Author Topic: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?  (Read 25258 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22480
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2011, 04:56:24 PM »
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.

Ron,

Thanks for posting what you did with your bigger LBE. :) What temperatures can you get your LBE up to?  Do you have a standard temperature you like to use and dough formula?  I wouldn't say my skills are any better than yours are either. Did you ever find any places to take your LBE?  Thanks for having confidence in me.  :) I am not too sure if my Weber modification will be successful or not.  I will talk to Steve this coming week about the modifications.  I donít know of anyone in my area that uses a mod Weber Grill to make pizzas.

If it works out okay, I could even use it right outside my side door at my market stand, maybe.  ::)

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!


Offline Ronzo

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1408
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Leander, TX
  • Beer, Whiskey, Freedom n' Pizza...
    • New Texian Brewery
Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2011, 07:04:20 PM »
i've pushed my LBE to 800, but I don't bake that high. I keep it close to 600.
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

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

Online norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22480
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2011, 08:26:09 PM »
i've pushed my LBE to 800, but I don't bake that high. I keep it close to 600.


Ron,

Thanks for your temperatures!  :)

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline lithiumconrad

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 2
Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2011, 11:57:51 PM »
I figured I would share some info about my experience with the pizzahacker style attempt.

I used portland cement and perlite mixed at a 1:4 ratio. It eventually fell apart after a few weeks most likely do to this being my first time ever working with cement.

I used cardboard to form the walls and tried to make it 2" thick all around. To make the lid I just pack my cement/perlite mix into the lid. I placed a pile of charcoal in the bottom to heat the firebricks and used wood from a pallet (the only wood laying around at my house) for the fire in the back.

It held up to the heat just fine, I don't have a thermometer so I don't know how hot it was getting. Pizzas would cook anywhere 2-4 minutes. I never timed them though.


Online norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22480
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2011, 06:38:02 AM »
lithiumconrad,

Thanks so much for sharing your info about your PizzaHackers style attempt.  :) Your ideas of ways to build a Weber Grill into a pizza oven something like Pizza Hackers look very good.  Your pie also looks good.  What kind of formula did you use for your pies bake in your modified Weber? If you are baking the pizzas in 2 to 4 minutes that seems really good. Your idea of using cardboard for the mold looks and sounds like it worked well. It is interesting your are using charcoal in the bottom and wood to also heat your firebricks.

My friend Steve built his own WFO brick by brick and does understand much more than I do about how a WFO works.  I can come up with ideas, but in theory, I have no idea if they will work.  I am going to talk to Steve today and see what he thinks about all the ideas members on this thread have given me.  I have to see what kind of materials I will need to buy, and go from there.  Steve told me instead of buying a propane burner right away, he is going to let me try his turkey burner he has installed in a modified BBQ grill he built.  Maybe we will learn something from his turkey burner. 

I will update this thread when Steve and I have time to work on my Weber grill.  Hopefully in the end we will be able to come up with some ideas that other people can use.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline bbqchuck

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 381
  • Location: SoCal
Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2011, 01:07:33 PM »
Hi folks,
I'm new to the forum, but I'm a bbq forum regular on a couple of them.  I own what's called a Bubba Keg Convection Grill. It's basically an insulated, double walled, steel, version of a komado (Big Green Egg, etc). The guys on our forum have been doing tons of pizzas in them using real wood (lump, not brickettes) charcoal which are able to run at temps up to 800F safely.  I'm about to try a few pizza's today using recipes from members on this site using my keg.  My understanding is that the real wood charcoal imparts a slightly smoky taste even without adding smoking wood.

Here's a pic of my Keg (on the right).  They have changed owners and are now available at Orchard Supply Hardware (CA) and Ace Hardware (nationally) for about $400 for the basic model and about $650 for the deluxe version.  Apparently, they are a great pizza kiln.

