Author Topic: Little Black Egg  (Read 351200 times)

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2040 on: July 03, 2013, 01:18:00 AM »
I've been doing it the other way around.  I turn the burner on high, get the stone up to temp, then I drop the burner down to about medium for baking.  When I take the pie off, I turn the burner back up to high to reheat to the target stone temp for the next pie.  If my stone gets up to temp and I'm not ready to start the next pizza, I back off the heat until I'm ready.  Seems to work OK for me.

our setups must be very different.   :D


Offline chaspie

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2041 on: July 03, 2013, 09:03:30 AM »
My build is depicted just a couple of pages back, Jackie, post # 2013.  I'm using natural gas and a 23 jet burner instead of the more common propane setup, but otherwise it is conventional.

I don't have many bakes on it yet, so what is more likely is that I simply don't know what I'm doing.  If I leave the burner on full blast during the bake, the pizza burns on the edges and only partially cooks in the middle.  I've just modified the ceiling in the lid a bit to try to create some turbulence in the air flow, but haven't had time to test it yet.

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2042 on: July 03, 2013, 10:50:25 AM »
Chaspie, that might be the difference I am not sure.  You are using a NG setup where as most members are using a LP setup.  There maybe a large difference in the pressure.   I think Robcurtis is using a LP set up, so my advice to him is to turn down the burner between bakes. 

I took a look at your setup and it looks fine.  But considering it is a NG setup and you are having issues with the bottom center of the pie browning, you should remove the grill rack between your bottom steel plate and your stone.   That grill rack is creating an air gap that is hindering/limiting your bottoms from browning.  Your edges may get darker, so you will have to turn more often or decrease the heat just a tad.  Something to try.

Chau

Offline chaspie

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2043 on: July 03, 2013, 06:10:34 PM »
That's a good suggestion.  Perhaps removing the rack and getting direct contact between the stone and the steel plate will even out the heat levels across the stone.  I'll add that to my future test scenarios.  Thanks!

Offline SlideSF

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2044 on: July 06, 2013, 04:40:50 PM »
I'm new to posting here, but I have been on the forum for a few years now.  I built my LBE about two years ago and have used it  about 20 times.  I modified it by putting a second stone in the lid, which helps to even out the cooking considerably.  I generally like to cook around 725F.  Over time the grill surface has started to warp from the heat, causing the stone to wobble some.  No problem now, but I will probably have to replace it before summer's end.  Here are a few shots...

Offline chaspie

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2045 on: July 06, 2013, 07:02:45 PM »
Very nice looking pie, SlideSF.  It looks like your pizza cooked evenly all the way across.  Do you attribute that to having the stone in the lid to radiate heat from above?

Mine do not cook evenly.  The center of my pizzas are less cooked than the edges.  I'm wondering if mounting a stone in the lid might help.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2013, 07:04:43 PM by chaspie »

Offline SlideSF

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2046 on: July 06, 2013, 09:10:46 PM »
I think the stone in the lid helps even out the top/bottom cooking ratio.  The pictures of the pizzas here were actually cooked prior to the inclusion of the top stone.  They are coming out much more evenly now.

However, there is a big temperature delta on different sides of the stone.  I try not to open the lid much while cooking, in order to maintain heat from above.  But I do turn the window 120 degrees, or 1/3 of a circle around each minute.  These pizzas take approx. 3 minutes (at 725F) to cook, and 1/3 turn each minute helps to assure a more even burn.  The more pies I cook, the more I can gauge where the hot spots are and adjust accordingly.  Sometimes I will lift the lid and rotate the whole pizza.

This Friday I am going to try and make 20 pies for a party (with a little help).  So far the most I have done was 10, and that was a feat in itself!

Offline chaspie

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2047 on: July 07, 2013, 12:29:00 PM »
Twenty pizzas in an LBE is ambitious, indeed.  Good luck on the party.  Post some pics afterwards.

Offline SlideSF

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2048 on: July 08, 2013, 02:17:51 AM »
Well, since there will be many hungry mouths to feed, and I have a helper, it will probably be more like a dozen from the LBE, and the rest in my home oven on a pizza steel.  I will try to get pictures if I'm not caught up in the moment!

Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2049 on: July 08, 2013, 11:03:34 AM »
You will have to delegate that task to someone you trust to remember they have a job.  Find a kid who really wants $10.   ;D

You should do a trial run with your helper before the big event, just to figure out who does what.  Getting your procedure tangled up when the flour is flying and hungry kids are watching...
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.


Offline MrP

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2050 on: July 25, 2013, 11:25:05 PM »
Here is one of my latest pizzas. Sorry I didn't get any pics of it up close, we were way too hungry.  Got it down to about 70 seconds.


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USXzH7Q5QME" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USXzH7Q5QME</a>



Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2051 on: July 26, 2013, 08:33:06 AM »
Nice work Mr P.   Is yours an 18" grill?

Offline MrP

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2052 on: July 26, 2013, 11:04:32 AM »
Thank you and no, it's a 22.5".  I replaced my 13" stone in the lid with a 19".  I also put inswool ceramic fiber blanket in the empty space in lid. I used a 20" aluminum pie pan between the stone and the inswool, to insure the insulation does not come out. 

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2053 on: July 26, 2013, 12:12:02 PM »
How big is the bottom stone and is it centered in the middle of the LBE?  How much of the empty space between the LBE and the bottom stone do you have blocked off?  Can you post a top view pic of your stone and LBE? Good job!  Pie looks good. 

Offline MrP

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2054 on: July 26, 2013, 12:28:30 PM »
I have a 19" kiln stone on the bottom as well. It is pulled forward, which leaves about a 2.5" gap in the back. I have bricks in a V shape to force more of the heat to the back.  I posted some pics:  http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.1840.html

Online Chicago Bob

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2055 on: July 26, 2013, 12:38:39 PM »
The problem with the LBE is that everyone keeps mounting the burner in the center...pointing right smack at the bottom stone and then wondering why their bottoms are burnt.  ???

