Author Topic: Camp Chef Expedition and pizza  (Read 4798 times)

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Offline juniorballoon

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Camp Chef Expedition and pizza
« on: July 25, 2012, 03:04:44 PM »
After reading about the MPO, the 2Stone and the LBE, and not being happy with the amount of heat I get when just using my grill, I am now on the hunt for a better pizza oven. I have this Camp Chef stove, http://www.campchef.com/expedition-3x-triple-burner-stove.html , It has 3 burners, 2 that are set close so you can put the cast iron gridle over them. Each burner puts out 30,000 btu. I am thinking of fabricating a cover with a stone imbedded in the top that would go over the griddle and and cooking the pizza directly on the cast iron.

Are 60,000 btu's enough to get the heat up to 700 degrees? How much space should there be between the griddle top and the stone in the cover? I plan to make the cover out heavy gauge sheet metal, but how thick is thick enough? I have no plans to market, this is just so I can cook 6 pizzas in less than the 2 hours it took on my grill and not spend an arm and a leg.  :o

Thanks,
jb


Offline ThatsAmore

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Re: Camp Chef Expedition and pizza
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2012, 07:35:46 PM »
Who put that pie in my eye ?

Offline juniorballoon

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Re: Camp Chef Expedition and pizza
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2012, 09:30:50 AM »
I missed that in my initial search. Very interesting. My design will be a bit different than his, closer to what MPO and 2 stone are doing. I have no welding skills, but there is a metal working shop in town where I've had some work done. Will be calling them in a day or 2.

Thanks,
jb

Offline MightyPizzaOven

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Re: Camp Chef Expedition and pizza
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2012, 10:53:10 AM »
JB,

MPO use 304 ss 1.2 mm thickness, I have a 1/4" lip all around, to stiffen the support and prevent warping, height is about 5", the easiest way to hang to stone is to drill a whole in the center of the stone, and bolted the top, you can adjust the hieght as needed. Aluminium is another option, for my home made prototype I used Aluminium cake pan , 14 ga, you only need one opening on top to act as chimney. This should be the cheapest way to go, you should be able to do it yourself.
Bert,

Offline MightyPizzaOven

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Re: Camp Chef Expedition and pizza
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2012, 11:24:35 AM »
A sketch of DIY version of Mighty Pizza Oven, I hope it help.
Bert,

Offline juniorballoon

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Re: Camp Chef Expedition and pizza
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2012, 12:22:39 PM »
That is helpful, thanks bert. After doing some more reading I am going to ditch the cast iron grill and use a stone of some kind. I plan to make the cover slightly bigger than the stone to allow some hot air to come up around and a vent in the cover to direct the flow.

jb

Offline juniorballoon

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Re: Camp Chef Expedition and pizza
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2012, 02:52:11 PM »
Have begun pricing out having the box made. I need a 16x24x6 inch steel box. Questions I've run into are, does it need to be stainless? And does it need to be food grade?

Any thoughts appreciated.

jb

Offline MightyPizzaOven

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Re: Camp Chef Expedition and pizza
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2012, 07:29:42 AM »
Stainless does not rust like carbon steel, the other option is Aluminum which does not rust, but it has low meting point. If you are not going to expose the box to a very high temperature, go with aluminum with a heavy guage like 14 at least, and make sure to add a lip all arround the box for more strength.
Bert,

buceriasdon

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Re: Camp Chef Expedition and pizza
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2012, 08:52:26 AM »
jb, Stainless is certainly the way to go if money is no object, but you could get by with cold roll steel. I'm not a big fan of those high temp paints, I'd just season the box like one would cast iron if needed. Since you're not baking baking directly on the box it doesn't need to be food safe, but I would avoid using galvanized. And yes, I wouldn't use steel as a hearth unless your top stone temp is hotter than it.
Don

Offline juniorballoon

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Re: Camp Chef Expedition and pizza
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2012, 09:20:43 PM »
I'm going with 1/8 in sheet metal. Still waiting on a bid for the welding, but have priced two mullite 14x26x5/8 stones at $43 each. I hope time and materials on the welding don't come in much over $100. at that price, for an extra $180, I could have bought the 2stone grill adapter, but now it's the challenge of getting this to work.

jb


Offline Enz

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Re: Camp Chef Expedition and pizza
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2012, 12:45:03 PM »
JB there is another way to have pizza camping.  Coleman makes a folding oven that goes on top of your camp stove.  This is not the new oven with the stove on top, but rather a sheet metal contraption that folds fairly flat.  You can get one on Amazon for under $40. See: http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-5010D700T-Camp-Oven/dp/B0009PURJA/?tag=pizzamaking-20 .  Into this oven I put a little pizza stone made from a single granite tile cut into a 9" octagon.  All you need then is a little 9" pizza peel and you are in business! 

A bonus is that you can make all kinds of other things in the oven, pies, chicken, roasts, muffins, toast, cinamon rolls etc., etc., etc..

Offline juniorballoon

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Re: Camp Chef Expedition and pizza
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2012, 05:41:51 PM »
That is an interesting unit. I think it's a bit small for my purposes. I'm hoping to cook slightly bigger pies. I'm also quite clumsy and I can see myself having a hard time fitting a paddle into the 11 inch opening.

Thanks,
jb

Offline juniorballoon

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Re: Camp Chef Expedition and pizza
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2012, 12:30:26 PM »
I am trying a slightly different direction. After cooking some more pizze on my grill, and trying to get the temp up as high as possible, and in the process burning several pies :( , and then reading about other grill mods, I've decided one of my major problems is top heat. The other too much bottom heat. I did purchase an IR thermometer and before I burnt my pies the stone was reading 750 to 600. To solve this I've ordered two 14x26x5/8ths mullite kiln shelves.

