Author Topic: Pizza Ruby, A Little Black Egg & Pizzas  (Read 26729 times)

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Offline R2-Bayou

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Re: Pizza Ruby, A Little Black Egg & Pizzas
« Reply #100 on: June 26, 2012, 01:08:52 PM »
keep up the good work pizzablogger! pies look awesome.
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scott123

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Re: Pizza Ruby, A Little Black Egg & Pizzas
« Reply #101 on: June 26, 2012, 03:40:49 PM »
Kelly, it looks a lot like you've broken the 2 minute barrier (and maybe even 90 seconds as well).  What do you attribute to pushing it over the top?

How's the quality control? Is this pie typical of all your pies?

Also, I'm guessing, with pizzas like that, your customer base is most likely growing. What's the count these days?  Are you nearing a point where logistically you just can't handle that many more pies?

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Pizza Ruby, A Little Black Egg & Pizzas
« Reply #102 on: June 26, 2012, 04:07:14 PM »
Kelly, it looks a lot like you've broken the 2 minute barrier (and maybe even 90 seconds as well).  What do you attribute to pushing it over the top?

How's the quality control? Is this pie typical of all your pies?

Also, I'm guessing, with pizzas like that, your customer base is most likely growing. What's the count these days?  Are you nearing a point where logistically you just can't handle that many more pies?

No, I have not broken the two minute barrier. About 2:45 when the grill is running hot.  When the pizza orders get steady, the cooking time gets out towards 3:30 to 4:00. For the home setting, my 5/8" thick stone works well and too much mass can easily burn a pizza. For the market setting, I need more mass to help maintain floor temperatures. I'm going to give 1.5" thick split-firebricks a whirl as a floor to see if the increased mass helps keep the floor temp maintained better.  

The better coloring and bake I attribute to three factors:
1. Cutting in high gluten flour into the mix (15% is AT un/un now). I may bump to 18-20%.
2. I cut some unglazed quarry tiles as a sub-floor that I lay my 16" pizza stone on.  The quarry tiles are cut so that air can only come up out of the back of the LBE, not the sides too. I think this increases the convection over the pizza.
3. The quarry tile floor, while thin, has lifted the pies a tad closer to the inverted cast iron pot. The cast iron retains heat much better than the stainless steel wok did. The temps on the cast iron typically read in the 400-450 range even if the lid has been left off for a time. That's not hot by pizza standards at all, but there is some radiant heat, even if it is tiny. Being a tad closer to the cast iron may be helping a little.

It is not typical of all of my pies.  If I recall, that pie was ordered after a brief respite in the cooking cycle. The floor had gotten back up to 650. When I get pounded and the floor drops to 500-550, the spring is just not the same and the whole pie is a bit drier due to the extra cooking time.  I'd say roughly 50-60% of my pies look like the one in the picture.

Until I can figure out the riddle of my second LBE, I am definitely at a point where I struggle mightily during a rush. I read about John being able to do near 100 pies in 2-3 hours and get frustrated that I do not have the ability to get a fast bake.....I think at max speed I would be pressed to do 80 in four hours.  I could probably go faster if I brought on a third person to turn, finish and add any post-bake ingredients...but right now I am doing all of the pizza making myself. And I ain't a speed demon yet.

But small improvements are made each week. I have been between 50 to 60 pies the past three weeks, so interest is taking root. And most of those pies are being made in during the last two hours. But it may be near 100F here this Sunday, so demand may be low.....and the dough making and maintaining process is bound to be a friggen' blast. I'm going to do a Nutella, banana, fresh local peaches and Mike's Hot Honey pie to hopefully lure in some more early goers. We'll see.

Definitely moments when I get a sudden rush, ingredients need re-filling and I'm generally just getting my arse kicked all over the place. It's really fun stuff.

I'm going to get another 18.5" weber and get that together to see if I can get it to work....maybe the LBE#2 I have now has had a voodoo hex put on it.

