Author Topic: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?  (Read 24964 times)

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Offline norma427

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I have been looking on Craigís list for awhile to find a Weber grill to try and turn into a pizza oven.  Every time I tried to contact someone, another  person had already bought the Weber grills.  Steve was going somewhere on Saturday and saw a Weber Grill at a garage sale.  He called me and asked me if I wanted it for 20.00.  I said yes, I did want the Weber Grill. 

I have been trying to learn how Pizza Hackerís grill is modified and Steve and I both thought it looked like a good way to modify the Weber Grill I now have.  We are both undecided though if this is the best approach to modify my Weber Grill.

If anyone has any other better ideas or suggestions, I would appreciate them.  If my Weber Grill can become a pizza oven, I might try to get into some fairs and festivals using it.  Steve said he would help me modify the Weber Grill.

This is what the Weber Grill looks like now.  I am going to clean it up this weekend.

Norma
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Offline Moondance

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2011, 10:11:23 PM »
I'm glad you started this thread Norma.  I am searching and reading on the best options for an outdoor grill without going crazy.  I don't have anything to contribute now but  I will read with great interest.
Regina

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2011, 10:12:13 PM »
Norma, congrats on the find.  Is this the 22.5" or 18" model?

Offline norma427

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2011, 10:30:31 PM »
I'm glad you started this thread Norma.  I am searching and reading on the best options for an outdoor grill without going crazy.  I don't have anything to contribute now but  I will read with great interest.

Regina,

I hope this thread will help you too.  :) I did modify my regular BBQ grill last year, but wasnít satisfied with it.  Hopefully we both can get decent pizza ovens from this thread.

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2011, 10:32:17 PM »
Norma, congrats on the find.  Is this the 22.5" or 18" model?


Chau,

Thanks for the congrats!  I hope the Weber Grill can be converted into a pizza oven.  The grill is a 22.5" model.

Norma
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2011, 10:59:18 PM »
Norma, I have only converted a 14" and 18" weber to an MBE and LBE as you already know.  If I had the 22", I would look towards doing a PizzaHacker Mod.  You can think about doing a propane burner / wood combination.  Maybe have a propane burner on the bottom and feed chunks of wood with long tongs through the front opening towards the back.  Have a grate below the stone so that it catches and supports wood that is toss back there.

Chau

Offline norma427

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2011, 11:51:00 PM »
Norma, I have only converted a 14" and 18" weber to an MBE and LBE as you already know.  If I had the 22", I would look towards doing a PizzaHacker Mod.  You can think about doing a propane burner / wood combination.  Maybe have a propane burner on the bottom and feed chunks of wood with long tongs through the front opening towards the back.  Have a grate below the stone so that it catches and supports wood that is toss back there.

Chau

Chau,

I have read where you converted your MBE and LBE.  You really did a fantastic job in converting yours and made delicious looking pizzas.  ;D I appreciate you suggested to go towards a Pizza Hacker modification.  I think a propane burner would be good for the bottom.  Would you think something like a Turkey burner would be a good kind of propane burner to use?   There are two grates that came with the weber grill.  Do you also have any idea if something like Pizza Hacker did with using the original lid to mold an oven dome from refractory cement and perlite is a good idea?  I was also wondering if are any thoughts about using some small  kiln pieces could be added inside the molded refractory cement and perlite.  I have no idea of really the best way to go about this, but am just asking.  I may be way off base.  I would like to try some kind of propane and wood combination.

Thanks for your help!  :)

Norma
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Offline Essen1

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2011, 12:24:32 AM »
Norma,

Start reading and have Steve, the guy who you team up with at your market site on occasion, help you with your Weber conversion:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.0.html

Good luck!  ;)

Regarding the PizzaHacker mods, it requires a ton more and I am not so sure about the outcome. Howvere, you can convert a 22" successfully into a LBE with less effort.

By the way, I think all those Hacker mods that have recently popped up (Frankenweber, HackerWeber, etc) came all from this site.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2011, 12:27:50 AM by Essen1 »
Mike

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2011, 12:29:23 AM »
Come to think of it...what's next?

A Franken2WeberStone?
Mike

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Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2011, 12:47:29 AM »
Ahhh, the 22Ē Weber. I guess you could say it was my ďfirst loveĒ. It was 1995 and I was at Aviano, Italy on a five year hitch. Itís where I started experimenting with pizza making.

I picked up a used 22Ē Weber grill for $20 from a co-worker, installed a propane ring burner and cranked out some pretty good pies. I still have that grill and I toy with the idea of installing a 20Ē stone which would allow one to make a pizza of phenomenal proportions. Iím deployed in the desert right now so I can only dream about making pizza but I'll be back soon.

Your grill looks like itís in great shape and with a little light cleaning should serve you well. Iím looking forward to your journey into the, "Weber Zone".

There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call "The Weber Zone".

