Author Topic: Winter baking with the Blackstone  (Read 1481 times)

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Offline moosebytes

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Winter baking with the Blackstone
« on: December 04, 2013, 08:55:06 PM »
Anyone considering how to "how to" with the BS in a 4-season climate? Up here in the boonies of Maine it could be a major problem over what usually is a long, harsh, and cold winter. Having had the BS since the middle of the Fall...and LOVING IT! It was almost impossible to revert back to the typical 550 of an indoor oven for baking "decent" pizza. This is what I and MDW came up with:








Offline barryvabeach

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Re: Winter baking with the Blackstone
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2013, 09:09:06 PM »
Very cool.  It doesn't get crazy cold here, and you are right, once you get used to the BS, you can't go back.  I made a few pies when it was in the 30's,  and once you get the timing right  I am only outdoors for 4 or 5 minutes total - that includes turning it on, loading, unloading and turning it off.  For me, about 2 1/2 minutes is done, so I load it, and go back and check at 2 minutes, I don't stand there the whole time.  I love your setup, and could probably do it though a window on a deck, but pretty sure my wife would think I had lost my mind. 
 

Offline Coon88

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Re: Winter baking with the Blackstone
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2013, 09:26:45 PM »
Very nice setup to avoid brutal winters up in Maine I'm sure, you gonna be able to see how it looks just by the flame from the bs or you got a spotlight handy so you can spot deer,check pie,spot deer...take pie out enjoy with 3' of snow


Coon

Offline alconnell

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Re: Winter baking with the Blackstone
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2013, 06:51:29 AM »
Love it moosebytes!  That's a great setup you have there.  I live in Standish, how about you? 

Offline Tampa

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Re: Winter baking with the Blackstone
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2013, 09:25:12 AM »
Thanks for posting.  Love the view.

From the construction, it is obvious that you are handy with tools, etc.  I'm a bit concerned about safety, but struggle to be specific where the risk is.  During normal operation all the heat is coming out the left front of the oven - but on cold windy days the house paint probably wouldn't feel it.  I would check for daemon flame w/ soapy water, especially if you are using 10psi regulator.  One alternative to using wood for the support stand would be (electrical) conduit buried in the soil that fits outside (or inside) the BS frame stubs - but your soil may be frozen.   Just a few ideas to consider - don't let it detract from year-round enjoyment of pizza.

Dave

Offline moosebytes

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Re: Winter baking with the Blackstone
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2013, 04:18:14 PM »
Love it moosebytes!  That's a great setup you have there.  I live in Standish, how about you?

We're up in Buckfield. Only been to Standish once...a couple of years ago for a road race at Bonnie Eagle HS.

Offline moosebytes

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Re: Winter baking with the Blackstone
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2013, 04:25:04 PM »
Thanks for posting.  Love the view.

From the construction, it is obvious that you are handy with tools, etc.  I'm a bit concerned about safety, but struggle to be specific where the risk is.  During normal operation all the heat is coming out the left front of the oven - but on cold windy days the house paint probably wouldn't feel it.  I would check for daemon flame w/ soapy water, especially if you are using 10psi regulator.  One alternative to using wood for the support stand would be (electrical) conduit buried in the soil that fits outside (or inside) the BS frame stubs - but your soil may be frozen.   Just a few ideas to consider - don't let it detract from year-round enjoyment of pizza.

Dave

I was concerned about the paint as well. We've had 5 bakes with this set up (temp range from low 20's to mid 30's). No problems so far. At some point,I did take a temp of the siding below the window during the middle of a bake, and it was around 270. I had them send me a new oven casing because of a crooked weld that was making the platter "tipsy", and it came with a 10psi regulator. Somewhere in this forum there was talk of BS shipping new units with 5psi regulators. Know anything about that?

Offline Tampa

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Re: Winter baking with the Blackstone
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2013, 04:35:20 PM »
I was concerned about the paint as well. We've had 5 bakes with this set up (temp range from low 20's to mid 30's). No problems so far. At some point,I did take a temp of the siding below the window during the middle of a bake, and it was around 270. I had them send me a new oven casing because of a crooked weld that was making the platter "tipsy", and it came with a 10psi regulator. Somewhere in this forum there was talk of BS shipping new units with 5psi regulators. Know anything about that?

Moose,
Here is the link to my comment about the switch from 10psi to 5psi regulators. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,25127.msg288803.html#msg288803
Dave

Offline Oceans05

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Re: Winter baking with the Blackstone
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2013, 07:15:31 PM »
that is awesome!

Offline nickr

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Re: Winter baking with the Blackstone
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2013, 01:33:13 PM »
If this is not dedication to pizza then I don't know what is.