Wish I had more time during the week to tinker and practice. But it has generally been a great learning experience so far and a good bit of fun.  While I am not happy with a good amount of the pizzas I am making, at the same time my worst pies are above average for sure. But we aren't playing horseshoes here. Gotta get better. --K


« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 04:11:16 PM by pizzablogger »
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scott123

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Re: Pizza Ruby, A Little Black Egg & Pizzas
« Reply #103 on: June 26, 2012, 05:58:12 PM »
Kelly, your brick purveyor might give you a blank stare when you ask, but I would try looking for a firebrick with higher alumina content. This page here compares the different grades of firebrick:

http://www.traditionaloven.com/articles/84/firebricks-heavy-dense-fire-clay-bricks

Alumina buys you density and conductivity, which, for your purposes, are both good to have.

Even if you end up with a lower alumina brick, I think the extra thermal mass should, as you anticipate, help with recovery. Is it safe to assume that during your busiest  times, the oven is getting one pie after another?  Are you turning the heat down between bakes or cranking it? Even just a few seconds of ferociously hot air passing over the top of the stone between bakes could help with recovery.

Another aspect that could help with recovery with your current setup is reworking your bottom deflection a bit. You're using some sort of deflection between the burner and the quarry tiles, right? Those quarry tiles might have issues with too much direct heat, but if you could find a deflection material that lets through a bit more heat, it could help.  Ideally, you want a deflection setup that allows as much heat to reach the bottom of the hearth as goes out to the pizza during the bake- putting back what you're taking out.  This might be a little too ambitious, but some form of modifiable deflection would be cool- like two pieces of steel with holes that match up, but, when rotated, close. That way you can have far more control over the heat feeding the underside of the hearth and the heat flowing over the top of it. If you weren't working with thermally iffy quarry tiles, you might even try a slit in the LBE that accepts a removable deflector. 

One potential nice thing about the firebrick is that the lower relatively conductivity (as compared to cordierite) will allow you to run the LBE at higher temps.  This should allow you to go with an even hotter ceiling and trim your bake time a bit.

One slight downside to firebrick is that it will stay hot for quite some time after baking- even splits. Maybe you can fashion a perlcrete cooler that will allow you travel with the firebricks while they are still hot.

scott123

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Re: Pizza Ruby, A Little Black Egg & Pizzas
« Reply #104 on: June 26, 2012, 06:14:35 PM »
Also, it'll help to get a better photo, but, from what I can see, that's the most Neapolitan looking 2:45 pizza that I've ever witnessed.  If the little bit of extra protein and enzymes from the All Trumps gives you that, then that's a massive discovery. I've seen plenty of malted flour/00 blends baked in short time frames, and they haven't had anything close to that kind of leoparding.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 06:27:19 PM by scott123 »

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Pizza Ruby, A Little Black Egg & Pizzas
« Reply #105 on: June 27, 2012, 12:01:50 PM »
Kelly, have you thought about mounting a burner in the lid of the LBE or is this crazy mans talk? Has it been tried anywhere?
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buceriasdon

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Re: Pizza Ruby, A Little Black Egg & Pizzas
« Reply #106 on: June 27, 2012, 05:24:14 PM »
Bob, It would be an entirely different oven, what I call an over/under. Post 947 has an example by Gene/Jet-Deck.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.940.html


Kelly, have you thought about mounting a burner in the lid of the LBE or is this crazy mans talk? Has it been tried anywhere?

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Pizza Ruby, A Little Black Egg & Pizzas
« Reply #107 on: July 06, 2012, 10:23:56 AM »
Thanks for your thoughts Scott.  :)

Is it safe to assume that during your busiest  times, the oven is getting one pie after another?  Are you turning the heat down between bakes or cranking it? Even just a few seconds of ferociously hot air passing over the top of the stone between bakes could help with recovery.

