Author Topic: Hit high temps at home with BGE  (Read 4257 times)

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Offline joesaccio

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Hit high temps at home with BGE
« on: July 23, 2006, 07:43:23 PM »
See my post under equipment:

I have been reading here for a while getting ideas to make pizza like I had in Southern Italy and the greats in USA (Lombardi's, Patsys, Bianco, etc.) I have a long way to go to make great pizza but I'm getting closer with the help of everyone here.

Ingredients aside, I wanted to be able to get high temp at home without buying an expensive pizza oven that takes hours to heat. Efforts on the grill and home oven produce expected results of flat, tough crust. I decided to buy a Big Green Egg for under $1000 and try it.

My first attempt on my large egg was using a plate setter and a 16" pizza stone. I could not get it past 650 and it fried the gasket. The problem is all the heat builds up beneath the stone and does not get past to the dome. The heat below is so extreme it melted the standard gasket.

BGE sent me a special high temp gasket. I also bought a 14" Fibramat pizza stone thinking the small diameter would allow more heat to reach the dome.

My second time I started the egg without the plate setter or stone and waited until it hit 950 (15 min). Then I put the plate setter and 14" stone in with alum foil under the stone. I'm not sure this is necessary since the plate setter covers at least 90% of the stone. Then I waited until the surface of the stone hit 750 using digital thermo. At this point the dome was around 850 or so. The new gasket was fried but I did not care.

I put in my pizza and it puffed up like I  have never seen. I'm used to 6 min. pizzas on my regular BBQ grill so I let the first one go about 2 and half min and it burnt the crust. My second one was perfect in 2 min. Sorry no pictures this time because I was not expecting it to work.

So, done right, the BGE will do the job. There are however some cautions. At those temps the metal band around the egg gets lose so you have to be careful. Also, as I mentioned the gasket will fry so you will need to buy an aftermarket high temp gasket for $15 to solve that problem. But the rest is bliss :chef:

ps. I don't know the long term effects on the BGE by using it this way.


Offline tonymark

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Re: Hit high temps at home with BGE
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2006, 11:47:38 PM »
Congrats on the BGE success.  I have been using a BGE for pizza this summer at high temps.  I have documented most of my efforts here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,412.msg25578.html#msg25578.

First of all, I have melted the high temp gasket.  Well, kind of melted.  At high temps the gasket scorches, shrink, and then just peels off.  I have decided to just forget the gasket all together.

The metal band becoming lose is a pain in the ass.  For convenience, I have kept my temps down a little lower than during  some of my early experiments so that I don't have to reinstall and adjust the ban every time I cook pizzas.  I am pretty happy with 3-5 minute pizza.

Preheating without the plate setter and pizza stone is the real trick.  I heat until outside of dome is 375-400 F (measured with no contact thermometer).  The dome thermometer is useless at these high temps.  I then put on the plate setter and stone and heat until stone is 625 F.  I then prepare a pizza and it probably heats another 50 degrees.

FYI, I cracked my egg earlier this summer with very high temps.  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,412.msg26038.html#msg26038

Good luck,
TM
Making Pizza is not cooking, it is Performance Art!

Offline joesaccio

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Re: Hit high temps at home with BGE
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2006, 05:28:26 AM »
TM,
Thx for the reply. Now that the egg is cool Ill check for cracks. It does not sound like I got mine as hot as yours. You are right that the new gasket turns black. Have you thought about trying the rytland gasket?


Offline tonymark

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Re: Hit high temps at home with BGE
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2006, 12:57:02 PM »
I did consider the Rutland option.  I actually have left over gasket and glue from my wood stove maintenance, but decided not to use it.  There has been some controversy on the BGE forum about the safety of the Rutland gasket around food.  I suggest you do some research on that forum before installing it.

IMHO, so what if the egg leaks a little.  What is really going to happen?  You could consider removing all the gasket and reseeding the dome to the base?  If it does not close completely, grind down the high spots a little.  BE CAREFUL!

TM
Making Pizza is not cooking, it is Performance Art!

