Author Topic: Little Black Egg  (Read 344164 times)

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #180 on: March 12, 2008, 08:00:41 PM »
I installed the ceiling stone today...looks good so far. The stone is about 13" in diameter and I tried to align it with the top edge of the side vent. There's about 1 1/2" space, which is adjustable, between the stone and the lid and should force more hot air over the pizza and out, since the stone is a bit bigger and wider.



« Last Edit: March 12, 2008, 10:23:43 PM by Essen1 »
Mike

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Offline pizzacraver

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #181 on: March 15, 2008, 07:16:56 PM »
Great set-up Essen1 looking forward to see how those pies turn out :) How did you manage to drill through that top stone without cracking it ???Thats something I wanted to do myself  but didn't have the courage. Also very interested to see how the cooker performs with that top vent in combination with the side vent.With my 14" kettle I can't crank the 50,000BTU burner past half speed so I imagine your burner should work fine even with a larger kettle?I guess Villa Roma is the man who would have all the info.

pizzacraver :D

Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #182 on: March 16, 2008, 10:49:35 AM »
PC,

I used a 5/8" masonry drill bit to get the hole in the center and drilled from the underside of the stone, with a piece of wood underneath to catch the drill once it went through. I started out by drilling a smaller hole first, then used the big drill bit. It did chip just a bit when the drill went through, but nothing serious. I also carefully filed the hole a bit wider because the stone does expand when heated and I didn't want to have it under a lot of tension, giving the stone some play around the bolt.

In one of the pics, you can see that the bolt is attached to the lid with a regular nut. I changed that, however, to a butterfly nut because it's easier that way to adjust the height/distance of the stone inside the lid. I also "baked out" the stone before installation to reduce moisture, hence less expansion.

I'm going to get some propane today and give it a dry run to see how hot the LBE will become.

Kudos and a "Thank you" to Villa and his ingenuity!

Mike
Mike

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http://thehobbycook.blogspot.com/

Offline MTPIZZA

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #183 on: March 17, 2008, 08:05:56 AM »
Mike we are all on the edge of our seats....keep those pics coming...thanks

Offline Ronzo

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #184 on: March 19, 2008, 03:54:16 PM »
You guys need to contact Weber to help them design an off the shelf unit like these. :D

I'd buy it!
Fuggheddabowdit!

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Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #185 on: March 20, 2008, 02:07:43 AM »
Today I put my LBE to use.

It was lined with two bottom stones, one ceramic, one Fibrament. I raised the ceiling stone a bit, to 2 1/2 inch clearance.

After 20 mins heating on a medium burn, it went up to 646 F and that's when the first pizza went in. The hot air flow was amazing. The chimney slowed the air flow down and the side vent made all the difference. The hot air was nicely flowing. The pie looked good and was baked in 3.5 mins. The dough texture was exceptional. Crispy, chewy, foldable and airy. It was a dough with 100 % "00", with a 62% hydration.

For the next one, I cranked the heat up a bit and reached almost 800 F. Unfortunately the pie was a burner. The dough was 75% "00" and 25% Harvest King BF. No sugar or oil was used in both doughs. I'm still trying to get the hang of it and have four more pies in the fridge, so we'll see how they will turn out. I'll experiment a bit more with the temp control.

Mike

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http://thehobbycook.blogspot.com/

Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #186 on: March 20, 2008, 02:14:17 AM »
The second one. The "Burner..."

I will take more pics the next time I fire the LBE up, and show the temp and more of the crust's inside.

Mike

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http://thehobbycook.blogspot.com/

Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #187 on: March 20, 2008, 02:16:33 AM »
The set up.

Mike

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http://thehobbycook.blogspot.com/

Offline MTPIZZA

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #188 on: March 20, 2008, 08:27:16 AM »
SIGN ME UP I'LL TAKE THAT "BURNER" ANY DAY!!! Those are the pies with character... they don't taste really burnt...great pies!! thanks for sharing, you have an amazing set up ... I wonder if Ron is thinking about a top vent like yours now.

Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #189 on: March 20, 2008, 11:02:11 AM »
Thanks MT.

The pies were great but I still have to get a hang of how to more effectively control the temp and baking time. The size of the pies were roughly 14". I'll try a couple of 12" pizzas next time.

