Author Topic: My first Blackstone pizzas-OMG!  (Read 993 times)

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Offline SF City Gal

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My first Blackstone pizzas-OMG!
« on: May 12, 2014, 12:53:32 PM »
Thanks to the general forum community's posts with information on ovens, I took advantage of the recent Groupon offer of a Blackstone oven with peel and cover.  It came late last week, we assembled it on Saturday, and last night I baked my first pizzas in it. They totally exceeded my expectations!  Wow. I've made pizzas in my kitchen oven (less than perfect, as you all know) for years, and the crusts always disappointed. That was one of the main reasons why I got this oven.

I used the American style dough from Peter Reinhart's American Pie pizza book (highly recommended) made with King Arthur bread flour.

The BS was so easy to use.  I highly recommend using a laser thermal gun thermometer with a range over 800 degrees F. to check the temperature of the stone. It took no time to heat up and even less time to bake each pizza. I formed them on a beautifully made J.K.Adams alder wood peel (stunningly crafted American-made item) sprinkled with semolina and retrieved them from the oven with the steel peel that came with the oven.

Best of all the pizzas looked wonderful and tasted even better.  For a first effort, I'm over the moon. 

Cheers,
Kris

I've posted a few photos below.


Offline misterschu

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Re: My first Blackstone pizzas-OMG!
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2014, 03:00:10 PM »
Gravity defying pies! They look great when I turn my head though :p

Offline Tampa

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Re: My first Blackstone pizzas-OMG!
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2014, 04:04:52 PM »
Exceptional job for a first bake Kris.  Those tomatoes look delicious.
Dave

Offline SF City Gal

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Re: My first Blackstone pizzas-OMG!
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2014, 10:01:49 PM »
Yeah, sorry about the upside down pix! Once uploaded i noticed the problem (yikes).  :-[

I am not familiar with your interface to edit them.  Didn't think I could delete them or upload the rotated ones.

Ah, but what's important is how they tasted <smile>....

The tomatoes were delicious, but they also created a problem. The crust got a bit soggy underneath while sitting during dinner.  I think there must be a better way. Next time I'm considering perhaps roasting them separately ahead of time in my kitchen oven, drizzled with a bit of olive oil and sprinkled with Maldon flake salt. Then add them when at room temp (as all pizza toppings should be).  It should draw off plenty of moisture.

How do YOU chaps handle tomato slices?

Kris

Offline SF City Gal

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Re: My first (second) Blackstone pizzas-OMG!
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2014, 12:07:56 AM »
Tonight I made the last pizza from that batch of dough-this time a pizza bianca. Caramilized onions, gruyere, a sprinkling of dried fine herbs (my fresh thyme had gone south, more's the pity), and some sliced crimini mushrooms.  Three minutes in the BS oven. Quite tasty too. Here are two photos, both right side up <smile>, one of the nicely crisped bottom.

Kris

Offline Tampa

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Re: My first Blackstone pizzas-OMG!
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2014, 09:03:37 AM »
Yum :)
Dave

Offline NHMike

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Re: My first Blackstone pizzas-OMG!
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2014, 07:56:37 AM »
Kris,  those pies look great!! I am jealous!  I also bought the BS on Groupon, but mine came in completely damaged.  BS is sending out the parts to fix it, but it will be another week before I can make some pies.

Did you get the IR gun?  About how long did you cook those pies?

Offline SF City Gal

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Re: My first Blackstone pizzas-OMG!
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2014, 12:57:26 PM »
Hey Mike,

What a bummer! I'm so sorry you had such a disappointing experience opening up that huge box. I'd done a lot of research before ordering it myself, as I'm sure you did, and when I was unpacking I had my heart in my throat expecting a broken or bent piece. I was incredibly lucky. But you'll be in heaven once you get it up and running.

A few suggestions based on my very recent experience, which I've not had a chance to share with Blackstone, but I will. You will need a AA battery for the igniter (insert bottom end first - which the directions don't tell you), and you will need two D batteries for the motor.  My suggestion is to take advantage of the opportunity and insert the D batteries in the motor before you connect it to the oven.  Of course, you'll have to eventually replace the batteries while the motor is on the oven, but at least you'll have a chance to see what's what without getting way down and looking up into the battery compartment later on!

