Author Topic: Making a LBE or home made gas pizza oven  (Read 12621 times)

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Offline Adam T

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Making a LBE or home made gas pizza oven
« on: July 18, 2011, 03:36:44 PM »
Hi all I would like to create a LBE or home made gas pizza oven. I haven't decided on what exactly to make yet but I have several options available to me. I work at a metal fabrication shop so I have access to material and equipment to fabricate my own gas pizza oven. I already have the turkey fryer burner with a 5PSI regulator. I also have a used Charbroil Masterflame 7000 gas grill I can cut and modify or I can get a used Weber grill to make a true LBE.

I would like to get your input on some concepts to include in a design if I go a route different than the LBE. (See sketches attached)

There are a couple of goals I would like to accomplish in building the pizza oven... 1. Able to cook 12" pizzas in about 3 minutes (or less) per pizza  2. Cook several of these pizzas in a row without a long reheat process  3. Cook pizzas outside (almost really goes without saying)  4. I would like the pizza oven to be somewhat portable.

The largest questions I have is... should I go with a design where the areas above and below the hearth are connected to allow air flow with a single burner? or should I have separate, not connected, areas that each have a burner? (see sketch 3)
Would a top stone be ideal? Would a steel ceiling above the pizza suffice?

You can see other concepts like a 2 tiered steel ceiling, a lip behind the pizza to direct air flow just above the pizza, and a raised hearth to provide an air buffer below the stone. I'm also open to suggestions on the actual cooking surface, so far I'm planning on cordierite stone 14" x 14" x 1".

Thanks for any input!


Offline jgame

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Re: Making a LBE or home made gas pizza oven
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2011, 04:34:07 PM »
Adam T,
Check out the RPG (rotisserie pizza grill) thread if you decide to go with gas (propane).
jgame

Offline Adam T

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Re: Making a LBE or home made gas pizza oven
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2011, 06:20:38 PM »
Yes, that is a fantastic thread. That thread among a few other great threads are where I got all the ideas swimming around in my head. I will definitely be using propane one way or the other.

One thing that I read alluded to was using thicker (1/2 inch or maybe 3/4 inch) steel as the cooking surface. Does anyone have any experience in how steel performs versus a stone surface? I suppose the steel retains less heat and wouldn't be able to cook several pizzas in a row???

Offline Adam T

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Re: Making a LBE or home made gas pizza oven
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2011, 12:35:27 PM »
Later this afternoon I think I'll put in an order for a  14" x 14" x 1" cordierite kiln shelf (Laguna Clay number RF-239)

Does anyone think 1" cordierite is overkill for this project?

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Making a LBE or home made gas pizza oven
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2011, 09:26:17 AM »
Later this afternoon I think I'll put in an order for a  14" x 14" x 1" cordierite kiln shelf (Laguna Clay number RF-239)

Does anyone think 1" cordierite is overkill for this project?

There is no overkill when builiding something to do with pizza, especially when cooking it.
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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Making a LBE or home made gas pizza oven
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2011, 09:44:47 AM »


Thanks for any input!

What this boils down to is how much time you want to spend tweaking the build when you are finished.  Both of the single burner builds are going to require considerable adjustments.  This is based on reading posts on the forum of builders who have top heat problems when they finish their builds.  Your two burner design is interesting in the fact that I built something similar and have had great success with it.  Also the commercial version of what you are thinking about, the 2stone, originally came with one burner.  I believe the current model offers a two burner version, or, they may have exclusively gone to a two burner unit.

In a test i did with my 2 burner unit, I used only the top burner to cook with.  It was sufficient to heat the stone to 850 and to give excellent top heat for the cook.  Good luck.
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Offline Adam T

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Re: Making a LBE or home made gas pizza oven
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2011, 12:38:50 PM »
Each time I re-read a DYI pizza oven thread I learn something new.

I ordered a kiln shelf the other day, 14" x 14" x 1" thick for $20  isn't too bad.
It will be here in 4 to 6 weeks from California. It's a long time but hey that saves shipping $$ because it will come direct to the local dealer.

Offline barryvabeach

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Re: Making a LBE or home made gas pizza oven
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2011, 08:23:56 AM »
Adam, as to steel plate - I would avoid it.  I have done some experimenting with 3/8 thick steel - and once it get around 600 F or higher - it transfers the heat instantly to the bottom of the crust and the pie burns and sticks very quickly - approx a minutes.  Corderite would be the way to go.  I have been using a Weber Summit grill with corderite and am pretty pleased so far.  It has the rotisserie burner, but that led to burning of the cheese.  For the last few weeks I have been using with lid closed at all times, just heat from below the stone and the other below grate burners, then propped open only a few inches to load and unload the pies, but still have a problem with the cheese browning before the crust. I think having some way to control the heat above the pie, as well as the heat at the stone level will be very helpful.  Either an extra burner, or a flap or door to release heat would probably work as well.  I have read of people making pies in very short times, but agree with other posters that it may come out better with slightly longer times - 4 to 4 1/2 minutes.

Offline Adam T

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Re: Making a LBE or home made gas pizza oven
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2011, 03:06:31 PM »
As of now I'm planning on using the old propane grill body to create my pizza oven. Here is another sketch and photo I sketched on to illustrate what I am planning.