And in comparison, the "00" flour held up much better than the combo of 75/25. Overall, they were much better than any pizza I have made in a conventional oven, in terms of texture. Even the burnt pie was still light and airy. I was amazed how good the LBE worked. I was afraid that the 50,000 BTU burner wouldn't be enough but I never had it running at more than half blast. It was more than sufficient.

Again, Kudos to Villa.  ;D

Mike

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http://thehobbycook.blogspot.com/


Offline scotttiawana

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #190 on: April 02, 2008, 08:22:30 PM »
OMG! That is sooo cool!

Offline Jason T.

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #191 on: April 03, 2008, 04:41:13 PM »
Thanks everyone for the information on this thread.  Great info.  I decided to get on the bandwagon and build one of these myself.  When summer comes and it's 115F outside, we don't like turning on our oven inside.  This is a great option.

Yesterday we took the LBE out for a test run and learned a few things. 
1.  My cheap stones crack easily.  Strange though, I cracked the top stone but not the bottom one which I wrapped in foil.  I wrapped the cracked one, put it on the bottom and will keep the good stone wrapped and put it on top.
2.  The oven was too hot - never thought I'd say that.  We cooked each pizza in 40 seconds!  20 seconds, turn.  20 seconds, take off.  This was because the sides and bottom were getting too charred too quickly.  I had the top vents closed down and coved with foil.  I've since opened them up and will turn down the burner more when I cook.  I was only at about a quarter turn open, though.   
3.  I used too much dough per pizza (about 240g) for a 12 3/4" stone.  Because the pizza couldn't stay in the oven but for 40 seconds, the crust wasn't cooked fully through on some of the pizzas.   
4.  I cooked 7 pizzas one after the other.  I think I should clean off the stone every few pizzas to prevent the burnt flour from searing into the next pizza.  The first pizza had a really light bottom, but the last one was pretty charred.  Perhaps it's because the stone got that much hotter, but there wasn't that much time between the 1st pizza and the 7th  ;D 

All in all, a fantastic idea that's revolutionized how we cook pizza's in our house!  We had a blast!  Thanks one and all!  A few more tries and we should have this down.

Jason T.

Here's the evidence:

« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 04:45:20 PM by Jason T. »

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #192 on: April 03, 2008, 05:00:57 PM »
Jason T.....Great looking pizzas! With a little more practice with the heat management you'll be a pro. You must have really had the gas cranked to cook a pizza in 40 seconds. That's a new record for the LBE.

Are you using an IR thermometer to check your stone temp? It really helps. Also what type of flour are you using? I'm guessing Caputo at those high temps.

Here's a picture of an LBE using firebrick splits I got off the FB site.

     Welcome aboard.....Villa Roma
« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 05:04:06 PM by Villa Roma »

Offline Jason T.

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #193 on: April 03, 2008, 08:52:33 PM »
VR,

Thanks for all the help that you've been to me and to others here.  Your ideas on this are terrific.  I don't have an IR thermometer but I should probably invest in one in the near future.

Regarding the 40 sec., the first pizza we put on, I was expecting at least a 2 min. cook time in light of everything I've read.  I figured I should just check it at 30 sec and the rim was charred (see pic).  I was shocked!  From then on, we did 20 sec, and then rotated 180, and then another 20 sec.  It was way too hot, but I don't think I can lower the burner much more as it was only open about a quarter of the way.  We'll get it, though.  I'm not worried a bit.  Opening the vents should help... I hope  ;)

I was thinking about finding some fire bricks as well so that I wouldn't have to worry about stones cracking.  How much time does it take to get them to temp?   

I used King Arthur AP flour for these.  For one batch I used 100% KAAP.  For another batch I added some high gluten flour and some rye flour for flavor.  I was very, very impressed with how the flour handled the heat.  The hydration was about 67%.  I figured this would be good for the high heat.

Thanks again!   

Jason

Offline canadianbacon

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #194 on: April 03, 2008, 09:13:29 PM »
Hi Jason,

Looks really great ! .  I have to admit I'm writing on behalf of my wife.  She loves your ceramic tiles OUTSIDE !

up here in Canada, this just doesn't exist.  With the frost and upheaval of anything down 5 feet down, it's just impossible to do something like this.  You get the very deep freeze, then in the spring everything goes crazy.  Even my back balcony near the pool lifts a good 8" or so, and then finally will go back down when it completely thaws. 