(http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c125/roaniecowpony/DSC_1435.jpg)

« Last Edit: June 25, 2011, 01:48:23 PM by bbqchuck »

Online norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22480
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2011, 04:00:08 PM »
Hi folks,
I'm new to the forum, but I'm a bbq forum regular on a couple of them.  I own what's called a Bubba Keg Convection Grill. It's basically an insulated, double walled, steel, version of a komado (Big Green Egg, etc). The guys on our forum have been doing tons of pizzas in them using real wood (lump, not brickettes) charcoal which are able to run at temps up to 800F safely.  I'm about to try a few pizza's today using recipes from members on this site using my keg.  My understanding is that the real wood charcoal imparts a slightly smoky taste even without adding smoking wood.

Here's a pic of my Keg (on the right).  They have changed owners and are now available at Orchard Supply Hardware (CA) and Ace Hardware (nationally) for about $400 for the basic model and about $650 for the deluxe version.  Apparently, they are a great pizza kiln.

(http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c125/roaniecowpony/DSC_1435.jpg)



Hi bbqchuck,

Welcome to the forum!  :) I have seen the Bubba Keg Convection Grill in pictures, but havenít seen any pizzas there were made in the Bubba Keg.  I guess the picture you had a link to is this picture.  http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c125/roaniecowpony/DSC_1435.jpg

I would like to see pictures when you make your pizzas in your Bubba Keg.  It is always interesting to see different kinds of grills in action.

Thanks for posting about the Bubba Keg.

Steve and I were talking over how to convert my Weber Grill into a pizza oven and I told him if it is possible I would like something like Pizza Hackerís modification.  Steve has some good ideas, but we arenít really sure what we will try. Steve is also busy doing things to his own WFO, so probably in the next few weeks we might be able to get started on modifying my Weber Grill. We did measure my deck oven to see how much space there is in the deck oven to load a pie and it was about 4".  I will post pictures on what we do, so if the ideas work, then maybe other members can try something like we do if they want.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

scott123

  • Guest
Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #27 on: June 25, 2011, 05:48:38 PM »
Chuck, no offense, but I just spent half an hour going through about 100 pizza related posts at the Big Steel Keg forum and, out of everything, there's not a properly baked pizza in the bunch. The tops aren't browned, the cheese isn't properly melted. The Bubba Keg does perfectly fine from a hearth heat perspective, but the top heat just isn't there. The only way to get proper top browning/cheese melting in the Keg is to dial down the heat and extend the baking time.  Long bake times (15+ minutes) trash thin crust pizzas.

Perhaps, if one were to mod the Keg and add a lower ceiling and an extra air vent, it could produce a decent pizza, but even then, I think you'd be hard pressed to make more than one pizza at a time.

Properly grilled pizza requires a substantial period of sustained heat to pre-heat the stone and then the ability to turn that heat off so the stone temp doesn't keep on rising. During the bake, the heat needs to be turned back on and cranked to high, so the top browns sufficiently. I'm not saying this can't be done with charcoal, but it's very difficult to do, and, for multiple pizzas, it's pretty much impossible.

I have no doubt that the Bubba Keg produces some mind bendingly wonderful meats, but for pizza, I have my doubts.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2011, 07:17:49 PM by scott123 »

Online norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22480
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #28 on: June 25, 2011, 08:35:40 PM »
Do you have any ideas on the best way to turn my Weber Grill into a pizza oven?  Steve and I were tossing around ideas about building a form and using Perlite & refractory cement to form a something or he might also have some castable refractory cement/mortar leftover from another project on his WFO.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline Saturday Coffee

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 131
Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2011, 11:40:13 PM »
Do you have any ideas on the best way to turn my Weber Grill into a pizza oven?  Steve and I were tossing around ideas about building a form and using Perlite & refractory cement to form a something or he might also have some castable refractory cement/mortar leftover from another project on his WFO.

