Author Topic: Natural Gas Grill (Outdoors) vs Electric Oven (Bosch)  (Read 4607 times)

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Offline switchhitter

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Natural Gas Grill (Outdoors) vs Electric Oven (Bosch)
« on: March 14, 2012, 08:32:52 PM »
Hey fellow pizza makers and explorers!

I've been making pizza on the grill (Jenn-Air) using standard 16x16 tlles from Home Depot.  Mostly good results, but the pizzas do often get burnt on the bottom and the tiles break after a few uses due to liquid dripping on them.

I'm looking to re-do my approach and have been considering the following:

1) Using my outdoor NG grill as I have been doing, but using a thick (at least 5/8 cordierite kiln shelf probably 16x16).  My grill can get to about 650+ temp.

2) Bosch double oven.  Adding a cordierite kiln shelf to it and perhaps using it on convection.

I prefer a crispy bottom with a browning and even a few small burn marks - almost Naples style.

Thoughts?  Recommendations on which approach?  Also, if you'd recommend a different surface (say iron or rolled steel) let me know.


Offline barryvabeach

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Re: Natural Gas Grill (Outdoors) vs Electric Oven (Bosch)
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2012, 09:16:38 PM »
If you can get some top heat, I would go with a thick cordierite stone and the gas grill.   I got some pretty good results by heating the stone with the burners right underneath it at medium high, and putting the burners on the outside at high.  Another option is the IR burner, for me that was too hot, but if you had one, you could see if turning it off a few minutes before you put the pie on gave you enough residual heat.   I did some testing with a Summitt grill last year, but a pizza oven fell in my lap with a few months after I bought the grill, so I have been playing  with that and haven't used the grill since last summer.  I would not use a metal plate on the gas grill - you can, but the main benefit is that metal plate works pretty well at 500 to 550.  Once you get to 600 or above, it is very hard to avoid burning because it transfers heat too quickly.  If you decide to stick with a double oven, then go with a metal plate, since it is unlikely the double oven will go above 550.  I think the recommended size is 1/2 inch, but I have 3 /8 " and it worked pretty well for me. 

Offline switchhitter

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Re: Natural Gas Grill (Outdoors) vs Electric Oven (Bosch)
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2012, 10:44:36 AM »
OK, I think the cordierite stone is the right way to go with the gas grill.  I would like to figure out how to get heat to radiate down (I guess continuing to use a Home Depot tile on top is ok).  And perhaps turning on the back rotessiere burner.

:)

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Natural Gas Grill (Outdoors) vs Electric Oven (Bosch)
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2012, 11:21:59 AM »
Yes, the back rotisserie burner is the IR burner that barryvabeach is talking about.  Members Txcraig and Tampa (I believe both use/ used the same setup)  the top stone alone isn't enough heat IMO, you really need the IR burner.  Would you like me to find their post about their grill setup?
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Offline switchhitter

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Re: Natural Gas Grill (Outdoors) vs Electric Oven (Bosch)
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2012, 11:48:06 AM »
Awesome.  I'll search it out to see how they did it!  Thanks.

Offline barryvabeach

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Re: Natural Gas Grill (Outdoors) vs Electric Oven (Bosch)
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2012, 09:29:11 PM »
Jet deck, thanks for the assist, I wanted to type rotisserie ,  but I had no clue on how to spell it, so went with IR,though probably not the correct term, but knew I could spell it.   As to top heat, remember that it is a balancing act, if you get the stone to the 650 range, the bottom will cook much faster than if the stone is 550,  if the stone is only 550 and you have the IR burner on, the top may burn before the bottom fully cooks.  So you will have to do some experimenting with burner settings, how long to preheat the stone, etc., to get a good balance.

Offline scott123

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Re: Natural Gas Grill (Outdoors) vs Electric Oven (Bosch)
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2012, 05:18:57 AM »
Mark, here's the thread for the IR burner setup:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,9614.0.html

Pizza DOC is, without a doubt, NY style pizza:

http://mypizzadoc.com/pizza.jpg

3-5 minute bake time.  No more, no less. For this kind of pizza, a home oven, with the right stone, is usually the easier choice. The IR burner is a very effective way to achieve these bake times, but, because of the directional nature, you end up having to do more turns. In an electric oven with convection, you won't have to do any turns. The Bosch is electric, right?

If the Bosch can reliably do 550, then I'd invest in 1/2" steel plate- a square piece as large as the oven will fit. The oven shelf will have no issue supporting it, and, with the convection feature, you'll be able to pre-heat it quickly.

There's a chance you might be able to utilize steel plate in the grill as well, although I've never seen it done.  If it were me, I'd go with steel for the oven and firebrick for the grill. Firebrick splits (1.125" thick) will take a little more propane to pre-heat, but their lower conductivity will handicap the bottom a bit and help the top catch up, should it need to. They will also be very durable.

