Author Topic: Little Black Egg  (Read 408639 times)

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Offline ehanner

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #150 on: January 29, 2008, 05:49:33 PM »
VR,
Well I fired up the LBE today in the garage to test my oven temps. I ran it at full blast for about 15 minutes in the clam shell configuration and the best I could get was in the mid 500's. I put down a layer of 4 6x6 quarry tiles and then a 16" thin pizza stone (1/4").  I closed the top with the standard vents open and let it run for a while and it did warm up some. I went back to the clam config and checked the surface at about 600-640F. The handles got to 150 on the IR gage and there are a lot of hot spots on the stone. I haven't installed any foil yet. Maybe the foil will reflect some of the heat back.

Eric


Offline Y-TOWN

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #151 on: January 29, 2008, 07:03:26 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

Thanks for the reply, I'll order the one you suggested.

I don't rember if mine was an Amazon purchase or not -

I know one thing the company will give little if any help (Fibrament factory) - if it holds together I guess I'll be happy, but that company will not get another dime from me - not much customer support for such a high priced stone. 

BTW I saw the LBE update, which I plan to do.

portions of this post were removed by Y-town
« Last Edit: January 30, 2008, 12:42:11 PM by Y-TOWN »

Offline ehanner

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #152 on: January 30, 2008, 10:37:42 AM »
Villa Roma,
After thinking about my test yesterday, I'm wondering where all the heat is going. Does the IR temp gage read the air temp? If it does I need to be more careful about where I take a reading. When I checked the outside of the kettle, I would get 600+ on the lower part of the kettle but only 300+ on the top just a few inches away. It seems like the 16" stone is significantly blocking the flow of heat to the top half. Have you tried to bake with only the stone and nothing as a buffer below? Maybe the quarry tiles are too effective as a buffer. Hmmmm.

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #153 on: January 30, 2008, 03:19:28 PM »
Eric.....The IR gun measures the temperature of objects, so if you point it at the grill, it will measure the grill temp not the surrounding air.

I never measured the lower part of my grill but it may be the stock vent is too small so the heat is just backing up in the lower part of the grill. I'll measure the upper and lower part of my grill next time I fire my grill up. You only have about 3 square inches with your stock vent and I have about 20 inches with the top can vent and the side vent. I think at one point you're going to have to perform surgery on your LBE.

I tried just one stone on the bottom and the pizza would burn real fast. I would stick with the tiles.

My last batch of pizza used 75% hydration and 2% salt. I use 1/64 tsp of IDY per 100 grams of AP flour. Just flour, water, salt and yeast/starter with a 12 hour RT ferment.

     Villa Roma
« Last Edit: February 01, 2008, 03:09:05 AM by Villa Roma »

Offline ehanner

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #154 on: January 30, 2008, 04:58:01 PM »
VR,
I am trying to understand my IR reader so I'm measuring a can of coke that came in from the garage where it's -2 outside and maybe 25 in the garage. When I shoot ice I get 32F, the outside of the can reads 45F and there are ice crystals in the soda can. The inside is 50F. Ice still measures a solid 32F.

When I have beamed the kitchen oven I get numbers similar to the control setting. The hot stone is usually a little lower than the oven wall (10-15 degrees).

Will the foil help achieve higher temps?

Eric

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #155 on: January 31, 2008, 11:55:58 PM »
Eric.....The foil will reflect the heat back into the oven and also provide a certain amount of insulation, so yes, the foil will help, especially when applied to the lid.

     Villa Roma

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #156 on: February 02, 2008, 01:01:37 AM »
Have a big family? Like to entertain large groups? You say you need to make 16" pizzas. Maybe you just like living L A R G E.

Not a problem! To further demonstrate the versatility of the modified Weber kettle grill, I offer up the 22" grill with a 19" kiln shelf. Perform the above stated mods and you'll be cranking out massive 16" pizzas every two minutes.  Even the hungriest of hoards will be no match for your new found pizza making prowess!  8)

Maybe the small personal size pizzas are more to your liking. We've got you covered, just use the 14" grill with a 12" kiln shelf and fire it on your gas cooktop in the kitchen or get a small propane burner and use it outside.