Offline EdF

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Re: Hit high temps at home with BGE
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2006, 03:13:21 PM »
I'm getting ready to try Arnoldi's silicon gasket method once I get a few days without rain here.  Will post on the results when I try a high-temp cook.

- Ed

Offline tonymark

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Re: Hit high temps at home with BGE
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2006, 03:21:28 PM »
I'm getting ready to try Arnoldi's silicon gasket method once I get a few days without rain here.

Can you please elaborate on this method?

TM
Making Pizza is not cooking, it is Performance Art!

Offline EdF

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Re: Hit high temps at home with BGE
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2006, 04:35:49 PM »
Arnoldi uses Permatex Copper silicon gasket material (you can get it at Napa or another automotive store).  I built up the gasket per his instructions last week (search biggreenegg for "permatex" or "permatech" - forget which.  The material is supposed to be good to 750 intermittently.

Now the bad part.  Went to do a high temp pizza cook last night.  I left the egg running at 850 and rising to finish some prep.  Back out after a few minutes and the egg was around 950 dome.  But the inside of the vent was covered with some white stuff (and smoke or something was pouring out of the gasket).  After burping the egg and opening, I saw that the entire inside of the egg was covered with this sediment.  Although the gasket seemed solid, it must have burned under admittedly too high a temp.

Haven't inspected to figure out how I'm going to clean out the egg yet.  But I'd say this method isn't up to high-temp pizza cooking.  Arnoldi mentioned when I discussed with him that he does his sears for meat around 500-550, with the fire built up to a couple of inches beneath the grate.  He'd also mentioned earlier that he'd put this material on a stone and placed it right over the coals without any deformation etc.

- Ed

Offline EdF

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Re: Hit high temps at home with BGE
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2006, 10:56:08 AM »
Update.  Vacuumed and hosed out the egg last night.  The white powder appears to be similar to an oven-cleaning cycle - the firebox, fire ring, bottom of plate-setter and parts of the wall are immaculate.  Still did burn the permatex gasket enough to make it unusable.

- Ed

Offline Jack

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Re: Hit high temps at home with BGE
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2006, 11:09:14 AM »
Is there a reason that you guys are not using a ceramic refractory rope as a gasket?  It's glass and will not be affected by heat at all.  What I am suggesting is similar, but much softer than the gasket on your home oven, but is available commercially as a refractory product.

If you are unsure of what I am suggesting, PM me and I'll find some of it for you.

Disclaimer - I've never seen a Green Egg.

Jack

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Hit high temps at home with BGE
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2006, 11:21:27 AM »
Jack,

That is what I use on the door to my brick oven. I got it at a local store that sells wood stoves. Good stuff.

Bill/SFNM


Offline tonymark

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Re: Hit high temps at home with BGE
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2006, 12:19:19 PM »
Is there a reason that you guys are not using a ceramic refractory rope as a gasket? 

That is what I use on the door to my brick oven. I got it at a local store that sells wood stoves. Good stuff.

The Rutland gasket mentioned above is the same as a wood stove gasket.  I think refractory rope can even handle higher temperatures.

The question still remains whether or not either of these options is safe to use around food.  I would say probably yes, but Rutland says "no" on their products.  I would guess that 99% of the time no particles from the gasket contaminate the food, but what about that 1% of the time when it does?  Bill, did you investigate this before using the gasket on your oven?

I never intend to install another gasket on my BGE.

TM
Making Pizza is not cooking, it is Performance Art!

Offline EdF

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Re: Hit high temps at home with BGE
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2006, 12:27:56 PM »

I never intend to install another gasket on my BGE.

TM


What do you do about low and slow cooks, then?

- Ed

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Hit high temps at home with BGE
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2006, 12:28:58 PM »

Bill, did you investigate this before using the gasket on your oven?
I never intend to install another gasket on my BGE.


No. The door contacts the oven outside of the cooking chamber. Also, I only use the door after all cooking is done to prevent loss of heat. The door is fully removed during firing and cooking. So I never worried about it. Should I?

Bill/SFNM
« Last Edit: September 20, 2006, 12:47:38 PM by Bill/SFNM »

Offline tonymark

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Re: Hit high temps at home with BGE
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2006, 12:36:34 PM »
What do you do about low and slow cooks, then?

