Author Topic: Little Black Egg  (Read 390401 times)

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Offline ehanner

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #125 on: January 16, 2008, 11:26:04 PM »
VR, Thanks for your reply. Did you lower the tile in your egg to make it so close or did it just work out that way? That seems a little close but it does explain the nice color you get on the top crust.

I'm wondering what the effect is of not having the HD foil inside the lid. You say having it reflects the heat but does it (the lid)  get to hot otherwise or is the crust affected?


Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #126 on: January 17, 2008, 12:52:11 AM »
Eric,

I originally had the stone clearance at 2" but raised the bottom two stones up 1/2" by placing some compressed HD foil between the grate and the four supports. I found the 1 1/2" clearance works best for me.

The lid heating wasn't the reason I used the foil to line the lid, it was more to even out the top and bottom heat and increase the efficiency of the LBE.

I marked off a side vent on the lid so I may take my trusty hacksaw blade and cut the side opening this weekend. If I do I'll let you know what effect it has on the finished pizza.

     Villa Roma

Offline ehanner

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #127 on: January 18, 2008, 05:54:19 PM »
I saw that you were scoping the side entry concept. Maybe you could save the cut out piece and brace it slightly and use it as a oven door with a wire bale or wooden handle. I'll be waiting to see how that works. You might have to direct more heat to the back side do to the opening.

Eric

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #128 on: January 19, 2008, 08:44:44 AM »
Here's the sidewinder vent mod. This is intended to be a vent and not an opening to load pizzas through at this point. I'll close down the top vent some and see how it works later this weekend if the wind dies down. If this works out, I may enlarge the vent and use it to load the pizzas. Right now it's 8" X 1 1/2".

I may have to lower the bottom stones so I made the opening with that in mind.

     Villa Roma
« Last Edit: January 19, 2008, 10:22:13 AM by Villa Roma »

Offline ehanner

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #129 on: January 20, 2008, 10:49:42 PM »
You do nice work VR. Can you tell us why you thought it was necessary to increase the venting so much? It would be great if you could side load and cover the opening during the bake.

Eric

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #130 on: January 21, 2008, 12:42:40 AM »
Eric.....Thanks, I cut the opening with a drill, small files and a bare hacksaw blade, cutting on the pull stroke. It still needs some work but since I may have to alter it, I left it as is.

The side vent addition wasn't so much to increase the venting as it was to redirect the flow of hot air. With the vent on the top, most of the air is drawn around the pizza and out the top vent resulting in the top of the pizza being undercooked. This was especially true if there was a breeze. In a windless environment like a garage, it's not as critical.

Adding the side vent will draw hot air around and over the top of the pizza, hopefully resulting in faster bake times and a more evenly baked pizza. That's what I'm shooting for but I'm sure I'll have to do some more experimenting before I get it dialed in.

It's been my experience that limiting the venting actually decreases the temperature. The burner needs a lot of air to support the cumbustion process and gets starved for air when the venting is less than optimum.

I'm going to Las Vegas on business next month so I'm going to see if I can score on a few kilos........of Caputo!

     Villa Roma
« Last Edit: January 21, 2008, 12:50:30 AM by Villa Roma »

Offline ehanner

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #131 on: January 21, 2008, 08:17:30 AM »
VR, It is my understanding that the reason that these gas ventless fireplaces and in fact your home range and oven are not a Carbon Monoxide risk are that they are efficient burners. When I placed my LBE over the wok burner on my home range (this is a big hi BTU burner) I noticed that the flame started to become weak and wasn't burning at anywhere near full power after just a minute of operation. My heating contractor friend said to be carefull of CO when the flame isn't burning well. I have been anxious to try my LBE in the face of -5F temps and windy days here in WI and thought about firing it up in the garage. I just don't want to produce a high CO level that might harm myself or the family in my impatience for good weather.

I wonder if the heat distribution problem couldn't be solved with a look at a different burner. It seems like there is potentially plenty of BTU's to heat such a small area if the gas is being burned correctly.

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #132 on: January 21, 2008, 09:01:33 AM »
Exactly my point. Closing down the vent makes the burner less efficient, thus it actually lowers the cooking temp.