Offline Adam T

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Re: Making a LBE or home made gas pizza oven
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2011, 03:24:54 PM »
The photo is looking at the top of the grill and shows where the cordierite stone will sit. It also shows where the burner will sit in it's 2 positions it can pivot between. Not shown in the photo is the cover/ceiling.

In sketch "D" you can see some of the design elements I'm planning on... 3" from stone to ceiling. 6" from burner to bottom of stone. 2 positions for the single burner. A deflection plate to deflect the flame direct the heat up the back 4" 'chimney' and then over the pizza.

Offline Adam T

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Re: Making a LBE or home made gas pizza oven
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2011, 08:04:12 PM »
I took the grill apart and cut down the back of the "fire box". I also cut the bottom to accept the burner. It's cut large so it can accommodate the pivoting burner concept. Now I can design and build the oven top and burner pivot mount.

I also lit the burner just to try it out. It puts out a lot of heat! Flames from 5 to 6 inches high. The adjustable output control directly on the regulator looks like it will come in handy. I'm trying to figure out when I might adjust the air intake on the burner itself, does anyone use the air intake adjustment? or do you just always run the burner with the air intake full open?

Offline Adam T

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Re: Making a LBE or home made gas pizza oven
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2011, 03:05:36 PM »
I'm pretty close to finishing up the odds and ends of the oven build. I'm still waiting for the kiln shelf to arrive.

The burner puts out a lot of heat and the flame can get pretty tall! Do you think that a cordierite kiln shelf 1" thick will be able to handle the burner 6" directly below it with nothing to deflect the flame?
« Last Edit: August 11, 2011, 03:07:48 PM by Adam T »

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Making a LBE or home made gas pizza oven
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2011, 12:40:05 AM »
Do you think that a cordierite kiln shelf 1" thick will be able to handle the burner 6" directly below it with nothing to deflect the flame?

Yes I do.  But i am betting that your dough won't.
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buceriasdon

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Re: Making a LBE or home made gas pizza oven
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2011, 08:55:15 AM »
I don't use a diffuser in my LBE and my burner is 5" below the clay tile I use, which in your case is not the same. Try it and see how it works out without a diffuser first. I have had better success when I increased my hydration rate to over 65% in my dough, but again my setup is not the same as yours. I was having problems with my edges burning.
Don

Offline Adam T

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Re: Making a LBE or home made gas pizza oven
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2011, 07:17:50 PM »
Thanks for the response guys. I've been spending a lot of time reading the different iterations of the oven builds you guys have made and it's helped me form a lot of my ideas. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

I was mainly worried about the thermal shock to the cordierite stone cracking and breaking it. I may yet end up with a steel diffuser filled with sand in some configuration between the stone and burner but for starters I'd like to try it without. My stone isn't here yet and won't be for a week to 3 weeks. I've recorded a video of how my pizza oven is assembled, it's a little different from a standard LBE.

« Last Edit: August 12, 2011, 09:59:16 PM by Adam T »

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Making a LBE or home made gas pizza oven
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2011, 01:12:30 AM »
Holy frick.  I can already tell its going to work.  At worst case if a deflector is needed you have plenty of room.  I like the top heat mode.  At worst case  maybe add some little "vortex generators".  Will you put a hinge on that lid ?  It will be tight to load/unload/turn if not.

Just my .02 :chef: :pizza:
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Offline Adam T

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Re: Making a LBE or home made gas pizza oven
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2011, 10:30:40 PM »
Holy frick.  I can already tell its going to work.  At worst case if a deflector is needed you have plenty of room.  I like the top heat mode.  At worst case  maybe add some little "vortex generators".  Will you put a hinge on that lid ?  It will be tight to load/unload/turn if not.

Just my .02 :chef: :pizza:

I've realized recently just how much of a balancing act good pizza is. You have to balance heat (top and bottom) with the recipe with ferment time with cooking time and the list could go on. I've got a lot of work ahead of me when the stone finally arrives.

I've been debating about the hinge on the lid. I have several ways I've thought about implementing a hinged lid but I would like to avoid it if possible. I should get a peel on order so I can get a feel for how the lid height is going to affect the loading / unloading and turning I'm going to have to be doing. I am afraid I'm going to regret not putting in some kind of system to rotate the stone for an even bake. I think a lot of potential problems could be solved by a rotating stone.

Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: Making a LBE or home made gas pizza oven
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2011, 09:01:06 AM »
Looking forward to seeing this working! 

Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: Making a LBE or home made gas pizza oven
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2011, 09:05:10 AM »
I've been debating about the hinge on the lid. I have several ways I've thought about implementing a hinged lid but I would like to avoid it if possible. I should get a peel on order so I can get a feel for how the lid height is going to affect the loading / unloading and turning I'm going to have to be doing. I am afraid I'm going to regret not putting in some kind of system to rotate the stone for an even bake. I think a lot of potential problems could be solved by a rotating stone.

The less you have to bend over to turn/load your pizza the less of an issue the hinge will be,  also how big the stone is will determine how easy a time you have turning.   I use an over sized burger flipper to turn my pizza and have about 4 inch of clearance between hearth and ceiling.