Author Topic: Little Black Egg  (Read 399390 times)

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Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1050 on: March 09, 2011, 08:07:03 AM »
As mentioned elsewhere, I have a somewhat "ideal" kitchen range in that my broiler does not cycle...it can stay on continuously. However, after several mishaps while experimenting with the set-up and the exterior of the oven now sporting yellowish stains (un-removable) from olive oil flareups, my wife has finally put the kabash on all broiler cooking.

My Weber grill has become nervous at this development. :P

Lo and behold, in the alleyway behind a row of houses across the street, a discarded grill was awaiting its future destiny. I ran over with a tape measure and took some pictures yesterday. Then, after confirming with neighbors that the grill did not belong to any of them, I just now lugged it to our house.

This is a potentially good candidate for a LBE?

1. The dome profile is definitely "flatter" than my weber grill, which is more conical. The dome profile is almost more reminiscent of a neapolitan-ish oven profile than a vaulted oven.

2. It is relatively large in size, at about 22" diameter. This is good in that I would like to be able to play with larger form factor pizzas like 16".

3. There is already a 6" diameter hole in the bottom where the ash catcher is.  This should make cutting the hole for the burner easier to do.

4. From grill grate to dome top is approximately 7". From reading various posts on LBEs, I am going to target an initial cooking floor to dome height of 3". So, whatever steel, stone combo for the cook floor and ash catcher, stone action I put in the dome needs to total about 4".

5. The lid is hinged, with handles in the front....right where the front vent would be cut  :(  I'm thinking maybe to cut the vent in the side of the grill, allowing me to still use the handle to quickly open the lid while rotating pizzas....any thoughts on this?

Any comments or thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!  :)
« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 08:08:57 AM by pizzablogger »
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Offline norma427

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1051 on: March 09, 2011, 08:14:14 AM »
Kelly,

I don’t know if you are interested, but Steve (Ev) did really build a nice Franken Weber oven, at Reply 6 http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10071.msg109972.html#msg109972

His “little beauty” works well.

Norma

buceriasdon

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1052 on: March 09, 2011, 08:40:11 AM »
That's a great find. ;D My kettle is not a Weber but I got it to work with trial and error, mostly error :P It makes no difference where the side vent is placed however I'm sure you will require something in the lid to cut down the volume there and have the side vent work correctly as you mentioned. I look forward to your project.
Don

As mentioned elsewhere, I have a somewhat "ideal" kitchen range in that my broiler does not cycle...it can stay on continuously. However, after several mishaps while experimenting with the set-up and the exterior of the oven now sporting yellowish stains (un-removable) from olive oil flareups, my wife has finally put the kabash on all broiler cooking.

My Weber grill has become nervous at this development. :P

Lo and behold, in the alleyway behind a row of houses across the street, a discarded grill was awaiting its future destiny. I ran over with a tape measure and took some pictures yesterday. Then, after confirming with neighbors that the grill did not belong to any of them, I just now lugged it to our house.

This is a potentially good candidate for a LBE?

1. The dome profile is definitely "flatter" than my weber grill, which is more conical. The dome profile is almost more reminiscent of a neapolitan-ish oven profile than a vaulted oven.

2. It is relatively large in size, at about 22" diameter. This is good in that I would like to be able to play with larger form factor pizzas like 16".

3. There is already a 6" diameter hole in the bottom where the ash catcher is.  This should make cutting the hole for the burner easier to do.

4. From grill grate to dome top is approximately 7". From reading various posts on LBEs, I am going to target an initial cooking floor to dome height of 3". So, whatever steel, stone combo for the cook floor and ash catcher, stone action I put in the dome needs to total about 4".

5. The lid is hinged, with handles in the front....right where the front vent would be cut  :(  I'm thinking maybe to cut the vent in the side of the grill, allowing me to still use the handle to quickly open the lid while rotating pizzas....any thoughts on this?

Any comments or thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!  :)

Online Jackie Tran

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1053 on: March 09, 2011, 08:51:25 AM »
Yo K.  It's a 22" uniflame.  Turn that muther into a franken weber.  If you don't like, you can always cut it up into an LBE.
But for it's size, you'd be one step closer to a WFO making smallish pies. 