Thanks for the memories, Villa Roma
« Last Edit: June 17, 2011, 01:31:31 AM by Villa Roma »


Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2011, 07:20:32 AM »
Norma though I haven't built a frakenweber, I believe Steve has built something similar and recall that he was able to get pretty good results.  Since Steve has also built his own WFO brick by brick, I'm sure it will be a piece of cake for you 2.  If it doesn't work out for some reason, you can always go the LBE route if you want.  I think trying something new that hasn't been "proven" can be fun and rewarding when you get it working.  I'm thinking where would we be if we didn't have the drive to experiment and everyone just made Lehmann pizzas?

Norma I think using the original lid to mold the dome is a good idea.  You can always eyeball it to see if you'll have enough room in there for the refractory cement, clearance, and pie.  I would aim for a minimum of 3" and a max of 5" of ceiling height.  

I think your idea of adding kiln pieces to the insulating cement is a good one although i'm not sure exactly how to go about it.  

Another idea is to cut down firebrick, stack in a circular shape, and cement them together from the outside.  You can then pour a flat circular dome piece to stack on top.

I'm sure there are a number of ways you can proceed with your project.  I'm sure you and Steve can build something that will make great pizza.  Good luck, Norma.

Chau
« Last Edit: June 17, 2011, 07:34:51 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline norma427

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2011, 08:24:51 AM »
Norma,

Start reading and have Steve, the guy who you team up with at your market site on occasion, help you with your Weber conversion:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.0.html

Good luck!  ;)

Regarding the PizzaHacker mods, it requires a ton more and I am not so sure about the outcome. Howvere, you can convert a 22" successfully into a LBE with less effort.

By the way, I think all those Hacker mods that have recently popped up (Frankenweber, HackerWeber, etc) came all from this site.

Come to think of it...what's next?

A Franken2WeberStone?

Mike,

Thanks for the link to the Little Black Egg. After reading that thread, that is one reason Steve and I are confused on which way to try the modification to get the best results. 

I know PizzaHacker didnít ever give exactly what his mods were, but his pies look delicious.  Did you ever try one of PizzaHackerís pies?  All the mods probably did come from this forum.
Maybe someone will come up with a Franken2WeberStone.

Thanks for your Good Luck!

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2011, 08:42:02 AM »
Ahhh, the 22Ē Weber. I guess you could say it was my ďfirst loveĒ. It was 1995 and I was at Aviano, Italy on a five year hitch. Itís where I started experimenting with pizza making.

I picked up a used 22Ē Weber grill for $20 from a co-worker, installed a propane ring burner and cranked out some pretty good pies. I still have that grill and I toy with the idea of installing a 20Ē stone which would allow one to make a pizza of phenomenal proportions. Iím deployed in the desert right now so I can only dream about making pizza but I'll be back soon.

Your grill looks like itís in great shape and with a little light cleaning should serve you well. Iím looking forward to your journey into the, "Weber Zone".

There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call "The Weber Zone".

Thanks for the memories, Villa Roma


Villa Roma,

Great to hear the 22" Weber was your ďfirst loveĒ!  :) I didnít know that is where you started experimenting with pizza making.  All the pies you have made look delicious.  I would be really interested if you ever try your Weber with a 20" stone.  I am also looking forward to your journey back into the ďWeber ZoneĒ!

I have three soapstones I donít use.  I wonder if there are any ideas about using any of them on the Weber?

Thanks for helping me on this thread!  :)

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2011, 09:16:08 AM »
Norma though I haven't built a frakenweber, I believe Steve has built something similar and recall that he was able to get pretty good results.  Since Steve has also built his own WFO brick by brick, I'm sure it will be a piece of cake for you 2.  If it doesn't work out for some reason, you can always go the LBE route if you want.  I think trying something new that hasn't been "proven" can be fun and rewarding when you get it working.  I'm thinking where would we be if we didn't have the drive to experiment and everyone just made Lehmann pizzas?

Norma I think using the original lid to mold the dome is a good idea.  You can always eyeball it to see if you'll have enough room in there for the refractory cement, clearance, and pie.  I would aim for a minimum of 3" and a max of 5" of ceiling height.  

I think your idea of adding kiln pieces to the insulating cement is a good one although i'm not sure exactly how to go about it.  

Another idea is to cut down firebrick, stack in a circular shape, and cement them together from the outside.  You can then pour a flat circular dome piece to stack on top.

I'm sure there are a number of ways you can proceed with your project.  I'm sure you and Steve can build something that will make great pizza.  Good luck, Norma.

Chau

Chau,

This is the pizza oven Steve built at Reply 2 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10057.msg88734.html#msg88734 but he added, I think,  refractory cement and perlite to his pizza oven.  I donít think Steveís  oven mod can get to the high temperatures I would like to try and achieve.  His grill oven mod does make great pizzas though.  He takes his oven mod different places to make pizzas.  This weekend he has a pizza making job in another state with his grill mod.  I am looking forward to his results.

I know Steve is very handy, but donít know how easy this mod will be.  I think it is going to take some thought and work to try and make it bake okay.

