Author Topic: Let the experimenting begin!  (Read 2334 times)

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Offline JRo

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Let the experimenting begin!
« on: July 19, 2012, 09:45:55 PM »
Inspired by some of the LBE threads, I built this 'dome' contraption to fit on top of a Camp Chef 3 burner stove.   Each burner puts out up to 30000 BTU's.  I added a 15" square 1" thick cordeirite kiln shelf in the middle.  Hoping to be able to control the stone heat with the center burner and then control the top heat with the outside two burners.  

Fired it up for the first time and the stone was about 700 degrees in about 20 minutes.  I didn't turn any of the burners above med. so should be able to blast the outside two if more top heat is needed.  Fingers crossed, but I think it will work.  Unfortunately I don't have any dough to actually try baking a pie.

« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 09:48:46 PM by JRo »


Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Let the experimenting begin!
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2012, 10:27:22 PM »
The essence of an efficient oven is a discrete thermal mass that is isolated and insulated to conserve the energy expended to heat it to operating temperatures and extend the operational time of use.


Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Let the experimenting begin!
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2012, 12:29:12 AM »
If you could manage to cover the grates not occupied by the stone, and encourage the heat to travel behind the stone and exit the front, you might have something.  Otherwise, not much different from anything anyone else has done/ tried/ bought the t-shirt/ forgot about it/ whatnot.
----  Just say' in.

Where are the pizza pics?
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Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Let the experimenting begin!
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2012, 05:10:19 AM »
I like it!

Nice form factor, interesting idea about the other burners being the top heat source.  You might need some more heat to do NP pies, but as is, your setup looks workable for NY style.

Post some pics, your recipe and process when you get to it, looking forward to seeing your results.
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

buceriasdon

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Re: Let the experimenting begin!
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2012, 06:06:10 AM »
Very nice. I look forward to your experiments.
Don

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Let the experimenting begin!
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2012, 07:22:04 AM »
Great ingenuity. I look forward to seeing your results and what the top temp can be.

John

Offline JRo

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Re: Let the experimenting begin!
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2012, 12:42:53 PM »
Yeah, I wasn't expecting the stone to show up so quickly - so didn't have any dough made.  Now I'm not sure when I'll be able to do it.  Bought a dough ball from a local NY pie guy that I'll try tonight just to see how it goes.

I had it up to 720 or so, but that was with the burners at medium.  There's a huge difference in output between medium and high, so I'm sure we could get it up to NP temps if I want to go there.

Jet_deck, I hear what you're saying about getting the air up from behind the stone - but the difference between this and most of the LBE type mods (at least that I've seen) is that they all have a single burner that must heat the stone and then whatever air/heat is left needs to be routed up and over the pizza.  This one has two extra giant burners that are doing nothing but pumping heat into the chamber.  I might need to add a top stone or lower the roof a bit, but we'll see how it works.  I don't see how those two side burners is any different than a fire pushed to the side of a brick dome?  You've still got fire moving up the sidewall to the top of the chamber.

Offline Michael130207

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Re: Let the experimenting begin!
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2012, 04:04:37 PM »
That looks really cool! I love the concept of having the two side burners for independent top heat adjustment.

Although I agree 
The essence of an efficient oven is a discrete thermal mass that is isolated and insulated to conserve the energy expended to heat it to operating temperatures and extend the operational time of use.



It needs some type of insulation on top. Possibly sandwiching a cermaic blanket in between two top pieces or casting perlcrete blocks.

Can't wait to see some pies.
Michael

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Let the experimenting begin!
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2012, 04:29:38 PM »
You've obviously done your research, and thank you for making that effort.

I have two concerns re the top heat:

1.  most of the side burner heat will go into heating up the shell.  Do you think you can add another inside layer about 1" down from the outer shell that will effectively guide the hot air to the cooking chamber?

2.  The front opening looks like it will lose most of the top heat right off the bat, without giving it a chance to hit the top of the pie before exiting.  You could either add a top-hinged door that closes off everything over 2" above the hearth, or add some airguides to direct the hot air down onto the pizza.

I know, I should wait until you post some pictures of the pizza, but I really like your efforts.  Unlike some others I've seen, you are not trying to be blatantly commercial about it.  DIY stuff really is my gig, and I like to see someone being creative.
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline petef

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Re: Let the experimenting begin!
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2012, 05:08:08 PM »
Judging from my own similar pizza grill design, I'd say you have 2 basic areas of improvement to work on. First you need a door on the front to keep the hot air from escaping and leaving you with an under baked crust in the front area.  Next, the stone is too large for the grill in the front/back direction. You need an inch or two in the front and back for the hot air to flow evenly around the stone. I know this because I originally had mine similar to yours with no space at the back of the stone for hot air to flow which resulted in under baked top crust at the rear end of the grill. Yes, even though I had plenty of heat coming from both sides, the back was being under baked. Once I shrunk the stone to allow about 1.5 inches of space at the front and back of the stone, the pie baked evenly.

