Author Topic: UUNI modifications and pies  (Read 5848 times)

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Offline ravishi

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Re: UUNI modifications and pies
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2013, 02:12:23 PM »
I made a third attempt with the Uuni and like @norcoscia, I was able to eliminate the uncooked crust problem by using baking steel.  A few pictures are attached to this post.  More pictures are available at http://imgur.com/a/QTk0q.

I used a 3/8" steel and let it heat up with the fan on, regulator full open, chute lid on, and door closed for 20 minutes.  The steel got to about 675F.  Don't open the door to check the temps after the first 15 minutes.  The oven is so small and the fan is blowing towards the door that each time you open it, you lose a substantial amount of heat (with exception of the baking steel retained heat).

@norcoscia, I have not had to resort to a screwdriver to fix the clogging chute problem.  I use the tapping method that Uuni shows in this video,
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  You take the chute top off and use the wooden end to tap on the back of the chute.  I do this more vigorously than in the video and do it every few minutes.  You can look down (when smoke isn't billowing out) and see the pellets settle down as you tap it.  Do this especially before putting new pellets in.

Figuring out the the proper temp and maintaining it is indeed difficult.  The first pizza was just right on both top and bottom but the last two were overdone on the bottom.  The steel temp rose to about 725F, which is a bit too hot.  I plan to close the air flow regulator a bit more after the steel reaches 650F or so.  The last two also picked up some ash on the bottom.  I plan to fix this by using a grill brush,

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0096SBUIS/?tag=pizzamaking-20

Is the Uuni worth it?  I have spent an additional $150 buying the baking steel, funnel, and grill brush.  The handles screws have come apart.  The residue ash is monumental.  Portability has decreased considerably with the addition of a 22lb baking steel.  But the fact is, I've made the best pizza (singular) of my life with the Uuuni so for that, it is indeed worth it.  But I'm sure there are more practical solutions like the Blackstone.  Although people say smoke won't impart a flavor with a <3 minute cook time, I can certainly taste a positive wood-fire difference over my gas fired oven.  I don't expect you'd get that flavor from a BS.


Offline norcoscia

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Re: UUNI modifications and pies
« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2013, 07:21:02 AM »
Hi Ravishi, nice work on those pies - they look great.

BTW, I agree with you about the flavor - a few days ago I went out to cook a pie on my UUNI and when I looked inside my steel plate had a bit of rust starting to develop. I was hoping I could just leave it in the UUNI between cooks.

I pulled it out to clean it and of course I got covered in black dust. After sanding it down and re-seasoning it I decide to just try cooking with the steel in my oven. The thought of pulling it out after every cook and dealing with all the black dust just turned me off.

Using the steel in my oven worked great but I agree with you the UUNI does (somehow) make a pie with a great taste, something was different and missing from the oven baked pie even though it had some char and turned out great (see pict below).

Even though I think the UUNI pies do taste a slight bit better, it is just too much work for me. So yesterday I ordered a Blackstone since I like making the pies outside (no mess in the kitchen) and it looks like most of the Blackstone users really like the oven (when they show up in one piece).

Now I just need to find a spot for it in my tiny San Diego yard.

BTW, if any of your friends are interested in an UUNI I'm happy to sell mine for 175 dollars plus actual shipping costs, I'll throw in a big bag of wood pellets the SS funnel and my fan power extension cord. Pretty much like new, only used about 4 times...


Offline Goddahavit

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Re: UUNI modifications and pies
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2013, 09:58:22 AM »
I have to agree with these comments, i really like the flavor, using bbq delight oak pellet grill fuel, lots of ash and soot, but love the flavor.

I am still struggling to cook the bottom without nuking the top. I really need a ir therm, to see whats going on.

I have made calzone and pizza the family is very happy with, however it is work to keep it going and rotate often.

I had my stone, a cordite kiln shelf cut to fit in the uuni, and its better but i actually burned the bottom of the first calzon, so i know i can get the temps right.

That said, i am wishing i just got the blackstone...

i am still thinking about the 3/8 steel, but have to play with the stone a bit more, and actually know what temps im cooking at..

Love the flavor, and smell, but its a mess, ha ha but the pies are getting better...


Offline Jez

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Re: UUNI modifications and pies
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2014, 10:18:00 AM »
With the 3/8 inch plate in, how long does your oven taken to heat up??

