I'm the only one that has made a Mini LBE. Go to this link and most of your questions will be answered: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.msg76692.html#msg76692

The Mini LBE will go well above 900 degrees and it uses very little gas. I used corderite stones (kiln shelves) in mine and they take the direct flame just fine. I usually make whole grain pizzas that I cook at 650 degrees but this weekend I'm going to make a batch of white flour pizzas and crank up the heat and see what the MLBE can do. I'll start out around 800 degrees and go up from there. I'll post some pictures of the results.

    Villa Roma
« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 03:01:29 PM by Villa Roma »

Offline hotsawce

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #735 on: December 15, 2009, 09:18:28 PM »
hotsawce.....I believe I'm the only one that has made a Mini LBE. Go to this link and most of your questions will be answered:

The Mini LBE will go well above 900 degrees and it uses very little gas. I used corderite stones (kiln shelves) in mine and they take the direct flame just fine. I usually make whole grain pizzas that I cook at 650 degrees but this weekend I'm going to make a batch of white flour pizzas and crank up the heat and see what the MLBE can do. I'll start out around 800 degrees and go up from there. I'll post some pictures of the results.

    Villa Roma

Thanks a ton for responding! You were the guy I was hoping to hear it from, too. I discovered the LBE via your youtube videos and that's what got me hooked. I was afraid you may not have been active anymore, as the videos were posted a while ago and there hasn't been much new content since. Perhaps you could upload some new video; I showed a friend and he's into it now as well, and the information in it was awesome.

Anyway, thanks again and I'll keep you guys updated when I start building.

Edit: Villa, how thick are the corderite stones and where did you get them from? I can't find anything smaller than a 13 inch kiln shelf online, and they come in varying thickness.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 11:06:29 PM by hotsawce »

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #736 on: December 16, 2009, 12:52:26 AM »
I got the 12" stone here: http://www.tracysworkshop.com/p-4415-kiln-shelf.aspx?affiliateid=10050

This place has a  9" round stone: http://www.sheffield-pottery.com/Round-Cordierite-Kiln-Shelves-s/319.htm

The 12" stone is 5/8" thick and the 9" stone is 7/16" thick.

I used an 8" stone for the buffer stone because that is what I had on hand.

You may want to search locally and save the shipping charges.

    Villa Roma
« Last Edit: December 16, 2009, 03:37:04 AM by Villa Roma »

Offline R2-Bayou

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #737 on: December 30, 2009, 02:59:49 PM »
I really feel like I've dialed in my LBE technique! Here in Portland we've had our first snow, and as such I decided to fire up the LBE last night. I made 3 pies using dough that I thought would be past its prime. The dough was over two weeks old in my fridge, normally I don't go past 5 days of cold aging.. The dough is made with high gluten flour, water, salt, and a San Francisco sourdough poolish, with just a pinch of fleischmann yeast to give that extra oven spring... Its about a 65% hydration.

Part of the technique relys on loading the pie onto the peel so that it still slides off, but does not have excess flour that will burn on the super hot stone. I have a 3 stage method here: first, I have an aggressively floured bench that i do the initial dough shaping on. The dough comes out of my proofing container onto the floured bench, using my fingers to push down the dough, turning the dough over and around on the floured bench to create a basic shape. Then I transfer the dough to a barely floured marble surface where I finish the shape, then add any sauce and toppings. Finally I transfer the topped dough to the peel. The key here is to pull the pie onto the barely floured wooden peel by using both hands, and pull the pie onto the peel by beginning the drag with a 90 degree turn. The turn is key here, it will prevent the dough from sticking, and stretching your dough shape into some weird contortion. 

I made two white sauce and clam pies, and one regular cheese & marinara. For me, I gently heat the LBE up for about 30 minutes until the bottom stone registers at about 600, and the top stone hits 700. After I slide my pizza onto the stone, I then turn the gas way up to blast a hot air wash over the entire pie. I let cook 1 minute and then turn the pie, then let cook for one more minute b4 pulling the pie out (2 minutes total cooking time). I turn the gas almost all the way down between cooking each pie so as not to get the LBE too hot. Perfect leoparding and not overly charred, excellent cornicione; I was just thrilled. I'll get some pictures up next time, but I was sooo excited about this LBE run that I just had to share....
"Wretched excess is just barely enough."

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #738 on: December 30, 2009, 03:28:03 PM »
R2 it sounds like you really have your LBE dialed in. I'm looking forward to seeing some pics of the finished pies. In the meantime here's a few pies I made this morning on my MLBE. 3 1/2 minutes at 650 degrees. I used a como of Feta and fresh mozz.

    Villa Roma
« Last Edit: December 30, 2009, 03:38:56 PM by Villa Roma »

Offline hotsawce

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #739 on: January 18, 2010, 12:22:30 AM »
Those pies look great, Villa.

It's still too cold here, so I've not been able to start building yet. I have found the sources of most of my parts, though. I'm really itching to start!

Offline DenaliPete

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #740 on: January 20, 2010, 01:02:24 AM »
This cold alaska winter has got me wanting to tinker in order to avoid cabin fever.  I'm buckling down and making some adjustments to my LBE. 

Firstly, that saw blade I used on top really didn't do much for me, but I wasn't able to find a medium sized stone or aluminum disks (as villa uses) locally, so I instead mounted the lower grate from my LBE to the dome with 4 bolts and slid firebricks inside.

The results from that had been okay, I'm making good pie.  However, aesthetically it looked terrible, the grate just wouldn't level, and I'm feeling the need to experiment.