Thanks for telling me that you think the minimum of 3" and max of 5" of ceiling height would be good. 

I did contact a kiln person that has classes and makes many things to hear what he might think.  He hasnít gotten back to me yet.

Thanks also for your other idea of using cut down firebrick, stacked in a circular shape, and then cememt them together from the outside.

I know you have made all you mods, after experimenting for awhile.  ;D That experimenting thing can take a long while, as you already know. I also like to experiment, but without Steveís help on this one, donít think I could try and pull it off.  I just donít have the ďhandyĒ experience Steve has.  I am also with you if we just stuck to the basic Lehmann dough we wouldnít have learned what we did so far.  I always like to venture into the world of unknown.  :-D

These are some articles and pictures about Pizza Hackerís 22.5" Frankenweber and also other conversions if anyone is interested in trying to build something like a Frankenweber.

http://www.bitethis.net/2010/08/underground-market-oakland/

http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f43/forno-clamshell-another-charcoal-grill-conversion-9229.html

http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/s2yVNwYH40gr-aKbz30gEg?select=abF9Emgog8H5AMDpnMGIig

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/inoakland/detail?entry_id=69760

http://pizzacommander.blogspot.com/2010/06/pizza-hacker.html

I also have other links, if anyone is interested in looking at them.  Maybe after this thread, if might help other members that might want to mod a 22" Weber.

Norma
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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2011, 09:41:11 AM »
Norma, I would have used this type of brick for some experiments with ovens but they are 6 hours away. Back in the states I used them in many high heat projects, kilns, etc. With a refractory mortal would make for a much lighter weight dome are easy to work with simple hand tools.
http://www.traditionaloven.com/articles/81/insulating-fire-bricks
Don
« Last Edit: June 17, 2011, 09:42:49 AM by buceriasdon »

Offline norma427

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2011, 10:28:42 AM »
Norma, I would have used this type of brick for some experiments with ovens but they are 6 hours away. Back in the states I used them in many high heat projects, kilns, etc. With a refractory mortal would make for a much lighter weight dome are easy to work with simple hand tools.
http://www.traditionaloven.com/articles/81/insulating-fire-bricks
Don

Don,

Are the insulating firebricks you are talking about different from the ones I tired at Reply 42 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11133.msg101400.html#msg101400 in the other BBQ grill mod I was trying?  I know I can get split firebricks like I used locally, but I used full firebricks in that thread.  My firebricks were heavy.  Maybe I donít understand enough about different types of firebricks.  Maybe you could help me understand more. 

Thanks,  :)

Norma
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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2011, 12:56:39 PM »
Norma, Insulating firebrick would not be suitable for say the floor of an oven. The dense clay fire bricks you spoke about absorbs and retains heat. Lightweight insulating fire bricks have low thermal conductivity and do not absorb heat well. They are much softer and incorporate tiny air pockets that exhibit insulating properties, hense the name. For example electric pottery kilns use insulating firebricks not clay fire bricks. They hold in the heat but do not retain heat. They are however fragile unlike clay fire brick.
Don

 

Offline norma427

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2011, 01:06:12 PM »
Norma, Insulating firebrick would not be suitable for say the floor of an oven. The dense clay fire bricks you spoke about absorbs and retains heat. Lightweight insulating fire bricks have low thermal conductivity and do not absorb heat well. They are much softer and incorporate tiny air pockets that exhibit insulating properties, hense the name. For example electric pottery kilns use insulating firebricks not clay fire bricks. They hold in the heat but do not retain heat. They are however fragile unlike clay fire brick.
Don

 

Don,

Thanks so much for explaining the differences.  I think I understand a little more now.  I will have to study about different ways to maybe make the Weber grill work right.

Your help is much appreciated!  :)

Norma
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Offline norma427

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2011, 04:21:13 PM »
The Weber Grill took longer than I expected to cleaned up today, but now it is ready to be modified.  I dream of decent pizza in the modification, but will wait and see what happens. 

Norma
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Offline Ronzo

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2011, 04:29:52 PM »
Norma, I have only converted a 14" and 18" weber to an MBE and LBE as you already know.  If I had the 22", I would look towards doing a PizzaHacker Mod.  You can think about doing a propane burner / wood combination.  Maybe have a propane burner on the bottom and feed chunks of wood with long tongs through the front opening towards the back.  Have a grate below the stone so that it catches and supports wood that is toss back there.

Chau

I have the 22" LBE. It does just fine. Not as conducive to travel as the 18.5" though, as Norma said she's looking to do for markets and such. Can still be done.


I have four 3.5" bolts holding up a charcoal grate for the 22" kettle. On top of the charcoal grate (using that for its strength. The cooking grate is too weak to stand up to the heat of the propane burner), I have some half thickness firebricks and a 19" kiln shelf. In the dome, I have a 15" kiln shelf to keep the heat closer to the pie.

If I can make a decent pie in the bigger LBE, I know Norma with her greater skills can do it.
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