Offline moosebytes

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Re: Winter baking with the Blackstone
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2013, 10:53:08 AM »
If this is not dedication to pizza then I don't know what is.

Dedication or insanity. The big test will be tonight. Blizzard conditions are in the forecast and temps in single digits...so we;ll see how that plays out. I build a "shield" to stick in the window opening between bakes. I don't want to drop the window down and take a chance that the heat could crack it.
Here's the shield:


Offline BlueWater

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Re: Winter baking with the Blackstone
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2013, 09:47:19 PM »
If you added a 3 sided enclosure of HardieBacker with ~8 inch clearance it would likely bake like it was summer.  That would also allow creating a top cover that could be placed for weather protection when not in use...  Nice job!

Offline moosebytes

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Re: Winter baking with the Blackstone
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2013, 11:18:05 PM »
If you added a 3 sided enclosure of HardieBacker with ~8 inch clearance it would likely bake like it was summer.  That would also allow creating a top cover that could be placed for weather protection when not in use...  Nice job!


HardiBacker Board is a GREAT idea! Thanks for that! Tonights bake was so-so. Although it wasn't snowing at the beginning of the bake, it was at the finish. The air temp at the start was 7, 1 at the start of pizza #2, and -2 for pizza # 3.The dough tonight was 00 with a 36 hr prior fridge time and the first pizza launched at 850 (bottom stone). It was PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2nd pizza launched at 760 and was great but not what you'd expect with 00(not that nutty/chewey texture/flavor you expect). The 3rd launched at about 650 and was really no different than something coming out of a regular home oven. We don't know if the drop in launch temps was due to the lowering air temps, or the lowering of the propane in the tank. We began the night with about half a tank (we figure about 8 hrs per tank and tonight we started with about 4hrs on the tank). The first 2 pizza's were done with the 10psi regulator open 2/3 of the way. The last pizza, we opened it all the way AND placed heavy-duty aluminum foil over the opening while pre heating, and we were  still only able go max out at 650-ish. The height of the flame was also noticeably lower as the bakes moved along. We figure the launch temp drop had more to do with the declining volume of propane in the tank than it did with the dropping outside air temps...although I guess a case could be made for both being factors. Anyway...live n' learn!!

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: Winter baking with the Blackstone
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2013, 12:19:35 AM »
or the propane tank was freezing up and not flowing as well..

Offline Tampa

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Re: Winter baking with the Blackstone
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2013, 07:38:28 AM »
Good for you Moose.  Hearty stock up there!

I'm not a regulator guy, but I remember a Chicago Bob post saying that the backflow prevention valve is temperamental - it doesn't like to be turned on suddenly (and may not like the cold?).  I suppose you could keep the tank indoors until use and wrap it in a blanket/insulation when taken outside.

Am I correct in assuming your pizza stone went from freezing to smoking hot as fast as the burner would heat it?  If so, it may help quell fears I have heard from others about stone cracking.

Dave

Offline moosebytes

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Re: Winter baking with the Blackstone
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2013, 08:58:02 AM »
or the propane tank was freezing up and not flowing as well..

That too. We're gonna need to read up more on the properties of propane.

Offline moosebytes

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Re: Winter baking with the Blackstone
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2013, 09:02:46 AM »
Good for you Moose.  Hearty stock up there!

I'm not a regulator guy, but I remember a Chicago Bob post saying that the backflow prevention valve is temperamental - it doesn't like to be turned on suddenly (and may not like the cold?).  I suppose you could keep the tank indoors until use and wrap it in a blanket/insulation when taken outside.

Am I correct in assuming your pizza stone went from freezing to smoking hot as fast as the burner would heat it?  If so, it may help quell fears I have heard from others about stone cracking.

Dave

MDW says she remembers reading in this forum, something about valves being fickle. So it must be CB's post. As far as the stone (bottom only) goes...we kept it in the house for a few days prior to the bake last night. So it hit the icy platter at "room temp".

Offline joisymikes

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Re: Winter baking with the Blackstone
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2013, 11:44:39 AM »
I put mine in my basement / garage.  Did 6 pies. Doubles as a space heater.

Offline alconnell

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Re: Winter baking with the Blackstone
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2014, 08:24:30 AM »
Well it's been pretty damn cold  up here in Maine-but I decided to brave the elements last night and fire up the BS.  It was 10 degrees when I uncovered it.  I closed the regulator down most of the way, held my breath and lit it.  After a few minutes, I turned the regulator back and heated as usual.  Everything was fine.  I think gradual heating is the key.  I will say it takes longer to heat and getting the temp right is more of a challenge but I will be making pizza all winter long!


 

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