Author Topic: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD  (Read 9977 times)

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Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2012, 07:31:32 AM »
TVM Deb! 

I actually use the LBE for other foods more often than pizza:  my wife only likes the pan-fried Sicilian type, so usually it's just me and the kid eating the Neopolitan.

Great things to make on the LBE:
Sirloin steak @ 800F, in cast iron pan with OO- perfect char and tenderness; side of potatoes (wrap in foil, place on hearth during heat-up), or steak fries (frozen kind, in pan with a little oil)
Cordon Chicken Bleu in puff pastry & salad with fire-roasted croutons
Fresh bread boules for NE clam chowder or cream of crab soup - perfect on a winter night
hamburgers (of course) I'll take a picture next time I make some.  I use a small cooking grate on a broiler pan for that.
Balmer Pit Beef!  Basically a highly-spiced dry rub roast, cooked next to charcoal.  I place charcoal in one of the charcoal baskets, and cook the roast on a grate over a pan.  Slice super-thin, serve with horseradish, onions and mayo on Kaiser rolls: delicious!
Cedar-planked fish - salmon is the standard, but tuna or swordfish is even better.  I've got a huge pile of cedar shims left over from building the house - they are perfect to cook on.
 
I really like making the kebabs, and I think that will be a big hit at our next cookout.  Even the kids can get into spearing the vegetables, and once they taste the smoky char, they won't whine about eating them!
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.


Offline Bigfoot21075

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2012, 11:46:20 AM »
Oh wow - that looks great! love the stuffed peppers, they look awesome!

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #27 on: June 17, 2012, 08:39:05 AM »
Thanks Bigfoot!  I bet they'd cook up great in your WFO!
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2012, 09:12:24 AM »
This is my current dough-making process.  Subject to change. For instance, after making pizza last night, I realized only then that I had forgotten something... the sugar.  Oops.  :-[    The first time I used this dough, I made deep-fried mini-calzones.  I didn't notice the lack of browning then. 

Weigh out, hand mix to incorporate, use dough hook & drill in reverse at low speed for 7-8 minutes, rotating bowl to get the planetary arm movement.

This is a 63% hydration dough, with just olive oil and a small amount of yeast.  The plan was to CF it for a few days, then use.  For various reasons, that didn't happen.  As it happened, it was mixed, bulked @ RT for 2 hours, then balled and frozen.  The next time I use one of these balls, I'll take it out several days in advance, instead of the same day. 
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2012, 09:22:29 AM »

Last night's thin crust.

Super-thin, lightly topped, launched at 650, baked for about 2 minutes.  Nice crackle, not chewy at all.  Color and flavor suffered a little from lack of sugar or lack of longer fermentation.  Came out to be a 14" oblong pie, and my kid ate it all.  He's probably not the most critical of reviewers, but he really liked it.  :)
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #30 on: June 17, 2012, 09:23:08 AM »
upskirt
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #31 on: June 17, 2012, 10:26:10 AM »
Brian,

Is that an inverted pie plate that you used to form the skin and, if so, was it to avoid having to measure the diameter of the skin?

Even if you had added the sugar, you might not have gotten a great deal more color, especially since you froze the dough shortly after you made it. You might have gotten some caramelization effects from the sugar in its raw state when you decided to use the dough (assuming you used enough of it) but perhaps not enough simple sugars to feed the yeast (yeast only consumes simple sugars) and for the Maillard reactions. To get those sugars, it can often take several hours at room temperature, or longer for a cold fermented dough. Freezing the dough pretty much stops all biochemical activity.

Peter

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #32 on: June 17, 2012, 10:56:09 AM »
Brian,

Is that an inverted pie plate that you used to form the skin and, if so, was it to avoid having to measure the diameter of the skin?

...Freezing the dough pretty much stops all biochemical activity.

