Author Topic: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO  (Read 6323 times)

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Offline Michael130207

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Re: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO
« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2012, 12:13:21 PM »
I believe that when it comes to grill pizza it is a balance between thermal mass and heat generation. As Scott has pointed out, too much thermal mass on a grill just wastes time and fuel. But too little mass won't allow you to keep steady temps. What I find works well on my grill is to use a cordeite stone on the bottom instead of fire bricks. It heats up quickly and has enough thermal mass to do a nice ny style pie. I think it is important not to cover the entire surface with fire brick to allow for air flow. For the top I think air flow and low ceiling is much more important than thermal mass at these temperatures. I use a full size sheet pan, 18 inches by 26 inches,  you can purchase online for about $10. I used a hole saw and cut a 1.5" hole in the center to encourage hot air flow across it. I prop it up with a couple half split fire bricks on either side. I also elevate my stone 1 inch up from the grate with some ceramic feet that came with my green egg. That gives be a gap of about 3.5 inches. My setup heats up in 30 min to 625F and produces some nice top browning but no leoparding. give about a 4 minute bake.  I'll post some pictures tonight of my setup.
Michael


Offline jon7821

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Re: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO
« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2012, 12:58:34 PM »
Thanks guys.  Going to hit it again tonight to get that dome dropped.
Tryin' to get my baking skills on par with my consumption skills.

Offline Michael130207

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Re: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO
« Reply #27 on: July 11, 2012, 08:42:41 PM »
Here are the pics of my setup with the sheet pan and the pie I baked tonight. I probably should have got it hotter. I only preheated it 20 min with stone temp of 550F, 4 min bake.
Michael

Offline jon7821

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Re: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO
« Reply #28 on: July 11, 2012, 08:47:03 PM »
Michael,

That looks great.  I am actually on my way outside to mod my grill right now.  I'll post pics later tonight.  Thanks for your pics, it gives me hope!
Tryin' to get my baking skills on par with my consumption skills.

Offline norma427

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Re: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO
« Reply #29 on: July 11, 2012, 10:54:28 PM »
Jon,

I also tried different pizzas in my BBQ grill with different set-ups if you are interested.  Some start around this link, but there are others in that thread.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11133.msg102003.html#msg102003

Norma

Offline jon7821

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Re: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO
« Reply #30 on: July 11, 2012, 11:54:01 PM »
So, tonight my mission was to drop the dome (and keep it under a million pounds, removable, etc).  So, i went to my metal supplier and got a sheet of 18 gauge sheet metal and set to work.  My grill is 20" inside the lid from front to back, so i cut a piece that was 24x28w.  That would have dropped the dome to about 5.75" total (1 have 1.25" of deck height).  Based on the feedback here, that seemed too high.  So, out it came and i trimmed another 2" off, total dims 22 deep 28 wide.  I think that works, dropped the dome to about 3.75" at its peak.

So, me being without dough at the moment, I just did a test fire to check heat behavior.  I started a small fire with my (endlessly free) oak splits, and waited.  Started at 8pm, then by 830 had a good fire going.  It's tough to see, but the flames really tracked well down the new low dome, about 2/3 of the way to the chimney side.

In the end, i ran the fire for about an hour without any coals underneath, and only had the fire on the far right fire basket (save for a few minutes where i moved some sticks to the middle of the hearth).  Here are the specs:

Dome got much hotter, with some readings coming in 900+ (probably a direct reflection off the flame, but its only 3.5" up, so it won't be far from a pie).

Deck hit about 700 right next to fire, 600 in middle 400 on far left.

I will make some dough tomorrow and do another bake on sunday and let you know how it turns out.

thanks again for all the feedback and support.
Tryin' to get my baking skills on par with my consumption skills.

Offline petef

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Re: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO
« Reply #31 on: July 12, 2012, 03:44:21 AM »
I agree with Michael, in that you need to get more heat from the heat source under the hearth into the top area. Considering your current frame design, the easiest way is to cut the corner bricks on the diagonal to create 4 vents that will allow more heat to flow into the top area. Those vents along with your fire in the top tray might do the trick.

Your last mod to lower the dome seems to me like the perfect height based upon my recent project to create a pizza oven for my Weber Genesis gas grill.

---pete---
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 03:55:52 AM by petef »

Offline jon7821

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Re: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO
« Reply #32 on: July 15, 2012, 09:41:05 PM »
Tonight was the first bake after this last week's oven mods (lowered the dome to about 3.5" above deck).  Definitely an improvement, though still work to be done.  Made slight change to my dough too, upping salt to 2.5% and upped yeast just a bit also.  Pies tonight were pepperoni, margherita, fig and prosciutto, and a pesto with SDT and feta.  Fig pie had good flavor, but i over stretched and go the crust really thin.  Actually caught that one on fire too (not really paying attention).  It was only ok, but the others turned out pretty good. Still need some work on flour control so as not to get so much uncooked flour on the pies.  First two also had some launch difficulties, got them to look like near perfect footballs thought  :)  Take a look and give me your thoughts.
Tryin' to get my baking skills on par with my consumption skills.

