Author Topic: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?  (Read 24986 times)

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Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #40 on: June 28, 2011, 09:27:34 AM »
Here is the grill with its big lid and regular lid.  I do like the low profile of the other lid, I think with good air flow it would make a better pizza oven but I don't want to hacksaw it!




Offline shuboyje

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #41 on: June 28, 2011, 05:08:38 PM »
Scotts's design is pretty similar to a small portable wood fired oven I've been working on for a while that keeps getting put on the back burner.  One difference that I think you could use is that in my design the "thin steel plate" is on a slide so it can be moved forward or back changing the path of the fire.  With it forward the heat is diverted up over the stone to maximize top heat.  With it back the fired travels under the entire stone before going over to,  essentially focusing the heat on the oven deck.  I think this method would give you a fast way to recharge the deck for lots of pizzas.
-Jeff

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #42 on: June 28, 2011, 10:11:23 PM »
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!   

Mick,

Looking forward to seeing what kind of mod you decide to do.  :) I really don't think the Kettle Grill attachment is good enough either, but I never really tired it.

I think Steve and I are going to try and cast two parts for my Weber grill mod and see how that works, in combination with a propane burner.  Steve picked up the refractory cement/mortar this morning in Baltimore.  We have no idea if it will work, but it will be interesting to try.

Norma
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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #43 on: June 28, 2011, 10:12:56 PM »
Scotts's design is pretty similar to a small portable wood fired oven I've been working on for a while that keeps getting put on the back burner.  One difference that I think you could use is that in my design the "thin steel plate" is on a slide so it can be moved forward or back changing the path of the fire.  With it forward the heat is diverted up over the stone to maximize top heat.  With it back the fired travels under the entire stone before going over to,  essentially focusing the heat on the oven deck.  I think this method would give you a fast way to recharge the deck for lots of pizzas.

shuboyje,

Do you think casting two parts out of refractory cement/mortar might work?

Norma
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Offline shuboyje

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #44 on: June 29, 2011, 10:44:15 PM »
The few downsides to casting these pieces are that the castable has a conductivity more like fire brick so you will need higher temperatures and I wouldn't go under an inch thick which will make for a pretty serious amount of mass to heat and keep hot in an uninsulated situation.  It think it's workable so long as you have a good heat source fueling it all.
-Jeff

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #45 on: June 29, 2011, 11:12:20 PM »
The few downsides to casting these pieces are that the castable has a conductivity more like fire brick so you will need higher temperatures and I wouldn't go under an inch thick which will make for a pretty serious amount of mass to heat and keep hot in an uninsulated situation.  It think it's workable so long as you have a good heat source fueling it all.


shuboyje,

Thanks for your ideas about refractory cement/mortar.  I think, but am not sure Steve is going to mix some perlite in with the refractory cement.  I am going to run to my local cheaper place later this week to pick up some stuff for the molding.

Norma
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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #46 on: June 29, 2011, 11:40:47 PM »
Norma, regardless of the material, the dome needs to be pretty close to the top of the pizza. In my opinion, six inches max.  It will be a pain to load it with the peel, but any more distance will have you in the same situation that we hear of all the time with other new setups.  Scott123's picture is the perfect setup.  Just my .o2 :D
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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #47 on: June 30, 2011, 08:03:03 AM »
Norma, regardless of the material, the dome needs to be pretty close to the top of the pizza. In my opinion, six inches max.  It will be a pain to load it with the peel, but any more distance will have you in the same situation that we hear of all the time with other new setups.  Scott123's picture is the perfect setup.  Just my .o2 :D

Gene,

Thanks for your thoughts on the dome shouldnít be any higher than 6" max.  :) I can see Scott123's ideas are very interesting.  I never tried any kind of mod before and donít really understand everything about doing a mod, or how they will work in the end. The only thing I ever tried doing a mod on was my regular BBQ grill. That was in my other thread and although it made okay pizzas, it wasnít the best.  Do you think the dome has to be flat or could it be curved with 6" at the highest point?  Steve and I are trying to go over what would be the best way to start a mod.  If it doesnít work, then we will try something else.  Do you also think I need two stones for the deck floor, or will spit firebricks be okay?  I have two soapstones.  Do you think either of them could work somehow as a floor or would firebricks or some other material be better? 

I appreciate your help, because I donít really understand how mods can work well.

Norma
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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #48 on: June 30, 2011, 02:06:54 PM »
Gene,

 Do you think the dome has to be flat or could it be curved with 6" at the highest point?  
Norma

TXCraig, Tampa, Don, and my 10 stone all have flat roofs, if Im not mistaken.  A flat dome is fine.  I defer expert answer to the stone question to someone else, but the splits for the floor and the soapstone for the roof should put your pizza cooker ahead of 98% of somethink like the frankenweber.

If I ever did it, I would build it exactly like scott123's picture, exactly.
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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #49 on: June 30, 2011, 02:33:14 PM »
TXCraig, Tampa, Don, and my 10 stone all have flat roofs, if Im not mistaken.  A flat dome is fine.  I defer expert answer to the stone question to someone else, but the splits for the floor and the soapstone for the roof should put your pizza cooker ahead of 98% of somethink like the frankenweber.