If you've not bought a thrust bearing to help with the rotation of the tray, please consider it.  I read about it here and in the reviews of the oven on Amazon.  It apparently makes a huge difference and it costs under $12. Look at 51205 Thrust Bearing 25x47x15 Thrust Bearings, http://www.amazon.com/51205-Thrust-Bearing-25x47x15-Bearings/dp/B002BBGW3K/?tag=pizzamaking-20 . You place it on the horizontal cross member that the stem of the rotating tray goes through (obviously around the hole for the stem) and just thread the stem through the thrust bearing and the cross member, and it rotates so smoothly on those bearings!

After buying one thermometer that only went up to 715'F, I exchanged it for this model-the least expensive model that measures over 1,000'F (to give some latitude) this is the one I got from Amazon and am using:
http://www.amazon.com/TG8550-Instant-read-Thermometer-Non-contact-Temperature/dp/B00ICSYFSA/?tag=pizzamaking-20

There are several models on the same page.  I got the royal blue one.

The pizza took three minutes and ten seconds to bake.  The laser temperature of the stone was about 700' and the air temp shown on the built in oven thermometer was about 400'.  The pizza had only been in the oven for under 10 seconds when I got the filming going.

I made a different pizza dough from Reinhart's American Pie pizza book last night for the next baking trial.  I can't wait to try more!

BTW, it was suggested to me to have both a wooden peel and a metal one.  Assemble unbanked pizzas on the wooden one, remove them from the oven with the metal one. There are a lot of wooden peels out there.  I did splurge on the J.K. Adams handmade alder wood one, made in the US.  It was about $37, but it is beautiful and has a lifetime warranty. I've read posts in various places of wooden or bamboo peels cracking or splitting. This may be a case of you get what you pay for.  I find using semolina flour on the peel to be a wonderful way to keep them from sticking and to have them slide nicely onto the baking stone as it is more granular than regular flour.

Jump in with both feet, Mike. You'll have a ball.  I'm curious-do you plan on baking pizzas during NH winters? Living in San Francisco I will use it all year long, as I do my gas grill.

This forum has been very helpful to me and I'm sure it will be for you too.

Cheers,
Kris

Offline NHMike

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Re: My first Blackstone pizzas-OMG!
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2014, 11:43:59 PM »
Kris,

Thank you for the tips!  Yes,..I have already ordered and received the Thrust Bearing you mentioned.  Ordered it the same night I ordered the BS.  I will be picking up the IR gun this week.

Where did you get the wooden peel?  I was wondering about launching the pies on the metal peel.  In regards to you question about using the BS in the winter,....yes, it will be used.  I grill all year long in ANY weather.  When we built our house, we had a 16 x 24 screened in porch built with an 8 x 8 outside porch with a covered roof just for the grill. 

Here are some pics of pies I made on the grill: First 2 pics are NY Style pies, and the 3rd is Gluten Free for the wife. 

Offline SF City Gal

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Re: My first Blackstone pizzas-OMG!
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2014, 01:23:58 AM »
Mike,

I love the free-form creative shapes of your pizzas! Shows a fellow with confidence.  I'm intrigued about the gluten free crust.  There aren't many who have celiac disease (a good thing) but there are a lot more options for gluten free alternatives to wheat flour.  What do you use? Have you ever tried the King Arthur gluten free flour alternative? I do really like their other products.

I'm sorry I didn't put the details down about the peel.  I buy just about everything I can from Amazon, mostly because they have excellent prices and better service and it saves me a whole lot of time.  Sure, I do live in San Francisco and I can get just about anything I want here, but shopping isn't my favorite thing to do.

The peel is the  J.K. Adams 23-3/4-Inch-by-14-Inch Alder Wood Pizza Peel, http://www.amazon.com/J-K-Adams-4-Inch---14-Inch-Alder/dp/B0032UXSXQ/?tag=pizzamaking-20

I do try to support US manufacturers when I can (just bought a US-made kitchen range too) and this is a family owned company in your neck of the woods, Dorset, VT. 2nd generation.  There's a lot of information about the company on Amazon's website.

Sounds like you are a devoted outdoor chef, and that this oven will only add to your gear.  I'm sure you'll really enjoy it.  I know I will enjoy mine!

Kris


Offline NHMike

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Re: My first Blackstone pizzas-OMG!
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2014, 08:25:50 AM »
Kris,

Thank you again for the peel information :)

I havn't delved into making my own dough yet.  That is the next step after I master the BS.  I use premade dough from some local companies.  The NY style is from Pro Dough, Manchester, NH.  The gluten free is from Portland Pie Company.  Both compaines sell their doug premade and frozen to the local super markets.

