Author Topic: Getting the Blackstone oven from Cabela's  (Read 51887 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

scott123

  • Guest
Re: Getting the Blackstone oven from Cabela's
« Reply #580 on: May 07, 2014, 03:39:18 PM »
Norma, generally speaking, cordierite (baking stone/kiln shelves, etc.) is really not that different from firebrick. 

Here's how I see baking stones. You've got your chemical bonded cementious stones (Fibrament, cheap Walmart stones, etc) and your heat bonded/sintered/kiln fired ceramic stones (fire brick, cordierite, schamotte, rokite, etc.).  For a while, based on the fragility, I thought the BS stones could be cementious (cementious stones are notoriously fragile), but, now that I've seen the BS stones in person, I'm confident that they're ceramic.  When you get into the ceramic realm, the manufacturing processes vary, as do the ratio of ingredients, but the core ingredients tend to be the same from stone to stone.  Every brand of baking stone/kiln shelf, just like every brand of fire brick, is going to have slightly different thermal properties, but it's all pretty much in the same ballpark- at least, it's similar enough in a blackstone setting, with it's innate ability to control top and bottom heat a bit more independently than a wood fired oven, that the differing properties aren't consequential.

The three very slightly different materials you're looking at might give you slightly different conductivities, but your issue is not related to conductivity.  The contrast that you're trying to avoid is a result of an unevenly heated stone (and possibly a stone that's a bit too hot).  Fire brick isn't going to help with this, nor is the other cordierite stone your experimenting with.  If the system is giving you hot spots on the stone, they'll give you the same hot spots on fire brick and on a different cordierite formula.

The BS tends to heat the floor a bit unevenly.  We're seeing this with the char rings some members are encountering along with the contrast you're trying to avoid.  As of this momement, on the Neapolitan side, we don't really have an easy solution, but, for NY, achieving an evenly heated stone should be considerably easier.

The first thing I'd do is to lower the pre-heat temp. Higher temps encourage contrast and inhibit crispiness.  Try 25 degrees less, maybe even 50.  As you bake with this, carefully check the temps on the stone, from the center to the outside, and make sure you're not seeing a huge disparity.

If you do see fluctuating temps on different areas of the stone, I would try a different tack.  It was Neapolitan, but the most even undercrust I've seen on a pizza yet with the BS was a pizza Chau made, and he happened to bake it AFTER he baked something else.  If your stone is unevenly heated, if you turn off the heat, an equilibrium will eventually be reached.  Try taking the stone 50 degrees higher than where you want and then give it enough of a rest to cool by those same 50 degrees. By the time the temp has dropped, the stone should be all one temp and should produce a very even bake.   We are talking about an extra investment in time- maybe 30 minutes to reach the peak temp and another 30 minutes to cool down/even out. But it should help.

One other thing to consider regarding lower pre-heat temps is that the dial on the BS is calibrated to provide either massive heat (when cranked) or slightly less than massive heat (at the lowest position)- both are generally a bit too much for NY, especially the crispier sub style you're striving for.  In order to tame the flame, you've got to carefully dial down the knob on the regulator a bit.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2014, 03:49:53 PM by scott123 »


scott123

  • Guest
Re: Getting the Blackstone oven from Cabela's
« Reply #581 on: May 07, 2014, 03:48:30 PM »
Also, for crispier pizza, a Kettlepizza is not a great idea. A Kettlepizza is going to give you less even heat than a blackstone.  You want as even heat as you can get and not really all that blisteringly hot.  A home oven is a better choice. If Bill really wants to bake crispy NY or Trenton style pizza outdoors, I would probably go with a regular baking stone (ideally something lower conductivity such as quarry tiles or fibrament) in a gas grill. If you put foil underneath the stone, with stainless washers for an air gap, the heat will flow up past the foil and over the pizza, and, as long as you keep the lid on, I think you can see a balanced 7+ minute bake (for crispy NY) and 12+ (for Trenton).

Offline Tampa

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1602
Re: Getting the Blackstone oven from Cabela's
« Reply #582 on: May 07, 2014, 04:26:55 PM »
Scott’s points are well-reasoned, IMO.  A few comments.

The thickness of the stones gives me pause as they are likely to take a more time to heat up.  I would prefer a thinner brick, but those probably don’t exist as they might crack from thermal shock when launching a cold pie.

I’ve always been a fan of how evenly the Blackstone heats the stone – but my level of perfection is nowhere near the perfectly uniform crust color that Norma is striving for.