Good luck! Excellent craftsmanship!
Looking forward to seeing pic of the pies you bake.

---pete---

« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 05:14:45 PM by petef »


Offline JRo

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Re: Let the experimenting begin!
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2012, 06:03:44 PM »
You've obviously done your research, and thank you for making that effort.

I have two concerns re the top heat:

1.  most of the side burner heat will go into heating up the shell.  Do you think you can add another inside layer about 1" down from the outer shell that will effectively guide the hot air to the cooking chamber?

2.  The front opening looks like it will lose most of the top heat right off the bat, without giving it a chance to hit the top of the pie before exiting.  You could either add a top-hinged door that closes off everything over 2" above the hearth, or add some airguides to direct the hot air down onto the pizza.

I know, I should wait until you post some pictures of the pizza, but I really like your efforts.  Unlike some others I've seen, you are not trying to be blatantly commercial about it.  DIY stuff really is my gig, and I like to see someone being creative.


I've been considering those two exact options.  Was looking for a 15"x22" kiln shelf last night.  This would fit in the top and the ends would extend into both of the 'side' chambers.  Was hoping to avoid throwing any more money at this.  Right now the only thing I've spent is for the stone.  I work in a metal shop, so the rest of it was scrap and a few minutes of screwing around.  Guess I'll wait to see how it actually cooks before I do any mods.

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Let the experimenting begin!
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2012, 07:16:18 PM »
If I were you, I wouldn't bother with the kiln shelf. That will just absorb heat that should be going straight onto the pie.  Just fabricate another metal layer that you can tack onto the shell about 1" down from the outer shell.  The air behind it will give you enough insulation to keep the heat going where you want it.
  
Then it's just a matter of directing the heat down onto the pie instead of out the door.  You could do this a couple different ways, but the best bet is to start by retarding the heat exit with a hinged door that brings down the height of the front opening, and can still be opened for easy launching & retrieval.

After you see how it bakes a few times, then you can add some baffles to put the airflow where you want it.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 07:18:03 PM by pizzaneer »
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline moose13

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Re: Let the experimenting begin!
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2012, 08:18:09 PM »
Looks cool to me, but the proof is in the pie, Lets see one already!  :-D

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Let the experimenting begin!
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2012, 07:42:46 PM »
What happened to this guy.......sheeesh!  All that good help.... ::)
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Let the experimenting begin!
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2012, 08:54:16 PM »
What happened to this guy.......sheeesh!  All that good help.... ::)
 
I know, but then I haven't made pizzas in weeks either.  Been too hot, too busy, or no one wants it.
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline JRo

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Re: Let the experimenting begin!
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2012, 10:23:25 PM »
Lol, sorry guys, been out of town for a giant family reunion.  I made two pies in this thing using a dough ball from a local NY pie place that is WAY better than a strip mall pizza in north Idaho should be.  Anyway, the stone was about 675F.  First pie went in and the bottom charred long before the top was done.  I picked it up with the peel and 'domed' it, and the top cooked right up, which leads me to believe that if the roof was closer, this might just work.

The second pie, I cooked on the stone for a minute or so, then slid a pan in under it.  It actually turned out pretty good, but required some rotating.

So, looks like the two issues mentioned need to be corrected.  I'm going to use a couple pieces of steel tubing to raise the stone 2".  This will get it closer to the ceiling.  Then I'm going to add a "door" on magnets, so I can adjust the size of the opening.  As far as insulation, I don't think I'm going to mess with it for now.  With 90K BTU's, who needs to 'conserve' heat?  We'll just make more. :)

I'll post some pics when I get a chance to make some dough (or go buy some).  Been swamped,  I picked up the grill unit for cooking for the crowd at the reunion, the pizza 'dome' was a side thought.  On a side note, the griddle and grill box attachments, and the deep frying capabilities are awesome.  Easy way to cook a lot of good food.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Let the experimenting begin!
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2012, 10:29:44 PM »

I'll post some pics when I get a chance to make some dough (or go buy some). 
Please don't do it on my account if you use store dough.....it's all been done man... ;)
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Let the experimenting begin!
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2012, 10:33:28 PM »
Welcome back, sounds like you have made some progress in your thinking and your plans.  I like the magnetic door idea!

Not sure how the stone raising will work out- all depends on air movement, so if you are opening up a gap under the stone such that the air can escape out the front, not so good - if the other way towards the back, might be great!

Good luck, looking forward to your pics.

Store dough's ok. The important thing at this point is tuning your heat balance.  Throw a freakin slice of bread in there if you want.  If it toasts evenly top and bottom at your target temp, it's about right.
 
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Let the experimenting begin!
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2012, 10:43:03 PM »
+1....and i wanna see a good clear pic of that slice of toast dude, kay?   >:D  Thanks!!
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"


 

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