Author Topic: Bottom Burning - Cooking on Grill, Cordierite Shelf  (Read 408 times)

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Offline timbudtwo

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Bottom Burning - Cooking on Grill, Cordierite Shelf
« on: July 21, 2014, 04:04:39 PM »
I bought a 1" cordierite kiln shelf for my grill. I am having trouble with the bottom burning and the top not getting a nice, brown, toasted crust.

I am using the lehmann recipe and I and am able to get the skin pretty thin, not super pretty though. I am preheating the stone on high on the grill (4 burner ducane, natural gas) before I put the pizza on.

When I do put the pizza on, It only has sauce on it, as I don't have a peel yet. I throw the mozz and tomatoes on which only takes a few seconds right after I slide it onto the stone. Then the grill cover goes down and I peek at the base with a spatula every 15-20 seconds until I see it start charring then I pull it off. As this point there is a considerable amount of char on the bottom and the top of the crust is pretty light.

Am I overheating the stone? Do I need to dust the stone before hand?

All help is appreciated.
Thanks


Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Bottom Burning - Cooking on Grill, Cordierite Shelf
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2014, 05:04:30 PM »
Cordierite may be too conductive for a grill situation where an intense heat source is directly below the stone. When I used my grill for NP-ish bakes, I used a FibramentD grill stone. Not only is it  23% the conductivity of cordierite, it comes with a metal tray that helps reflect some heat away from the stone. Even with this, I still needed to reduce the flame in the center burner and run wide open on the two sides.

Even with a FibramentD however, you will likely still have heat balance problems. Heat balance is always a problem in grills. With the heat coming from the bottom, and lost so quickly out the metal top, there is almost never enough top heat and you end up burning the bottom before the top is done. A less conductive stone will help, but it in and of itself may not solve the problem. Here is how I dealt with the problem: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=9614.0

Keep in mind that grills are not designed for this sort of thing, and it is really dangerous. Don't even think about it if you have kids around.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline timbudtwo

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Re: Bottom Burning - Cooking on Grill, Cordierite Shelf
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2014, 05:41:04 PM »
hmmm, well I have the cordierite now, and I wont be able to to get the fibrament stone either. Perhaps I could put a cookie sheet under the stone, and then also run the side burners hot with the center burners on lower?

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Bottom Burning - Cooking on Grill, Cordierite Shelf
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2014, 06:13:47 PM »
hmmm, well I have the cordierite now, and I wont be able to to get the fibrament stone either. Perhaps I could put a cookie sheet under the stone, and then also run the side burners hot with the center burners on lower?

Won't hurt to try.

Take a look at the Mighty Pizza Oven - http://www.mightypizzaoven.com/ - it's a grill mod that uses a cordierite stone. He solves the top heat problem by the use of a top stone, hot air flow, and a greatly reduced space. Maybe it will give you some ideas.
Pizza is not bread.

scott123

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Re: Bottom Burning - Cooking on Grill, Cordierite Shelf
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2014, 09:44:09 PM »
This is for a broilerless oven, but the principles apply to a grill as well.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=21503.msg217026#msg217026

The cookie sheet under the stone (deflection) will definitely help a lot, but, make sure there's a gap between the sheet and the stone- and make sure the cookie sheet is larger than the stone- but smaller than the grill, so heat can pass through the gaps.

I've come up with a new gas grill approach using only aluminum foil. I haven't had the time to write it all down, but here are the cliff notes:

It's basically all the principles of my broilerless setup (link above) but using aluminum foil for the ceiling and the deflector.

Deflector- larger than the stone (smaller than grill), suspended below the grate- you could probably make cuts into the edge of the foil and thread the pieces through the grate so the foil hangs like a canopy below the grates.
 
Ceiling- the full dimension of the grill

For the ceiling, I'm thinking of tucking heavy duty aluminum into the lid so that it lowers the ceiling to about 5" above the pizza- with a hole punched in the middle to allow the gases to vent.

Another way to do the ceiling would be to fashion something like this out of heavy duty aluminum foil (folded over a few times to give it a little rigidity):

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=19861.0

Due to the potential for aluminum to melt above 1100 F, I might be a little reticent to use this in a super powerful grill- I definitely wouldn't use aluminum in a blackstone, for instance, but I think any sub 50K btu grill should be fine- which is pretty much all of them.

With an aluminum ceiling and aluminum deflector, combined with a 600-ish pre-heat for the cordierite stone (use an IR thermometer to take readings), then, with the burners at full blast during the bake, you should see very respectable, balanced fast NY bakes.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2014, 09:48:36 PM by scott123 »

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Bottom Burning - Cooking on Grill, Cordierite Shelf
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2014, 12:14:21 PM »
I haven't read the other replies, but simply covering the bottom and sides of the stone with aluminum foil makes a huge difference. This reflects the intense heat from the flame instead of allowing the stone to absorb all the heat. The stone still gets really hot--over 600--but it's hard to get the stone any hotter than this temperature. Without foil the stone would easily get to 750 or higher, and there is never enough top heat in an unmodified grill to end up with an evenly baked pizza (between the top and bottom).

If you try this, here are some things that will help:
  • Don't open the grill lid any more than absolutely necessary, because you lose all that precious top heat every time you open the lid.
  • Peel the pizza as fast as possible.
  • After peeling, leave the grill shut for at least three minutes, if not four minutes, then take a very quick peek. Don't be curious before your timer goes off, because curiosity will compromise the quality of your pizza. (Depending on whether your grill heats evenly, it may not be possible to give it this much time without looking, but you'll never know unless you try it.)
« Last Edit: August 02, 2014, 12:15:54 PM by Aimless Ryan »


 

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