Author Topic: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.  (Read 3893 times)

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Offline Jinhua

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Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« on: September 08, 2013, 11:42:49 AM »
I have a large wood burning grill.  I can raise and lower the grill grate with a wheel so I can control how much heat is under the grill surface.  I burn oak and though I have not measured temps, I imagine I can get it to 800 degrees. 

My idea is to fabricate a rectangular steel box which is open on one end (the front) that sits on the grate over the fire.  The floor of the box would utilize the baking steel I just bought designed to be a super hot surface for Neapolitan pizza.  Questions:  should I have a "door" on the open end that can be closed while baking the pizza or if it gets hot enough, that is not needed?  Do I need some sort of vent on the top of the unit?
 
I envision this being a rectangle, perhaps 24" wide by 30" deep by 6-8" high.

What do you think?  Will this work?  What mods do you suggest?
« Last Edit: September 08, 2013, 11:47:26 AM by Jinhua »


Offline shuboyje

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Re: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2013, 11:50:51 AM »
Nope, thats a recipe for a very unbalanced bake. 

Steel and high temperatures don't mix.  Steel at 650 will cook a 60 second Neapolitan pizza. 

Steel also does not mix with bottom heat source ovens, you will never get enough top heat to balance the bottom heat from the steel directly over the fire.

You want the opposite of steel.  You want a material with a very low thermal conductivity that can have a huge fire hitting it without overheating.  The huge fire will hopefully then produce enough top heat for a balanced bake.
-Jeff

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2013, 11:55:35 AM »
Search for "mighty pizza oven".

Offline Jinhua

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Re: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2013, 12:06:43 PM »
Thanks.  I will start by trying the steel on the open grill, flipping the dough to cook both sides.  I appreciate your answer.

What is "mighty pizza oven".?

Offline Jinhua

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Re: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2013, 12:21:40 PM »
An, I see that Bert is far ahead of me.  So I can buy an already made unit to put on my grill.  Has it been tested by anyone on this forum?  I'll do a search.

Thanks Tscarborough.

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2013, 12:26:17 PM »
An, I see that Bert is far ahead of me.  So I can buy an already made unit to put on my grill.  Has it been tested by anyone on this forum?  I'll do a search.

I tested one of the prototypes, and I was very impressed. It's easy to use, has a short learning curve, and it works.  I have considerable experience baking pies in a modified grill, and IMO, it's one of the very best grill top solutions available. Bert has posted tons of results here. A dozen or so of us have had the chance to meet him. He's a straight up guy.

Here is his website: http://www.mightypizzaoven.com/shop/mighty-pizza-oven/

"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline Jinhua

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Re: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2013, 01:26:15 PM »
I read your posts testing the MPO, and looked at his website and the various YouTube videos.  Very impressive and a nice looking add on to my Grilleryworks wood burning grill.  I am starting at a base of zero with dough making so I think I need to get some of that under my belt before I start buying a $300 accessory.   :-D  I have  tendency to shoot before I aim, and I need to check that here.

Reading the posts about dough making, I realize how much I have to learn.  If you can direct be to some posts that have beginners' dough, maybe that's where I will start.  I do my grilling on the weekends, so I can make the dough in my NYC apartment during the week and bring it up to my place with the grill for pizza weekends.

Happy to have something new to obsess about!   :o

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2013, 01:35:16 PM »
What style of pizza do you want to make? How do you plan to bake it?  As Jeff noted, a steel plate on a grill probably isn't going anywhere.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline Jinhua

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Re: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2013, 02:17:02 PM »
I prefer Neopolitan pizza, though a New York style pizza is good too.  I bought the steel after reading some very positive reviews on Serious Eater.  Have yet to use it.


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2013, 03:15:39 PM »
I prefer Neopolitan pizza, though a New York style pizza is good too.  I bought the steel after reading some very positive reviews on Serious Eater.  Have yet to use it.

The steel has a place, but that place is in a home oven - not on a grill. It's an order of magnitude too conductive - literally.  When SE used it in the kettle grill, they didn't put the pie on it, they put the steel above the pie.

Depending on the power of the broiler in you oven, you may get some good "neapolitan" results out of the steel with this method:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11654.0.html
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10024.0.html

About the only thing you'll likely be able to do on your grill without some sort of box like the MPO to give you top heat is the Alton Brown sort of grilled pizza: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/grilled-pizza-three-ways-recipe/index.html

There are probably dough formulas in the links above, but here is another I like:  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=21730.0  You can substitute 0.03% IDY for the cake yeast.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline Jinhua

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Re: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2013, 03:49:13 PM »
TX, I am grateful for your advice.  A friend in the UK put me on to this little beauty.  The Chadwick Oven.
I may decide the convenience of the stovetop trumps having to build a fire, especially in winter.
http://chadwickoven.com/introduction
So now I have another track to explore before I go running down any.

Thanks for taking the time to advise this wet behind the ears pizzaiola. ;D

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2013, 08:24:30 PM »
TX, I am grateful for your advice.  A friend in the UK put me on to this little beauty.  The Chadwick Oven.
I may decide the convenience of the stovetop trumps having to build a fire, especially in winter.
http://chadwickoven.com/introduction
So now I have another track to explore before I go running down any.