If I ever did it, I would build it exactly like scott123's picture, exactly.

Gene,

Thanks for your help again!  :) I appreciate anything I can learn, before Steve and I get started on my Weber grill.  I would be interested in watching when Scott123 finds a Weber grill and starts his mod.  :)

Norma
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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #50 on: July 01, 2011, 02:31:53 AM »
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.

I put in a pretty hefty chunk of time researching this and slept on it (a few nights ;) ) and it seems like the consensus between welding experts is that the dangerous aspect of galvanized steel is the offgassing, and that only occurs at very high temperatures (above 1600 f).  Small amounts of ingested zinc, although most likely unpalatable, don't pose a health risk.

As far as this setup ever hitting 1600... that's a stretch. It can easily hit 1100ish aluminum melting temps, but I don't foresee it ever getting hot enough to vaporize the zinc- at least not at the temps we're going to be baking at.

According to my rough calculations, 3/4" of the circumference of a 22.5" webber is 52".  I found a place that will sell a cut piece of 52" x 4" stainless sheet (26 gauge) for $25ish shipped.  I guess if someone were really concerned, they could take that route, but, for me, personally, I'm going the far cheaper galvanized flashing Home Depot route.  I might crank the burner on high for a bit and go indoors for a bit, but that's about the only precaution I'd take. 

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #51 on: July 01, 2011, 02:33:38 AM »
One difference that I think you could use is that in my design the "thin steel plate" is on a slide so it can be moved forward or back changing the path of the fire.  With it forward the heat is diverted up over the stone to maximize top heat.  With it back the fired travels under the entire stone before going over to,  essentially focusing the heat on the oven deck.  I think this method would give you a fast way to recharge the deck for lots of pizzas.

Great idea!  Pictures?  ;D

scott123

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #52 on: July 01, 2011, 02:59:39 AM »
Do you think the dome has to be flat or could it be curved with 6" at the highest point?  Steve and I are trying to go over what would be the best way to start a mod.  If it doesnít work, then we will try something else.  Do you also think I need two stones for the deck floor, or will spit firebricks be okay?  I have two soapstones.  Do you think either of them could work somehow as a floor or would firebricks or some other material be better?

Curved, relatively tall domes work fine in WFO scenarios where the ceiling is 1100 F. and there's an active fire on the side radiating energy onto the roof and down towards the pie. Tall ceilings also work in ovens where there's a top heat source like a broiling element or gas burner. A 6" ceiling will work in a high BTU burner setting IF all you want are 5-7 minute NY pies.  If you want to trim the bake time, the ceiling has to come down.  At least, I'm pretty sure it will.

One of the advantages to cordierite is that, with the ceiling close enough to the hearth, you can preheat both the hearth and ceiling to 750 and, with a good blast of heat coming from below, end up with a Neapolitan sub 2 minute bake time. With firebrick, the pre-heat has to go higher (815ish) and, although that does favor the top heat a bit and should allow you to add a little distance to the ceiling should you need it (4" instead of 3"?), 815ish feels a little harsh for a Weber.

A soapstone hearth will favor bottom browning, so, in your most likely handicapped top heat scenario, it's not a good idea. I'm not really in love with a firebrick hearth, but out the two, it's a much better choice.  Soapstone could be viable as a deflector, though. Maybe.

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #53 on: July 01, 2011, 03:13:44 AM »
I would be interested in watching when Scott123 finds a Weber grill and starts his mod.  :)

Norma, I wouldn't hold your breath  ;D  In the last couple years, I've been spending a lot of time mulling over old fashioned gas ovens with separate broiler compartments/bottom heat only scenarios. Since grills are bottom heat only also, the same rules apply.  I sat down to compile a diagram of everything that I've learned for an indoor gas oven, but because it's summer and grills are the word, I basically made a round Weber shape rather than a square indoor oven shape.  I made the diagram, not because I've got a huge yearning to build one of my own, but because I've been trying to figure out a way to help gas oven owners for ages and wanted to get something down on paper. I am keeping my eye out on a good deal for a Weber, but it most likely won't be this summer.

Some of the forum members have done amazing things with charcoal, but, at the end of the day, I just don't think charcoal gives you enough control to bake multiple pizzas well.  Your first step for modding this Weber should be tracing a circle on the bottom and cutting out a hole big enough for a turkey fryer burner. As far as the modding steps go, that's probably going to the be the trickiest.  With your experience cutting firebrick and Steve's expertise, I think it should all be a piece of cake.

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #54 on: July 01, 2011, 09:56:05 AM »
Norma, I wouldn't hold your breath  ;D  In the last couple years, I've been spending a lot of time mulling over old fashioned gas ovens with separate broiler compartments/bottom heat only scenarios. Since grills are bottom heat only also, the same rules apply.  I sat down to compile a diagram of everything that I've learned for an indoor gas oven, but because it's summer and grills are the word, I basically made a round Weber shape rather than a square indoor oven shape.  I made the diagram, not because I've got a huge yearning to build one of my own, but because I've been trying to figure out a way to help gas oven owners for ages and wanted to get something down on paper. I am keeping my eye out on a good deal for a Weber, but it most likely won't be this summer.