Chau

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1054 on: March 09, 2011, 05:37:41 PM »
Thanks for the comments Norma, buceriasdon and Chau.

I am likely looking to move from my current house sometime this summer, but that of course is dependent on being able to sell our current home....so it could take a while to move out into a new home.  My wife has already given me a hearty thumbs up to build a brick oven in a new home, when we finally have an actual yard (rowhome in downtown baltimore now).

So I am definitely looking for something more portable to compliment an eventual WFO and I think the LBE set-up is perfect. While it may be true this sized grill would be perfect for a Franken-weber type application, l think I'm going with the LBE set-up.

With regards to regulators. If I got a 30psi instead of the standard 20psi regulator, would that allow me to shorten the pre-heat times in the LBE and potentially save some gas? Thanks --K
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

buceriasdon

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1055 on: March 09, 2011, 06:25:00 PM »
Kelly, Is you high pressure regulator adjustable or a fixed type? Mine is an expensive for here in Mexico made in the USA 0 to 60 lbs. I barely have mine cranked open so your 30 lb. regulator should be fine. I have a made in Mexico HP burner and for the first five minutes or so I can't really open the valve up, it seems the burner has to heat up some before I get complete combustion and high heat output otherwise it wants to blow out, which is bad. This may also be because my burner does not sit below the kettle lower part but is inside the lower part. I get an average of twenty five firings from my tank. I have no access to heavy duty foil so I have no foil inside but I do recommend it's use. I just found it was a hassle to keep changing the foil every few firings. Keep us posted.
Regards, Don

Thanks for the comments Norma, buceriasdon and Chau.
With regards to regulators. If I got a 30psi instead of the standard 20psi regulator, would that allow me to shorten the pre-heat times in the LBE and potentially save some gas? Thanks --K

Online Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1056 on: March 09, 2011, 06:50:21 PM »

So I am definitely looking for something more portable to compliment an eventual WFO and I think the LBE set-up is perfect. While it may be true this sized grill would be perfect for a Franken-weber type application, l think I'm going with the LBE set-up.

With regards to regulators. If I got a 30psi instead of the standard 20psi regulator, would that allow me to shorten the pre-heat times in the LBE and potentially save some gas? Thanks --K

30psi? You might as well get a jet engine!  ;D

I started out with a 10psi burner and then upgraded to a 20 psi for my 18.5" Weber. Imho, a 20psi regulator valve is plenty of power, even for a 22" kettle grill.
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

buceriasdon

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1057 on: March 09, 2011, 07:00:58 PM »
Yep Mike, I barely have mine turned twice so Kelly should be fine. I've played around with mine and found too much pressure only makes it harder to control the secondary valve at the burner and no gain in heat output.
Don

30psi? You might as well get a jet engine!  ;D

I started out with a 10psi burner and then upgraded to a 20 psi for my 18.5" Weber. Imho, a 20psi regulator valve is plenty of power, even for a 22" kettle grill.

Online Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1058 on: March 09, 2011, 11:17:53 PM »
Yep Mike, I barely have mine turned twice so Kelly should be fine. I've played around with mine and found too much pressure only makes it harder to control the secondary valve at the burner and no gain in heat output.
Don


Don,

What I was getting at was that more power doesn't necessarily translates into better pizzas, or pizze. Nor does it mean one will save gas by upgrading to a more powerful reg valve. Yes, the heat up times will be significantly shorter if operated at full blast but it is also more difficult to control an adequate stone & ambient temperature to bake those pies and simulate the Neapolitan look without burning the hell out of it.

The LBE is a bit limited when it comes to authentic Neapolitan pies but with the right valve, it's a lot of fun and can produce pizze that rival the ones baked in a WFO. At least by looks.

A 20psi valve is more than sufficient. I cannot crank mine up more than quarter without turning my pies into black Frisbees.

« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 11:19:57 PM by Essen1 »
Mike

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Offline Mmmph

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1059 on: March 09, 2011, 11:53:49 PM »
Bayou Kitchen SP-10. Anyone sorry about their choice of this unit, or its performance, post up.

