Author Topic: The Rotisserie Pizza Grill  (Read 15799 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Tampa

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1587
Re: The Rotisserie Pizza Grill
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2010, 01:55:39 PM »
Jack,

I don't know what the LB.Eggheads are using for a warm up time.  They are a happy bunch, so whatever they are doing, it seems to be working.  My only point is that LBEs manage just fine with one (big) underside burner.

I tried 30+ permutations before arriving at the current design.  I tried a full-sized grill hood, a cut-down grill hood, the hood with a large foil insert, and later the minimal hood (see underside picture).  The minimal hood provided the quickest warm up and cook times.  I also considered moving the IR burner over the pizza.  Even took it all apart to see how hard it would be - not hard.  Still I decided not to do it b/c I still want to be able to use the grill to ...  grill.  Imagine that.  For those that are even more insane than me, consider rotating the IR burner out over the stone (perpendicular to the back wall) just keep the gas line safely outside the oven -that might cut the warm up time a bit.  I couldn't find an easy replacement IR burner off ebay at a decent price, so I decided to let well-enough alone.

Good point about angling the IR burner by wedging it out at the top.  Doing so would change my "hanging mount" of the hood, but it may be worth a try.

Covington is a beautiful area.  Good for you.  If your experience diddling with a grill, and predicting the results, is as embarrassing as mine, then perhaps you will agree that they made those EIT and PE exams too easy.


Offline jgame

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 25
Re: The Rotisserie Pizza Grill
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2010, 08:04:46 AM »
All,
Here is my version of converting a gas grill into a Rotisserie Pizza Grill (RPG).
The rotisserie motor is mounted underneath the burners and drip catch pan using aluminum angle and c clamps.  The rotisserie shaft is welded to a 2x3 inch 3/16 thick plate, this plate is welded to a 13.5 inch Weber charcoal grate. Make sure everything is centered and the shaft is square to the grate. A metal collar is used to support the weight and center the shaft, grill grate and pizza stone. This collar is mounted on top of the gas grill grate. This keeps all the weight from bearing on the rotisserie motor, very important!
The metal pizza box concentrates the heat from the middle two burners and the side rotisserie burner. The pizza box (oven) is made of 1/8 inch steel with a 18 gauge steel front door.
I use two 15-inch pizza stones, one on the grate the other on top of the oven. I believe the top stone helps hold heat and makes for better top browning.
I have reached temps of 700 plus according to my infrared thermometer in 15/20 minutes.
I make the cracker thin crust style pizza dough that is found on PizzaMaking.com using temps in the 475-500 range work good for this type of dough. I have found that 2 days of dough refrigeration with at least 3 hours of room temperature proof allow a crust to be rolled out as thin as a dime if not thinner.
I dock my 12-inch skin both sides, par bake until lightly browned. Remove from grill dress skin and return to grill. Pizza is done with nice top browning in 7-9 minutes. Will send photos of pizza next grilling session.
Attached are some photos of my RPG.

jgame

Offline Tampa

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1587
Re: The Rotisserie Pizza Grill
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2010, 02:39:58 PM »
jgame - I love it.  Good for you.  I especially like the differences between your implementation and mine: two underside burners, circular grill supporting the pizza stone, nice welding job, even the venting out the back.  Please post your experiences as you continue to use the RPG.

A few comments from my version.  I'm not sure what you used for a rotisserie shaft, but I tried aluminum, mild steel, and finally went to stainless with a bronze tophat bushing - which has been working well for some time now.  I bought a cordierite stone for about $50 and felt it was a good bargain (after I broke the $18 thin stone I bought from Target).  The cordierite is great, but the bottom profile is irregular with a thick disk at the center and a small rim around the periphery.  For months, I used the IR gun to measure the stone temperature, always at the center.  Sometimes, I'd find the crust charred and wonder why.  A few days ago I figured out that if you are throwing pie 20 minutes after startup, the thinner parts of the stone may be 25F - 50F hotter than the center, and can scorch the crust.  If you are cooking multiple pies, or using a longer warm-up, this is not an issue.  Also a uniform thickness stone would work fine as well.