I am going to drill 4 holes in the corners of each shelf and use stainless steel bolts with washers to bolt them together so they have a 4 to 5 inch gap seperating them. Start coals and put this contraption on the grill and let it heat up. When it's up to temp I'm going to flip it, so the top, hot side is up, and launch a pizza. This should reduce some of my bottom temp and give me some top heat. I plan to flip it inbetween cooking each pie.

My biggest question is how big should the gap be? From reading it looks like the lower the better, but lower makes it more difficult to launch the pie onto the stone. Any thoughts? Other than I'm crazy and should get some welding gloves. If this doesn't work I can use these two stones for my original Camp Chef mod.

Thanks,
jb

buceriasdon

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Re: Camp Chef Expedition and pizza
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2012, 02:29:27 PM »
You want foundry or glass workers gloves.
http://www.envirosafetyproducts.com/high-temperature.html
So how much will the unit weigh? Me, I would support the top stone somehow, cut the bottom stone so it will slip in between the supports. Preheat the top stone without the bottom until it gets close then slide the bottom stone onto the grate and allow it to come up to temp then load. Also I thought this was a three burner gas unit. Your last post says to start the coals. I'm confused.
Don

Offline juniorballoon

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Re: Camp Chef Expedition and pizza
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2012, 02:48:52 PM »
You want foundry or glass workers gloves.
http://www.envirosafetyproducts.com/high-temperature.html
So how much will the unit weigh? Me, I would support the top stone somehow, cut the bottom stone so it will slip in between the supports. Preheat the top stone without the bottom until it gets close then slide the bottom stone onto the grate and allow it to come up to temp then load. Also I thought this was a three burner gas unit. Your last post says to start the coals. I'm confused.
Don


Sorry for the confusion. I changed gears a bit. I do have the 3 burner propane unit. I alos have a charcoal grill. To use the Camp Chef I need to have a metal box made that will house the stones and contain the heat. It will cost me around $100 to have that done. After making pizza on my Chargriller grill this last weekend I realized I have a metal box. I also realized one of the problems with cooking pizza on a grill llike this is a lack of top heat. My plan is to securely bolt these two stones, one on top of the other, with a 4 to 5 inch gap inbetween. I've ordered the stones. When I get it built I'll post pics.

Thanks for the link to the gloves.

jb

Offline MightyPizzaOven

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Re: Camp Chef Expedition and pizza
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2012, 04:00:37 PM »
JB,

Just curious, why don't use my design,  the parts I listed, you can get them for less than $150, You can cook 6 pizzas in 40 minute or less . It is a proven design, you don't have to deal with welding, you just need to drill few holes. Even for the vents, instead being a 1x6" you can drill multiple 1 " holes and leave 1/4" space between. The I used ceramic/glass drill bit to drill in the center of the pizza stone, started with a small bit then used larger bit.
Bert,

Offline juniorballoon

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Re: Camp Chef Expedition and pizza
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2012, 04:19:40 PM »
JB,

Just curious, why don't use my design,  the parts I listed, you can get them for less than $150, You can cook 6 pizzas in 40 minute or less . It is a proven design, you don't have to deal with welding, you just need to drill few holes. Even for the vents, instead being a 1x6" you can drill multiple 1 " holes and leave 1/4" space between. The I used ceramic/glass drill bit to drill in the center of the pizza stone, started with a small bit then used larger bit.

Basically I am using your design for the Camp Chef idea, except I didn't want to use an aluminum pan. I looked for some stainless steel pans that might work, but they were the wrong size and too expensive. That's when I looked into the welding. After making several pies on the charcoal grill I really like the smoky flavor it imparts and so now I'm looking at some mods for the charcoal grill.

jb

Offline MightyPizzaOven

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Re: Camp Chef Expedition and pizza
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2012, 07:38:57 AM »
I have used the aluminum pan on gas grill no problem for and hour or so.. never left it longer to see if it will warp, I don't think there will ever be enough heat buildup to melt it. It is pretty thick...... I think it  is a good cheap alternative for gas grill light users.

Glad it is working for you. Please share some pictures if possible of your setup and pizza.
Bert,

Offline juniorballoon

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Re: Camp Chef Expedition and pizza
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2012, 06:41:14 PM »
Stones arrived yesterday and today I was able to get the hardware to put them together. Won't get a chance to cook on it until Sunday. There are 4 1/2 inces between the stones. It weighs about 30 pounds. Heavier than I was hoping. Will make flipping a bit of a challenge.

jb

Offline juniorballoon

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Re: Camp Chef Expedition and pizza
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2012, 12:18:29 PM »
Cooked 6 pizzas on the double stones. Best pizza yet. It wasn't hard to flip nor to launch the pizza. Preheated for an hour. Bottom stone was 650 and the top was 480. I flipped the stones and cooked the first pizza. Took about 7 miuntes. Each one after took a bit longer as the coals were dying. I probably didn't need an hour of preheating. As it was I had to add more Cowboy lump to finish the last two.

Next time I'm going to reduce the gap between the stones to 4 inches. Would like a bit more top cooking. This dough had a 65% hydration. Next time I'm going to use 58%-60% and with the smaller gap am expecting a slightly shorter cook time.

Pizza's were:
Pesto, chicken and artichoke hearts
Sausage and toscano salami
Brocollini, sausage and calabrese peppers (best pie of the night)
Potato and calabrese picante salami
Canadian and American bacon with egg
Fajita and country style ribs (just pulling stuff out of the fridge :) )

Please forgive the crappy photos. I'm especially disappointed in the brocollini pie. It deserved better.

https://picasaweb.google.com/105664714908032023977/Pizza?authuser=0&feat=directlink
« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 12:31:41 PM by juniorballoon »


 

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