Author Topic: Little Black Egg  (Read 344304 times)

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Offline skyno

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1100 on: April 02, 2011, 07:13:05 PM »
That looks great Don!  How do Wal-mart tomatoes taste?  I wouldn't even have thought they would have imported Italian tomatoes.


buceriasdon

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1101 on: April 02, 2011, 07:24:07 PM »
Thank you skyno, Quite honestly I don't know why they are on the shelves in a Wal Mart here in my part of Mexico. I know when ever I see them I buy every can on the shelf. They may never stock them again.
Don

Offline Wallman

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1102 on: April 04, 2011, 09:07:58 PM »
- what were your approximate heat up times and did you blast it to get to those temps?

Also, would you mind sharing where you got the kiln shelf?  Was shipping a killer?  Or did you buy local?

LJ

Sky, I heated the LBE up for about 25 minutes on that bake. I don't think I was much past 1/4 power, I haven't exactly figured out how to calibrate the gas controls, but it doesn't seem like the SP-10 needs too much to generate some heat. Later that day I tried some 00 dough and the rest of my NY-style dough. If anything I had too much heat on the bottom (again with about a 25-30 minute pre-heat to get the temps between 725-750 F), I was getting burning on the bottom before the top was well cooked. I think I need to work on my heat diffuser design, I don't think the dog bowl is working that well! Plus may use less release flour, although with the high hydration doughs, it can be tough to get them off the peel.

 I bought the kiln shelf from a local pottery store here in Virginia.  Their prices seem reasonable especially since they will order any size I want and not charge for shipping.

Here are some pictures of the 2 Neapolitan pies, both about 63% hydration.   Did not get any good crust or bottom shots because everyone was too busy eating and drinking beer.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1103 on: April 04, 2011, 09:23:07 PM »
Wallman, there may not be anything wrong with your heat diffuser set up.  Try loading your pies at a lower hearth temp and then cranking the burner up for the bake.  You should be able to find a happy medium there where the top and bottom cook evenly in the desired bake time.

Chau

Offline Mmmph

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1104 on: April 04, 2011, 09:32:51 PM »
I received a PM regarding my LBE setup, so I thought I'd post pics. My 22.5" setup uses a Bayou Kitchen SP-10 burner. On the charcoal grate, I have a 10" round cast iron griddle with the handle hacksawed off. This is my heat deflector/diffuser. On the cooking grate, I have four "half pound burger" sized pieces of crumpled heavy duty aluminum foil. They're 4" x .75". They support my stone high enough to make it's surface flush with the rim of the LBE. I use a D-shaped stone from Old Stone Pizza Stone Co. 20.5" x 15.5". It really allows unimpeded airflow and consistent temperatures. The base of the LBE is lined with HD foil.

http://www.amazon.com/Stone-20-5-Inch-Pizza-Grill/dp/B002JPJ078/?tag=pizzamaking-20

The dome is also lined with HD foil, and I have an 18" aluminum pizza tray suspended with a 4.5" bolt. This really lowers the roof and forces the hot air closer to the pie. I did try the design with the ash catcher suspended underneath the pizza tray, but I struggled with the inside diameter of the cornicione coming out too blonde.

I recently switched to a 15" pizza pan that I've cut and bent to direct airflow. Chau showed me his MBE deflector, and mine was built based on his inspiration.

Reply #269 - http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11126.260.html

Upskirt cooking is no problem with my setup. I've rarely burnt one. The crust/char underneath is thin and beautiful.

The dome is the key... It's a common trait amongst LBE pies that the outside diameter and top of the cornicione browns and leopards nicely, but the inside is pale. It's not undercooked, per se, but too blonde. Proper and accurate re-direction of the hot air will really elevate the look of LBE pies.

Taste-wise, I'll put my pies up against anybodys, but I still have a way to go in evening out the heat during the baking process and creating eye candy that passes critical examination.

Here's the pics.
Sono venuto, ho visto, ho mangiato

Offline Mmmph

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1105 on: April 04, 2011, 09:34:05 PM »
Pics of the top deflector and how it looks from the front when operating
Sono venuto, ho visto, ho mangiato

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1106 on: April 05, 2011, 10:02:40 AM »
Mmmph, thanks for posting pics of your set-up.

The bent pizza-pan airflow deflector is about as jacked up a rigged thingy that I've seen in a while  :P :)  Love the creativity.

On the air-deflector...it's interesting how you bent the front portion down so the airflow gets directed for a second time (after the initial block in the back) closer to the pizza before exiting the oven. It's hard to tell looking at it, but the backmost portion of the deflector...Mmmph, are those outermost "dog ears" bent inwards to serve two purposes? Meaning, the bent in ears would likely force the airflow down hard on the back of the pizza, while also allowing some airflow to continue towards the front of the oven, where it will get directed downwards again.