Forget worrying over a couple hours of tank life or the cost thereof.

20 PSI, 180K BTU...Boom, all good.
Sono venuto, ho visto, ho mangiato

Online Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1060 on: March 10, 2011, 12:20:39 AM »

20 PSI, 180K BTU...Boom, all good.

Agreed.
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1061 on: March 10, 2011, 07:05:31 AM »
I hear everyone about the SP-10 and am already leaning in that direction. Thanks.

But I'm trying to clarify exactly what is happening inside of the LBE during cooking.

My understanding from reading the posts is that the topside heat is the result of hot, moving air as it comes up, out from behind the back of the pizza stone/floor, hits the dome and is directed out of the grill through the front vent.

However, at Reply #1010 in this thread (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.msg128206.html#msg128206), Buceriasdon showed a picture of his LBE with the actual flames coming up out of the bottom half of the grill. I'm extremely curious if in this picture the flames are "shooting" this high because:

1. The grill top is removed and more oxygen is available to help the flame reach a higher intensity....meaning the flame will not reach this level during cooking?

2. The fact that Buceriasdon does have a higher psi regulator and the higher pressure is aiding this flame to reach this high, which may be the case in his LBE even with the lid on:

Quote
Kelly, Is you high pressure regulator adjustable or a fixed type? Mine is an expensive for here in Mexico made in the USA 0 to 60 lbs

Buceriasdon, what is occuring inside of your LBE when the lid is on?

Hypothetically, if one could in fact rig the LBE in such a fashion, either by using a higher psi regulator, introducing more oxygen to the equation and/or placement of the propane burner so that actual flames are coming up the backside of the floor and are licking the ceiling/dome, I would imagine that would create an environment where a 90-120 second pizza could be cooked in the LBE and with potentially more heat radiating down on the top of the pizza?...something I would be very much interested in.

Blah, blah.....just break out the hacksaw and start putting something together already! :)

Thanks. --K
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

buceriasdon

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1062 on: March 11, 2011, 05:05:13 PM »
Kelly, Hi, Sorry I missed this post of yours. If you read my last posts as well of those of Mike and others, my regulator is cranked down only a couple of turns as these HP burners can only use up so much propane and if cranked farther the flame just blows away. In other words you can have TOO much pressure. You reach a point of diminishing returns. I can buy an even larger, burner but I doubt I will get any better bake times. Until I have access to flours that can actually do a subminute pie, which is doubtful unless I have it shipped here, I'm content with four minutes with barely passable AP flour. I believe in combination with the hot air rushing into the top part of the upper chamber heat is radiated off the top of the hearth. At first I had a steel plate under my tile but that only led to burnt bottoms. When I removed it I got much more even bakes. Trust me, like my kettle which is different, you will have to figure out the same balancing act for yours.
Don

I hear everyone about the SP-10 and am already leaning in that direction. Thanks.

But I'm trying to clarify exactly what is happening inside of the LBE during cooking.

My understanding from reading the posts is that the topside heat is the result of hot, moving air as it comes up, out from behind the back of the pizza stone/floor, hits the dome and is directed out of the grill through the front vent.

However, at Reply #1010 in this thread (http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.msg128206.html#msg128206), Buceriasdon showed a picture of his LBE with the actual flames coming up out of the bottom half of the grill. I'm extremely curious if in this picture the flames are "shooting" this high because:

1. The grill top is removed and more oxygen is available to help the flame reach a higher intensity....meaning the flame will not reach this level during cooking?

2. The fact that Buceriasdon does have a higher psi regulator and the higher pressure is aiding this flame to reach this high, which may be the case in his LBE even with the lid on:

Buceriasdon, what is occuring inside of your LBE when the lid is on?

Hypothetically, if one could in fact rig the LBE in such a fashion, either by using a higher psi regulator, introducing more oxygen to the equation and/or placement of the propane burner so that actual flames are coming up the backside of the floor and are licking the ceiling/dome, I would imagine that would create an environment where a 90-120 second pizza could be cooked in the LBE and with potentially more heat radiating down on the top of the pizza?...something I would be very much interested in.