I agree with Scott’s point about reaching steady-state temperature with the baking stone.  Heat flows through the platter/stone assembly like hot water flows through a pipe – it takes a while.  Sometimes during oven warm-up, we take the IR temperature, think everything is fine, and then we are surprised when the bottom is over-charred. 

As an experiment, I placed a cordierite stone over my gas range and turned the burner on high.  It took two minutes for the stone temperature to go from room temperature, 84F, to 130F.  For most of that time, I could easily hold my hand on the stone.  But even if I turned the burner off at 2 minutes, it wouldn’t not have been wise to keep my hand in place because more heat was on the way (just like hot water flowing through a pipe).

Scott also makes a good point about the Blackstone valve providing massive heat or slightly less massive.  The simple solution of dialing back the regulator is a good test to see if that helps. 

Love the pictures Norma.  You do have a well-seasoned grill and pizza stone.  :-D

Dave

Offline norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22628
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Getting the Blackstone oven from Cabela's
« Reply #583 on: May 07, 2014, 07:46:00 PM »
Norma, generally speaking, cordierite (baking stone/kiln shelves, etc.) is really not that different from firebrick. 

Here's how I see baking stones. You've got your chemical bonded cementious stones (Fibrament, cheap Walmart stones, etc) and your heat bonded/sintered/kiln fired ceramic stones (fire brick, cordierite, schamotte, rokite, etc.).  For a while, based on the fragility, I thought the BS stones could be cementious (cementious stones are notoriously fragile), but, now that I've seen the BS stones in person, I'm confident that they're ceramic.  When you get into the ceramic realm, the manufacturing processes vary, as do the ratio of ingredients, but the core ingredients tend to be the same from stone to stone.  Every brand of baking stone/kiln shelf, just like every brand of fire brick, is going to have slightly different thermal properties, but it's all pretty much in the same ballpark- at least, it's similar enough in a blackstone setting, with it's innate ability to control top and bottom heat a bit more independently than a wood fired oven, that the differing properties aren't consequential.

The three very slightly different materials you're looking at might give you slightly different conductivities, but your issue is not related to conductivity.  The contrast that you're trying to avoid is a result of an unevenly heated stone (and possibly a stone that's a bit too hot).  Fire brick isn't going to help with this, nor is the other cordierite stone your experimenting with.  If the system is giving you hot spots on the stone, they'll give you the same hot spots on fire brick and on a different cordierite formula.

The BS tends to heat the floor a bit unevenly.  We're seeing this with the char rings some members are encountering along with the contrast you're trying to avoid.  As of this momement, on the Neapolitan side, we don't really have an easy solution, but, for NY, achieving an evenly heated stone should be considerably easier.

The first thing I'd do is to lower the pre-heat temp. Higher temps encourage contrast and inhibit crispiness.  Try 25 degrees less, maybe even 50.  As you bake with this, carefully check the temps on the stone, from the center to the outside, and make sure you're not seeing a huge disparity.

If you do see fluctuating temps on different areas of the stone, I would try a different tack.  It was Neapolitan, but the most even undercrust I've seen on a pizza yet with the BS was a pizza Chau made, and he happened to bake it AFTER he baked something else.  If your stone is unevenly heated, if you turn off the heat, an equilibrium will eventually be reached.  Try taking the stone 50 degrees higher than where you want and then give it enough of a rest to cool by those same 50 degrees. By the time the temp has dropped, the stone should be all one temp and should produce a very even bake.   We are talking about an extra investment in time- maybe 30 minutes to reach the peak temp and another 30 minutes to cool down/even out. But it should help.

One other thing to consider regarding lower pre-heat temps is that the dial on the BS is calibrated to provide either massive heat (when cranked) or slightly less than massive heat (at the lowest position)- both are generally a bit too much for NY, especially the crispier sub style you're striving for.  In order to tame the flame, you've got to carefully dial down the knob on the regulator a bit.

I didn't know generally speaking that cordierite is really not that different than firebrick.  Glad to hear that you now think the BS stones are ceramic.  I understand that every brand of baking stone/kin shelf and firebrick will have a slightly different thermal property. 

Interesting that you think that an unevenly heat stone, or a stone that is too hot, might be the problem of  what I want to do.  I know about the char ring. 

