Author Topic: Little Black Egg  (Read 404197 times)

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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.






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

Offline 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.  :-\
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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.

Offline 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"

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 »


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.

Offline MrP

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2060 on: July 27, 2013, 11:44:53 AM »
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)

Hey thanks Bob. I don't remember the C-ring, but I am always looking to try new stuff. I would be interested in it for sure.

Offline MrP

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2061 on: July 27, 2013, 11:50:48 AM »
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.

Hey Scott, thank you for the good input. That first pie at 90 seconds was with my old 13" stone in the uninsulated lid. I usually try to rotate the stone as it heats up to even out the heat. The next bake, I will take pics of the bottom and record some temps.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2062 on: July 27, 2013, 12:12:06 PM »
On this pic below is a pizza kettle insert. It is much too high. Imagine, if you will, cutting off the top portion...from where the top of the opening where the pizza goes in....remove the top half of that insert....what is left is a C shaped ring.  Now, place your top stone right on that ring....mount your burner to the side and what do you have?   That's right...a Black Stone grill. Better yet, a multi purpose grill with quick heat up times. Put a cast iron steak grilling plate in there and cook high heat steaks. Change the c-ring to a taller one that does not have the cut-out opening and bake bread, cook roasts, etc.(much better than heating up the whole house) . Pull the removable burner out and you are back to having a charcoal grill.
Just a thought.  ;)
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scott123

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2063 on: July 27, 2013, 01:08:04 PM »
I usually try to rotate the stone as it heats up to even out the heat. The next bake, I will take pics of the bottom and record some temps.

MrP, due to the size of the 13" deflector and 19" hearth,  I think there's a good chance that you'll always have a hotter edge on the hearth than the middle, no matter how much turning you do during the pre-heat, but, I could be wrong. Give it a shot and see how evenly the hearth pre-heats.

Offline MrP

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2064 on: July 27, 2013, 01:37:43 PM »
MrP, due to the size of the 13" deflector and 19" hearth,  I think there's a good chance that you'll always have a hotter edge on the hearth than the middle, no matter how much turning you do during the pre-heat, but, I could be wrong. Give it a shot and see how evenly the hearth pre-heats.

 I am hoping the larger top stone and the insulation might even things out a bit. I am also going to try not to blast the heat. I think heating it up slowly might help as well.  I could get another 19" stone.  http://shop.clay-planet.com/19-x5-8-round-kiln-shelf.aspx  Man! I would be up to $150 in kiln shelves. It is temping. I think I might move the burner before I do that.

scott123

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2065 on: July 27, 2013, 02:45:11 PM »
I think another 19" stone would be overkill.  Any 19" round piece of steel will do it.

Another concern regarding your present high thermal mass deflection is propane. Bricks and stone deflectors suck up an unbelievable amount of energy and extend your pre-heat times.  How long are you pre-heating for now?

Offline MrP

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2066 on: July 27, 2013, 04:04:38 PM »
On this pic below is a pizza kettle insert. It is much too high. Imagine, if you will, cutting off the top portion...from where the top of the opening where the pizza goes in....remove the top half of that insert....what is left is a C shaped ring.  Now, place your top stone right on that ring....mount your burner to the side and what do you have?   That's right...a Black Stone grill. Better yet, a multi purpose grill with quick heat up times. Put a cast iron steak grilling plate in there and cook high heat steaks. Change the c-ring to a taller one that does not have the cut-out opening and bake bread, cook roasts, etc.(much better than heating up the whole house) . Pull the removable burner out and you are back to having a charcoal grill.
Just a thought.  ;)

Ahh! I get it.  Nice! I love the evolution of the LBE. I was think if doing exactly what Scott said, "cut a small venturi sized circle in the side of the webber." The only thing is I would need to cut a 3" hole to fit my entire venturi through. I would want the entire thing sitting outside the Webber.  But, I really like the idea of the c-ring and not having to modify the entire Weber. Having it removable is another plus.


Offline pizzaneer

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2067 on: July 27, 2013, 07:52:31 PM »
I'll add my 2 cents:  if you do NOT HAVE enough intake air entering the combustion chamber where the burner is, you are going to have a bad time.   I don't know the throughput specs of the BS, but I'm sure there is ample intake area to feed the burner.

Cutting a hole just big enough for the venturi, IMHO, is not going to give you enough air to burn your turkey burner at throttle-open position.  This will result in unburned propane igniting in a cycling cascade effect.  Should the cycle amplitude grow to the point where the cascade is bouncing back to the ignition point, you could create a standing-wave explosion.

That caution aside, Bob's summary is right on the money.  It accurately reflects how I use my LBE. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16863.0.html
 The only thing I have not tried to date is deep-frying, and I have that slated for next month.  I've been working on my fried-chicken recipe using a 2 quart pan on the stovetop, and I'm ready to go whole-cut-chicken with it.
I'd rather eat one good meal a day than 3 squares of garbage.