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Re: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO
« Reply #33 on: July 15, 2012, 09:56:48 PM »
Wow! Did I say that I didn't think you could get a Neapolitan bake time out of this? This doesn't happen much, but I think I might have been wrong  :-D

Seriously, though, that's a good looking margherita. It's not as leoparded as much as it could be, but I'd still qualify it as Neapolitan.

Some additional char on the undercrust should be an easy fix, right?

Bake time?


Offline jon7821

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Re: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO
« Reply #34 on: July 15, 2012, 10:07:29 PM »
Scott, these baked at just over three minutes.  I am really excited with the improvements with the results, and I'm anxious to try again.   I need to take my "dome drop" sheet all the way across to the left side, then tie the chimney in to that dropped dome.  I am really hopeful to get back at it, though I am starting to doubt I'll get bake times down to the 90 second range.  But..... I will melt my face off trying  ;D
« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 10:09:47 PM by jon7821 »
Tryin' to get my baking skills on par with my consumption skills.

scott123

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Re: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO
« Reply #35 on: July 15, 2012, 10:17:01 PM »
Jon, I think it's time to revisit the steel plate. You had mentioned the top of the lid not being able to support the plate, but I think if you drilled 4 holes in the side and ran bolts all the way across, it should support the plate just fine.  When it comes time to use the grill for other things, put 4 small bolts in the holes to block them.

Offline jon7821

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Re: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO
« Reply #36 on: July 15, 2012, 10:31:59 PM »
I've been thinking about that too.  One think I need to figure out first is a better way to cut the 1/4" plate.  My last effort was, well just that EFFORT.   Papa needs a cutting torch.  Never thought pizza making would drive me to get a new tool, but blessings come in many forms!
Tryin' to get my baking skills on par with my consumption skills.

scott123

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Re: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO
« Reply #37 on: July 15, 2012, 10:43:34 PM »
I have a lot of respect for people willing to cut things that are tough to cut.  After my two experiences with soapstone, I'll be happy if I never have to cut anything again.

Don't give up on that plate, though.  The extra thermal mass might be just enough to put you over the top.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO
« Reply #38 on: July 15, 2012, 11:01:50 PM »
Jon, that is a fine look'in 3 min. Margarita....your set-up is getting dialed in quickly. Congratulations!
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Offline Michael130207

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Re: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO
« Reply #39 on: July 16, 2012, 10:53:54 AM »
Those pies look awesome!

I haven't done any calculations,  but I suspect until you get up to really hot temps >1000F, that the heat transfer to the top of the pie comes more from hot air (convection) than from radiation. That might be an interesting back of the envelope calculation, might have to dust off an old heat transfer text book for that one.

I think you will get more improvement from Pete's suggestion of cutting the corners off the floor to get more hot air onto your ceiling than from adding the steel plate. I would at least try it first as cutting the bricks is a lot easier than cutting the plate. Although cutting steel plate with a torch sounds like a lot of fun, at least for the first couple minutes.
Michael

Offline jon7821

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Re: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO
« Reply #40 on: July 16, 2012, 11:03:45 AM »
Mike,

In my heart, i know Scott123 is probably right, and that i'll have to incorporate the mass of the steel plate to get that radiation and ultimately drive those bake times down to true neo times.  That being said, my total lack of desire to re-cut that stupid plate has me conjuring up alternatives to try out first, namely what you just mentioned.  It will be fairly easy to make corner cuts on the bricks, then take my dome insert and extend it the extra 2" over to the left to make it run the full width of the lid, and tie the chimney into the dome insert.  Lastly, i am contemplating some additional ways to try to add mass/insulation on the cheap to the dome insert to try to start getting some radiant heat coming back down.
Tryin' to get my baking skills on par with my consumption skills.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO
« Reply #41 on: July 16, 2012, 11:13:34 AM »
Jon, do you have a small angle grinder (20 bucks at Harbor Freight) with a 3in. diamond tipped cutting wheel...
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Offline jon7821

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Re: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO
« Reply #42 on: July 16, 2012, 11:27:48 AM »
Bob,

I do have a couple of 4" angle grinders.  No small diamond wheels, but i have a tile saw with a diamond wheel and a large (14") concrete domolition saw with a diamond blade.  Are you asking for how I'll cut the bricks, or do you have thoughts on cutting the steel plate?
Tryin' to get my baking skills on par with my consumption skills.