Yes, the oven often gets one pie after another....over and over again. I no longer turn down the oven at all. I leave it balls to the wall and if it gets too hot, I leave the lid ajar for a period until it lowers back down. Sometimes I just put the lid on the ground, which cools the stone down more quickly.

Quote
Another aspect that could help with recovery with your current setup is reworking your bottom deflection a bit. You're using some sort of deflection between the burner and the quarry tiles, right?

Yes, I have a 10 1/2 inch cast iron skillet, with the handle sawed off (ala Mmph) set on the bottom charcoal grate of the grill as a deflector. It may be too close to the flame and I have through about either moving it higher or getting an 8" skillet and using that. I too have thought about attaching the skillet to some type of handle which would protrude through a slit in the grill. I could pull it out to varying degrees to help with quicker heat recovery.

Quote
One potential nice thing about the firebrick is that the lower relatively conductivity (as compared to cordierite) will allow you to run the LBE at higher temps.  This should allow you to go with an even hotter ceiling and trim your bake time a bit.

I think that unless the entire top of the LBE was made of some type of refractory material (like pizzahacker's grill...actually he is now using an oil drum) that could legitimately get very hot, the focus should be on redirecting the airflow down on the pizza. I have tried no fewer than a dozen attempts at different air diretors, trying to mimic Chau's set-up or Mmphs on several occasions without success and trying my own as well. I'm still stuck with the inverted cast-iron skillet, which does a nice job of leopard spotting the outer rims, but the white inner ring on the interior of the end crust (where it meets the sauce) is a problem. I'm not sure why I am failing in this regard where others have used various bent pizza pans and pieces of metal to great success.

I've also thought about placing stainless steel into the lid (15" round piece or so to lower the ceiling), as it would make the most sense to have a higher thermal conductive material in the top than what is being used as a stone/floor. The problem with heavy materials in the lid (like my cast iron) for the market setting is when it gets very busy and I need to move quickly, I have inadvertently touched the lid with my bare fingers twice while picking up the lid. Needless to say I dropped the lid on the ground....the lids are hot enough and the cast iron (or potential stainless steel) heavy enough that the lids bent and did not fit back onto the grill without some hammering. This has happened twice at the market now. This is not fun while the market is in full swing and the LBEs do not cook quite the same after such an event.

For these reasons, I need to lick the air director issue, as this keep the weight in the lid lighter, which is more condusive to the faster pace of a customer on-demand pizza stand, not to mention stress on the lid. The weight of the cast iron has caused a slight depression in the top of the lid.

Quote
One slight downside to firebrick is that it will stay hot for quite some time after baking- even splits. Maybe you can fashion a perlcrete cooler that will allow you travel with the firebricks while they are still hot.

I have VERY limited pack room in my station wagon. Even my Old stone pizza stones with the quarry tiles beneath stay quite hot by the time the stand is broken down and I am ready to go home. I've got a nice burn on my arm to prove how hot the grill still is while packing (I pack the entire LBEs, lids on, into the car). My left leg also has two nasty burns from the lid touching it while cooking...one burn bad enough it has been there for 5 weeks now.

The market has been interesting. My LBEs are beat up quite badly. Most noticeably on the bottom. I only cut a 10" diameter hole on the bottom and between the flame being on at full throttle for 4.5 hours straight and the wind occasionally moving the flame a tad, the bottoms of both of my grills are "rippled" from the metal being melted slightly by the heat. The bottom circumference looks like a wave. I've got another LBE from Craigslist that I am going to cut a 12" hole in the bottom....this will hopefully alleviate the warping on the bottom and get the flame closer to the stone, which in turn could alleviate some of my problems.

Definitely a difference using the LBEs for a "retail" use as opposed to when I get to casually use them in my backyard.  I feel quite limited at times, and the ovens are only a part of the issue. A serious arse kicker last Sunday in the 102 heat during the last hour of the market. I pointed the gun at various parts of the pizza stand and it was as hot as 140 even where me and my helper were standing. But it is fun mostly!
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Pizza Ruby, A Little Black Egg & Pizzas
« Reply #108 on: July 06, 2012, 10:24:35 AM »
Kelly, have you thought about mounting a burner in the lid of the LBE or is this crazy mans talk? Has it been tried anywhere?