Is that the idea?

Thanks --K
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline Ronzo

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1107 on: April 05, 2011, 10:26:07 AM »
So, in your experience, is the deflector helping?
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

Former NY'er living in Texas
http://newtexianbrew.com - http://ronlennex.com/ - http://pinterest.com/NewTexianBrew

Offline Mmmph

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1108 on: April 05, 2011, 10:33:05 AM »
....are those outermost "dog ears" bent inwards to serve two purposes? Meaning, the bent in ears would likely force the airflow down hard on the back of the pizza, while also allowing some airflow to continue towards the front of the oven, where it will get directed downwards again.

Is that the idea?

Thanks --K


Give that man a cigar! That was my thinking. I'm just trying to push air onto the inside of the cornicione to help bake it harder.

Check out replies 19 and 20 here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13140.0.html
Sono venuto, ho visto, ho mangiato

Offline Mmmph

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1109 on: April 05, 2011, 10:36:02 AM »
Ron,

It's working better than what I had...It's a design in progress.
Sono venuto, ho visto, ho mangiato


Offline cityman

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1110 on: April 05, 2011, 04:45:39 PM »
Since I first saw the Little Black Egg video about a week ago I have been totally intrigued. I will build one but have a couple of questions for the veterans. It appears that the design has changed somewhat from the original Villa Roma model. Specifically, the vent/opening in the lid, the flame diffuser, and the heat reflector design in the lid. Are these necessary or beneficial? I was thinking that putting a stone on top of fire bricks would negate the need for a flame diffuser. I'm not sure what purpose the opening provides. And the small stone mounted in the lid seemed to work just fine.  I appreciate your knowledge and guidance.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1111 on: April 05, 2011, 04:54:05 PM »
Welcome cityman.  Good questions.  The vent in the lid is original and not new.  The flame diffuser is optional, use it if you feel it helps.  I had one in my MBE and currently not in my LBE.   It really depends on how close the burner is to the stone I think.  The closer it is, the more sense it makes to use a diffuser of some sorts.   A stone or aluminum plate mounted in the lid is original as well and works just fine.  An air deflector works better IMO but I'm bias as I maybe the first to install one base on ideas provided by member Jet deck and buceriasdon.  If the pale inner rim doesn't bother you, then you don't need a lid air deflector.  If it does, then the lid air deflector should help with that.  

You'll find that there are a lot of small variations from the original in different setups.  It's mostly a learning process.  Tweak it until you get the desired results.  You'll have to do some experimenting to find what works for you.  Good luck and don't forget to post up some pics when you can.

Chau
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 11:28:03 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline cityman

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1112 on: April 05, 2011, 05:10:14 PM »
Thanks for the response JT. On the opening/vent question, I was referring the cut out(as pictured by Mmmmph) not the adjustable vent built into the lid. I'm not sure what you're referring to as the pale inner rim.. Thanks!!

I found a really nice (like new) 18.5" Weber kettle on Craigslist for $25, picking it up tonight. Masonry supply is nearby and has fire brick for $2 each. I already have a charcoal grate for a 22.5" kettle, I'm hoping it will work in the 18.5" in lieu of the thinner cooking grate.

buceriasdon

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1113 on: April 05, 2011, 05:42:39 PM »
Cityman, When I first built my LBE I experimented, as others did, with alternative vent systems and found the front vent to be the best overall design. It just works the best. As posted before the idea is to have the hot air rushing over the top of the pizza and out the vent while the hearth tile bakes the bottom. A venturi effect. It is also required(at least in mine) for complete combustion of the gas, without a vent in the lid the burner will not operate correctly, it starves for oxygen. I use no diffuser in mine, never found a reason to, however my kettle is not a Weber and is 18" in diameter. My burner is 5 inches below my tile inside the kettle. I have a cut down tile in my lid and although I and Tampa(Dave) who recommended vortex generators(diffusers) in the lid, I'm quite satisfied with mine and wouldn't change it now. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I do recommend it's use as I do see the vortex generators, diffusers, help with browning in the inner rim of the pizza while baking. I can easily obtain 700 degrees in ten minutes with my valve barely cranked open. I can get about 25 bakes with my 20 lb. tank. Enjoy the build.
Don


On the opening/vent question, I was referring the cut out(as pictured by Mmmmph) not the adjustable vent built into the lid. I'm not sure what you're referring to as the pale inner rim.. Thanks!!