Peter

Well, it's actually a tray left over from a New Year's party years ago.  Originally, it had a selection of lunch meats and cheese on it, I think.   But it's the perfect size for rounding out a dough.  (I will NOT use the counter for dough work - far too messy, and I have cats.)  It's also the perfect height for sliding the skin onto the peel before dressing it.

So am I right about taking the ball out several days in advance? If I can get some cold rise for flavor & color without blowing the dough, I'll be happy.
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #33 on: June 17, 2012, 11:31:00 AM »
So am I right about taking the ball out several days in advance? If I can get some cold rise for flavor & color without blowing the dough, I'll be happy.

Brian,

I would say yes if the amount of yeast is small. Many commercial frozen dough balls use a lot of yeast (about double the normal amount) because freezing can kill off some of the yeast. But there is still enough viable yeast available in the dough after defrosting to make pizza. But commercial frozen dough balls do not last--or do well--beyond about two days of defrosting (they start to overferment and break down). When I made frozen clones of Mellow Mushroom dough balls, where I used about 0.60-0.70% IDY, I found that if I went beyond two days of defrosting, the dough was much softer and more gassy than the same doughs that were subjected to one or two days of defrosting. In my case, the defrosting was done in the refrigerator, not at room temperature (which, of course, would shorten the defrost time). If you are using a small amount of dough, that, along with the temperature at which the dough is defrosted, will govern when you should use the dough.

You also don't want to hold the frozen dough balls too long in your freezer before using, especially if your freezer has a defrost cycle that subjects the dough to repeated freezing and defrosting. For the Mellow Mushroom frozen dough balls, I held the dough balls for only a few to several days before using. That worked out very well. You wouldn't know from the dough's performance that the dough balls had been frozen.

Peter


Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #34 on: June 17, 2012, 02:16:27 PM »
Thanks Peter!  The total amount was very small, so I'm hoping it will be great the next time I make pizza.  It's hard to quantify amounts this small, so what I usually do is use a piece of scrap paper, and dribble an amount about the size of a capital O @ 14pts, and just sprinkle it on top before mixing.
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline Grillruss

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #35 on: September 19, 2012, 12:03:55 PM »
Brian,

You mentioned a lot of sooty smoke on your first test fire, but I don't see any further mention of it. Are you still getting a lot of smoke?

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #36 on: September 19, 2012, 12:10:35 PM »
Russ, please explain to Brian the inherent danger of using an unknown material for a hearth  ;D

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #37 on: September 19, 2012, 12:12:25 PM »
No, no sooty smoke at all now.  I might get a little grease burn off aroma if I have had the BBE configured for open flame (lava rocks just under the cooking grate, over the burner jet and no steel or stone) and I've been making burgers, but as soon as bottom kettle interior temp hits about 850, that's all gone too.

Hi Scott  :P
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Offline Grillruss

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #38 on: September 19, 2012, 12:58:27 PM »
Unknown material is definitely bad. I thought he was confident it was a natural stone slab? My experience with corderite ahs been great.

I was asking about the smoke more in relation to the burner. That is an extremely powerful burner in a confined space. If the smoke was not from burning off gunk and oils, it can be caused by the burner:
  • Lack of primary air -- you can see a wide open air shutter at the end of the venturi in one photo, so not likely a problem
  • Lack of secondary air -- seems quite possible the way the burner is confined within the old ash collector
  • Flame impingement -- incomplete combustion can occur when an object intrudes upon the path of the flame
Any of these three is bad. All three can be corrected. Lack of secondary air can be extremely dangerous.

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #39 on: September 19, 2012, 01:39:11 PM »
Oh boy, you're going to have fun reading through the main LBE thread....

1. Primary air: I keep my venturi open for precisely that reason.
2. Secondary air: Since I don't run my LBE full-throttle, but at most around 1/4, the secondary air issue has never come up.  I can definitely understand why it would be a major safety issue.  I've got a LOT more air going into mine than some others do who burn at max, believe it or not.
3. Impingement: I have nothing close to the direct flame until the actual cooking hearth, which is at the top of  the kettle.  Instead, my stone sits directly on a sheet of stainless to (a) distribute the heat evenly across the stone bottom and (b) deflect most of the super-hot air to the back of the kettle, where it shoots up and is guided down onto the pie by an air director made from stainless and aluminum.   But the flame itself doesn't reach the steel under the stone.