Your venting is unusual, and I'm not sure what effect that will have.  From what I see in the picture, you have a cleaverly-designed vent out the back and some venting around the front hinges.  The LBE guys vent at pie level.  With two burners below and one on the side, I'm sure you have plenty of heat.  You may have to back off the back IR burner a little to avoid charring the rim.  Let us know.

Also, post up when you get more temperature data.  I don't know your BTU numbers by burner, but 700F after 20ish minutes tells me you have some headroom.

Dave

Offline Jack

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 404
  • Location: WA
  • Pizza; it's what's for dinner, breakfast........
Re: The Rotisserie Pizza Grill
« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2010, 11:15:09 AM »
Dave and jgame,

Awesome work both of you.  I love the way the basic principals are the same, but the implemention different, yet both work!  I'm a way's off, but will post when (if?) I get one built.  Given our cool summer temps, there are few days where I'm concerned about heating up the house by cooking pizza inside and I've not been driven to want to make high temp pies yet.  I still get my pizza fix on NY Style and Sicilian; what I grew up eating, so well see. . . . .

Dave, re: Covington - you would not recognize it.  We've been here 9 years and the town has exploded.  The City Council elected to go for it and make Covington a force in the SE side of Seattle.  We now have a Costco, Walmart, Kohls and lot of other shopping.  It's a great place, but probably nothing like the sleepy rural town you may recall.  PE's, yeah, I think the bar is set too low, even with a roughly 60% pass rate on the test.  Hey, I passed!  <grin>

Jack

Offline jgame

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 25
Re: The Rotisserie Pizza Grill
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2010, 09:53:06 AM »
Dave,
Thanks for the kind words!
 I used the rotisserie shaft that came with the kit. I think it is just chromed mild steel not stainless. Grill specs say 48,000 from 4 burners with 10,000 BTU from rotisserie (side) burner.
Made some pies last evening. Pictures are after a 15 minute warm up with the two middle burners and side burner set on medium high. Pies took about 5 minutes.
jgame

Offline Tampa

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1587
Re: The Rotisserie Pizza Grill
« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2010, 11:23:39 AM »
Jgame – YUM!  That’s my kind of pie.  I’ve got some pie questions and some oven questions, if you don’t mind.

Pie – I don’t know what you’ve got on there, but I see mushrooms and suspect red peppers, green peppers, olives?, and sausage.  Although I usually leave some exposed crust around the periphery, I like the looks so I’m trying it on the next pie.  Also, it seems you put some/all of the cheese on after the ingredients.  I’ve sampled this style before at a restaurant called Giordanos and liked it.  Now I’d like to emulate it.  What ingredients did you use?  Did you cook the veggies at all before putting on the pie?  Anything special on the cheese?

Oven – The bottom looks well-spotted and evenly cooked.  It is hard to read those IR gun photos, but I think you threw at 600F, right?  (I throw at 700F) And you have a single 15” pizza stone.  The stone looks like two stones I bought from Target on sale for $18 each.  If I’ve got that right, I might want to give your stone/grill grate idea a go.  I like the shorter warm-up time (less thermal mass) and uniform stone thickness (mine has a more irregular underside).

I wish I still had pictures of my early pies!  They didn’t look anything like this one.

Dave

Offline jgame

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 25
Re: The Rotisserie Pizza Grill
« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2010, 01:22:24 PM »
Dave,

Here are the ingredients placed on that pie: Dei Fratelli pizza sauce, cooked sausage,  diced red pepper, diced onion, diced portabella mushroom, diced black olive these were all lightly sauteed (no oil) in a non stick skillet. For cheese I use a mix of deli slices, whole milk mozzarella and provel I cut these into 1 inch squares. For shredded cheese I use the fine texture it seems to melt better. I use the pizza blend of several cheeses. The sauce goes down on the par baked skin and then what ever I grab, no rhyme or reason. I will say it is a layering process. I also sprinkle Penzeys Pizza seasoning and fennel seed on top.
I have found if you dress pie to the edge I get less crust burn.
I like to throw at 500F but I was talking and having a beverage and the temp got a little hot. Makes everything cook faster with less top browning. To compensate I turn main burners off and side burner to high.
Target sells those stones. The stone on top is broke. It broke after I drilled a hole in it. I was working on making a LBG.
Than I saw your post and video. There was no stopping me now. I bought this gas grill to make a RPG it will not be used for anything else.
Ultra high temps may be possible with my RPG. The dough I use (ultra thin cracker) likes the 500F range.
Hope to post a video on youtube soon.
And thanks for the questions and input.
jgame