I will try a lower temperature, dial back the knob on the regulator, try shutting off the heat if I see fluctuating temperatures on different areas and check the temperatures of the stone during bake.  That is if I can do all that in one bake.  :-D What time frame do you think a NY style pizza should be baked in the BS and what temperature would you try?  Did you ever try your formulation out in your BS, and if you did, what did you do for better even browning on the bottom crust?

One thing I really don't understand, and that is how Steve gets such good bakes in his bbq grill mod with temperatures around 645 degrees F with firebricks on the bottom and top of his bbq mod.  Is it the thicker firebricks and the fire burning in the back that make his bakes so good? 

Norma 
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22628
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Getting the Blackstone oven from Cabela's
« Reply #584 on: May 07, 2014, 07:50:26 PM »
Also, for crispier pizza, a Kettlepizza is not a great idea. A Kettlepizza is going to give you less even heat than a blackstone.  You want as even heat as you can get and not really all that blisteringly hot.  A home oven is a better choice. If Bill really wants to bake crispy NY or Trenton style pizza outdoors, I would probably go with a regular baking stone (ideally something lower conductivity such as quarry tiles or fibrament) in a gas grill. If you put foil underneath the stone, with stainless washers for an air gap, the heat will flow up past the foil and over the pizza, and, as long as you keep the lid on, I think you can see a balanced 7+ minute bake (for crispy NY) and 12+ (for Trenton).

Thanks Scott,

I will direct Trenton Bill to your post.  Bill said he can get a good bake in his home oven for a NY style pizza but not for a Trenton style pizza.  Bill has quarry tiles in his home oven so maybe he could try them in a gas grill.   He does have a good Weber gas grill he could try.  I will let Bill figure out what he want to do in all of his ovens.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22628
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Getting the Blackstone oven from Cabela's
« Reply #585 on: May 07, 2014, 07:56:05 PM »
Scott’s points are well-reasoned, IMO.  A few comments.

The thickness of the stones gives me pause as they are likely to take a more time to heat up.  I would prefer a thinner brick, but those probably don’t exist as they might crack from thermal shock when launching a cold pie.

I’ve always been a fan of how evenly the Blackstone heats the stone – but my level of perfection is nowhere near the perfectly uniform crust color that Norma is striving for.

I agree with Scott’s point about reaching steady-state temperature with the baking stone.  Heat flows through the platter/stone assembly like hot water flows through a pipe – it takes a while.  Sometimes during oven warm-up, we take the IR temperature, think everything is fine, and then we are surprised when the bottom is over-charred. 

As an experiment, I placed a cordierite stone over my gas range and turned the burner on high.  It took two minutes for the stone temperature to go from room temperature, 84F, to 130F.  For most of that time, I could easily hold my hand on the stone.  But even if I turned the burner off at 2 minutes, it wouldn’t not have been wise to keep my hand in place because more heat was on the way (just like hot water flowing through a pipe).

Scott also makes a good point about the Blackstone valve providing massive heat or slightly less massive.  The simple solution of dialing back the regulator is a good test to see if that helps. 

Love the pictures Norma.  You do have a well-seasoned grill and pizza stone.  :-D

Dave

Love your tests Dave!  8) 

I know my pizza stone is really bad.  My home oven does not have a cleaning cycle or I would try that to clean the pizza stone.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Online Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 11343
  • Location: Durham,NC
  • Easy peazzy
Re: Getting the Blackstone oven from Cabela's
« Reply #586 on: May 07, 2014, 09:39:27 PM »
"All" stone materials do not bake "pretty much the same" and she don't need to get all complicated with "dialing in" the regulator knob.

CB
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline Tampa

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1602
Re: Getting the Blackstone oven from Cabela's
« Reply #587 on: May 08, 2014, 08:15:25 AM »
"All" stone materials do not bake "pretty much the same" and she don't need to get all complicated with "dialing in" the regulator knob.

CB
I do like a good challenge.  Many times in pizza making I've been surprised by results - so the proof is in the pie.

As a suggestion, maybe Norma considers running the tests and we spectators wager on the results.  The maximum pot is limited to the cost of the cut firebricks and the money goes to reimburse Norma.   The question is which stone option makes the better NY pie as measured by uniform crust color (BS Stock Cordieirte, Norma's 'seasoned' Cordierite Stone with Feet, or Firebrick splits)?

Dave

Offline norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22628
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Getting the Blackstone oven from Cabela's
« Reply #588 on: May 08, 2014, 09:36:00 AM »
I do like a good challenge.  Many times in pizza making I've been surprised by results - so the proof is in the pie.