Rest assured that no matter what size pizza you desire, there's an LBE built just for you.  ::)

      Why would you want anything else?......Villa Roma

« Last Edit: February 03, 2008, 05:16:59 AM by Villa Roma »

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #157 on: February 02, 2008, 01:51:22 AM »
Of course there's always this big rascal. It can make a 36" pizza!  :o :o :o

   More power......Villa Roma
« Last Edit: February 02, 2008, 02:03:27 AM by Villa Roma »

Offline ehanner

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #158 on: February 02, 2008, 06:56:12 PM »
Holy Cow Villa Roma!! That's a big stone!!! You must be cooking on base for the flight line.
Eric


Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #159 on: February 03, 2008, 12:43:54 AM »
Speaking of cows, you could probably fit a whole cow on that grill.  :-D Maybe even an elephant!  :o

The only name befitting this behemoth is:   The Big Black Egg


    Size matters......Villa Roma
« Last Edit: February 03, 2008, 05:15:10 AM by Villa Roma »

Offline ehanner

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #160 on: February 04, 2008, 01:41:26 PM »
VR,
Have you made any changes with the side loader? Any more tests?
Eric

Offline tommygun

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #161 on: February 05, 2008, 06:25:55 AM »
wow what an interesting thread! I just read it from start to finish.  I've experimented a couple of times with 1/2" stones inside my home bbq (for us New Zealanders, a 'bbq' usually means a gas fired grill like the LBE, but bigger, as opposed to a coal burning bbq).   The main problem i've faced has been finding a happy temperature median so that the top of my pie cooks before before the bottom is burnt to a crisp.  I've resorted to shifting the near baked pie to the oven on broiler mode to finish the top off.

recently i've been giving a lot of thought to setting up a mobile pizza cart and seeing the LBE got me thinking- could this be a viable alternative to building a WFO into a trailer/ truck?  I can 2 or 3 LBE's built into a trailer churning out 3 minute pies for the hungry masses!

Villa Roma and others- do you think the wind problem could be overcome in a mobile setting? have you given any thought to this type of application??

Thanks, and happy pizza making!

Tom

Offline mmarston

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #162 on: February 05, 2008, 08:49:02 PM »
Nobody cares if you can't dance well.  Just get up and dance.  Dave Barry

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #163 on: February 06, 2008, 02:06:24 AM »


Villa Roma and others- do you think the wind problem could be overcome in a mobile setting? have you given any thought to this type of application??

Thanks, and happy pizza making!

Tom


tommygun.....The wind issue would be very easy to solve. Just build a metal enclosure and mount the grills in it. You could even fabricate a motor that would rotate all three stones at once, similar to the 2stone pro but X3. Put a sprocket on each grill and link them to the motor with a bicycle chain.

With this setup you could theoretically crank out over 100, 16" pizzas an hour with a 1 1/2 to 2 minute cook time.

    Villa Roma
« Last Edit: February 06, 2008, 03:11:37 AM by Villa Roma »

Offline DieselAddict

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #164 on: February 17, 2008, 01:40:53 AM »
I've been working to put together one of these little jewels. Today I got it put together and fired it up. After a generous warm up I tossed on a spinach and cheese pie. The results are very encouraging. The bottom stone was about 650 degrees, the top stone was about 525. This resulted in the less browning on top than I was after but the bottom had a very nice crackle in about 4 minutes. I am going to cut out the side to give a "door" to load and unload the pizzas. I know this will improve the airflow and get the upper stone hotter.

I am using a rectangular stone (15"x14") and a cookie sheet for the bottom and a 13" round stone for the top (all from from Bed, Bath, and beyond, cost $60). The grill is a 22" webber kettle. It is the one that has the ash container under the bottom and a hinged lid ($39 at Home Depot). I'm not using the hinge though. I just lift the top off with the lifter from the turkey frying kit that came with the bayou burner. So far the total investment is $100 (I already had the bayou burner). When I get everything finished up I'll take a few pictures to post if anyone is interested in seeing it.

I really appreciate all the effort that has gone before to make this a pretty simple thing to assemble. I expect to send many pies though it. :D


Offline ehanner

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #165 on: February 18, 2008, 01:07:17 PM »
Hey Dieseladdict,
Glad you had a good test run. I look forward to seeing pictures of your Egg.

I'm still waiting for my top ceramic dome to be done, should be any time now. Just in time for the Spring warm up hopefully.

Offline DieselAddict

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #166 on: February 18, 2008, 06:35:13 PM »
OK. I've got it ready to test. Today I gave the egg its smile.  ;D

Its too windy to do a good test so firing it up will have to wait a little longer.

I'll take some better pictures of the opening tomorrow when I have more light.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2008, 06:50:11 PM by DieselAddict »


Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #167 on: February 24, 2008, 09:15:20 AM »
Here's my latest experiment and pizza. I put down a layer of ceramic briquettes instead of the bottom stone. The LBE heated up to 650 degrees in 20 minutes at about half throttle.

These pizzas were a combo of whole wheat and 10% rye. They cooked best at around 675 degrees.

