Author Topic: Little Black Egg  (Read 327071 times)

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1020 on: February 27, 2011, 04:50:38 PM »
Wow, nice first bake Skyno.  That ash on the ground is likely from the paint that was burned off of the stand.  A few more bakes and you shouldn't have that issue any longer.  

As far as stones go, any 16" stone will do.  The thicker the better as it will unload more heat into the pie and give a better spring.   The trick that works for me is to use 2 stones.  One for baking on and one underneath separated by a layer of air.  I separate the 2 stones by using some metal nuts.  Search for "My new LBE and pies" for a picture of the setup.  I use to use firebricks in my MBE, but have abandoned them b/c of their weight and increase likelihood of warping the grate.  I used them before b/c I had issues with the bottom crust burning but that can be mitigated with the air buffer mentioned above and/or loading the pies at a lower temp and then cranking the burner up. 

Chau
« Last Edit: February 27, 2011, 05:22:04 PM by Jackie Tran »


buceriasdon

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1021 on: February 27, 2011, 05:09:23 PM »
Ron, Great looking pizza! You've got that down pat ;D
Don

Offline skyno

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1022 on: February 27, 2011, 05:29:33 PM »
Thanks a lot Chau!  - which reminds me, I guess at the start of my original post I should have sent big props and respect out to all those whose I ideas I snagged and learned from - THANKS!

That makes sense what you said about the paint burning off -I was experimenting with closing off a portion of the side vent in hopes of getting the stone hotter faster, but quickly realized that this was just sending the heat straight back down toward the burner.

Any leads on a good, economical, top stone for my 18" Weber set up that will hold up?  What do you favor Chau?  I did read pretty much this whole thread but there was so much info that it becomes a haze!

Thanks again!

buceriasdon

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1023 on: February 27, 2011, 05:50:30 PM »
Skyno, Nice first effort! Yes, I think your hearth is too thick. Have you tried baking on the split firebrick? Also you didn't say what you have in the lid.
Don

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1024 on: February 27, 2011, 05:59:10 PM »
Skyno, there are 2 camps regarding using a stone in the lid.  There are those that use them and those that do not.  :-D  I think you can get great results with either method.   Those that don't use a top stone, will simply attach the ash catcher tray under the lid.  

I may be wrong, but I think member Bucierasdon uses a saltillo stone on top with good results.  If i remember correctly, Ronzo uses a cordierite stone.   Others like Essen1 have also added insulation to the lid above the lid stone.

In my MBE, I have done tests with a stone versus an aluminum plate and didn't find a difference for my particular setup, so I went with the plate b/c it was lighter.  I now have an LBE which is set up very similarly to my MBE so I just attached the ash catcher.

Personally if you are interested in using a stone, I would try with the cheaper materials first and if it doesn't work then upgrade.  No sense in trialing an expensive $30-$40 stone when a cheaper alternative may work.  Because the top stone doesn't get direct heat, I don't think you have to worry about chips flaking off, but it is something to consider.   You wouldn't want to bite into a stone chip that is hidden in the cheese or toppings.  If you have an extra pizza stone laying around and some ceramic drill bits, it may be perfect for that purpose.  

If you look around, you can likely find a 12" cheapie pizza stone for around $10 at Bed bath and more or Sears that should work fine.  

Good luck and do post up some more of those good looking pies.

Chau
« Last Edit: February 27, 2011, 06:03:07 PM by Jackie Tran »

buceriasdon

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1025 on: February 27, 2011, 07:16:05 PM »
Skyno, If you want to install a stone in the lid here is the method I recommend. Invert the lid and lay the stone down centered. Mark four equal locations 3/8" away from the rim of the stone. Drill four 1/4" holes and using bolts and nuts with 1/4" large area, sometimes called fender, washers tighten snugly only. The washers will hold the stone in place This method insures you don't have to drill the stone and risk cracking. If you find you don't like it, it's easy to plug the hole with a short bolt and nut.
Don

Offline skyno

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1026 on: February 27, 2011, 07:29:35 PM »
Thanks a lot for your replies!  For my lid I used the good-ol' inverted ash-catcher technique, but I put a few small chunks of quarry tile evenly scattered in the "bowl" part of the catcher and secured w/ some HD foil before attaching it to the lid - my thought was that this may add a little heat retention to the ceiling w/out having to add all the weight of a whole stone - of course it's hard to tell if this really did anything, but the top seems to be cooking nicely so far.

To answer your ? Don, the reason I didn't just go directly on the firebrick is that I wasn't impressed w/ the crust results I got compared to the quarry tile in the conventional oven - maybe it would be different in the LBE?  