Offline Tampa

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1587
Re: The Rotisserie Pizza Grill
« Reply #27 on: June 17, 2010, 04:19:38 PM »
jgame, I think you should be able to get 850F in 40-45 minutes just like me.  I get there with one underside burner + the IR burner.  I'm not sure why you would want to cook at such a high temp, but I have yet to work on Nearlypolitan.  Given the looks of your pie, I'll have to give that par bake and layering a try.

BTW, I saw a note that the EggHeads (LBE thread) started using a lazy susan on the stone.  I'm going to check it out for ideas.

Offline jgame

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 25
Re: The Rotisserie Pizza Grill
« Reply #28 on: June 24, 2010, 09:03:12 PM »
All,
Here are some pics of a couple of RPG pies. Again ultra thin crust with a 500F or so temp.

Offline Tampa

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1587
Rotisserie Pizza Grill Update
« Reply #29 on: July 11, 2010, 02:37:37 PM »
A couple of updates.

* After throwing 4 successive pies last night, I found that the stone temp stays around 700F with just the rotisserie burner for a considerable period of time.  That's nice because I generally throw at 700F, so I just shut off the underside burner and saunter off for a little refreshment before leisurely making another pie.  I no longer have to rush around to have a pizza ready the exact moment when the stone is ready.

* Also, I'm experimenting with another oven hood.  It turns out that my brother wants to start making pies so I'm going to build a conversion accessory for his grill.  These are "one off" items, but the resulting thermal ramp up performance should be interesting, and for me worth the effort.

* Finally, one of the forum members a while back read that I was trying to visualize convection currents inside my oven and suggested I try a “punk” – those long sticks used to start fireworks – to send a laminar stream of smoke like you sometimes see in fancy car tests.  I started thinking about this again near the 4th of July, so it seemed fitting and somewhat patriotic to pick up a dozen of those punk sticks and set them neatly around the rim of my circular pizza stone before taking video.  What did I see? Not much.

At first it was really difficult to see the gray smoke inside the stainless-steel grill with an aluminum hood.  Undaunted, I got out the flat-black grill paint and painted what I could.  What I couldn’t paint (the stone and the stainless) I covered in aluminum foil and painted that flat black.  What resulted looked like the inside of a coal mine.  Then I lit the punks and repeated the test.  This time the video was much better.  What did I see?  Nothing you wouldn’t expect.

The heat currents seem pretty uniform with the underside burner forcing air up and around the circular stone to the area above the pizza which.  Once above the stone the underside heat combines with the heat flow from the back IR burner and swiftly shoots out the front of the grill (my slot area).  I couldn’t detect any weird eddies or loss of heat around the sides.  For the smoke that “flew too close to the sun”, i.e. IR burner, the stream was gone.  That IR burner is quite hot and it seems to burn up the smoke making it invisible.

Dave


Online Jackie Tran

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 6983
  • Location: Albuquerque NM
Re: The Rotisserie Pizza Grill
« Reply #30 on: July 11, 2010, 03:27:50 PM »
Very cool experiment. I did something similar in my Primo oven to see the heat currents.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2010, 03:30:55 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline Tampa

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1587
Re: The Rotisserie Pizza Grill
« Reply #31 on: July 25, 2010, 03:11:28 PM »
Fiddle and learn.  Some time ago I added a deflector under the front half of the pizza stone to direct the bottom-burner heat towards the back.  The idea being, that if all under-stone heat went toward the back, then up and mixed with the IR burner, it would naturally all flow out the front.  It worked.  The benefit is that the stone warm up time dropped from 20 minutes to 17 minutes.  Since my pizza stone rotates, I confirmed with the laser thermometer that the stone temperature is still uniform. 

