Author Topic: Outdoorchef into a bricktype grill?  (Read 3801 times)

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Offline Kermit

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Outdoorchef into a bricktype grill?
« on: October 10, 2011, 08:35:53 AM »
After reading quite a few of the posts in here, and learning about the 2stone and LBE concepts, I have begun thinking about a little project myself. I have cooked pizzas in my gas grill throughout the summer, and they have been really good. Only thing is that the top doesn't get as much colour as I would like. For starters I'll introduce my grill. It's an Outdoorchef Ambri
(http://www.barbecuefavoriet.nl/images/outdoorchef%20ambri%20480lh.jpg)

It has a circular burner in the bottom and a special funnel system that let's you cook in 2 different ways as pictured here
(http://www.picnicbagstore.com/images/outdoorchef-city-grill_r9_c1.gif)

I have usually used the funnel system to give as direct heat as possible to the stone, and that works quite good. But as I said, the top is usually not as hot as under the stone. So after reading about the LBE I came to the conclusion that the lid maybe doesn't hold the heat very well compared to say a ceramic lid. I then read about the 2Stone concept and their grill system that creates a bridge over the pizzastone. Although it's a quite "cheap" system in the US, the expenses would be close to double as much if I had to get it shipped to Denmark, and I'm thinking that I could be able to build a similar system myself, although I'm no handy man.

If I remove the funnel there should be a direct flame which should create quite a lot of heat. So far so good. I had a thought of placing two bricks on either side of pizzastone, with a pizzastone placed on the two to create a small brickoven.

Do you guys think that would work?


Offline Ev

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Re: Outdoorchef into a bricktype grill?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2011, 09:52:57 AM »
I have no idea if that would work or not. There's really only one way to find out. I say go for it and take lots of pictures! We like pictures. Good luck and have fun!

Offline Kermit

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Re: Outdoorchef into a bricktype grill?
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2011, 04:39:34 PM »
I bought some skamolex plates that work similar to firebricks, although a lot lighter and easier to shape. I didn't get the chance to take pictures of the setup as the sun set, but I did take some pictures of the final product
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v219/Kermithimself/P1020722.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v219/Kermithimself/P1020721.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v219/Kermithimself/P1020720.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v219/Kermithimself/P1020719.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v219/Kermithimself/P1020718.jpg)

Bake time was about 5-6 minutes which made it almost impossible to make neapolitan pizzas like the LBE. I think it's because the burner I have on my Outdoorchef only burns at 12.000 BTU's. But I was able to get a bit more color to the top of my pizzas.

I will keep working on it to see if I can make some improvements with time.

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Outdoorchef into a bricktype grill?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2011, 05:14:24 PM »
lighter and easier to shape are great things logistically, but for pizza thats not what you want.  I would bet what you bought is actually fairly insulating making it a poor choice for a hearth.  You want dense and conductive to store and transfer heat.
-Jeff

Offline Kermit

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Re: Outdoorchef into a bricktype grill?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2011, 04:23:17 AM »
lighter and easier to shape are great things logistically, but for pizza thats not what you want.  I would bet what you bought is actually fairly insulating making it a poor choice for a hearth.  You want dense and conductive to store and transfer heat.
Thanks for the feedback. I'll see if I can find some fire stones in the nearest future and see if that will give me some extra oooomph. I can see that my local supply has some schamotte stones that should do the job. My current challenge is the lid on my grill. It doesn't leave that much room for tall elements. Is there an easy way to extend the kettle similar to the kettle pizza? Another option would be leaving the lid off but I'm afraid that will make it harder to get it hot.

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Outdoorchef into a bricktype grill?
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2011, 10:30:01 AM »
If I remove the funnel there should be a direct flame which should create quite a lot of heat. So far so good. I had a thought of placing two bricks on either side of pizzastone, with a pizzastone placed on the two to create a small brickoven.

Do you guys think that would work?

Yes, something similar to that would give you the best shot at higher heat on top.  If you need to raise the lid, some thin aluminum flashing would work.  Just make it into a ring and set the lid on top of that.  You are using the tried and true way to set the cooking stone towards the front, right?

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15001.msg148937.html#msg148937
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Offline Kermit

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Re: Outdoorchef into a bricktype grill?
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2011, 02:45:11 PM »
Yes, something similar to that would give you the best shot at higher heat on top.  If you need to raise the lid, some thin aluminum flashing would work.  Just make it into a ring and set the lid on top of that.  You are using the tried and true way to set the cooking stone towards the front, right?

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,15001.msg148937.html#msg148937

Yes, I have pushed the pizza stone to the front of the grill. Will give it a go with the foil in the front as well to force the heat to the back. The first 2 pictures show the setup I used yesterday with Skamol board I had cut into small bricks and with a circular board on top.

The other two pics show the setup I used today with 3 firebricks around the pizzastone and the small skamol bricks to close the small gaps where heat could rise from below. The skamol board was still on top but with 2 firebricks on top of that. I made a quick pizza dough, but didn't use type 00 flour like yesterday. It didn't seem to get as hot as yesterday. Why I don't know, but I will try to close the gaps with foil to force the heat to the back next time I will fire it up.

The bricks are 1" thick by the way.

« Last Edit: October 15, 2011, 02:50:09 PM by Kermit »

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Outdoorchef into a bricktype grill?
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2011, 03:02:45 PM »
I am glad you posted those pictures.  The heat from the burner is definately confused about which way it is supposed to go.  You have it blocked where it needs to be open, and open where it needs to be blocked.