I have already cracked a few cheapo pizza stones in conventional ovens so I figured these wouldn't stand a chance in the LBE - so far my trusty $1 unglazed quarry tile has held up in many conventional oven bakes and a whopping 2 bakes in my new LBE - can't imagine it will last, but I guess you never know.

Here is my report on test pie #2:

While I was waiting for the pros to respond, I tried a a simple approach - I wrapped a grill from an old smoker, which was about 16", w/ HD foil and cutout a small circle approx. where the center of my 10-11" pie will sit w/ the idea that the air space of just having the grate there will insulate a bit overall and then the layer of foil will insulate just a bit more around the edges, resulting in relatively more heat to the center of the pie - then I just set the 1 quarry tile on top of that and let er' rip.  

I noticed it heated up faster w/out the firebrick and, while I still have a lot of tweaking to do, I was fairly happy w/ the result but I still need more char - I am wondering how long a grill wrapped in HD foil alone will last as a buffer though?

On a tangent, I toyed w/ the idea of trying to make my old 16" smoker into an LBE - this thing is like a tank and would probably have some serious insulating properties, but I don't have any tools that will cut through this thing!

Thanks again!

buceriasdon

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1027 on: February 27, 2011, 08:24:04 PM »
Skyno, in that last pic am I seeing a gum line?
don

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1028 on: February 27, 2011, 09:57:25 PM »
Skyno, if you have a chance post a picture of the inside of the lid.  Thanks.
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends

Offline skyno

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1029 on: February 28, 2011, 01:29:21 AM »
Good one Don! - that pic does kind of resemble Jabba-The-Hut's tongue!

Here are a couple of pics that may help elucidate what I attempted to do to control the heat flow:

I was too lazy to remove the ash-catcher that I bolted on to the underside of the lip but if you removed it and looked at the concave surface facing the lid, you would see a layer of HD foil covering about 4 chunks of quarry tile - again, the hope was that this may radiate a bit of heat from the ceiling.

The "diffuser" is just a smaller grill wrapped in HD foil w/ a circular window cutout to allow more heat through the center - I put a quarry tile right on top of this and cook on this surface - it still needs work but I think it's heading in the right direction - gets better on each round and I'm getting a better feel for the hot spots.


Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1030 on: March 01, 2011, 06:23:28 PM »
About burners.

Is too much burner heat overkill?

Bayou Classic SP-10 = 185,000 BTU
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/sp10_propane_burner.htm

Bayou Classic Kick A Banjo = 210,000 BTU
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/kab4_banjo_burner.htm

Bayou Classic Double Jet = 180,000 BTU @ 20psi, but mentions the potential to run @30 or 40psi, which could be monster BTUs
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/sp40-bayou-classic-double-jet-propane-burner.htm

Would center point hotspotting be hard to control with a monster burner? If I wanted to have the option of cranking out a 90 second to 2 min Neapolitan pie, more heat would be a good thing I would imagine.

Any thoughts from you LBE warriors? Thanks.
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1031 on: March 01, 2011, 06:40:42 PM »
About burners.

Is too much burner heat overkill?

Bayou Classic SP-10 = 185,000 BTU
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/sp10_propane_burner.htm

Bayou Classic Kick A Banjo = 210,000 BTU
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/kab4_banjo_burner.htm

Bayou Classic Double Jet = 180,000 BTU @ 20psi, but mentions the potential to run @30 or 40psi, which could be monster BTUs
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/sp40-bayou-classic-double-jet-propane-burner.htm

Would center point hotspotting be hard to control with a monster burner? If I wanted to have the option of cranking out a 90 second to 2 min Neapolitan pie, more heat would be a good thing I would imagine.

Any thoughts from you LBE warriors? Thanks.


Pizzablogger,

I have the SP-10 in my 18.5" LBE and that thing gets hot. I mean seriously hot. I don't know what size you have or are contemplating building but I'd stick with a 50,000 BTU Bayou burner. It provides plenty of heat and is easier to control.

Mike

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

http://thehobbycook.blogspot.com/

buceriasdon

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1032 on: March 01, 2011, 06:50:01 PM »
I second Mike's recommendation. 50,000 is more than enough.
Don

Offline Ronzo

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1033 on: March 01, 2011, 07:30:35 PM »
About burners.

Is too much burner heat overkill?