Like I said, your feedback will be interesting.  I'll add to that - it may save lives.  There might be a reason we never hear anything further from a lot of people who have been making their LBE's....  :o
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

scott123

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #40 on: September 19, 2012, 01:51:36 PM »
I have to admit, these are interesting observations that, in all of the LBE thread, appear to have never been raised.

As far as the lack of secondary air producing a dangerous situation, even at full throttle, as long as you have a big enough gap at the back of the stone and a sufficiently sized vent, I don't see the secondary air dropping to a dangerous level. Still, I think it's invaluable information to be aware of the fact that if you shortchange the secondary air in any way in an LBE, you're creating a dangerous situation.

The impingement aspect is interesting. Russ, when you talk about incomplete combustion, you're really referring to smoke and soot formation and not a huge loss in heat, correct?  How far from the flame should objects be to avoid impingement?

Offline Grillruss

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #41 on: September 19, 2012, 01:59:45 PM »
First, I have not manged to find the "main" LBE thread. I seached LBE and Little Black Egg without luck.

Impingement does not greatly reduce heat, but it does create sooty smoke. It also increases the carbon monoxide off gasses (never a good thing). How far from the flame to eliminate impingement? Objects either need to not touch the flame at all, or they need to interrupt the flame only within the base cone (like a flame deflector).

In best case scenarios, a lack of secondary air will also drastically increase CO output. In worst case scenarios, it can snuff the flame. When that happens, you're just pumping gas into an enclosed space. Very bad. You are absolutely correct that appropriate venting avoids the problem.


scott123

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #42 on: September 19, 2012, 02:04:26 PM »
The LBE thread, in all of it's 90 page glory :)

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.0.html

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #43 on: September 19, 2012, 02:05:56 PM »
LBE thread:
90 pages of sometimes sheer idiocy "overkill"... skip straight to the end to see a 500K weedburner used to power an LBE.

And that guy hasn't reported back...
« Last Edit: September 19, 2012, 02:14:35 PM by pizzaneer »
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline Grillruss

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #44 on: September 19, 2012, 02:09:40 PM »
90 pages? Yikes. I may have to wait a bit before wading into that one. Thanks for the link.

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #45 on: September 19, 2012, 02:12:30 PM »
Russ, still would appreciate your feedback about any possible way to improve my particular setup, thanks for everything so far!

I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

scott123

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #46 on: September 19, 2012, 02:20:29 PM »
90 pages? Yikes. I may have to wait a bit before wading into that one. Thanks for the link.

Other than his stone choice ;) Brian's set up is pretty representative of an LBE.  The only real differences are the way people deflect the heat away from the hearth and direct the heat down onto the pizza,using a variety of air foils.

LBEs are almost always a weber and a high btu burner, but the deflection/direction usually boils down to whatever scraps people have on hand.

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #47 on: September 19, 2012, 02:24:33 PM »
Also, IMHO, a deflector that sits in the flame is just wasting propane.  Kiln shelves (ahem) and steel can take the heat just fine, just need to be far enough away that's not "live" flame anymore.
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

scott123

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #48 on: September 19, 2012, 02:34:36 PM »
Brian, I don't think I've seen too many deflectors sitting in the flame, but you do make a good point.

I'm actually 100% pro high-placement deflector anyway these days, because that allows for the biggest deflector possible.

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Blue Bay LBE - in Baltimore MD
« Reply #49 on: September 19, 2012, 02:53:15 PM »
it's the evolution of an idea... kind of like the whole line-the-kettle-with-foil thing.

There should be some kind of summary, with some safety tips.
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.