Thanks for taking the time to advise this wet behind the ears pizzaiola. ;D

I hadn't seen that one before. The pie they cook in the video is on a razor-thin crust. I wonder how it performs with a NY or NP style pie. My guess is not so good. I don't think that thing gets anywhere near the 500C they hint at.

You could get 2 mighty pizza ovens for the same $$$.
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2013, 08:50:51 PM »
In Europe weber markets a pizza oven for their kettle grills based on this oven and there is some talk of it on the forum.  It did not get very good reviews if I recall correctly.  On top of that a 4 minute bake on the stove top is a cake walk.  All you need is your steel plate and a little sheetmetal.  The drawing pretty much says it all.  The front burner controls the temperature of the stone and the bottom heat, the rear burner controls the top heat. 
-Jeff

Offline bbqchuck

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Re: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2013, 11:58:24 PM »
looks like a stainless steel Santa Maria grill.  From California all the way to NY.  It should do what you asked about, but I'd be gettin that thing loaded with tri-tip.   :-D

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Re: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2013, 01:12:45 AM »
The drawing pretty much says it all.

Awesome.  Is this the basis for your recent invention?  Are you sure you want to let the cat out of the bag?  ;D

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2013, 10:09:10 AM »
In Europe weber markets a pizza oven for their kettle grills based on this oven and there is some talk of it on the forum.  It did not get very good reviews if I recall correctly.  On top of that a 4 minute bake on the stove top is a cake walk.  All you need is your steel plate and a little sheetmetal.  The drawing pretty much says it all.  The front burner controls the temperature of the stone and the bottom heat, the rear burner controls the top heat.

How hot does the surface of the stove get with a set-up like that?
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, commercial yeast when we must, but always great pizza."
Craig's Neapolitan Garage

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2013, 10:35:20 AM »
How hot does the surface of the stove get with a set-up like that?

First disclaimer, my setup has additional heat sources for Neapolitan and runs much hotter then this.  It's been a while since I ran the oven this way. That said even at Neapolitan temperatures its isn't an issue for the stove top.  I've never temped it but there are no adverse affects.  The burner grates do get dirty, so having a set of cheap ones just for this would be a good idea.  The bigger issue temperature wise is the counter top next to the oven.  The heat the comes out the side under the steel can make it pretty hot.  My next version will have changes to fix this and the burner grate issue. 
-Jeff


Offline MightyPizzaOven

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Re: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2013, 11:24:48 AM »
Jeff, Majority of the stove don't have enough space to accommodate the setup you drew.

Offline Jinhua

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Re: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2013, 11:53:16 AM »
Craig, I asked Chadwick for heat specs and results with thick crust NY style pizza.  Let's see what they come back with.

Offline shuboyje

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Re: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2013, 12:01:38 PM »
Jeff, Majority of the stove don't have enough space to accommodate the setup you drew.
I've used it many times on a standard size 4 burner gas stove over the last couple years.  This is real world experience not theoretical. 
-Jeff

Offline MightyPizzaOven

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Re: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2013, 12:44:11 PM »
Using MPO for so long, my mid stuck on using round bottom stone.

Shadwick oven has a small stone, not sure the exact size.

Offline Jinhua

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Re: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2013, 02:29:21 PM »
Chadwick site says up to 12" pies.

Offline Jinhua

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Re: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2013, 01:14:56 PM »
Received the following from Chadwick re: thicker crust pizza and temp information.

Here is a picture of a thicker crust style pizza that it can do.  Is this what you were thinking of?

The oven will get to 450 deg C at the centre above the stone - towards the back it is a little hotter and the front a little cooler.  The stone will also get to this temperature if left long enough e.g. 30 minutes but you do not want this as it will burn the crust before the top is cooked.  So the Chadwick works by starting after 12-15 minutes warmup when the stone is about 350 deg C and the air is near 450 C.  This means that the average pizza will be cooked in about 3-4 minutes.  A really thick crust and/or lots of toppings will need to be cooked for longer and probably at a lower stone temperature at least, and possibly by turning the heat down a little....

Offline Jinhua

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Re: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2013, 01:20:02 PM »
I am seriously leaning toward this Chadwick Oven, mainly because I can use it in my NYC apartment and at our lake house.  If does not give me the wood burning element, but this may be worth the trade off in that I don;t have to build a fire each time, and in winter, I can do it all indoors.
I am nowhere near spending what it takes to make an indoor WBO, or even a real outdoor model.  So $500 bucks for ayear round source of good house-made pizza seems a deal.  The MPO is very tempting for the wood grill I have, and I may wind up adding that once I am satisfied I can make decent dough ;D.

Offline JD

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Re: Idea for a grill top oven: opinions and advice needed.
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2013, 01:45:08 PM »
Did you watch this video?
http://chadwickoven.com/learn-more/cooking

The pizza in the video looks nothing like the picture you posted. I'm a bit suspicious at first glance....


 

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