Author Topic: New Weber Pizza Oven Build  (Read 5752 times)

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Offline cartierusm

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New Weber Pizza Oven Build
« on: August 02, 2011, 08:16:38 PM »
So I'm finally getting around to building a pizza oven out of some spare weber parts. I got a 22 1/2" lid and base. I added everything else. I have a machine shop so this was a fun build. Some of the parts are shown on my other weber as I was testing the fit.

Basically I made a custom coal grill to serve a couple purposes. One was to hold the coals in a 'C' shape and second is to allow a center hole for the propane burner I'm going to add so it doesn't burn or warp the grate. I took some of the ideas here and incorporated them into my design. Such as the ability to use propane, charcoal and smoking wood. If you notice in one picture the grate has a metal ring that hasn't been welded on yet. It serves a few purposes as well. One is to hold the coals so they don't fall in the hole and so the propane adds heat but doesn't burn up the coals.

Next for the upper part. I'm not using the upper grill and made a cross bar system that holds a 18" stainless steel disc that's on a simple bearing type system so the pizza can be easily rotated while cooking. The SS plate will have little nubs welded on to keep the pizza stone from sliding around and be able to grip it better with a utensil to spin it. The lid I cut a slot in then made a Stainless pan that bolts to the lid with ceramic insulation in between. The only part of the grill I didn't make so pretty was the pan that bolts to the lid as it was a prototype. The next version I'll make it look a lot nicer, but I need to test this one first to make sure it reflects the heat and doesn't warp so much as to deform.

I'm going to add a thermocouple and a holder on the outside to hold my digital pyrometer.

Any suggestions are welcome, this is my first.


Offline DrivenAgain

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Re: New Weber Pizza Oven Build
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2011, 08:50:14 AM »
Welcome.  I have no suggestions but I eagerly await to see how this set up works.  Im looking into a similar purpose built Weber.  The level of precision and ingenuity in some of the builds amazes me, yours seems to be at the top!!  Please post some more pics.

Jason

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: New Weber Pizza Oven Build
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2011, 09:57:47 AM »
Looks like the burner is going to be mighty close to the stone and consentrating heat toward the center.  Maybe your stone will even out the heat?  Was the grid plasma or water jet cut? :chef:
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline cartierusm

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Re: New Weber Pizza Oven Build
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2011, 03:07:51 PM »
The last picture is when I was test fitting on my other weber. On the real one, pictured below, the burner will be on the bottom of the kettle so about 2-4 inches away from the bottom grate, that makes it quite far, I would think from the actual stone.

Offline cartierusm

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Re: New Weber Pizza Oven Build
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2011, 03:08:35 PM »
P.S. It was waterjet.

Offline Botch

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Re: New Weber Pizza Oven Build
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2011, 09:36:34 PM »
Cool project!
In the last photo, is that your "supporting cast" in the background?  Better hurry up and finish, you only have two unopened bottles left!   :-D
I cook with wine.  Sometimes I even add it to the food.  - W. C. Fields

Offline cartierusm

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Re: New Weber Pizza Oven Build
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2011, 10:10:27 PM »
 :chef: I'm a wine maker and distiller [professional, not bootleg] so I save bottles, not for my production line, but for home use. If you look under the newbie section I posted the first test pies to come out of this.

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: New Weber Pizza Oven Build
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2011, 12:14:45 AM »
By placing the stone in the center of the Weber, your missing out on the majority of top heat that is available.  If you would move the stone to the edge of the weber and cover the sides (of the grate) with foil or some plate (leaving about 1/4 of the circumference behind the stone not blocked by foil) this forces the hot air from the burner to the back of the stone.  The hot air then has to travel all the way across the pizza to exit in your lid cutout.  This is just  how others have done it, and it works very well. 

Just my .02
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline cartierusm

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Re: New Weber Pizza Oven Build
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2011, 03:40:10 AM »
Interesting, makes sense, thanks.

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: New Weber Pizza Oven Build
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2011, 10:52:09 AM »
I'll be the first to tell you they weren't my ideas.  They come from other forum members, maybe I can find the original reference.  This is a visual that I made, showing what I was trying to explain....
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends


Offline cartierusm

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Re: New Weber Pizza Oven Build
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2011, 11:17:38 AM »
I've been making my way through the original LBE thread. I think I'm going to add a clay tile to inside of the lid along with another piece of 1/8 thick stainless to reflect. Then I'm going to cover the hole in the bottom grate with clay tiles as well to hold heat. I'm not sure how I'll be able to block the area off but I'll work on it.

Thanks for the visual.

