Author Topic: Little Black Egg  (Read 352011 times)

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Offline DenaliPete

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #740 on: January 20, 2010, 01:02:24 AM »
This cold alaska winter has got me wanting to tinker in order to avoid cabin fever.  I'm buckling down and making some adjustments to my LBE. 

Firstly, that saw blade I used on top really didn't do much for me, but I wasn't able to find a medium sized stone or aluminum disks (as villa uses) locally, so I instead mounted the lower grate from my LBE to the dome with 4 bolts and slid firebricks inside.

The results from that had been okay, I'm making good pie.  However, aesthetically it looked terrible, the grate just wouldn't level, and I'm feeling the need to experiment.

Here's what I'm looking at now;

Using the standard lid I have taken a chapter out of Essen's book and purchased some fiber blanket insulation.  I was unable to get high temperature spray adhesive locally but one of the employees at home depot assured me I would be able to do what I needed using Rutland Furnace Cement;

http://www.rutland.com/productinfo.php?product_id=24

It is supposed to be able to withstand temperatures over 2000 degrees F.  I'm hoping he was right. I was able to complete the task with a $2.00 10.3 fl. oz container that operated with a caulking gun.  It was hard to feather it and spread it thin and even as the directions indicated, but so far all the fiberblanket seems to be sticking, I just hope it holds. 

The next step that I will deal with tonight is to give the fiberblanket a coating of ITC 100 HT Ceramic Coating as I believe Essen did. 

I'm in the hopes that this will conserve fuel for me.  However, this may blow up in my face.  I have the fear that by installing the 1" thick fiber blanket that I may be restricting the flow of air too much.  Only time shall tell how well I'm able to cook with such a lowered dome.

Also, since I was kinda disgusted the look of my firebrick splits at the top of the dome I have opted to remove those and for the time being I will replace them with a 14" metal pizza pan.  Ideally I'm wanting to get a stone to have mounted from the dome, but Villa has great success without one.

I still really haven't been able to address my stones getting too hot around the edges.  I think I'm giving an appropriate warm-up time to the egg, and I've got two OSO stones, which seem to be regarded well enough, its probably a simple thing and I'm just unable to see the forest through the trees.  If I could get the heat more uniform throughout the stones though I'd be much happier.

I'll keep you guys posted on how things turn out.


Offline DenaliPete

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #741 on: January 21, 2010, 10:20:02 AM »
Unfortunately, the modifications to my oven didn't work out quite as well as I'd have hoped.

1. The first thing I'd noticed (that I didn't think about beforehand) is that now with the 1" fiber blanket attatched to the dome the walls come into direct contact with my pizza stone where it is cheated toward the front vent.  This in itself isn't a terrible thing I don't think, but I should have seen it coming.

2. I need to raise my steel pizza pan in the dome up some, a few of my pizzas tonight rose high enough to hit the edge of the pan, searing the site where they touched.

3. The dome of the oven still gets really hot, the 1" fiberblanket didn't keep it cool to the touch by any means.  Its been a long time since I had cooked with the LBE, so I'm not sure if my warmup time is significantly less.  I may have been a little too conservative with the heat tonight.

4. This is the biggest issue still, the heat is not being evenly distributed on my stones.  This is probably the biggest frustration for me because I really feel like I've hit a brick wall here.  The outer edge of the stone remains at least 140 degrees hotter than the center.  Sure my pizzas still cook, but they are woefully pale compared to what I would like and to some of the results I see from the other fine folks here.

I feel as though I'm running out of ideas at this point.  If anyone has any ideas please hit me with them.

Offline spacelooper

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #742 on: January 23, 2010, 09:58:56 AM »
I am thinking about making one of these babies and was wondering. Do you feel that the Kiln shelf works better than the Old Stone Pizza stones? I was also wondering if anyone has tried a larger top stone? larger than 13"? Maybe even 16"?

thanks,
Todd

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #743 on: January 23, 2010, 02:12:16 PM »
I am thinking about making one of these babies and was wondering. Do you feel that the Kiln shelf works better than the Old Stone Pizza stones? I was also wondering if anyone has tried a larger top stone? larger than 13"? Maybe even 16"?

thanks,
Todd

Todd.....I've used both and really didn't notice any difference. The advantage of the kiln stone is you can get them in thicker sizes. The OSO stones are usually 3/8" to 1/2" with raised feet. The kiln shelves can be had up 3/4" plus. The largest stone I used on the top of my LBE is 8" but now I use the aluminum disks.

    Villa Roma

Offline spacelooper

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #744 on: January 23, 2010, 02:19:12 PM »
Do you find the Aluminum disks work better? and where do you get those at?

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #745 on: January 23, 2010, 02:29:56 PM »
It doesn't seem to make much difference whether the top surface is stone or aluminum. The aluminum is nice since it's light and can be cut to any size. I made mine from 1/8" sheet aluminum.

    Villa Roma

Offline DenaliPete

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #746 on: January 24, 2010, 02:10:56 AM »
Villa do you have any problems with odd head distribution on the OSO stone you use?  I mentioned my problem a few posts above and am scratching my head.

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #747 on: January 24, 2010, 03:12:23 AM »
Villa do you have any problems with odd head distribution on the OSO stone you use?  I mentioned my problem a few posts above and am scratching my head.