Just my .02

 Let me see if I can help with another drawing...
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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Outdoorchef into a bricktype grill?
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2011, 03:05:18 PM »
Does the lid still close?
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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Outdoorchef into a bricktype grill?
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2011, 03:57:36 PM »
.....Will give it a go with the foil in the front as well to force the heat to the back. ...

That is a good idea, but the 3 bricks across the back is what is keeping the hot air from traveling across the top of the pizza. After you get the foil put down, I would suggest that you remove the 3 bricks from the rear.  Use two of them, one on the left and one on the right, put them on top of the bottom stone.  Let the two bricks support the roof stone.  Now the hot air is forced to the rear, and travels up and over the top of the pizza, still having the top stone roof.

It looks like you could lay the 2 bricks down on the long side so it won't make the roof to tall.  Just my .02


1 foil
2 grill
3 bottom stone
4 bricks
5 top stone
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Offline Kermit

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Re: Outdoorchef into a bricktype grill?
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2011, 04:25:08 PM »
Jetdeck - thanks for the replies. I'll give it a go as it seems quite clear as to what I'm supposed to do  :)

1. I will lay down the pizzastone and push it forward.
2. I will put the 2 firebricks on the right and left side of the stone - will it work to have them pushed against the stone instead of on it?
3. The open areas on the sides of the stone will be covered with foil, whereas the area behind the stone will be left open.
4. The skamol board will be placed on top of the firebricks and pushed a tad to the rear to catch the heat.

The lid doesn't close all the way down, but today I put it on which left a gap all the way around of about 3".

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Outdoorchef into a bricktype grill?
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2011, 10:54:08 PM »
Kermit, my suggestions come as a multitude of post on this subject.  None of them actually mine, but I think you will gain top heat from the new experiment. :D

Please post your results....

2. I will put the 2 firebricks on the right and left side of the stone - will it work to have them pushed against the stone instead of on it?

If you remove the bricks from the rear, then the firebricks on the side will not matter.  Either pushed against, or beside.  Just try one and let us see what happens.

Do a Youtube search on VillaRoma, he is the guy with all the brains. :chef:
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Offline Kermit

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Re: Outdoorchef into a bricktype grill?
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2011, 02:12:00 PM »
Well, you still get a thumbs up for taking some of the vital points from that 62 page thread  :-D

So I tried some of the modifications, but the first picture shows last nights setup without the skamol board on top.

I lined up the stone with the two firebricks on both sides. I then covered the open spaces around the stone with foil to lead the heat towards the rear. This left a hole in the back of the bricks.

I solved this by making a curtain from the grill up to the skamol plate of foil to keep the heat in the chamber.

Offline Kermit

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Re: Outdoorchef into a bricktype grill?
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2011, 02:18:16 PM »
I used 3 firebricks on top of the skamol board to maintain some heat from the top, and to hold the foil in place. Smart huh?  ;D

I then put the lid on as much as I could, just to make sure that the heat was kept inside. I had also lowered the skamol board by cutting the sides a bit as last nights experiment showed that I had some issues getting top heat which I thought would be solved with a lower roof.

After about 1 hour warmup the thermometer showed just around 400 degrees C(730-740 F?). I used some of the skamol bricks to cover up the opening in front to make sure that the chamber was heated properly. It still left a small gap where the air could escape.

Another thing - don't touch a metal thermometer that shows 400 degrees! It's quite hot!!!

Offline Kermit

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Re: Outdoorchef into a bricktype grill?
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2011, 02:21:46 PM »
And now for the results. The pie was baked in about 4,5 minute, and was actually quite good. I still lack top heat to get the nice browning. I got a leopard spot or two, and the bottom was close to perfect. Decent crust that could have been a tad taller - I'm guessing the lack of top heat also plays a role here.

Offline Kermit

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Re: Outdoorchef into a bricktype grill?
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2011, 02:26:30 PM »
And now I need some advice. Should I remove the foil just behind the stone? I'm thinking that this will allow a wider surface that the hot air will travel from, which should give a more even browning?

I can't lower the top unless I cut the fire bricks. So what to do? Raise the pizzastone! I'm thinking of putting small foil balls in the outer sides of the pizzastone to raise it - hopefully about an inch or 1,5". This will of course mean that I would have to use a bit more foil around the stone to make sure that the heat won't come out from under the stone.

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Outdoorchef into a bricktype grill?
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2011, 09:58:58 AM »
Can you finish them off under the broiler in the home oven?
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Offline Kermit

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Re: Outdoorchef into a bricktype grill?
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2011, 05:11:20 AM »
Can you finish them off under the broiler in the home oven?
I could, but I have an electrical oven, so I won't get that much power from that.

Offline Kermit

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Re: Outdoorchef into a bricktype grill?
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2011, 06:42:06 AM »
I'm thinking of getting a new lid for my grill, so the one I have now won't be ruined. The idea with the new lid is to put a stone inside it, like VilaRoma did. I'm thinking of having a gap from the bottom stone to the top stone of about 6-7 cm(about 2,5") which should result in more top heat. Question is if I should cut a slot in the front to ventilate, or not? I like the idea of having a closed environment to begin with to heat the stones, and then opening up to get it even hotter.

What's the general idea on this?

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Outdoorchef into a bricktype grill?
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2011, 12:55:35 PM »
The closed environment will not help the stone heat faster. The hot air has no place to go except back out the bottom.  The ventilation hole is key to getting good top heat.  Are you going to be able to launch the pizza off the peel in 2.5"  ?
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