As a suggestion, maybe Norma considers running the tests and we spectators wager on the results.  The maximum pot is limited to the cost of the cut firebricks and the money goes to reimburse Norma.   The question is which stone option makes the better NY pie as measured by uniform crust color (BS Stock Cordieirte, Norma's 'seasoned' Cordierite Stone with Feet, or Firebrick splits)?

Dave

Dave,

I agree, that many times in pizza making I have been surprised by using different methods to be able to obtain different results.  There are so many variables that can go into making one kind of pizza with the results that want to be achieved.  I am still on the same journey on my other thread in making the same kind of pie in a different oven than the BS.  I still have not gotten that exactly right.

From the owner's manual for the BS it says there are ceramic stones in the BS.  http://cdn.shocho.co/sc-specsheets/1575_PizzaOven_manual.pdf I sure don't know much of anything about ceramic stones and especially ones that are so thin like in the BS.  The thing that gets me is how the BS bottom stone heats.  It heats up quickly but not evenly across the stone.  I have tried lower temperatures and also have tried heating the stones for longer times.     

I don't mind spending the money for the firebricks and to have them cut.  I have spent way more money on things to try before.   

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22628
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Getting the Blackstone oven from Cabela's
« Reply #589 on: May 10, 2014, 12:45:59 PM »
I went to get the cut spit firebricks this morning.  I think they did a good job on cutting the firebricks.  I sanded and cleaned out the inside of the BS.  The standard motor does turn the firebricks and platter. 

When I went to Drohan Brick & Supply, Inc. I saw an area that I had not seen before.  I went to investigate the wood-fired oven there.   >:D The inside of the wood-fired oven is small and the dome is low.  I asked the owner of Drohan Brick & Supply, Inc. what they use that wood-fired oven for.  He told me they only use it for pizzas.  I asked how many times do they make pizzas in it.  He told me the only use it for their open houses.  I asked what kind of dough they use.  He told me Sal from Sal's Pizza in Mt. Joy brings his own dough and other ingredients and bakes a lot of pizzas in their open house hours.  I said I know Sal because he is the person that taught me how to make pizza sauce and also helped me when I first starting making pizzas.  The owner of Drohan Brick told me to come to their open house and make some dough if I want to try out their wood-fired oven.  That date is June 19 and I told him I would be there if at all possible.  I asked what temperature Sal uses for his pizzas in the WFO and he said he really did not know but the pizzas are baked in two minutes.  I don't know anything about the kind of WFO Drohan Brick has.

If it doesn't rain it the next few hours I am going to fire-up the BS to see if firebricks keep a more constant temperature on the bottom and see how long it takes the firebricks to heat up.  I wonder how much I should turned the flame up to heat the firebricks.   

This is a video of the standard motor on the BS turning the spit firebricks on the platter.

 

Norma 
Always working and looking for new information!


Offline Tampa

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1602
Re: Getting the Blackstone oven from Cabela's
« Reply #590 on: May 10, 2014, 03:35:01 PM »
I love the stone cut they did for your Blackstone Norma.  Really nice.

As with all good scientific experiments, you should begin with a hypothesis.  In this case the appropriate assertion is that firebrick will bake a NY Pie more evenly than cordierite. 

Although I really like Scott's arguments, a quick search shows that cordierite conducts roughly 3x better than firebrick (see links below if you care).  Hence, based on Google, zero experience, and arguably little expertise, I'm betting that you will be happy with the NY pie.

Dave

November on Cordierite: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=5645.0
SCChris/Forno Bravo on Firebrick: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/soapstone-vs-firebrick-13110.html

Offline norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22628
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Getting the Blackstone oven from Cabela's
« Reply #591 on: May 10, 2014, 05:06:21 PM »
I love the stone cut they did for your Blackstone Norma.  Really nice.

As with all good scientific experiments, you should begin with a hypothesis.  In this case the appropriate assertion is that firebrick will bake a NY Pie more evenly than cordierite. 

Although I really like Scott's arguments, a quick search shows that cordierite conducts roughly 3x better than firebrick (see links below if you care).  Hence, based on Google, zero experience, and arguably little expertise, I'm betting that you will be happy with the NY pie.

Dave

November on Cordierite: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=5645.0
SCChris/Forno Bravo on Firebrick: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/soapstone-vs-firebrick-13110.html

Dave,

I like your hypothesis idea.