Blah, blah.....just break out the hacksaw and start putting something together already! :)

Thanks. --K

Offline Mmmph

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1063 on: March 11, 2011, 05:24:57 PM »
True dat 100%

Trust me, like my kettle which is different, you will have to figure out the same balancing act for yours.
Sono venuto, ho visto, ho mangiato

buceriasdon

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1064 on: March 15, 2011, 09:27:10 PM »
Very out of practice even if it did taste excellent, too much edge char. 750 degrees and Mexican AP flour just don't go well together. May have to do some fine tuning again to the LBE, sigh..... too much top heat it seems or just give up on that high of temps.
Don

Offline Ronzo

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1065 on: March 15, 2011, 09:32:16 PM »
Those are phenomenal, Don
Fuggheddabowdit!

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Online Jackie Tran

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1066 on: March 15, 2011, 09:56:10 PM »
Don that crumb looks great!  Nice work.

Chau


Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1067 on: March 22, 2011, 03:19:07 PM »
Saw these at Costco last night....$95 for a 100# propane tank. So much for portability, but bombs away with this puppy  :D



"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

buceriasdon

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1068 on: March 22, 2011, 03:41:03 PM »
Kelly, Much better buy for sure.
Don

Saw these at Costco last night....$95 for a 100# propane tank. So much for portability, but bombs away with this puppy  :D





Offline Wallman

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1069 on: March 27, 2011, 08:00:36 PM »
Took the plunge today and made a Big LBE using a 22" Weber kettle grill that's been sitting in my backyard for about a decade.  Invested $25  in an angle grider to make my cuts and $50 for the Bayou Cooker (SP-10). I used unglazed tile for my flame deflector (on the charcoal grate) and baking deck.  I lined everything with foil and used the ash catcher to lower the lid. 

Offline Ronzo

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1070 on: March 27, 2011, 08:10:05 PM »
Wallman, great looking LBE, buddy. Now, the obsession begins!
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

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Offline Wallman

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1071 on: March 27, 2011, 08:36:51 PM »
First bake on the big LBE.  I preheated for about 22 minutes with the gas at between 1/3 and 1/2. The temp on the baking surface was between 700 and 730 F.  I used 2 different types of dough, the first was some store-bought dough for experimentation. I also made 2 pies using homemade Lehmann NY Style dough made with GM All Trumps Flour at about 64% hydration. Each pie was about 11-12 inches in diameter.

My initial thoughts, I need to figure out home to even out the temps between the baking surface and above the pizza. I’m getting fast bakes, all four pies were done in under 3 ˝ minutes, but the rim and bottoms are getting over baked.  The last pie burned a fair amount due to release four burning on the tiles.  Still, the pizzas, especially the NY Style pies, were tasty with decent oven spring and crumb.

Any tips from the LBE pros out there on a better flame deflector setup? I’m thinking I might need to raise the tiles on the charcoal grate, the bottom tile (a ˝ quarry tile) cracked.
Plus I need to figure out how to get more heat above the pizza. Do you guys think a bigger flame deflector would help? Or maybe less space between the baking surface and the lid?

Ron, you are right, this is going to become an obsession.

Offline Wallman

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1072 on: March 27, 2011, 08:48:47 PM »
Here is the 4th pie. Too much char on the bottom  :P. Some of the sauce leaked through a tear, which didn't help. 

Offline gtsum2

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1073 on: March 27, 2011, 08:57:45 PM »
try a stainless steel bowl filled with sand (about 1/2 way to start) for the deflector.  Also, use foil to block all gaps in the front and sides of the hearth - only leaving opening in the rear - that way all the heat is forced to the rear and then over the pie and out the front.  This will help a lot.  Then you can experiment with lowering the ceiling more or raising the hearth if you need more top heat (I have realized I finally need to lower my ceiling some more after cooking on mine for more then 6 months)...those pies look good for your first attempts also!

Offline Wallman

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1074 on: March 27, 2011, 10:03:06 PM »
Gt, what size bowl do you suggest?  This LBE is from a 22" Weber.


 

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