Bayou Classic SP-10 = 185,000 BTU
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/sp10_propane_burner.htm

Bayou Classic Kick A Banjo = 210,000 BTU
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/kab4_banjo_burner.htm

Bayou Classic Double Jet = 180,000 BTU @ 20psi, but mentions the potential to run @30 or 40psi, which could be monster BTUs
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/sp40-bayou-classic-double-jet-propane-burner.htm

Would center point hotspotting be hard to control with a monster burner? If I wanted to have the option of cranking out a 90 second to 2 min Neapolitan pie, more heat would be a good thing I would imagine.

Any thoughts from you LBE warriors? Thanks.


I have this one: http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/sq14_propane_burner.htm
Square High Pressure Propane Burner
Item #:  SQ14
55K BTU

It's heating a 22" Weber Kettle LBE and works just fine. If i had more heat, I think I'd be burning a lot of pies.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2011, 07:33:27 PM by Ronzo »
Fuggheddabowdit!

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Offline skyno

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1034 on: March 02, 2011, 12:18:35 AM »
Update:

Just fired up my LBE for the 6th time and the $1 unglazed quarry tile finally started to crack - I figured it was just a matter of time - it's still usable & I managed to cook a pie on it, but I guess that answers the question of it's longevity in an LBE - it had survived many rounds in the oven clean cycle

In case anyone is curious, I've found my "diffuser" of HD foil wrapped around a 16" grill with a hole in the middle to be a pretty good and simple way to manage heat levels - at least underneath this thick quarry tile - it seems to provide the right amount of buffering to allow for an even cook in about 3.5 minutes - a layer of firebrick under a tile or 2 tiles was just too much of a buffer - we'll see if it works when I get a proper stone

Here is a pic of a basic pie cooking on my setup - you can see the heat in the background - I only let this dough rise for an hour or so in a warm environment (usually I allow for several days of a cold rise) - I finally purchased some buffalo moz though after testing things out w/ some cheap moz. - tasted ok but the crust wasn't great - Lesson: can't rush the dough - sorry for the poor quality pic - only had my phone handy

Offline Ronzo

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1035 on: March 02, 2011, 12:25:04 AM »
The grate you're using will eventually bow and cup because it's not made to handle the heat put out by the burner. You might want to look into getting a charcoal grate to use as your base for the stone, and also buy some firebrick to put on top of your grate.
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

Former NY'er living in Texas
http://newtexianbrew.com - http://ronlennex.com/ - http://pinterest.com/NewTexianBrew

Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1036 on: March 02, 2011, 12:34:53 AM »
I agree with Ron.

I'd recommend a heavy-duty porcelain-coated grate or better yet, a steel plate, which most small metal shops should be able to cut to your specifications.
Mike

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Offline skyno

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1037 on: March 02, 2011, 01:47:07 AM »
Thanks for the tips guys - do the metal shops typically sell the steel plate material or do I need to buy it elsewhere & bring it in?  or where can I pick up a charcoal grate that will be the correct size?  does weber sell it?

Thanks a ton in advanced!

Offline Ronzo

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1038 on: March 02, 2011, 01:56:33 AM »
I agree with Ron.

I'd recommend a heavy-duty porcelain-coated grate or better yet, a steel plate, which most small metal shops should be able to cut to your specifications.

The plate will be my next upgrade. Need to find a shop local that can do it. 1/4" thick seem about right?
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

Former NY'er living in Texas
http://newtexianbrew.com - http://ronlennex.com/ - http://pinterest.com/NewTexianBrew

Offline Mmmph

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1039 on: March 02, 2011, 02:01:55 PM »
About burners.

Is too much burner heat overkill?

Bayou Classic SP-10 = 185,000 BTU
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/sp10_propane_burner.htm

Bayou Classic Kick A Banjo = 210,000 BTU
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/kab4_banjo_burner.htm

Bayou Classic Double Jet = 180,000 BTU @ 20psi, but mentions the potential to run @30 or 40psi, which could be monster BTUs
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/sp40-bayou-classic-double-jet-propane-burner.htm

Would center point hotspotting be hard to control with a monster burner? If I wanted to have the option of cranking out a 90 second to 2 min Neapolitan pie, more heat would be a good thing I would imagine.

Any thoughts from you LBE warriors? Thanks.



I bought the Bayou Classic SP-10. At 185,000 BTU...It's a freaking rocket. Sounds like a jet plane when cranked. Plenty of heat and my guests love the sound (Or is it the beer?). Even at it's lowest seting, my stone hits 600 degrees+. I use a 10 inch round cast iron griddle, with the handle hacksawed off, as my heat diffuser directly above the burner. Works great!

If I find the the stone is getting too hot, I just lift the lid and set it back down at a rakish angle, a la Frank Sinatra's fedora, to allow some of the heat to bleed off into the atmosphere.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2011, 05:36:11 PM by Mmmph »
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