Do you have a concrete slab poured under your ceramic tiles ?

I cannot get over how green your grass is.  I still have tons of snow outside here.

Anyway, the tiles look awesome I must say !, and my wife just loves them !

Yesterday we took the LBE out for a test run and learned a few things. 


Jason T.

Here's the evidence:


« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 09:15:55 PM by canadianbacon »
Pizzamaker, Rib Smoker, HomeBrewer, there's not enough time for a real job.

Offline MTPIZZA

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #195 on: April 04, 2008, 08:17:02 AM »
Looks like the LBE revolution is taking off... nice pies

Offline Jason T.

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #196 on: April 04, 2008, 10:24:31 AM »
Hi Jason,

Looks really great ! .  I have to admit I'm writing on behalf of my wife.  She loves your ceramic tiles OUTSIDE !

up here in Canada, this just doesn't exist.  With the frost and upheaval of anything down 5 feet down, it's just impossible to do something like this.  You get the very deep freeze, then in the spring everything goes crazy.  Even my back balcony near the pool lifts a good 8" or so, and then finally will go back down when it completely thaws. 

Do you have a concrete slab poured under your ceramic tiles ?

I cannot get over how green your grass is.  I still have tons of snow outside here.

Anyway, the tiles look awesome I must say !, and my wife just loves them !

Canada, eh?  I grew up in Grand Rapids, MI so I know all about a white yard in April  ;D  I also have many Canadian friends, not least of whom is Tim Horton  ;D  I wish we had Timmy's in California.  Alas, only Starbucks 

Concerning the tile, it's laid on a concrete slab by the previous owner.  Unfortunately, some of the tiles have cracked due to the way they were laid.  I have extra to replace it, I've just been too busy with another project  ;D

Thanks!

Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #197 on: April 04, 2008, 10:58:00 AM »
Jason,

Great looking pies!

I had the same problem with the cheaper stones. They can't handle the high heat, so I bought some higher-quality ones, a cordierite stone for the bottom and a Big Green Egg one as the top stone.

In terms of temp control, try VR's method with the inserted can as a top vent. Or go to Home Depot and pick up a roof vent and install it.

Mike
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Offline canadianbacon

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #198 on: April 04, 2008, 09:48:11 PM »
Hey Jason,

Ah yes, Canada, long winters, and long spring... the snow takes so long to melt that we have it sticking around until the beginning o May sometimes.  Fun stuff ( not ) !

As for Tim Hortons, yup, probabally the best coffee in the world haha, and Timmy's is slowly invading the States, and I'm sure it will catch on like wild fire.  Some swear there is something addictive put into it... people just can't get enough of it up here.

Starbucks - in Canada anyway has lost a lot of market, they were really big a few years back, and now, they are not doing well up here... I don't know about the States though.  Tim Hortons is just so strong up here, kind of like wild yeast taking over haha !

anyway, thanks much for that info.  The tile looks great, and yeah I saw a few that were cracked in the photo, but am not surprised with  it being outside.  I said to my wife, that the tiles may be on top of a slab of concrete, and it turns out I'm right ! ( ha ! )

up here, I'd have to pour a good 5 feet of that, in order to make certain it wouldn't heave up during the spring.... can you imagine the cost of that ? .... I guess that's why nobody does it up here.

Thanks for the info, and keep posting your pics.

P.S. I cannot believe your grass is SO green..... it looks like July !

Canada, eh?  I grew up in Grand Rapids, MI so I know all about a white yard in April  ;D  I also have many Canadian friends, not least of whom is Tim Horton  ;D  I wish we had Timmy's in California.  Alas, only Starbucks 

Concerning the tile, it's laid on a concrete slab by the previous owner.  Unfortunately, some of the tiles have cracked due to the way they were laid.  I have extra to replace it, I've just been too busy with another project  ;D

Thanks!
Pizzamaker, Rib Smoker, HomeBrewer, there's not enough time for a real job.

Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #199 on: April 16, 2008, 10:21:38 PM »
Jason,

I'm wondering where you're at in Cali? Anywhere near the Bay Area, by any chance?

Mike
Mike

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