Some of the forum members have done amazing things with charcoal, but, at the end of the day, I just don't think charcoal gives you enough control to bake multiple pizzas well.  Your first step for modding this Weber should be tracing a circle on the bottom and cutting out a hole big enough for a turkey fryer burner. As far as the modding steps go, that's probably going to the be the trickiest.  With your experience cutting firebrick and Steve's expertise, I think it should all be a piece of cake.

Scott,

Darn, I thought you would be going right along with doing a mod on a Weber grill this summer.  :-D I would like to see the results you would be able to achieve since you have studied how to do mods and different oven set-ups.  I can understand if someone tried your diagram, then it would help you with gas home oven mods. 

When Steve is finished working on his WFO, then we are going to start on the mod for my Weber Grill.  Steve had some delays this week in working on his WFO, so probably in the next two weeks we will get started on my Weber grill.  We are going to first try Steveís turkey fryer burner in my Weber before I purchase one.  Steve has the equipment and tools at his home to cut the bottom out for a turkey burner.  I am not going to cut firebricks by myself for this project.  I think Steve has the equipment or can borrow it.  I remember when I cut those firebricks.  I didnít get them very even and it took awhile to do it by hand.  :(  Do you think we should use spit firebricks instead of the whole ones I used in my other BBQ grill mod?  Also do you think we need anything else under the firebricks?  I think, but am not sure that we are going to use the grill top that came with the Weber and use maybe 3 long threaded screws to support the grill top, and then put bolts on the outside, so it can support the firebricks.  If Steve and I cast our own top, how thick do you think it should be?  I donít think this will like a piece of cake, but will wait and see what happens.  I have access to straw. Do you think any straw should be put in the mixture of refractory cement/mortar and perlite?  Steve purchased a bag of refractory cement/mortar in Baltimore this past Tuesday for my mod.  I still have to pick up the molding material.  That stuff will probably fit over my head in my van.  It is the same stuff I used on my walls at my market stand when I was doing the build there.

Thanks for your ideas!  :)

Norma
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Offline lennyk

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #55 on: July 01, 2011, 08:03:34 PM »
I agree with Scott, charcoal takes a lot longer timewise to control
I am a longtime bbq smoker, own and built large charcoal smokers
the window of  temperature control is not so easy to manage quickly in a small environment

I would guess that people running setups like Pizzahacker are basically running very very high temps so it doesn't matter to them, they just burn charcoal/wood at full throttle for maximum heat to cooker their 90sec pies

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #56 on: July 01, 2011, 10:50:58 PM »
I agree with Scott, charcoal takes a lot longer timewise to control
I am a longtime bbq smoker, own and built large charcoal smokers
the window of  temperature control is not so easy to manage quickly in a small environment

I would guess that people running setups like Pizzahacker are basically running very very high temps so it doesn't matter to them, they just burn charcoal/wood at full throttle for maximum heat to cooker their 90sec pies

Lenny,

I agree with you and Scott about charcoal does take a lot longer to control timewise.  At first when Steve and I looked at Pizzhackerís mod on his Weber, we wondered if that would be the best way to go, but then decided it wouldnít.

It sounds interesting what you know about BBQ smoking and building large charcoal smokers.

Norma
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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #57 on: July 02, 2011, 10:51:16 AM »
...  One difference that I think you could use is that in my design the "thin steel plate" is on a slide so it can be moved forward or back changing the path of the fire.  With it forward the heat is diverted up over the stone to maximize top heat.  With it back the fired travels under the entire stone before going over to,  essentially focusing the heat on the oven deck. 

IIRC,  this is similar to what the first 2stone cookers employed, except they moved the burner.  The burner was adjustable from a position near the center of the stone, to a position near the edge (rear) of the stone that forced alot of air up to the "dome".  Same difference I guess.

Norma, I have looked at the old 10stone (mine) again.  6" is to high.  Like scott's picture above the roof (dome) must be on a hinge.  Let the dome (top stone) get up to temperature, raise the lid, load the pizza and put the top lid back down.  That being said, it does matter exactly what type of pizza you want to cook.  I am asuming that your wanting to cook alot of neo. pizzas, (caputo) will be the most needy of the top heat that I want you to make sure that you have available.  That is not to say that a 6" dome height would not work perfectly well for a dough that you are currently using at market.

Just my .02
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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #58 on: July 02, 2011, 10:53:53 AM »
for reference
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Offline lennyk

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Re: Any Ideas to Help me turn my Weber Grill into a Pizza Oven?
« Reply #59 on: July 02, 2011, 11:13:42 AM »
Yes, it is a sickness, kinda like what I am learning and doing with pizzas now  :)

It sounds interesting what you know about BBQ smoking and building large charcoal smokers.
Norma


 

pizzapan