     Villa Roma

Offline ehanner

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #168 on: February 24, 2008, 12:27:01 PM »
Villa Roma,
So you are cooking on the ceramic briquettes directly? The pizza looks fantistac as usual. Did you have to rotate or was the heat even? What do you think as compared to the stone? So many questions.....

Offline ehanner

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #169 on: February 24, 2008, 12:29:48 PM »
DieselAddict,
You have certainly jumped into this with both feet! How are you supporting the top stone? Can't wait to see your pie's.
Eric

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #170 on: February 24, 2008, 01:43:31 PM »
Villa Roma,
So you are cooking on the ceramic briquettes directly? The pizza looks fantistac as usual. Did you have to rotate or was the heat even? What do you think as compared to the stone? So many questions.....

I used a 16" stone on top of the briquettes. Yes, I had to rotate the pizza and the heat up time was shorter. Everything else was about the same.

     Villa Roma

Offline DieselAddict

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #171 on: February 24, 2008, 11:24:02 PM »
DieselAddict,
You have certainly jumped into this with both feet! How are you supporting the top stone? Can't wait to see your pie's.
Eric

Thanks!

The top stone is being supported by the warming grate that comes with the grill. I had to drill a couple of holes in the lid and straighten one of the wire supports but is is perfect.

Well, I took it for a full scale test drive yesterday. I was too busy to take pictures but I can report that the pies were being eaten as quickly as I could take them out. I got the egg up to about 650 degrees. The pies were taking 3-4 minutes. I would give them a 180 spin about 2 minutes in.

The only problem so far is I cracked the bottom stone. It is a very cheap one from bed, bath, and beyond. I thought it was too thin and fragile. Yesterday showed it was true. I'm going to work to baffle the airflow in the bottom of the grill to even out the temp in the stone. I think the 100 degree temp spread I measured was the cause of the crack. The stone sits on a cookie sheet and is isolated from direct flame contact.

Next weekend I'm dong a pizza party for 20. I promise to take some pictures and keep you posted on what it takes to even out the temp.

Offline ehanner

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #172 on: February 29, 2008, 01:05:34 AM »
Villa Roma,
What do you attribute the faster warm up to? It looks like the briquettes buffer the heat and still allow some air flow under the stone.Hmmm

You also raised the level of the stone some it looks like.
Eric

Offline Atari

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #173 on: February 29, 2008, 09:43:56 AM »
I used a 16" stone on top of the briquettes. Yes, I had to rotate the pizza and the heat up time was shorter. Everything else was about the same.

     Villa Roma



Ok here's an idea....   what about using some type of 'chicken wire' that withstand the heat and putting a layer of those ceramic bricks in there?

That, or use those unglazed .99 cent tiles that people use, chop them in half or in fours & somehow wall up the bottom half of the grill with them.

Offline Atari

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #174 on: March 01, 2008, 12:08:55 PM »

Welp, I've got an LBE in the incubator. :)

Picked up a used 18" Webber one-touch off Craigslist for $40. Too much $$ IMO... but the guy had it advertised as a 22" & when I got there it turned out to be the 18". What's funny is, due to Villa Nova's test unit being an 18", I really wanted that one anyway.  I only brought 2 $20's and didn't have the heart to haggle down to $30 once I found out it was the smaller unit that I wanted anyway :P.   Be sure to check your local craigslist before buying new... although, some of the Weber products (I think the One-Touch) still seem to be MADE IN THE USA (how odd?), so don't feel too bad if you have to buy one new :)

I ordered my Bayou Classic SP10 burner from Amazon.com for $30 with free supersaver shipping. I believe this is the same burner that Villa Nova uses on his 18" grill. I found that $30 with free shipping was such and awesome deal that I bought two of them! The problem was HomeDepot.com has them online for $30 as well, but charges around $20 to ship. I had a rep in store check to see if any stores anywhere in my area (Northern California) carried it in-store and they do not. He said it was probably online only.  The $30 price for this burner appears to be the lowest you're going to find anywhere.

Long story short:

- Check Craigslist first for your 18" Weber, or buy new MADE IN USA :)
- Order Bayou Classic SP10 from Amazon.com (Currently $30 w/Free super saver shipping)


I'm still mulling over what to do about the stones. I'll probably buy the "Old Stone Oven" brand that Villa Nova uses.

Initially I paid way too much ($20) for a 18"x18"x1" piece of travertine from a stone yard... but I don't think I can even use this thing for anything. I guess it may make people sick or something.


Anyway just wanted to share the tip to buy the SP10 from Amazon because they are currently the best price I've seen for the burner.