Offline petef

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Re: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO
« Reply #43 on: July 16, 2012, 12:33:06 PM »
Mike,

In my heart, i know Scott123 is probably right, and that i'll have to incorporate the mass of the steel plate to get that radiation and ultimately drive those bake times down to true neo times.  That being said, my total lack of desire to re-cut that stupid plate has me conjuring up alternatives to try out first, namely what you just mentioned.  It will be fairly easy to make corner cuts on the bricks, then take my dome insert and extend it the extra 2" over to the left to make it run the full width of the lid, and tie the chimney into the dome insert.  Lastly, i am contemplating some additional ways to try to add mass/insulation on the cheap to the dome insert to try to start getting some radiant heat coming back down.

Jon, I'm thinking that more mass with that 1/4" thick plate may not be necessary. Reason I say that is the pic you posted showing how the upper level fire flows over the top of the pie and your very short bake times. If that fire is only stoked up during the bake, then the plate doesn't have that much time to heat up. Even if it did heat up a wall of flame like I saw in that pic is going to be a lot hotter than a heated plate. It would be an interesting experiment to see if Scott is right about that plate, but i can understand that's it's difficult to cut it.  Is it possible to stoke a bigger top level fire as a means to increase temperature?

Keep us posted. This is an interesting project.

---pete---





Offline jon7821

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Re: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO
« Reply #44 on: July 18, 2012, 10:16:25 AM »
I started the next round of modifications last night, widening the dome insert to the full width of the lid, and then i welded on a 3" OD section of automotive exhaust pipe to the chimney so it would drop down into the lower dome.  Tonight i will line the entire hearth with fire brick and then cut out the corners to get some more heat from below, and to allow for adequate (hopefully) air flow to the fire from the vents below.

I'll post some pics tonight of this evolution and run a test fire to see how it does.
Tryin' to get my baking skills on par with my consumption skills.

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO
« Reply #45 on: July 18, 2012, 11:04:53 AM »
I'm not sure that having a more direct path for heat to the chimney is going to keep that nice curl of flame going over the top of the hearth.  Seems to me it might "short-circuit" the path, for want of better terminology.   

If you build a strong fire in your attached smoker box and hit it with forced air, you will have the equivalent of a kiln's heating system.  Vary the airspeed and fuel depth to control temp.

Nice work on sealing the top.  Are you still planning on making the insert removable?
 
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Offline jon7821

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Re: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO
« Reply #46 on: July 18, 2012, 11:27:30 AM »
Both the top and bottom inserts will/are still removeable, though the dome instert is a little tougher to get out now, with the pipe in there and a tighter fit.  I'll let you guys know how the test fire turns out tonight.
Tryin' to get my baking skills on par with my consumption skills.

Offline jon7821

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Re: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO
« Reply #47 on: July 25, 2012, 11:22:07 PM »
Well, had a bake last Friday night and have to say I regressed, style wise at least.  I made the mods to my oven and made the hearth bigger, with only the corners cut out.  Bottom line, not enough airflow.  Had to keep the lid propped open to keep flame really going, so heat was way down.  Kind of went back to ny style pies.

That being said, flavor was great, but didn't get that top browning I wanted.   So, back to the oven drawing board.  Decided to go back to the fire basket on the right, but kept the corner cut outs, s now I have an octagon shaped hearth with a fire basket to the right.  Sadly, I am camping in the Arkansas river valley this weekend, so no pies for me.  Ten more days or so to the next bake.....
Tryin' to get my baking skills on par with my consumption skills.

Offline jon7821

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Re: 2nd time pies with my DIY WFO
« Reply #48 on: August 05, 2012, 11:09:32 PM »
Finally, a weekend free of other distractions and an opportunity to do another bake.  Made some oven mods since last time, namely removing a row of bricks to get more airflow and a bigger spot for my fire.  I think the increased oxygen did the trick, giving me a much quicker heat up (about 30 minutes after i put the charcoal in and covered it with the hearth) and some seriously shorter bake times, down to just over 2 minutes..  actually, the deck got too hot (well over 800) so i will have to drop my charcoal bed down lower next time.  However, the better air flow and higher heat really did the trick for oven spring.  i think now we are down to an effort to increase dome temps just a bit and then take the deck back down to 650 ish.  in the end, i have no upskirts because they were a bit, well, charred, but the flavor was fantastic tonight and i feel like progress was made.  we are getting there with my little smoker that could. ;D
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 10:59:30 AM by jon7821 »
Tryin' to get my baking skills on par with my consumption skills.


 

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