This is for NY style, pizza DOC, thin, crispy, mostly brown pizza. If, on the other hand, you want as close to authentic as possible Neapolitan pizza (not really crispy at all), and are willing to push your grill to it's limits, then you'll want to compare your BTU output (on both the bottom burners and the IR burner) with Craig's, and, if they are close, then I'd invest both in a Fibrament grill stone and insulating blankets.

Offline switchhitter

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Re: Natural Gas Grill (Outdoors) vs Electric Oven (Bosch)
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2012, 10:50:25 AM »
Thanks for the input.

I'm not in the position to do the extensive modifications required on the grill to rotate unfortunately.  However, I'm thinking that my approach will be the following.  Any thoughts on how this would work?

Grill:
16x20x3/4 cordierite kiln shelf
4 cordierite posts 5 inches in height
16x20x3/4 cordierite kiln shelf

This would give me something of a brick oven within the Jenn-Air grill.  Do you think the stones are the right thickness? 

I'm sure the top won't get as hot as I'd like it to effectively brown the pizza from the top down, so I'm guessing I'll need to really preheat the grill effectively, also use the IR in the back (and then turn that off before tossing pizza on).

Think this would work?

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Natural Gas Grill (Outdoors) vs Electric Oven (Bosch)
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2012, 11:04:11 AM »
Maybe Scott can reply as to the materials, but the IR burner is the key.  It is the only thing that changes your setup from being just another failed attempt on a grill.  The bottom will cook fine but the top will be an anemic white. I'm not so sure you want to cut the IR burner off when you load the pizza. If you do to the corderite route, I would make sure that the stones will fit in the home oven in case you fall back to that option.  Steel plate in the home oven should not be counted out.  It can produce some phenominal pizza and with much less hassle than the whole bbq setup.  Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, forgot about it. :-D

Let us know what you decide.
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Offline switchhitter

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Re: Natural Gas Grill (Outdoors) vs Electric Oven (Bosch)
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2012, 11:09:00 AM »
Yes, good point on making sure the stones fit the home oven.  The good news is that I can pick up the stones at Laguna Clay here in the LA area super cheap (about $20 each slab). However, you raise a very good point - that damn white top !!!

I like the idea of the steel plate for the oven (I'll need to track down a rolled steel plate here in LA, I'm sure they are around - I just need to find it!).

A guess the big question... is the BBQ approach I outlined above just not going to work?



Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Natural Gas Grill (Outdoors) vs Electric Oven (Bosch)
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2012, 11:53:27 AM »
No, It will work.  How good is your dough? http://www.2stonepg.com/2stone-pizza-gril.html
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Offline switchhitter

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Re: Natural Gas Grill (Outdoors) vs Electric Oven (Bosch)
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2012, 11:59:04 AM »
Jet-Deck - - funny you should say that.  I'm trying to find the right dough recipe.  Any recommendations?  :)

I like the more thin and crispy pizza with a puff here and there.  Some crispness with a little chew.  When traveling around Europe - I like the brick oven pizzas you get in Rome (and the South of France along the coast).  Here in the U.S. - seems to be about the same, just trying to replicate what you get in pizza joints that use wood fired brick ovens.  Mozza style.


Offline scott123

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Re: Natural Gas Grill (Outdoors) vs Electric Oven (Bosch)
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2012, 06:58:31 PM »
Mark, neither 2 stone grill inserts or a homemade 2 stone setup will give you the pizza you're looking for.  The bottom will finish baking before the top will, at least, for the temperatures/bake times you should be striving for.  You could probably turn the heat down and bake a fairly even pizza in 10 minutes, but that's not 'thin/crispy with a puff here and there' pizza.

All bottom heat only grills have top browning issues.  LBEs attempt to get around this by putting an incredibly powerful burner in the bottom and directing the heat with deflectors. You're working with probably 1/3 the BTUs of a typical LBE, though, so you have no powerful burst of heat to deflect.  You're one of the few lucky grill owners with a top heat source- well sort of top- top and to the side. In order to get good top browning, you need to have the IR burner on during the bake- along with the bottom burners.  Everything has to be full blast in hopes that the heat will fill the grill's headspace and reflect down on the pizza as much as possible.

Offline PizzaEater101

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Re: Natural Gas Grill (Outdoors) vs Electric Oven (Bosch)
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2012, 12:33:03 PM »
Hey fellow pizza makers and explorers!

I've been making pizza on the grill (Jenn-Air) using standard 16x16 tlles from Home Depot.  Mostly good results, but the pizzas do often get burnt on the bottom and the tiles break after a few uses due to liquid dripping on them.

I'm looking to re-do my approach and have been considering the following:

1) Using my outdoor NG grill as I have been doing, but using a thick (at least 5/8 cordierite kiln shelf probably 16x16).  My grill can get to about 650+ temp.

2) Bosch double oven.  Adding a cordierite kiln shelf to it and perhaps using it on convection.

I prefer a crispy bottom with a browning and even a few small burn marks - almost Naples style.

Thoughts?  Recommendations on which approach?  Also, if you'd recommend a different surface (say iron or rolled steel) let me know.