Offline chaspie

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2068 on: July 27, 2013, 11:24:03 PM »
I didn't take pictures, but I got my personal best so far with my 22.5 inch LBE today.  I'm not trying for NP style or sub-90 second cooking times.  I'm just shooting for NY style between 2 and 3 minutes.  My pizzas today were NY style, 12 inch diameter, using GB dough fermented for two days.  One was topped with plain Canadian bacon and raw onions, the other with smoked Canadian bacon, raw onion, raw jalapenos, and pepperoni.  Red November #2 sauce and Costco mozzarella cheese on both. 

The bottoms and edges were nicely done, with great texture and flavor, some light mottled charring in spots, but not at all burned or hard anywhere.  The vegetables were tender-crisp, firm but cooked.  The cheese was evenly flecked with browned spots across the entire pizza.  I didn't have the undercooked center on these like I have in the past.   The centers of the pizzas seemed to cook at the same rate as the outer edges.

Cooking time was 3:15 minutes on the fist, launched with a stone temperature of 720 degrees.  The second was 2:45 minutes, launched with a stone temp of 735 degrees.   I turned both pizzas three times during the bake.   I don't think the slight difference in stone temp at launch contributed much to the difference in cooking time.   I think it was the way I regulated the burner during the bake.  I backed off the throttle about a quarter on the first pie, which reduced the airflow considerably compared to the second pie, which I cooked with the throttle at my normal preheat setting, about 75% open.   Of the two, I preferred the second pizza.

The big difference this time was that I removed the air deflectors in the lid and replaced them with a suspended pizza stone, positioned very low in the lid directly over the bottom stone.  I didn't measure the distance, but it's less than two inches above the bottom stone. 

Right now I'm using a pair of 16 inch diameter el-cheapo pizza stones.  They are working fine, but I plan to replace them with 19 inch diameter stones (round kiln shelves) eventually.   I hope to be able to find a thinner kiln shelf for the lid.  It's pretty heavy already just with the thin 16 inch stone in it.


Offline MrP

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2069 on: July 28, 2013, 01:21:11 AM »
I think another 19" stone would be overkill.  Any 19" round piece of steel will do it.

Another concern regarding your present high thermal mass deflection is propane. Bricks and stone deflectors suck up an unbelievable amount of energy and extend your pre-heat times.  How long are you pre-heating for now?

Yup, my original reason for the bricks was my grate was sagging and I got lazy and grabbed some bricks.  A piece of 1/4 plate steel cut so there is a 2.5-2" x 12" (tapering with the stone) gap in the back might be the trick.

Offline jmargush

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2070 on: August 01, 2013, 09:56:52 PM »
I haven't made it through all the pages of this thread, but I am wondering if anyone has tried using wood and or charcoal for heat instead of the gas burner?

If so how did you go about it fire on either side of grill under the stone?  charcoal under the stone and wood at the back?

I also am curious if anyone has tried firing with a rocket stove that would come out of the bottom of the weber?

Offline MrP

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2071 on: August 05, 2013, 12:18:00 PM »
I did a few more mods. They might look Blackstone inspired, but I had been thinking of doing this way before the BS, and I am sure so have others. So, I moved the burner up and to the rear.  I did a temporary mount  in a Weber charcoal basket with lava rocks. I plan on cutting a hole in the side.  I also added a heat shield to help the flames. The pie below was done in under 45 seconds.   The top temp was in the 900's and the bottom varied (I forgot to rotate the stone during warm up) 950-750. You can see the stone glowing (not a reflection) orange, due to leaving sitting for 15 minutes.  I had to turn the inline valve down to a trickle, because it was getting too hot. I warmed it up on less than half turn on the inline valve and it was more than enough.  This is a much different set-up,  so more dough and more tweaking on the way. Going to try to get all I can out of this LBE before I retire it, for a Blackstone.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 03:11:47 PM by MrP »

Offline Jackitup

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2072 on: August 05, 2013, 06:43:23 PM »
Noting the rubber feed hose coming up to the back of you venturi/burner. TURN THAT INTO A PIPE ELBOW it WILL crack and break. I had a smoker set-up with a similar burner years ago and shielded it with some metal vent material and it still cracked and turned my smoker into an inferno. DO NOT WAIT TO DO THIS....really, just a matter of time before you start to see cracking and or breakage when it's close to a heat source like that!!!

take care

jon
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Offline MrP

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2073 on: August 05, 2013, 08:34:44 PM »
Thanks for elbow idea Jon. I was thinking of cutting a hole in the side and having the whole back end of the burner sticking out, but I like the elbow idea much better.  I think with the huge hole I have in the bottom, air flow won't be a issue. Thanks again. 

Offline moose13

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #2074 on: August 05, 2013, 09:37:13 PM »
Made this tonight.
Very good, still not happy with my dough. My LBE dough that is.
Only my second pie on this machine so not bad i suppose. A work in progress.