Author Topic: Tweaking the pizza kettle  (Read 2919 times)

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Offline dhorst

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Tweaking the pizza kettle
« on: August 08, 2012, 07:03:29 PM »
Hi, everyone! 
Some of you may recognize me from MPM over on Slice.  Kenji recently tested the pizza kettle insert for a Weber charcoal grill.  There's a guy who took Kenji's tips and came up with the following tweaks that look reasonable to me, but I thought I would see what you folks think.
http://kettlepizza.blogspot.com/

Thanks for any input on this.  I'd love a WFO, but I've got to put two kids through college.

Diana


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Tweaking the pizza kettle
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2012, 10:33:30 PM »
Hi Diana,

It looks reasonable to me in most respects. I really like the ability to add more wood. That has always seemed like a shortcoming of the kette. I also like the extra thermal mass and reduced air space from the stone above. My main question would be, can you get it hot enough without getting the bottom stone so hot that it burns the bottom of the pie? Probably not going to bake NP pies. I'm guessing this is a 4ish minute bake set-up?

Craig
Pizza is not bread.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Tweaking the pizza kettle
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2012, 10:36:15 PM »
Putting a layer of foil under the bottom stone might help by reflecting some of the direct heat from the fire back down and keeping the bottom stone a little cooler. It helped with my old grill mod.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline FVG

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Re: Tweaking the pizza kettle
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2012, 06:15:43 AM »
The Pizza Kettle works very well with some mods - one of the best ones is to lower the top stone down to about 3 1/2 inches above the bottom. The bottom grate / stone in my setup is now supported by the grill itself and not by the Kettle so if you have to lift it the weight is fair bit lighter. If using only coal / wood I can just slide the Kettle forward a bit as I am using the hinged grate as well on the bottom and have taken the hinged section off the grate. I have used coal / wood for high temperatures with a 2 to 2 1/2 minute bake time and now with an LBE mod gas and wood together and have done 6 minute bakes.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Tweaking the pizza kettle
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2012, 10:42:58 AM »
Putting a layer of foil under the bottom stone might help by reflecting some of the direct heat from the fire back down and keeping the bottom stone a little cooler. It helped with my old grill mod.

Here's a few pics of a pizza I made yesterday in an unmodified grill with foil under the stone (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20342.msg200618.html#msg200618). Although I could have used a little more top heat, I really like how the bottom of the crust turned out (see the fourth pic). I know from experience that if I had used the stone in the grill without foil, the bottom of the crust would have ended up black and perhaps inedible.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Tweaking the pizza kettle
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2012, 12:34:53 PM »
Here's a few pics of a pizza I made yesterday in an unmodified grill with foil under the stone (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20342.msg200618.html#msg200618). Although I could have used a little more top heat, I really like how the bottom of the crust turned out (see the fourth pic). I know from experience that if I had used the stone in the grill without foil, the bottom of the crust would have ended up black and perhaps inedible.

Great looking pie. What type of pepperoni was that?
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Tweaking the pizza kettle
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2012, 01:43:38 PM »
Great looking pie. What type of pepperoni was that?

Thanks. It was the Bridgford 16 oz stick, sliced reasonably thin.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Tweaking the pizza kettle
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2012, 06:57:01 PM »
Pizza is not bread.

scott123

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Re: Tweaking the pizza kettle
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2012, 08:46:51 PM »
Diana, while the work Kenji did with the kettlepizza insert was pretty encouraging, unfortunately, we're not at a point where there's a set list of mods that will guarantee you great pizza. The biggest flaw with Kenji's results is that wood can easily reach foil melting temps, so you do not want to block the top of the insert with foil.  At the same time, though, you want to block the gap with something, so you can force the hot air out of the opening in the side.

A round 21" stone should hopefully fit snuggly enough inside the insert to force the hot through the opening. If you go the 21" round stone route, here's a few notes:

1. Don't get it from California Pizza Stones.  They sell a vanilla cordierite kiln shelf at double the price.  Find a local ceramic supplier and avoid shipping charges or get a stone from Axner.

2. Unless you plan on grilling on the top of the insert, you don't really need an extra grate. You can support the top stone with 3 or 4 strategically placed bolts.

If a 21" stone does turn out to be a snug fit, then that stone, with holes for bolts drilled just above the opening, should both give you the ability to use wood without worry and make something equal to or better than Kenji's most recent KettlePizza offering. If you play your cards right, you might even approach something along the lines of Craig's recent NY style MPO testing pies:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,20334.msg200768.html#msg200768

Since it works best to have the flame on the side, I think having a space to feed the fire with wood is counterproductive.  Bottom stone on one side, wood log flame on the other.


Offline dhorst

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Re: Tweaking the pizza kettle
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2012, 03:51:43 PM »
Thanks for all of the helpful information!  I'm going to have to think about this for a little while.  I did find a 21" corderite stone on Axner for a lot less than California's.  If I go through with it, I'll try to post some pics.  Thanks again, all!


Offline ptix

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Re: Tweaking the pizza kettle
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2014, 09:15:33 AM »
Has anyone used the 3/16 inch Baking Steel for the KettlePizza instead of the stone - how were the results compared to the stone ?


 

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