Norma

That sure sounds like a whole lot of work.  Wouldn't something like this work for you? 

http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/08/slicer-mmmph-tests-the-pizza-kettle-weber-grill-insert.html





Offline chickenparm

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1786
  • Location: Back in Indy...Making New York Style Pies
  • Oh No,Not Pizza Again!!!
Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #30 on: June 25, 2011, 11:52:11 PM »
Norma,

I have no idea what to tell ya,but Im excited to follow your project and I know you're going to do just fine.
Im sure I will learn alot here as I have the other threads.

I do not believe there is anything to stop you from making pizza out of anything.You truly have the knack for it.Cant wait for the pies posted from your new oven!
 :chef:
-Bill

scott123

  • Guest
Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #31 on: June 26, 2011, 03:43:56 AM »
Norma, I've read just about everything there is to read on LBE's and grill inserts.  I'm on the lookout for a 22" Weber. When I get one, I'm going with a setup that goes something like this:

scott123

  • Guest
Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #32 on: June 26, 2011, 04:34:25 AM »
It's very similar to LBEs that have been done before, with a few minor improvements.

Basically, I removed the Weber lid from the picture.  It's too tall to effectively radiate much heat down onto the top of the pie and hanging false ceilings is a hassle. It's easier just to make a ceiling out of a large round cordierite stone.  This stone ceiling sits on a curled strip of galvanized steel flashing (not pictured) that goes around 3/4 of the outer circumference of the grill.

My flashing is basically a DIY version of the Kettle Pizza insert mentioned above, except my flashing only mimics the bottom half the insert where the hole is.  It also has no handles. The pizza kettle insert, besides being costly, is way too high and only compounds the ceiling to pizza distance issue.

The height of the flashing might take some trial and error.  The way I'm picturing it, one will launch the pizza with the flashing in place, so you want it tall enough so that the pizza doesn't touch the ceiling, but not so tall that it gets in the way during the launch. Right now I'm leaning towards 2.5" above the hearth. From what I can tell, they sell galvanized steel flashing from Home Depot and it should be lightweight enough to be cut with tinsnips, but, on it's edge, it should be sturdy enough to support the ceiling.

A round 19 x 1/2" cordierite stone shouldn't be too difficult to track down, but a 23" cordierite stone could get tricky. A 23" x 1/4" round steel plate would probably do the trick as well, although that too could be difficult to find.  If all else fails, get a 23" square 1/4" thick plate.

The sizing on the thin steel deflector boils down to where it ends up in the grill.  Ideally, you'll want it pretty close to the hearth so it can be close in size to the hearth. If the deflector doesn't shield most of the hearth, you'll see very hot edges on the hearth. 2.5" to 4" from the hearth should do the trick.  I'm not in love with the price, but something like this should be perfect:

http://www.wasserstrom.com/restaurant-supplies-equipment/Product_421222

The nice thing about this tray is that the edges curl up, so, if you wanted, to you could fill it with some sand like some LBE folks do. It will most likely warp, but it shouldn't warp so much that it can't be used.  Although I'm not in love with Pizzahacker style perlcrete ceilings (you really need some thermal mass in the ceiling), you might be able to get away with a perlcrete deflector.  Maybe.  The most important thing is to avoid aluminum, both in the deflector and anywhere else, because there's always the possibility that you'll reach aluminum melting temps.

One other aspect regarding the deflector is that it might work a bit better tilted towards the side the gap.

You might be able to salvage the handle from the original weber (or another grill) or you might be able fashion something out of steel bolts and wood. The other thing I was picturing with the lid is, when you remove it to launch the pizza, you can rest it on whatever steel flashing is leftover.

Lastly, the lazy susan that I'd go with would be this one:

http://www.lazy-susan.com/catalog-product.php?p_ref=258591

as it, from the photo, appears the be the model Mike (Essen1) has used in the past.