Thanks for the link from November and the link to Foro Bravo!  I still have my soapstone that I could get cut if the firebricks, cordierite, or the regular ceramic stone that came with the BS doesn't work well for the bottom crust browning I want. 

I did not fire-up the BS today because I forgot the IR gun at market.   :(  :-[

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Online Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 11343
  • Location: Durham,NC
  • Easy peazzy
Re: Getting the Blackstone oven from Cabela's
« Reply #592 on: May 11, 2014, 10:34:30 AM »
After rereading Scott's post above I think he is on the right track there Norma. Especially about taking the temp higher up than needed, then letting it cool down(and even out the heat across the stone) to the temp you actually need to bake at.

My BS flame can go real low so I still don't believe one should have to play with the tank regulator.

Bob
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22628
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Getting the Blackstone oven from Cabela's
« Reply #593 on: May 11, 2014, 12:52:05 PM »
After rereading Scott's post above I think he is on the right track there Norma. Especially about taking the temp higher up than needed, then letting it cool down(and even out the heat across the stone) to the temp you actually need to bake at.

My BS flame can go real low so I still don't believe one should have to play with the tank regulator.

Bob

Bob,

Thanks for your thoughts about you agreeing with Scott.  I sure don't know but think that approach would take a lot of fooling around if multiple pies would be made.  My BS flame can go really low too.  I will tests all methods using different stones in due time.

I might also try the firebricks for a Neapolitan pizza so I can see what would happen.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Online Chicago Bob

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 11343
  • Location: Durham,NC
  • Easy peazzy
Re: Getting the Blackstone oven from Cabela's
« Reply #594 on: May 14, 2014, 09:05:52 AM »
Norma,
Have you tried a bake without the washers?

CB
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22628
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Getting the Blackstone oven from Cabela's
« Reply #595 on: May 14, 2014, 09:16:09 AM »
Norma,
Have you tried a bake without the washers?

CB

Bob,

Yes, I have tried some NY style pizza bakes without the washers.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22628
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Getting the Blackstone oven from Cabela's
« Reply #596 on: May 16, 2014, 07:38:55 PM »
I wanted to try out the Blackstone with the firebricks sooner to see if the firebricks would give a decent browning of the bottom crust for a NY style pizza.  Things got in the way this past week working in the yard, pulling weeds, painting and doing other things outside.  I still have a lot of work to do outside but I thought the heck with the work today after I got home from market.  I took a frozen dough ball out of the freezer (that was leftover from market) because I was not expecting to make pizza in the BS tonight.  The dough ball was time defrosted.  I knew the dough ball would be too large for the BS so I just cut some dough off when the dough ball was defrosted.  I have no idea of how much the dough ball then weighed.  I also used the pizza mold to shape the dough ball before opening the rest of the way to 14”. 

I had no idea what temperature to try with the firebricks.  I thought I would shoot for about 600 degrees F for the first bake.  I was surprised how fast the firebrick heat up in the BS.  I didn't have the flame the whole way on high, but it was fairly high.  The first temperature reading was after 13 minutes.  The next temperature reading was after 3 more minutes.  The temperature quickly went up after that and at 20 minutes it was over 600 degrees F.  I then turned the flame down lower.  The pizza was loaded at about 600 degrees F.  At the last minute, at the end of the bake, I turned up the flame because I wanted to get better rim crust browning.  That was probably a mistake because then there were some darker spots on the rim crust and the combination of cheeses browned more than I wanted them to. 

At least I got an almost even brown bottom crust bake.  Also the pizza was good.  I will still have to work on what temperature to bake at with firebricks.  I think I might try about 550 degrees F then next time.  The bake time with firebricks for this pizza was 5 minutes. 

There are two videos I took of the temperatures across the stone and a part video of the bake.  I will post them as soon as they upload.  I didn't do a good job of taking the temperatures of the firebricks in the first video, but they seem to heat pretty evenly for the flame being on the one side in the BS.

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22628
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Getting the Blackstone oven from Cabela's
« Reply #597 on: May 16, 2014, 07:43:17 PM »
Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22628
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Getting the Blackstone oven from Cabela's
« Reply #598 on: May 16, 2014, 07:47:26 PM »
Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline norma427

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22628
  • Location: Lancaster County, Pa.
    • learningknowledgetomakepizza
Re: Getting the Blackstone oven from Cabela's
« Reply #599 on: May 16, 2014, 08:12:50 PM »
The two videos.



and



Norma
Always working and looking for new information!