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: New Weber Pizza Oven Build
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2011, 11:31:55 AM »
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: New Weber Pizza Oven Build
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2011, 11:37:53 AM »
.... I'm not sure how I'll be able to block the area off but I'll work on it....

Thanks for the visual.


A piece of 14 ga. would do nicely on the water jet.  Similar to this one, but maybe a bit more agressive about covering the sides...

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.msg57620.html#msg57620


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

Offline cartierusm

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Re: New Weber Pizza Oven Build
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2011, 03:14:18 AM »
Yeah, I bought some fire bricks today so I can keep some of the heat in and create a more uniform environment. I'm also going to add a clay tile or two to the inside of the lid.

Offline cartierusm

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Re: New Weber Pizza Oven Build
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2011, 06:05:40 PM »
OK so I did some mods today and made the first eat-able (edible) pizza. I turned my bottom grate upside down and covered it with firebricks. I then wanted to add some thermal mass to the lid and I couldn't find any terra cotta tiles large enough today, Sunday, then I was cruising around the home depot website and notice they sold a 16" terra cotta planter saucer, freakin' perfect. So I went to Home Depot and picked it up. I was hoping I was going to be able to mount it right on top of the inside of the lid, on top of the SS dome I made. This would have been ideal as the high lips on the terra cotta saucer would direct heat down. But it made the ceiling way too low, couldn't get a pizza in there. I decided to take the dome out and trim the insulation and then work the saucer in. It went back together, looks exactly like before with the SS dome, but there is now the thermal mass of the terra cotta in there.

I fired it up and waited about 20 minutes until the stone read about 650 with my IR thermometer and the thermocouple on the inside of the lid (air space) read 560 or so. Then I lowered the amount of gas out of the propane burner as I did before with the test run; as it made a significant heat difference when cooking the first time. I let it rest for a few minutes to equalize. It kind of did.

I cooked one pizza and it cooked pretty slow about 3-4 minutes, hard to tell as many of you know, you want to time it but are concentrating on the pizza itself.

The pizza came out pretty good, ate it all. It could have been cooked a little longer, but not by much at all. The cheese was melted and browned a little. The bottom wasn't browned hardly at all you can see in the pics below.

Observations. I used bag shredded cheese, Pizza Blend, from Smart and Final, big mistake, not bad but very Corporate Pizza tasting. I also used Contadina Tomato Sauce. I noticed when I opened it up there were herbs in it. I bought the "italian herb" blend of tomato sauce by accident, DOH! I just used the sauce as it.

I thought using the firebricks that would help keep the oven stable, but I covered up the hole in the grate as well and that didn't allow the heat to really heat up the oven same as before.

So I think the lid worked as it should, next time, maybe later this evening (can you tell I'm addicted), I'll remove the firebricks that are covering the hole so direct heat can get to my pizza stone.

I've been reading the LBE original thread and I've come to the conclusion that I don't' need a vent in the top or that partial blockage of the heat as you, Jet, mentioned. Here's why, since i have a vent in the front the heat will rise and it naturally comes out the front, I don't think it needs directing. Also most propane burners has an adjustment for air where the hose comes out so I don't think it's starved for air as mentioned in the original LBE thread. When I didn't have the firebricks in there I had no problem getting up to 900+, now it was hard to get 700.

The best part is I'm learning.

The hardest freakin' thing so far is forming the dough into a nice round even thickness shape. Are there any videos you guys have bookmarked on youtube. I searched and can't find anything specifically on make the pizza skin.

P.S. In real life the black parts on the top of the pizza didn't look that bad, here it looks burnt, but wasn't really.

Offline gtsum2

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Re: New Weber Pizza Oven Build
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2011, 06:34:56 PM »
nice looking design.  I am looking forward to seeing how it all comes together

Offline Mick.Chicago

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Re: New Weber Pizza Oven Build
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2011, 08:35:21 PM »
Looks OK, the topping doesn't look burnt, one edge looks like it needed turning sooner!   

I hate waiting so the best thing I've found for me is to set a timer for 45 seconds and turn every 45 seconds, I started at a minute, and worked down to 45.

As for shaping the dough, keep making pizzas and it'll come to you.

Offline cartierusm

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Re: New Weber Pizza Oven Build
« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2011, 09:02:00 PM »
Thanks. I hope I get better sooner than later  :chef:

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: New Weber Pizza Oven Build
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2011, 12:01:19 AM »
......   I've come to the conclusion that I don't' need a vent in the top or that partial blockage of the heat as you, Jet, mentioned. Here's why...


I wish you success with your Weber pizza oven.  May you find it sooner rather than later.
Good luck.

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

Offline cartierusm

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Re: New Weber Pizza Oven Build
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2011, 03:43:22 AM »
Thanks. I'll be trying it out tomorrow.