I tend to be a very thrifty modder, and, although this is a bit more than I normally like to spend on these sort of things (in the $150 realm), the mods involved should all be very simple and the end result should pump out some great pizzas with fast bake times, possibly even Neapolitan times.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2011, 04:53:31 AM by scott123 »

Online norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22480
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #33 on: June 26, 2011, 07:41:55 AM »
That sure sounds like a whole lot of work.  Wouldn't something like this work for you? 

http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/08/slicer-mmmph-tests-the-pizza-kettle-weber-grill-insert.html


Saturday Coffee,


You can see at this thread,  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14284.0.html
and at Slice http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/09/slice-tests-the-kettle-pizza-grill-insert.html 
http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/08/slicer-mmmph-tests-the-pizza-kettle-weber-grill-insert.html
http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2010/08/aftermarket-insert-turns-your-weber-kettle-grill-into-coal-fired-pizza-oven.html
that the Pizza Inserts can make pizzas, but there are problems with using the Weber Pizza Inserts, as Scott also notes.  You also provided the one link on Slice. 

Thanks for trying to save Steve and me work.   :)

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Online norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22480
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #34 on: June 26, 2011, 07:51:23 AM »
Norma,

I have no idea what to tell ya,but Im excited to follow your project and I know you're going to do just fine.
Im sure I will learn alot here as I have the other threads.

I do not believe there is anything to stop you from making pizza out of anything.You truly have the knack for it.Cant wait for the pies posted from your new oven!
 :chef:


Bill,

I am not sure how Steve and I will fair out making a pizza oven out of the 22" Weber grill, but it will be a learning project anyway.  I donít have the knack for creating a pizza oven, I more or less mostly experiment with doughs, but will see what we can come up with.  Steve is more of the designer and knows more about creating pizza ovens from his two oven builds at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,14444.0.html and http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11155.0.html   Steve is also a much better handyman than I am a handywoman.   :)

Thanks for your kind words!  :)

Norma

Always working and looking for new information!

Online norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22480
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #35 on: June 26, 2011, 08:20:46 AM »
It's very similar to LBEs that have been done before, with a few minor improvements.

Basically, I removed the Weber lid from the picture.  It's too tall to effectively radiate much heat down onto the top of the pie and hanging false ceilings is a hassle. It's easier just to make a ceiling out of a large round cordierite stone.  This stone ceiling sits on a curled strip of galvanized steel flashing (not pictured) that goes around 3/4 of the outer circumference of the grill.

My flashing is basically a DIY version of the Kettle Pizza insert mentioned above, except my flashing only mimics the bottom half the insert where the hole is.  It also has no handles. The pizza kettle insert, besides being costly, is way too high and only compounds the ceiling to pizza distance issue.

The height of the flashing might take some trial and error.  The way I'm picturing it, one will launch the pizza with the flashing in place, so you want it tall enough so that the pizza doesn't touch the ceiling, but not so tall that it gets in the way during the launch. Right now I'm leaning towards 2.5" above the hearth. From what I can tell, they sell galvanized steel flashing from Home Depot and it should be lightweight enough to be cut with tinsnips, but, on it's edge, it should be sturdy enough to support the ceiling.

A round 19 x 1/2" cordierite stone shouldn't be too difficult to track down, but a 23" cordierite stone could get tricky. A 23" x 1/4" round steel plate would probably do the trick as well, although that too could be difficult to find.  If all else fails, get a 23" square 1/4" thick plate.

The sizing on the thin steel deflector boils down to where it ends up in the grill.  Ideally, you'll want it pretty close to the hearth so it can be close in size to the hearth. If the deflector doesn't shield most of the hearth, you'll see very hot edges on the hearth. 2.5" to 4" from the hearth should do the trick.  I'm not in love with the price, but something like this should be perfect:

http://www.wasserstrom.com/restaurant-supplies-equipment/Product_421222

The nice thing about this tray is that the edges curl up, so, if you wanted, to you could fill it with some sand like some LBE folks do. It will most likely warp, but it shouldn't warp so much that it can't be used.  Although I'm not in love with Pizzahacker style perlcrete ceilings (you really need some thermal mass in the ceiling), you might be able to get away with a perlcrete deflector.  Maybe.  The most important thing is to avoid aluminum, both in the deflector and anywhere else, because there's always the possibility that you'll reach aluminum melting temps.