Go take a look at the Black Stone grill....it's an LBE with an off set burner! Dang, now I gave away one of my secrets for my upcoming build.  :-\
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline MrP

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2056 on: July 26, 2013, 08:17:45 PM »
Chicago Bob, you are right on.  I also have been thinking of building a bracket to mount the burner closer to the back. I have a 13" x 5/8" kiln shelf under the 19" x5/8" one, and I have had great results.  Since I insulated the lid and added the 19" top stone,  I have been able to retain a lot more top heat.  So now I will tweaking it more. I think the burner move will be the final mod for me, if I do it. I have notice a lot of people getting the Black Stone. I may just fall into that too, time will tell.

Online Chicago Bob

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2057 on: July 26, 2013, 08:54:23 PM »
Chicago Bob, you are right on.  I also have been thinking of building a bracket to mount the burner closer to the back. I have a 13" x 5/8" kiln shelf under the 19" x5/8" one, and I have had great results.  Since I insulated the lid and added the 19" top stone,  I have been able to retain a lot more top heat.  So now I will tweaking it more. I think the burner move will be the final mod for me, if I do it. I have notice a lot of people getting the Black Stone. I may just fall into that too, time will tell.
MrP,
Thanks. I just went and looked back at your rig, had forgotten about your industrious design. Your pies are looking extremely good man, you should be proud.  :chef:
You have a very "busy' set-up. Do you remember the drawings Scott123 put up of the C-ring? An inexpensive copy of the "pizza Insert" made by whoever. I have a simple plan for that in mind that should mimic or surpass the BS oven. If you are interested I'll share it with you. If not that's cool.... you've come a long way with yours.  8)
"Care Free Highway...let me slip away on you"

Offline scott123

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2058 on: July 27, 2013, 04:55:01 AM »
Got it down to about 70 seconds.

That leoparding is beautiful.  Out of about 300 attempts, you're about the 3rd or 4th person to break the 90 second barrier with an LBE.  That's a tremendous feat.  I've been recommending large and low stone ceilings for quite some time now, and I'm happy to see the theory turned into reality.

That being said, while your top browning looks fantastic from a NP perspective, your deflection/bottom browning needs work.  The V shape bricks have got to go.  Between the brick and the 13" deflector, you're seeing uneven heating of the hearth (see screenshot of one of your previous pies below).

I've been talking about deflectors needing to be either the same size or larger than the hearth long before the blackstone came along, and now that we've seen what the blackstone can do, there's no question about the importance of larger deflection.

It's not the easiest thing to source, but for ideal deflection, you want some kind of steel pan that's slightly larger than the hearth, positioned under the hearth with an air gap.  If the pan is heavy enough gauge (as with the BS), the stone can sit on it, with stainless steel washers to provide an air gap, but if the pan is lightweight, due to the potential for warping, the pan has to be suspended independently of the hearth.

The blackstone is a both a blessing and a curse to aspiring LBE owners.  It's a blessing in that it showcases exactly what's required to achieved the necessary thermodynamics for very fast bakes, but, it's a curse in that it will draw many potential LBE owners away from the LBE and hamper experimentation. It won't, obviously, replace the LBE.  Between the stones, grill and burner, an LBE can be put together for as little as $150.  For DIY people, $150 is a lot more attractive than $370.  In order to really compete, though, we need to start seeing this 1% very fast bake success rate increase- which, due to the knowledge garnered from the BS, I believe we're going to start seeing.

The biggest barrier, imo, to increasing the success rate is standardizing the modifications in some way.  If someone's striving for NY, there's hundreds of approaches that work, but if someone wants NP, then there's not of wiggle room on configuration.

We can recommend:

High pressure burner (90K+ btu)
22.5" webber
Two 19" kiln shelves (one for hearth, one for ceiling)
Steel lazy susan
Dremel for cutting vent and opening for burner

and those are all relatively easy to find/order, but deflection, so far, is, unfortunately, a lot more piece meal. To date, deflection has been more about finding the right item rather than ordering it.

Deflection doesn't need thermal mass- you just need something to put in the way. I can't speak for durability, but galvanized steel flashing can easily be found (HD/Lowes), and a multi-day vinegar soak has been proven to be very effective at removing the dangerous zinc. It can also be cut into any shape you need with tin snips. You can also use this flashing in a ceiling disruptor role like Chau did in the BS.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2013, 05:26:41 AM by scott123 »

Offline scott123

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2059 on: July 27, 2013, 05:21:50 AM »
Do you remember the drawings Scott123 put up of the C-ring?


Did you notice any similarities between my c ring and the blackstone heat shield?  The heat shield bends inward, but, other than that, it's the identical premise (not to toot my own horn or anything  :-D )

I've been, up until recently, pretty skeptical of non bottom burner positioning in an LBE, but... after seeing the blackstone, and after looking at an unmounted turkey fryer burner...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/High-pressure-Propane-Outdoor-Fish-Cooker-Smoker-turkey-fryer-Bar-B-Q-/261244658362

I think one could cut a small venturi sized circle in the side of the webber, insert the burner, and run a steel bar across (perpendicular to the burner) to attach the burner to. If one wanted to go really crazy, it probably wouldn't be at all difficult to make the bar slide from side to side so you could change the position of the burner, if desired.

This approach would also- and this is where it starts getting really wacky- leave the ash catcher at the bottom of the webber and still leave open the possibility of using it for charcoal grilling- after removing the turkey fryer burner, of course- and maybe putting a hinged door on the vent.


 

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