Offline stubbyno2

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Re: UUNI modifications and pies
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2014, 09:57:28 AM »
Last night I made my most successful pies with my Uuni, which I've had for about eight month.  I do like it.  Yes, it's a lot of fussing with it, but I don't mind.  I don't use a steel, but I do use a stone.  Two tricks seemed to have helped the most.  One, I made my pies smaller - about 10".  Two, I stuck a piece of heavy-duty tin foil under the leading edge of the crust as I slid the pie into the oven.  This prevented the side nearest the flame source from charring solid black.  I do about a minute and thirty seconds with reduced air flow, spin it around, and do another minute and thirty.  Seemed to do the trick!  No more carbon crusts!

Offline jar1087

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Re: UUNI modifications and pies
« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2014, 11:52:30 PM »
I've also had my Uuni for about 8 months and with about 100 pizzas through it, so I thought that I could add a few things.

1) The original Uuni definitely needs a baking steel. It allows it to properly crisp up the bottom of the pizza and also maintains the temperature between pizzas or when opening the door, adjusting the flame, etc. I have two 14"x14" 1/4" thick sheets of mild steel plate in mine. I've used it with both one and two plates in it and it works pretty well with either, but I prefer the extra thermal mass from the second plate. Others might prefer just a single 1/4" plate or a 3/8" plate to reduce the weight, but anything in the 1/4"-1/2" range should work well. Just go to a welding shop and ask them to cut a sheet of steel plate to the right size, it should cost about $20. Finally, the edge at the back of the steel helps to hold any ash buildup in the back of the oven and off of the baking surface and pizza.

2) Get a 12V wall adapter for the fan. The 8 AA battery pack provides 9V when the batteries are new but tends to drop off as the batteries deplete. You get higher, more consistent airflow out of a 12V supply and you don't ever need to change batteries. Airflow can still be adjusted down as low as you need with the baffle.

3) Leave the lid off while cooking and rotate the pizza 2-3 times to get an even cook on the crust. If you have the airflow at least 2/3 open and are using a 12V adapter, then you don't really even need to put the lid on the front, as the higher heat output combined with the thermal mass from the steel keeps temperatures hot enough. This makes it easier to monitor the cooking process and rotate the pizza as needed.

4) Use a high-hydration dough and tipo 00 flour. At the temperatures in the Uuni (and other wood-fired ovens) I get much better results with 00 than with my old standby KABF.

5) Get a 5 gallon bucket with a lid and a scoop for the pellets. Lowes, Home Depot and other hardware stores have buckets for a few dollars and you can order the scoop here: http://www.webstaurantstore.com/6-oz-stainless-steel-scoop/92246790.html  That scoop is the perfect size for the pellet hopper and it's much more convenient to scoop out of a bucket than a bag of pellets. Plus, the lid keeps the pellets dry if it should start raining while you're cooking.

6) Use a metal rod to reach into the oven and tap the burn grate. This will help the pellets to feed down to the bottom so that more can be burned, which increases the heat output.

Using the Uuni definitely involves a bit of a learning curve - no one is making perfect pizzas the first time that they fire it up. If you follow the tips that I have listed above, you should get there a bit sooner, although you'll still have to get the hang of the air regulator/baffle and loading the pellets.

This is my first wood fired oven and I've definitely made some of the best pizzas of my life in it. The higher heat allows you to make crispy, light pizzas that I haven't been able to do in my home oven (in the many hundreds of pizzas I've cooked there). My biggest complaint and the one thing that I haven't been able to fix is the soot buildup inside the oven. It's always a bit of a mess when I have to move it around, although that didn't stop me taking it on my last camping trip. For me at least, it's worth dealing with the soot for the quality of pizzas that this turns out. I may purchase an Uuni 2 at some point however, just to see what the updated version can do.

Offline stubbyno2

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Re: UUNI modifications and pies
« Reply #26 on: Today at 01:09:20 PM »
I now have the Uuni 2 (or Uuni2 as this site's search engine seems to prefer).  I have only used it twice so far, and I'm finding it gets almost TOO hot.  I was getting readings of 973F.  I find it much easier to use than the Uuni original, but now I have a whole new learning curve to figure out.  I do like the chimney vs. the fan, and the fire grate is easier to monitor.  The aluminum plate seems to get plenty hot.  The shiny, reflective surface on the outside makes it hard to take a reading with the infrared thermometer.  My last pie was burned on the bottom, and not cooked enough on top.  I am going to try cooking with the front door off as suggested above.  I may also try letting the fire cease, then quickly putting one in to cook with the residual heat.

The new Uuni also has a double wall, so heat is better retained, and there is a shield to protect the pie from the flames.


 

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