Bob, you're asking if it is crazy man's talk on this site?  :D
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Pizza Ruby, A Little Black Egg & Pizzas
« Reply #109 on: July 06, 2012, 10:25:44 AM »
Bob, It would be an entirely different oven, what I call an over/under. Post 947 has an example by Gene/Jet-Deck.
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.940.html



It is a great idea.

What I really need is a portable WFO, which would solve several issues at the stand. But there are other issues to focus on, which may include a WFO to cook in, but it wouldn't be a towable oven.....
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell


Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Pizza Ruby, A Little Black Egg & Pizzas
« Reply #110 on: July 06, 2012, 10:26:14 AM »
keep up the good work pizzablogger! pies look awesome.

Thank you sir!
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Pizza Ruby, A Little Black Egg & Pizzas
« Reply #111 on: July 06, 2012, 11:17:36 AM »
Bob, you're asking if it is crazy man's talk on this site?  :D
Well, guess you got me on that one there mister.  ;)
Speaking of crazy... I'm currently kicking round the idea of a gas assisted (don't flame ya'll) mobile WFO to do 2-4 min. pies in. I am too old and lazy to even THINK about the full wood sub 2 min. deal. Not to mention folks around here wouldn't know what it was anyway... ::)   Sad but true and far be it for me to ruin a potentially good thing  $  if ya know what I mean.  Opinions?
Sounds like a WFO may be in your near future, thats great Kelly! Why do you say it won't be a mobile though? Thanks
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Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Pizza Ruby, A Little Black Egg & Pizzas
« Reply #112 on: July 06, 2012, 11:25:09 AM »
Well, guess you got me on that one there mister.  ;)
Speaking of crazy... I'm currently kicking round the idea of a gas assisted (don't flame ya'll) mobile WFO to do 2-4 min. pies in.

Sounds plausible here. Although you could likely still use wood....but just build a smaller pile so the temps are lower and the bake takes 2-4 minutes. Propane can get expensive quickly.

I'm not certain people even need to know what a style is. Granted, I am speaking from living in an area where there are a lot of "foodies" to whom the sight of a pizza that looks different than chain pizza is not an alien event. As long as the pizza is really good (fresh, quality ingredients with a flavorful dough), many people will identify with that immediately and like it. If you really like doing it, go for it. Your enthusiasm will be contagious.

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Sounds like a WFO may be in your near future, thats great Kelly! Why do you say it won't be a mobile though?

It won't be the type of WFO that has wheels on it, will weigh about 5000 pounds and won't be in my backyard.....

Good luck if you do your own mobile WFO Bob. I'm sure people would love it. --K
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Pizza Ruby, A Little Black Egg & Pizzas
« Reply #113 on: July 06, 2012, 11:52:20 AM »
Thanks Kelly,
I did say "gas assisted", I know that the people around her like to look at the pretty flames!  :-D  One of the couple WFO restaurants here in town has an outside temp. gauge on their oven...I walked up an looked at it the one day I tried them and it read 475 degrees  ;D  couldn't finish that pizza an didn't have the heart (waste of time) to ask 'em what in the world they were doing!
Do you need commissary there where you live. I'm interested in maybe getting my feet wet using an LBE or two mounted up on a trailer. Haven't been downtown yet to talk to "The Man" but the health dept. web site sorta looks like they want you to have stuff that is U.L. approved or commercially built. Would you please give me your thoughts about this...is there a way around? Thanks again!

Bob
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Pizza Ruby, A Little Black Egg & Pizzas
« Reply #114 on: July 16, 2012, 12:10:41 PM »
Do you need commissary there where you live.