The stock vent on the 18" Weber grill has about 3 square inches of airflow. The tin can on my Weber has about 8 square inches of airflow. The side vent adds another 12 square inches of potential airflow for a total of 20. This is probably too much but I can adjust the top vent to optimize the efficiency and airflow characteristics of the oven.

When I cook in the garage I always leave the garage door open at least 12" no matter how cold it is. You can also get a carbon monoxide detector to warn you if the levels get too high. I've never had a problem.

    Villa Roma


Online Jackitup

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #133 on: January 21, 2008, 10:20:50 AM »
Make a 3 sided windbreak out of plywood or something. Even a big cardboard will work. Anything to break the wind and create a NON-turbulaent environment. Many people that use the WSM bullet smokers do the same thing when BBQing to achieve stable consistant temps in their smokers, works great and safer than a open flame in a garage.
Jon
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”            -Mark Twain


Offline retrodog

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #134 on: January 21, 2008, 08:49:47 PM »
It's starting to look a lot like a 2stone. Now you just need a rotating stone in there and a nice stick to push it with.  ;)

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #135 on: January 22, 2008, 01:00:26 AM »
Retro.....Ha Ha Ha  :-D I was thinking the same thing except more like the other way around.  ;) You may also find this interesting. http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6113.msg52494.html#msg52494

    Villa Roma
« Last Edit: January 22, 2008, 02:16:21 AM by Villa Roma »

Offline ehanner

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #136 on: January 22, 2008, 12:49:05 PM »
I was thinking along the lines of a hot air balloon. The burner is considerably below the skirt which directs the heat and way below the balloon. The burner is able to run at full temps and has plenty of air available.

Eric
« Last Edit: January 22, 2008, 12:51:57 PM by ehanner »

Offline PizzaBrasil

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #137 on: January 22, 2008, 05:13:24 PM »
Where the pizza goes?  :-D

Offline ehanner

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #138 on: January 23, 2008, 08:45:27 AM »
Hahaha--right at the top!

Offline ehanner

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #139 on: January 24, 2008, 11:56:29 AM »
VR,
After looking at what the 2stone guy is doing and your results with your stone lowered, I am convinced that you are on the right track with your side cut out. rotating the cooking surface does seem like a good value, even if it's done manually.

Eric

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #140 on: January 26, 2008, 06:19:31 AM »
The weather was cooperating so I decided to road test the LBE with the side vent mod. I was on the last legs of my gas tank so all I could muster was 650 degrees. I made 2 New Yorkapolitan pizzas and 3 whole grain pizzas. All were very light and the NYA pizzas cooked in 2 1/2 minutes and the whole grain pizzas cooked in 3 minutes.

NYA pizzas: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6167.msg52912.html#msg52912

Whole grain pizzas: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5682.msg52913.html#msg52913

The side vent mod literally converted the LBE into a fire breathing dragon. I lowered the bottom stones back to the stock position prior to this pizza session. With a fresh tank of gas, next time I'll be.......SMOOOOOKIN!

   Villa Roma
« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 08:28:38 AM by Villa Roma »

Offline 2stone

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #141 on: January 26, 2008, 08:25:02 AM »
 :)


Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #142 on: January 26, 2008, 10:53:29 AM »
Here's some detail on the vent mod. I used a piece of rolled up foil to create a baffle which limits the air flow in the area closest to the vent. This forces the hot air to be directed from the sides and back of the oven over the stone, creating a sort of convection wind tunnel effect. With the side vent being smaller sized than the intake, it creates a small back pressure and turbulence. I can't wait to try this with a full propane bottle.

The top vent can be used to control the air temp by siphoning off some of the hot air and the gas regulator is used to control the stone temp.

    Villa Roma
« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 05:08:46 AM by Villa Roma »

Offline ehanner

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #143 on: January 28, 2008, 11:33:03 PM »
That looks like a good idea VR! Are you still planning on using a top stone? I wonder if you would need it with all that hot air rolling up around the stone and over the Pizza.

I'm sure you have looked at this but I discovered that the lid slips back and fits in a clam shell style, catching on the hook in the lid. It seems like that might be plenty of opening to get a pie in and out and hold enough heat.

I picked up my spare tank tonight after filling it and now it's howling 40-50 mph winds and the temps are supposed to fall from 40 to -5 tomorrow. I may never get to try this out!