The free form is out of necessity!!!!!  Because I grill the pizzas directly on the grill grates, I can't form them.  Once the dough is thawed, I cut it into 4 sections. When I make the pie, I roll the dough in a plate of Olive oil to coat it.  Then I streatch it the best I can and place it on the grill.  The oil keeps the dough from sticking to the grates.  Once that side is cooked with a nice char and marking, I flip it and then add the sauce, cheese and other items.

Once the dough hits the grill, it cooks in about 2-3 minutes depending on how hot the grill is.  The KEY secret to this method is to have everything in bowls right next to the grill. Once you flip the dough, you have very little time to get the toppings on before the crust burns.  Another key is to have a second person help.  Usually, my wife will take care of the dough and place it on the grill, then I deal with flipping it and doing the toppings.  With the 2 of us working, we can usually crank out 6-8 pizzas in about 10-15 mintues.

The gluten free dough is done the same way, however, it takes much longer for the crust to cook.  It also does not have the same texture and taste as the NY Style.  That is how I found this site.  There has to be a way to make gluten free dough that will mimic the NY Style.  That is my mission for this year......to make my wife a gluten free NY style pizza that tastes good. 

I am hoping that the BS with its real high temps will help me achieve this ( that and I am soo looking forward to making some steaks and shrimp scampi on it :drool: ).

Offline TheRailroadBulls

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Re: My first Blackstone pizzas-OMG!
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2014, 11:31:32 AM »
Thanks to the general forum community's posts with information on ovens, I took advantage of the recent Groupon offer of a Blackstone oven with peel and cover.  It came late last week, we assembled it on Saturday, and last night I baked my first pizzas in it. They totally exceeded my expectations!  Wow. I've made pizzas in my kitchen oven (less than perfect, as you all know) for years, and the crusts always disappointed. That was one of the main reasons why I got this oven.

I used the American style dough from Peter Reinhart's American Pie pizza book (highly recommended) made with King Arthur bread flour.

The BS was so easy to use.  I highly recommend using a laser thermal gun thermometer with a range over 800 degrees F. to check the temperature of the stone. It took no time to heat up and even less time to bake each pizza. I formed them on a beautifully made J.K.Adams alder wood peel (stunningly crafted American-made item) sprinkled with semolina and retrieved them from the oven with the steel peel that came with the oven.

Best of all the pizzas looked wonderful and tasted even better.  For a first effort, I'm over the moon. 

Cheers,
Kris

I've posted a few photos below.

A photographer you are not.... but the foods lookin good!  :drool:
"Conveyor ovens make McPizza." - Scott123

Offline SF City Gal

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Re: My first Blackstone pizzas-OMG!
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2014, 02:02:58 PM »
Nope, a photographer I am most certainly not <smile> but I'll work on that too.

Mike,

I think you'll find making pizzas in the oven to be somewhat easier than the grill. Wait and see.

One of the reasons I chose this oven was to be able to cook other things in addition to pizzas.  To that end I looked for a pan that could handle high heat and would fit in the oven, and that cost as little as possible (given that I just bought a lot of ovens in the past two weeks!).

So I chose the Lodge L9OG3 Pre-Seasoned Round Griddle, 10.5-inch, (http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-L9OG3-Pre-Seasoned-Griddle-10-5-inch/dp/B00008GKDN/?tag=pizzamaking-20)  $13.79. It is on its way and will be here tomorrow.  I plan on cooking salmon, steaks, shrimp, chicken.  I think this is relatively new territory here, and we all will learn.

I think you'll find that making your own dough is NOT difficult, especially if you have a sturdy stand mixer or food processor. I do bake a lot (but have less yeast dough experience) and highly recommend King Arthur flour.  You may know they sell a gluten free flour ($7.95 for 24 oz, unfortunately) that gets fry positive reviews.  I don't know what your frozen pizza dough is like, but I encourage you to give making your own dough a try.  It is very satisfactory and highly rewarding.

San Francisco backyards (if you have one at all!) are not generally known for being spacious, and mine is no exception.  Devoting some of it to my small Weber grill and now to this oven is huge.  I have no space to assemble my pizzas outside. I do what you seem to do outside and have everything laid out in my (also small) kitchen and move them to the oven on the wooden peel, and bring them back to the kitchen on the metal peel that came with the Groupon offer. That allows me to assemble the next pizza on the wooden peel while someone else keeps an eye on the one in the oven.

It is a learning process.  Yum, yum, yum!


 

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