I found a really nice (like new) 18.5" Weber kettle on Craigslist for $25, picking it up tonight. Masonry supply is nearby and has fire brick for $rim of the pizza2 each. I already have a charcoal grate for a 22.5" kettle, I'm hoping it will work in the 18.5" in lieu of the thinner cooking grate.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 05:48:26 PM by buceriasdon »

Offline skyno

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1114 on: April 05, 2011, 06:51:36 PM »
Good luck with your build cityman - you're definitely in the right place - I'm about 2 months in and loving my results w/ the guidance from this forum - I would just mention that while firebricks will work and are cheap and durable, in my experience they are incredible heat absorbers and will really increase your heat-up time and make it slightly trickier to get a perfect char - they come in full and split-thickness - definitely get the split if you get them

LJ

Offline skyno

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1115 on: April 05, 2011, 08:36:23 PM »
Oh - another thing cityman - as Wallman & I posted a few pages ago, the charcoal grate from the 22.5" is just slightly too small for the 18.5" so you will need to reinforce w/ bolts or something like that as many others have done

LJ

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1116 on: April 05, 2011, 09:08:38 PM »
Don I guess I remembered it differently.  ;D  I had to go back and read that again, but it was member Jet-deck who gave the idea of attaching aluminum strips to the roof of my MBE like the beaded curtains from the 70's and you provided the term "vortex generators".  I still came up with the bented lid disk for deflecting air downward.  I know I have given both you and JD credit before and perhaps I should have done it again this time.  My apologies.   Let's call it a colaborative effort.   ;)

Starting from reply #236

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11126.220.html

and #245 - #259

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11126.240.html

Cityman, if you look through those posts specifically you will see where I was complaining about the dreaded white rim and the solution that we came up with.  You can see the 3 versions of the air deflector that I tried.  The one made from foil, an aluminum disk, and then the final one made from 22g sheet metal.   If you want more examples of white rimmed pies, you can go back further into that thread.   Some of the earlier pies did not have the white rim despite me NOT using the lid air deflector, but that was b/c I cooked the pizza further away (lower) from the lid and the bake times were longer.   Again, you don't need the lid air deflector but I do like it.   At this point in time, I am only aware of 2 members that are using this mod, myself and member Mmmph.

If you haven't read all of this long LBE thread, I suggest that you do.  It's pretty much required reading for anyone interested in making an LBE.  It details the history and founder of the LBE, member Villa Roma (formerly known as Ron bro).  In it you will also see the many other members who have contributed greatly with their ideas and experimentations.   I would like to point out another great advancement for the LBE, is particularly the steel disk mod by member Essens1 (Mike).   There are many variations of this same mod now but I believe he first introduced it helping concentrate the airflow and heat from front to back.  

Good luck,
Chau

« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 09:29:41 PM by Jackie Tran »

buceriasdon

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1117 on: April 05, 2011, 09:59:46 PM »
Jet Deck's reply at message #15
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13140.msg129391.html#msg129391
also my exchange with Tampa(Dave) at #907
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.msg104677/topicseen.html#msg104677
that has the link to vortex generators, an aviation term having to do with slowing down air over a surface to achieve a particular effect.
Don

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1118 on: April 05, 2011, 11:05:21 PM »
Don I wasn't aware that you and Dave had discussed Vortex generators earlier.  If I am not mistaken, you guys are talking about slowing down the air and swirling it above the pie with vortex generators.  I didn't have a problem with the cheese melting just the white rim, thus the need for an air deflector to force the airflow back down directly onto the rim.  I may be wrong about the science, but I see the air deflector as further concentrating and increasing the speed of air down onto the rim.  Also as you can see in the final version of the lid air deflector, it is place to the perimeter of the lid rather than aluminum strips in the middle of the lid as was suggested before.  I see this as a different purpose than what you and Dave were talking about.  If I am still mistaken about this, then let's give Dave credit as well.

But honestly, at the time of our discussion in the MBE thread I felt the lid air deflector idea was original.  But I do appreciate and am thankful for any ideas remotely related that may have played a role in improving my MBE and LBE.   If you follow my posts, I usually do remember to give credit where it is due and also encourage others to do so as well.   I hope you didn't think I was trying to hog the credit.  I went back and edited my post to reflect this.

Cheers,
Chau
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 11:41:39 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1119 on: April 06, 2011, 09:05:35 AM »
Is anyone familiar with the material used to make the Weber Grills from the 60's, I'm reluctant to take a cutter to mine because of it's age but I also can't buy a 'new' one. I believe its a 1969 Weber Custom, really heavy material. Summer is slowly creeping up on me and I promised myself I wouldn't have the kitchen at 90f again this year  :'(