Author Topic: Weber 22 1/2" Performer  (Read 1243 times)

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Offline Browninggold

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Weber 22 1/2" Performer
« on: June 23, 2013, 09:11:01 AM »
Hello, I have a Weber Performer with a 19" Baking Steel for pizza. What would be the best option for making pizzas on this setup? I was thinking a few fire bricks to set on Weber grate and then put the 19" Baking Steel on the bricks to get higher toward the dome.
Or purchase the Pizza accessory for Weber grills...I forget the name of the item. Maybe Kettle Pizza oven? I know Weber makes a pizza making accessory for the European countries which I wish was available here in the States but unfortunately I contacted Weber CS and they stated they have no plans for a launch in the U.S. I'm just looking for suggestions to make a better pizza. Brown the top a little better. Thanks


Offline scott123

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Re: Weber 22 1/2" Performer
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2013, 10:06:52 AM »
Roger, it all boils down to the style of pizza you're trying to make, which, in turn, is a question of bake time.  Fast baked (less than 90 seconds) Neapolitan pizza isn't very viable on a charcoal Weber.  You can do 3 minute Neo-NY (some char) or fast NY (puffy/chewy/not very crisp/up to 5 minutes) with the right equipment. For that kind of bake time, this is, to date, the preferred tool for non DIYers:

http://www.kettlepizza.com/KettlePizza-Deluxe-KPD-22-p/kpd-22.htm

If you have DIY inclinations, then something very similar can be fashioned out of a strip of sheet metal (no zinc) or flashing.

If, on the other hand, you want an American-ish style golden brown, crispy, with not too much flop pizza baked for longer than 7 minutes, then all you need for that is a stone. As far as choosing a stone goes, that's again, personal taste.  I like big pizzas better than smaller ones.  A 22.5" weber should be able to accommodate a 19" stone with room for air flow. I just did a quick search for 19" circular kiln shelves, and they tend to a be a bit scarce and on the expensive expensive side:

http://shop.clay-planet.com/round-kiln-shelves.aspx

If you're fine with smaller pizzas, this is a quality product:

http://www.axner.com/cordieriteshelf-16roundx58.aspx

Fibrament is one last option- and it might work a bit better than a kiln shelf for a 7+ minute bake, but, I tend to prefer cordierite kiln shelves because they're a bit more durable.

http://bakingstone.com/shop/barbecue_grill/

One disclaimer: I haven't seen a lot of single stone Weber bakes.  The Kettlepizza is fairly proven when it comes to 3+ minute bakes:

http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2013/06/pizza-lab-kettle-pizza-upgrade-short.html?ref=title

but there's a chance, perhaps with careful fire placement, and very quick turning (to keep the lid closed as much as possible), one could enter a 3-4 minute territory with a Weber and a kiln shelf.  As far as I know, though, I haven't seen it.

Also, regarding steel- steel's only possible role in a bottom heat scenario such as a Weber is as a ceiling. If you bake on it, the extreme conductivity of the steel will cause the bottom to burn long before the top finishes baking.

« Last Edit: June 23, 2013, 10:16:11 AM by scott123 »

Offline Browninggold

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Re: Weber 22 1/2" Performer
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2013, 10:16:12 AM »
Thanks scot123, excellent info. I had Andris from Baking Steel make a custom 19". I should probably purchase the Kettle Pizza kit. Thanks again

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Weber 22 1/2" Performer
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2013, 01:48:41 PM »
In my opinion, steel is the worst choice you could make for a weber.  The balance of heat will be way off without a major buffer bellow the steel.
-Jeff

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Weber 22 1/2" Performer
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2013, 03:54:15 PM »
I'd be leary of steel also, I tried a cast iron griddle plate over coals once and the crust was burnt to hell before the top was cooked.

Offline JBizzeria

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Re: Weber 22 1/2" Performer
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2013, 04:46:54 PM »
I have the Pizza kettle on my performer and it works great!  I bought an extra rack and placed another pizza stone on top  that radiates the heat down as well as the cooking surface pizza stone.  I get great results, but I have burned a bunch first learning.http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,25787.0.html

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Weber 22 1/2" Performer
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2013, 04:56:54 PM »
Sounds like you have a 19" steel disc that is unusable for its originally intended purpose.  Have no fear, it shall not go to waste. 

If you have a circular saw, you can trim off a chord so that it will fit into your kitchen oven.  It will make great pizzas for you in there.

If you want to explore making an LBE, like so many others on this forum have, the steel disc will come in REALLY handy.  You put your low-conductance baking stone on TOP of it.  It serves as the air dam forcing the superheated air to flow around the hearth.

If you want to try duplicating the Kettle Pizza rig for several hundred dollars less than retail, you've just about got everything you need already.  A little work with a drill, a baking stone, and strip of flashing later, you have a charcoal-powered pizza oven.

I have a Performer myself.  I love it, and have found it to be very versatile after a few modifications.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16863.msg164304.html#msg164304
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.


 

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