If you don't mind telling me but what 16x16 tiles have you been getting at Home Depot?  They have Saltillo tiles but they are only 12x12. I never knew Saltillos to be larger than 12x12 except maybe in Mexico where I hear you can get 15x15.  Could you be more specific what kind of tiles you are using?  If you are using something other than Saltillo I'd like to know.  You have to be careful what you use because a lot of material at HD is toxic.  It's my understanding that Saltillo are not toxic but other than that I'd be careful what I use at HD.


Thanks

Offline switchhitter

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Re: Natural Gas Grill (Outdoors) vs Electric Oven (Bosch)
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2012, 12:50:25 PM »
Hey PizzaEater101 -

I don't know for sure the exact brand, they were ceramic floor tiles that Home Depot sold (and they might have been 18x18). 

Since I originally posted this in March, I changed strategy and have come up with a different approach that seems to work quite well.  I purchased kiln tiles from a kiln material place here in SoCal and places 2 tiles (each 3/4 inch think) on top of each other.  And then I turn on all 5 grills +the searing thermo ceramic heater in the back to crank up the heat in the grill.

Importantly, what I do use the Home Depot tiles for now is that I cut them down to about 4 inches in height and use them to deflect the heat from the back ceramic heating element, which pushes the heat upward and gets it to circulate.  This gives the pizza a very good overall crispness and brownness on the top with just a hint of the wood fired burn that is so awesome.

Offline PizzaEater101

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Re: Natural Gas Grill (Outdoors) vs Electric Oven (Bosch)
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2012, 12:57:27 PM »
switch, thanks for the info.  Where in So Cal did you get your kiln?  I live in So Cal too and plan on buying and rather get it locally than do mail order.  Mind telling me how much the kiln cost and what exact size you got?  Could you put pictures up of your new setup?


Thanks!

Offline switchhitter

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Re: Natural Gas Grill (Outdoors) vs Electric Oven (Bosch)
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2012, 01:25:38 PM »
I purchased the kiln tiles at Laguna Clay in City of Industry.  They were SUPER cheap.  About $15-$20 per tile and they are fairly large (and they do custom cut in about 10 minutes if you need it).  You can find their catalog on line, which has all their various sizes.  Originally, I attempted to style a brick oven effect in the grill, but having one tile on the grill grates with 4 ceramic posts (also from Laguna Clay and only $4) supporting an upper kiln tile.  Unfortunately this arrangement didn't allow the upper tile to get hot enough to radiate enough heat downward to brown the pizza.  BTW, I thought "this" would have been a perfectly creative solution.  In addition, because the tile is "only" 3/4 inch thick, the pizza was still having an issue of burn on the bottom.

So, kinda going back to the drawing board, I decided to stack the 2 tiles (giving me 1 1/2 inches of the kiln tile) on top of the grates, this would help prevent the tiles getting way too hot and burning the bottom of the pizza.  I knew that to get the top of the pizza toasted properly that I needed to use the back heat source, but the direct heat on the pizza would burn the back end of the pizza.  That's where I came up with reusing my Home Depot tiles as a deflector to push the heat upwards.  I tested it this last week and it worked great.

If I was to *perfect* it further, I would have Laguna Clay custom cut a piece of kiln tile that would fit behind my tiles and be thicker deflector (since it is so cheap, I would have them cut me 2 or 3 long pieces, so I could test them out).  I would probably still go with 3/4 inch or perhaps 1 inch and three sides would be squared off with the bottom side cut at a slight bias so that it would be like one "arm" of the letter "v" so that it would prevent the heat from the back heating element blowing directly on the pizza and instead would send it upward - where it would circulate.

Offline switchhitter

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Re: Natural Gas Grill (Outdoors) vs Electric Oven (Bosch)
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2012, 01:26:50 PM »
I should also add that with my Jenn Air grill that I have some foil going down the back of it over the vents so that they are partially covered - otherwise it seems the grill loses too much heat.

Offline switchhitter

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Re: Natural Gas Grill (Outdoors) vs Electric Oven (Bosch)
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2012, 01:33:44 PM »
My entire set-up, included:

Two 3/4 inch 20x16 tiles

(I also  bought a 3/4 inch tile for my oven, which is 16x15)

The tile run about $15-$20 each.

Here's the page in their catalog where you can select the sizes.  And again, they can do custom cut in 5-10 minutes while you wait.  But you do need to call and place the order!  The tiles are made out of cordierite.

http://www.lagunaclay.com/catalog/pdf/lcc_refract.pdf

Offline PizzaEater101

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Re: Natural Gas Grill (Outdoors) vs Electric Oven (Bosch)
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2012, 01:48:10 PM »
switch, thank you for the info.  I don't live far from City of Industry so for me to go there and buy would be easily done. I read over your post and will do a few more times carefully to try to understand fully. If I have questions I might post again.

One question, is your Jenn-Air the one they sell or sold at Costco?  I have seen that and it's really nice looking and a great price.

Ever been to Costco Business Center? They have a great selection of tomato sauces and pizza sauces.  I know pre-made pizza sauce is not popular here at the Pizza Forum but it's an option.


Thanks


 

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