No problems but I'm using a double stone on the bottom. The lower stone buffers the heat and keeps the cooking stone fairly even.

    Villa Roma

Offline spacelooper

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #748 on: January 25, 2010, 08:51:22 AM »
Has anybody else tried the larger mountain smoker lid design or just Essen? I was also curious how safe that Fiber Blanket and spray coating is to be cooking with it? Does anyone have any clue? I was also curious if the LBE has lasted the test of time as far as Usage? Or was it merely an experiment for most. Seems as it would be a pretty handy Pizza oven. I Have been looking for the most economical way to make a portable pizza oven and this looks pretty solid.

thanks,
Todd

Offline TONY

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Re: Little Black Egg - 22" or 18"
« Reply #749 on: January 25, 2010, 02:39:16 PM »
Would you recommend the 18" Webber or the 22"???.....Does the 22" take that much more fuel to heat up and operate????

Thanks,

Tony


Offline pizzacraver

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #750 on: January 26, 2010, 05:43:41 AM »
I was also curious if the LBE has lasted the test of time as far as Usage? Or was it merely an experiment for most.

Hi Spacelooper

My LBE has been a solid little work horse for quite some time now and I've had trouble free motoring since the day she was first fired up. I'd well recommend building one.

Pizzacraver :)
« Last Edit: January 26, 2010, 05:45:50 AM by pizzacraver »

Offline spacelooper

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #751 on: January 26, 2010, 07:51:24 AM »
PizzaCraver... which design did you follow? Did you make any Mods etc?

thanks for the advice and info,
Todd

Offline spacelooper

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #752 on: January 26, 2010, 04:13:14 PM »
also wonderin... how fast does this rip through gas?.. smile

Offline pizzacraver

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #753 on: January 27, 2010, 01:24:25 AM »
Spacelooper

My version of the LBE differs slightly from the others in that I used a 22'' weber and cut it down to around 19''.

The Smokey Joe version I built quite some time ago worked great also but the size of the pies just weren't large enough for me or the rest of my family.

The idea behind  19'' version was to be able to produce a decent size pizza while still  keeping the overall  internal volume to a minimum.

This in my opinion produces a great pie. The cooker keeps an even heat flow,it has a fast warm -up time and uses minimal gas.

Adding a lazy-susan and an opening at the front that is large enough take the pies in and out with out having to remove the lid during the bake is more on the lines of the 2Stone  design but once again in my opinion a far superior option, that is if you are prepared to put the extra effort into the build.

Anyhow good luck with your LBE

Which ever way you take it ........ well you really can't go wrong.

Pizzacraver :)
« Last Edit: January 27, 2010, 01:53:52 AM by pizzacraver »

Offline pizzacraver

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #754 on: January 27, 2010, 01:51:25 AM »
Here's a pic of the current burner I use.

Offline TONY

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #755 on: January 27, 2010, 11:25:24 AM »
PizzaCraver,

I am going to get the 18 1/2" Webber grill. Would you recommend the 16" stone, or another size?

Thanks,

Tony

Offline DenaliPete

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #756 on: January 27, 2010, 12:38:52 PM »
No problems but I'm using a double stone on the bottom. The lower stone buffers the heat and keeps the cooking stone fairly even.

    Villa Roma

I was afraid you were going to say that Villa.  I use 2 stones myself.  Both are OSO stones.  I just can't wrap my head around the uneven heating.  On my next set of days off I'll snap some pictures, perhaps you folks will see something I don't.

Offline pizzacraver

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #757 on: January 28, 2010, 02:24:33 AM »
Hey Tony,

The 18  1/2'' Webber with a 16'' stone sounds great.

The bigger the better I reckon.

Pizzacraver.


Offline TONY

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #758 on: January 28, 2010, 10:22:20 AM »
Thanks PC,

I was concerned that a 18 1/2" grill, with a 16" stone would have enough air flow.

Tony

Offline WaterDog

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #759 on: February 06, 2010, 12:52:02 PM »
Hi folks. Another noob here. Stumbled across this incredible thread and have been soaking it all in. 38 pages and counting...

Villa, you are the man!  :D  And the experimentation and refinements by Essen, PizzaCraver, Mike, Jason, et al, has made this a very interesting read. Looking forward to elevating my game!

Getting ready to start this project and I have one question that I haven't quite resolved. The Bayou Classic in on it's way and now I need to get the Weber. I already have a 22 but I'm going to leave that for the other BBQ chores. My question is trying to decide on whether to use an 18 or a 22. It seems most of the size choices made by others was based on the size of the pie they wanted. I'm wondering which size makes the most sense from an air flow perspective. With the improvement of bringing more heat to the toppings by adding the side vent and increasing convection, I'm wondering if the larger chamber of the 22 would create a more effective turbulence even with a 16" stone. After all, domed brick ovens have a lot of air moving around in there.

I realize that the extra surface area would increase heat loss but it sounds like the burner has the capacity to compensate for that, no? 

This is all just my curiosity and I know I can do quite well by following the collective wisdom here but if anyone has any thoughts on this I'd really appreciate it.

 :pizza: Jeff




 

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