I tried another deflector mounted to the back of the grill.  (see pictures below)  The first photo shows the deflector bent slightly more aggressively than the second photo.  Wow, what a difference!  The aggressive bend chars the crust in about three minutes, leaving the underside barely cooked.  (I generally cook at 700F and the bottom takes 4-5 minutes).  The less aggressive bend works fine.  It browns the crust a little better than before.  Why?  Because the pizza rim is a little too far under the IR burner as it rotates around so the little margin of crust that is near the stone, was sometimes a little lighter in color than I like.  Larger pizzas make the problem worse because the rim sticks further under the  IR burner, resulting in a greater the margin of un-browned-ness (new word).  I think the heat up time is also improved with the rear deflector by another minute or two (more tests needed).  I might be able to throw a pie 15 minutes after start up with the two deflector mods.

In sum, I recommend the under-stone deflector pushing bottom-burner heat towards the back.  I also recommend the back deflector, but be careful with the rake angle.

Dave

Offline Fishwish

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 3
Re: The Rotisserie Pizza Grill
« Reply #32 on: December 02, 2010, 09:40:34 AM »
Dave, you mention a little bit about how to create a manually spun turntable, can you give me more details and maybe pics? Not sure I need to use a rotisserie motor just want to be able to spin the pizza once or twice. Thanks. I may start a new post if this is too old.

Offline Tampa

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1587
Re: The Rotisserie Pizza Grill
« Reply #33 on: December 02, 2010, 12:02:20 PM »
The best picture of my automatic setup is reply #8 on the first page of this thread (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10241.msg98734.html#msg98734).  I'm still eating pizza a couple of times per week and have not changed anything in a long time.  Frankly, it just works.

If you are just looking for a few spins, I'd use a cordierite stone, find the center point on the underside, and use a masonary bit to drill an indent hole, say 1/2" deep.  With that indentation, you can mount a bolt in the grill plate and the stone will rotate around that.  To be more precise, mount a bolt in the center of the grates, bolt head on the burner side (down) and locking nut on the top side.  The threaded area between the locking nut and the end of the bolt is what fits into the centering hole you drilled.  If you make the bolt "just a little proud" so that the stone just teeters on the bolt, it is an easy job to rotate the stone with a mit or stick or whatever.

Does that make sense?

Dave

Offline Tampa

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1587
Re: The Rotisserie Pizza Grill
« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2011, 05:35:16 PM »
Quick update.  I've been fiddling with that "top-hat" shaped bronze bushing (3/8" ID from Ace Hardware).  The new "preferred" implementation is to increase the ID of that bushing from 3/8 to 13/32 using a standard drill bit.  It is just two sizes larger in a typical set.  This increase adds a nice clearance margin for high temperatures.
Dave

Offline jgame

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 25
The Rotisserie Pizza Grill
« Reply #35 on: June 26, 2011, 11:57:26 AM »
Attached are photos of the upgrade I have done to the RPG. 1. Added firebricks on sides and top of metal pizza oven. 2. Removed the rear rotisserie burner and mounted it on the top of oven. I feel this upgrade saves on fuel and gives me control over top browning.
jgame

Offline Tampa

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1587
Re: The Rotisserie Pizza Grill
« Reply #36 on: June 26, 2011, 01:18:40 PM »
jgame,

Good for you!  I've often thought about reorienting the rotisserie burner.  I know my setup is a skosh less efficient that I'd like it to be and now you have me thinking again.  Thanks for posting.

Dave

Offline Tampa

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1587
Re: The Rotisserie Pizza Grill
« Reply #37 on: July 21, 2012, 01:15:40 PM »
Here's my latest effort trying to mimic Tony's New Yorker in San Francisco on the Rotisserie Pizza Grill.  By drilling out the holes in the center lower burner, I've achieved greater spotting along the rim resulting in a more airy crumb structure.
Dave

Online norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21649
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: The Rotisserie Pizza Grill
« Reply #38 on: July 21, 2012, 01:27:16 PM »
Dave,

Looks very good!  :)

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Online Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10305
  • Location: North Carolina
  • Easy peazzy
Re: The Rotisserie Pizza Grill
« Reply #39 on: July 21, 2012, 01:55:07 PM »
Very nice Dave...real good work there. How many minute pie is that? Perfect cornicione,IMO, and I'm wondering if you thought the cheese could have been sliced a 'lil thinner....you're using fresh mozz, right? Thanks.
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"