One other aspect regarding the deflector is that it might work a bit better tilted towards the side the gap.

You might be able to salvage the handle from the original weber (or another grill) or you might be able fashion something out of steel bolts and wood. The other thing I was picturing with the lid is, when you remove it to launch the pizza, you can rest it on whatever steel flashing is leftover.

Lastly, the lazy susan that I'd go with would be this one:

http://www.lazy-susan.com/catalog-product.php?p_ref=258591

as it, from the photo, appears the be the model Mike (Essen1) has used in the past.

I tend to be a very thrifty modder, and, although this is a bit more than I normally like to spend on these sort of things (in the $150 realm), the mods involved should all be very simple and the end result should pump out some great pizzas with fast bake times, possibly even Neapolitan times.

Scott,

Your diagram and ideas are interesting.  I know you read everything about LBEís and grill inserts.  If you are planning on using flashing out of galvanized steel to put around 3/4 of the outer circumference, wonít that also lose some heat or do you think it will help contain the heat?  Your idea for a stainless steel deflector is also interesting.  I donít think Steve and I are planning on using any aluminum in the build.  I really like you lazy susan idea, but do you think that would hold up?  Your estimate of 150.00 for a mod is good.

Thanks for all your ideas!  :) Are you going to start to mod a 22" Weber as soon as you find one?  It would be interesting to read about your mod.  I found plenty of 22" Weber's on craigslist, but each time, they went really fast.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline Jet_deck

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 3044
  • Location: Between Houston and Mexico
Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #36 on: June 26, 2011, 11:24:44 AM »

..... sits on a curled strip of galvanized steel flashing (not pictured) that goes around 3/4 of the outer circumference of the grill...


Respectfully, galvanised steel at these temps pose a health risk.  Those nasty compounds can offgas at these temperatures.  Also, galvanisation can flake off and wind up on the pizza/stone.  I would suggest picking another material for this application.

Otherwise, it looks like a killer LBE design.

Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline Mick.Chicago

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 662
  • Squish.
Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #37 on: June 27, 2011, 01:31:08 PM »
Norma, I have two 18.5 inch weber grills I want to turn one into an oven also! I was thinking of investing in the pizza kettle mod kit but haven't seen very many results, I  don't want to use propane though so I know I have an uphill slog ahead of me!

There is a picture of a pie on the website, and it doesn't look very appealing to me.

http://kettlepizza.com/testimonials/


Online norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22480
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #38 on: June 27, 2011, 05:50:44 PM »
Norma, I have two 18.5 inch weber grills I want to turn one into an oven also! I was thinking of investing in the pizza kettle mod kit but haven't seen very many results, I  don't want to use propane though so I know I have an uphill slog ahead of me!

There is a picture of a pie on the website, and it doesn't look very appealing to me.

http://kettlepizza.com/testimonials/



Mick,

I havenít seen the pizza kettle mod kit for the 18.5" weber grills before, but I have looked at pizzas baked with mod kits made for the Weber, and although they look like decent pizzas, I donít think that is the way I want to go.  I donít want to have to mess around with  starter briquettes or charcoal in combination with wood. I have no idea if Steve and I can get my Weber grill to work okay. I would think propane would be easier, maybe with some wood,  but am not sure at this time.  I also havenít seen enough positive comments on the pizza kettle mod kit to buy it.  What route do you think you want to try for your mod? 

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline Mick.Chicago

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 662
  • Squish.
Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #39 on: June 28, 2011, 08:54:26 AM »
I would like to do a wood charcoal combo but that's very fuel consuming, I think I may have to go the propane route in order for a quick result but it would be nice to eventually have a working Weber sized oven that burned wood/charcoal.

I recently acquired an 18.5 inch lid from a Weber Smokey Mountain that sits on top of my Weber nicely, it makes my Weber look like a big black egg, I have some ideas that involve cutting a few holes in the new lid and making a raised shelf to go in it.  My wife would like to get me the Kettle Grill attachment for my birthday but I don't think it's good enough!