Here's what I'm looking at now;

Using the standard lid I have taken a chapter out of Essen's book and purchased some fiber blanket insulation.  I was unable to get high temperature spray adhesive locally but one of the employees at home depot assured me I would be able to do what I needed using Rutland Furnace Cement;

http://www.rutland.com/productinfo.php?product_id=24

It is supposed to be able to withstand temperatures over 2000 degrees F.  I'm hoping he was right. I was able to complete the task with a $2.00 10.3 fl. oz container that operated with a caulking gun.  It was hard to feather it and spread it thin and even as the directions indicated, but so far all the fiberblanket seems to be sticking, I just hope it holds. 

The next step that I will deal with tonight is to give the fiberblanket a coating of ITC 100 HT Ceramic Coating as I believe Essen did. 

I'm in the hopes that this will conserve fuel for me.  However, this may blow up in my face.  I have the fear that by installing the 1" thick fiber blanket that I may be restricting the flow of air too much.  Only time shall tell how well I'm able to cook with such a lowered dome.

Also, since I was kinda disgusted the look of my firebrick splits at the top of the dome I have opted to remove those and for the time being I will replace them with a 14" metal pizza pan.  Ideally I'm wanting to get a stone to have mounted from the dome, but Villa has great success without one.

I still really haven't been able to address my stones getting too hot around the edges.  I think I'm giving an appropriate warm-up time to the egg, and I've got two OSO stones, which seem to be regarded well enough, its probably a simple thing and I'm just unable to see the forest through the trees.  If I could get the heat more uniform throughout the stones though I'd be much happier.

I'll keep you guys posted on how things turn out.

Offline DenaliPete

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #741 on: January 21, 2010, 10:20:02 AM »
Unfortunately, the modifications to my oven didn't work out quite as well as I'd have hoped.

1. The first thing I'd noticed (that I didn't think about beforehand) is that now with the 1" fiber blanket attatched to the dome the walls come into direct contact with my pizza stone where it is cheated toward the front vent.  This in itself isn't a terrible thing I don't think, but I should have seen it coming.

2. I need to raise my steel pizza pan in the dome up some, a few of my pizzas tonight rose high enough to hit the edge of the pan, searing the site where they touched.

3. The dome of the oven still gets really hot, the 1" fiberblanket didn't keep it cool to the touch by any means.  Its been a long time since I had cooked with the LBE, so I'm not sure if my warmup time is significantly less.  I may have been a little too conservative with the heat tonight.

4. This is the biggest issue still, the heat is not being evenly distributed on my stones.  This is probably the biggest frustration for me because I really feel like I've hit a brick wall here.  The outer edge of the stone remains at least 140 degrees hotter than the center.  Sure my pizzas still cook, but they are woefully pale compared to what I would like and to some of the results I see from the other fine folks here.

I feel as though I'm running out of ideas at this point.  If anyone has any ideas please hit me with them.


Offline spacelooper

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #742 on: January 23, 2010, 09:58:56 AM »
I am thinking about making one of these babies and was wondering. Do you feel that the Kiln shelf works better than the Old Stone Pizza stones? I was also wondering if anyone has tried a larger top stone? larger than 13"? Maybe even 16"?

thanks,
Todd

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #743 on: January 23, 2010, 02:12:16 PM »
I am thinking about making one of these babies and was wondering. Do you feel that the Kiln shelf works better than the Old Stone Pizza stones? I was also wondering if anyone has tried a larger top stone? larger than 13"? Maybe even 16"?

thanks,
Todd

Todd.....I've used both and really didn't notice any difference. The advantage of the kiln stone is you can get them in thicker sizes. The OSO stones are usually 3/8" to 1/2" with raised feet. The kiln shelves can be had up 3/4" plus. The largest stone I used on the top of my LBE is 8" but now I use the aluminum disks.

    Villa Roma

Offline spacelooper

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #744 on: January 23, 2010, 02:19:12 PM »
Do you find the Aluminum disks work better? and where do you get those at?

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #745 on: January 23, 2010, 02:29:56 PM »
It doesn't seem to make much difference whether the top surface is stone or aluminum. The aluminum is nice since it's light and can be cut to any size. I made mine from 1/8" sheet aluminum.

    Villa Roma

Offline DenaliPete

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #746 on: January 24, 2010, 02:10:56 AM »
Villa do you have any problems with odd head distribution on the OSO stone you use?  I mentioned my problem a few posts above and am scratching my head.

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #747 on: January 24, 2010, 03:12:23 AM »
Villa do you have any problems with odd head distribution on the OSO stone you use?  I mentioned my problem a few posts above and am scratching my head.

No problems but I'm using a double stone on the bottom. The lower stone buffers the heat and keeps the cooking stone fairly even.

    Villa Roma

Offline spacelooper

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #748 on: January 25, 2010, 08:51:22 AM »
Has anybody else tried the larger mountain smoker lid design or just Essen? I was also curious how safe that Fiber Blanket and spray coating is to be cooking with it? Does anyone have any clue? I was also curious if the LBE has lasted the test of time as far as Usage? Or was it merely an experiment for most. Seems as it would be a pretty handy Pizza oven. I Have been looking for the most economical way to make a portable pizza oven and this looks pretty solid.

thanks,
Todd

Offline TONY

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Re: Little Black Egg - 22" or 18"
« Reply #749 on: January 25, 2010, 02:39:16 PM »
Would you recommend the 18" Webber or the 22"???.....Does the 22" take that much more fuel to heat up and operate????

Thanks,

Tony