I cooked some fantastic ribs on Labor Day, no problem.  I just close the top even more, and yes smoke leaks out between the lid and base, but I really don't care.  I have smoked a pork shoulder for 13 hours with no problems.

Bill,
You probably should not worry, but if you are concerned you should do some research.  There are people on both sides of this issue on the BGE forum.

TM
Making Pizza is not cooking, it is Performance Art!

Offline EdF

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Re: Hit high temps at home with BGE
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2006, 12:42:25 PM »
Thanks for the reply, Tony.  I'll need to give it some more thought.

- Ed

Offline Jack

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Re: Hit high temps at home with BGE
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2006, 01:16:33 PM »
I did get a PM about gaskets, so I'll add a little bit to what was already posted.  The following link shows a number of examples of fiber gasket ropes which would work, although I doubt these guys would be willing to talk with any of us, let alone, sell you a few feet.  It's more for you to be able to see what technology exist. 

http://www.thermostatic.com/rope.shtml

If you are uncomfortable with the ceramic fiber gaskets, which should present no health risk, look for metal mesh gaskets.  They will serve the same function, although they are not quite as soft or well sealing in an environment such as being considered here. 

Personally, I'd be more concerned about potentially burned, tube dispensed silicone materials around my food than than I am glass fibers.   These gaskets are not like loose, like fiberglass insulation.  While some fibers can be loosened, it's typically a woven and bound product, like those used on wood stoves, as mentioned by Bill/SFNM, which will be the easiest of most of us to acquire.

Jack

Offline youonlylivetwice

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Re: Hit high temps at home with BGE
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2006, 11:20:05 AM »
for what it's worth I'm with Tony,  I fried the gasket off my BGE and I don't plan to put another one on.  I get a fair amount of smoke coming out of the seam, but it really hasn't affected the cooking at all.  when you consider the mass of the entire thing, I don't see that small loss meaning much. 
and I have found like anything you learn even as you don't realize you are.  At first I'd burn through lump real fast.  Now I smoke ribs, etc for hours and still have > 1/2 the firebox full when I'm done, even with the lost gasket.

oh, and they're GOOD!!!!

YOLT

Offline icemncmth

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Re: Hit high temps at home with BGE
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2006, 12:29:44 AM »
I have been cooking on an egg...primo.. for years...and I have been cooking pizza's on them for just as long....

I clean my large egg all the time by running it wide open..no daisy wheel on top and bottom vent open all the way..

It just runs up to 900+- deg..and let it sit and burn up all the lump....

As for pizza....I take her up to 900 +- deg with no grate, plate setter...the like..

Then I do the burp and put the plate setter in. I take  1/2" copper elbows (get them at local hdware store) 4 of them and place them
on the plate setter...then the pizza stone on top that gives me a 1/2" gap between the platesetter and stone....

Now I make the pie and by then the stones are up to temp..about 700-800 deg.......

I am still on the original gasket......but I have an older egg..10 years old and it doesn't have a gasket..I am just careful when I shut it...


Offline tonymark

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Re: Hit high temps at home with BGE
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2006, 09:11:14 AM »
It just runs up to 900+- deg..and let it sit and burn up all the lump....

How long does this take?  My high temp gasket melted after 1.5 hours at an internal temp of 1200+.  I waited until the external temp of the dome was 500 F.

TM
Making Pizza is not cooking, it is Performance Art!

Offline icemncmth

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Re: Hit high temps at home with BGE
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2006, 06:25:16 PM »
I do this when I am cooking something like chicken...I don't put much lump in the egg...I cook my
chicken...then when I am done cooking I open everything up and walk away...It will usually sit like that
for hours depending on how much lump you have .......

Just think of it like a self cleaning oven...If you have one of those it takes hours..same with the egg..

But I think one of the problems with melting a gasket is if you use your egg a lot..you build up grease on the inside of the egg..

then when you do a high cook the grease runs down the sides of the egg and soaks the gasket..

Now you have grease that will fry the gasket


 

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