Yes you do. And this is a potential challenge on two fronts: Time and money.

The rates to rent a commissary or professional kitchen vary widely. Some are expensive enough to where it presents a hurdle to profitability, if that is factor in your potential LBE venture.

The other is time. You can sometimes find more affordable rates by working during off hours.  Or if you are using the kitchen at an existing restaurant (which I am doing), you may only have access to the kitchen during off hours. I'm happy that I have access to a 60 quart Hobart with a spiral arm (there are to my knowledge no fork mixers in Baltimore just yet) and the rest of the kitchen. But later night access can be challenging. I'm often up past midnight on Fridays mixing dough for Sunday's service and then often up until 1 to 2am on Saturday night dividing dough balls, prepping ingredients etc. And then up at 4am to pack and get ready to go. So the cost is right in my situation, but the time is a challenge from an exhaustion stand point.


Quote
I'm interested in maybe getting my feet wet using an LBE or two mounted up on a trailer. Haven't been downtown yet to talk to "The Man" but the health dept. web site sorta looks like they want you to have stuff that is U.L. approved or commercially built. Would you please give me your thoughts about this...is there a way around? Thanks again!

Bob, I would imagine that the more you are planning to be out and about in different locations, the more stringent the city is going to be on what exactly you will need to do to obtain the proper food licensing, etc.

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

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Pizza Ruby, A Little Black Egg & Pizzas
« Reply #115 on: July 16, 2012, 12:16:53 PM »
I found this interesting and a little amusing.

From the "Man it's hot! Well....how hot is it?" files.

Last three weekends in Baltimore have been brutal. Three weeks ago over 100F by 11:00am. Dittos for two weeks ago. Yesterday the temps only got up to about 97F, but the humidity was like a tropical rainforest in Costa Rica or Panama. Soup. Everyone looked like they just got outta the shower by 10am.

I'm very much nuked by the end of a market and have had a little trouble lifting my grills back into the car the past couple of weeks. I knew I couldn't be that tired to lift an LBE off the ground and wondered why I was having a little trouble. And yesterday I saw why.

It's hot enough outside and the sunlight pounding the asphalt in the parking lot is intense enough that the legs of the Bayou Classic burner are sinking into the parking lot. A couple of quick shots of the legs in the ground and a shot of multiple holes from the past couple of weeks. Crazy.  ::)
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Pizza Ruby, A Little Black Egg & Pizzas
« Reply #116 on: July 16, 2012, 12:34:13 PM »
Did you see that a jet got stuck in the tarmac at Reagan-National on Friday?
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Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Pizza Ruby, A Little Black Egg & Pizzas
« Reply #117 on: July 16, 2012, 12:36:58 PM »
Did you see that a jet got stuck in the tarmac at Reagan-National on Friday?

No, but that's definitely a conundrum right there pal.

Cool pic, thanks for sharing! --K  :)
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Pizza Ruby, A Little Black Egg & Pizzas
« Reply #118 on: July 16, 2012, 12:58:37 PM »
Definitely a back-breaking market this Sunday and the heat has really impacted the crowd during the last three weeks.

The humidity made dough control a very significant issue. The pies also had a much shorter window of time before burning yesterday, which was odd (I did not oven mods that made it to the market this week) and yet it was the best dough with regards to lift and flavor I have done yet.

By the time I paid out my helper, accounted for the portion of the week's proceeds that need to go towards the annual market fee and holding back enough money to purchase ingredients for next week, I netted all of $45. Big money.  :-D
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Pizza Ruby, A Little Black Egg & Pizzas
« Reply #119 on: July 16, 2012, 01:19:52 PM »

By the time I paid out my helper, accounted for the portion of the week's proceeds that need to go towards the annual market fee and holding back enough money to purchase ingredients for next week, I netted all of $45. Big money.  :-D
You are an "Artisan", and don't ever forget it!!   ;D
Time to raise the rent...on those pies,   :'(
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"


 

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