Eric

Offline ehanner

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #144 on: January 28, 2008, 11:41:52 PM »
2stone, how about helping me understand what the best way would be to rotate the stone in this rig. I'm thinking of trying to mount the burner up inside the cooker a little offset to one side. Then I would rotate the stone so the burner covers one side of the stone as it rotates. A motor with a shaft up the center could be mounted below the cooker and stay cool enough I think.

Eric

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #145 on: January 29, 2008, 01:12:34 AM »
ehanner.....I'm staying with the top stone for now. The last few mods are a series of tweaks to get the maximum performance out of the LBE.

My next experiment will be to replace the bottom 16" stone with ceramic briquettes. This will allow some of the heat to propagate up to the 16" cooking stone on top of it while still providing some thermal mass as well as a heat buffer. This will make for faster heat up times and use less gas. This should allow the cooking stone to reach 750+ degrees in short order, using a minimal amount of gas.

Once the stone is up to temp I can lower the gas to idle and when I make a pizza, I'll just turn the gas up as required for a 1 1/2 - 2 minute pizza. I used this technique before with great results but with the stock vent. This should work a lot better with the expanded top and side vents.

Never tried the clam shell technique, let me know how it goes.

      Villa Roma
« Last Edit: January 29, 2008, 01:25:08 AM by Villa Roma »

Offline ehanner

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #146 on: January 29, 2008, 08:38:00 AM »
Villa Roma, So the plan is to place the ceramic briquettes on top of the grate and the cooking surface on top of them? Unless you plan to put the points down it seems like you would be loosing the direct contact heat transfer and insulating the top from the briquettes. I'll be anxious to see how you do that.

I bought a box of 6 inch square unglazed quarry tiles yesterday. I had hoped to get larger tiles or thicker but Home Depot didn't have anything thick at all. I'm going to clip some corners and lay a buffer below the cooking stone.

Eventually I think I'll place the stone on a steel plate and find a way to rotate it. The top stone could also help direct the hot air flow where you want it to be (top of the pie).

I'm sure you have it posted somewhere on this massive site but what is your favorite dough recipe for testing? I'm thinking I'll whip up some high hydration (80%) Harvest King with no oil or sugar and make some small shapes to test heat patterns.

Eric

Offline Y-TOWN

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #147 on: January 29, 2008, 08:54:19 AM »
Here's some detail on the vent mod. I used a piece of rolled up foil to create a baffle which limits the air flow in the area closest to the vent. This forces the hot air to be directed from the sides and back of the oven over the stone, creating a sort of convection wind tunnel effect. With the side vent being smaller sized than the intake, it creates a small back pressure and turbulence. I can't wait to try this with a full propane bottle.

The top vent can be used to control the air temp by siphoning off some of the hot air and the gas regulator is used to control the stone temp.

    Villa Roma

Villa,

I may have asked this question before and can't find the answer

Do you run your stones (16") directly on the flame (I know you said you utilize two, one that cracked after some years and is now used as a buffer).

I called the Fibrament factory about a crack in the stone and was told I was the first :) that the stone had fibers and it would not break - well the crack is getting larger with each use. Looks like no help from the factory :(

I wondering what kind of stone you are using which does not crack with the heat from the LBE.

Here is what mine looks like now
« Last Edit: January 29, 2008, 08:56:06 AM by Y-TOWN »

Offline Y-TOWN

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #148 on: January 29, 2008, 09:05:51 AM »


I looked at the scan of the stone here on line and it looks like there is a chip out of the stone at the crack - not a chip - I was holding the stone resting on my on my lap for the photo and had black pants on - the chip looking part is my pants  :-[
« Last Edit: January 29, 2008, 09:10:26 AM by Y-TOWN »

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #149 on: January 29, 2008, 03:13:37 PM »
Y-Town.....The stone I use is an Old Stone Oven brand. You can do a search on it or go here: http://p4online.com/16rounpizbak.html

Don't buy from Amazon, I've heard of a lot of broken stones in shipment due to poor packaging.

I run mine fully exposed to the flame. Another alternative is using a kiln shelf but I've been really satisfied with the OSO brand.

   Villa Roma


 

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