Author Topic: Little Black Egg  (Read 391979 times)

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Offline Ronzo

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #700 on: June 17, 2009, 02:18:03 PM »
Anyone have any ideas for hardware to hang a 12" Saltillo tile from the lid of the LBE? I'm having some difficulty finding hardware that looks like it will work, and stand up to the high heat.
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

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


Offline Ronzo

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #701 on: June 25, 2009, 11:49:18 PM »
anyone? Bueller?
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

Former NY'er living in Texas
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Offline smarttowers

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #702 on: June 26, 2009, 01:10:17 AM »
Get a ceramic bit for your drill and put holes in the tile then use them to bolt it to the top. Would try to find the most heat resistant bolts you could. I would think that the Hardened steel bolts that are sold in hardware stores would resist the kind of heat you are going to be applying.

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #703 on: July 05, 2009, 07:44:14 AM »
Barny, one of the members asked me to post some pictures of the mini LBE. Here they are along with some basic instructions to build a Mini LBE.

1. Cut a 6" hole in the centered on the bottom of a 14" Weber Smokey Joe grill.

2. Cut a 1"x6" slot in the side of the cover. See pictures for placement. I used a quarter to define the rounded ends.

3. Mount the burner, I used an aluminum plate but you can use the ash catcher that comes with the grill. You'll have to drill some holes depending on which burner you use. I used the Revolution burner from Eastern Outdoors. It's high quality and uses very little fuel and will get this grill over 1000+ degrees. You'll see them on Ebay from time to time.

4. Cover the inside of the Weber base with HD aluminum foil.

5. I mounted a series of aluminum discs on the top inside lid. This is optional or you could use a stone or tile.

6. Cover the inside of the lid with HD foil.

7. I hung a 8" corderite stone about 1" below the grate to act as a heat buffer to prevent the top stone from getting too hot. Look close and you'll see the wire that I used to hang it with.

8. Cover the bottom of a 12" corderite stone with HD foil and place it on the grate. I cheated it toward the side vent.

FYI....the first picture shows the Mini LBE with the Eastman burner and the last picture shows it with the Bayou Classic burner.

   Now you're cooking with gas!!!.....Villa Roma
« Last Edit: July 05, 2009, 08:09:30 AM by Villa Roma »

Offline slimjim

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #704 on: July 06, 2009, 03:03:48 PM »
Villa Roma,

What purpose does the HD aluminum foil lining serve?

Offline Villa Roma

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #705 on: July 07, 2009, 10:48:04 AM »
slimjim.....The foil reflects the heat away from the grill and concentrates it on the pizza.

    Villa Roma

Offline slimjim

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #706 on: July 07, 2009, 11:40:14 AM »
How hot does the outside of the grill get during cooking?

Offline Ronzo

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #707 on: July 07, 2009, 06:07:29 PM »
How hot does the outside of the grill get during cooking?
REALLY hot.
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

Former NY'er living in Texas
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Offline CookEmHorns

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #708 on: July 20, 2009, 09:33:16 AM »
Howdy Folks!

Finally got the DLBE back up and running.  Was cleaning up some junk at my folks house, and luckily found a 16" x 16" x 1" piece of granite that fit perfectly on the top of my grill (on top of a broken stone).  Followed Villa's dump & stir whole wheat recipe and had fantastic success.  Easiest pizza to work with to date.  Temps were 796 on the cooking surface, 815 on the top stone.  The pies were all about 9-10 inches and cooked in 90-120 seconds. 

Followed the following recipe courtesy of Villa Roma (His recipe listed GM flour, I used the KA):

400 gm King Arthur whole wheat flour (100%)
200 gm water (50%)
200 gm cold milk (50%)
8 gm honey (2%)
8 gm sea salt (2%)
8 gm lite olive oil (2%)
1/8 tsp IDY
small pinch ascorbic acid (vitamin C)

Like he mentioned, dump and stir.  A few (perhaps minor) variations.  Started the dough Friday night, dumped and stirred.  Went to dinner w/ girlfriend, then came home and started it in my mixer with spiral hook.  We got distracted, and 15 min. later I walked back in the kitchen, and the mixer was still running.  Turned it off, and let dough rest on counter overnight (with wicker paper plate holder over it).  Stirred a few more times the next day, into refer at 1:00, pulled it out and started shaping at 4:00.  Whole wheat pizza!  Yea!!!
I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

-Pablo Picasso


Offline Ronzo

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #709 on: July 20, 2009, 11:00:54 AM »
Great lookin' pie, bro.


I did some updates on my LBE. Gave the it a high heat paint job, and new cedar handles since the old ones were rotting off. You can't see it well, but there's also a 15" kiln shelf on top of the fire bricks to help keep the surface from getting too hot and scorching the bottom of the pies. And I finally installed a top stone on the lid. A 12" Saltillo tile.

Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

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

Offline CookEmHorns

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #710 on: July 20, 2009, 03:40:51 PM »
Very nice!!!  Cedar handles are next on the list for me!   One of these days we're going to have to get together for a pizza and (Tea Party) Party! 
I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

-Pablo Picasso

Offline Ronzo

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #711 on: July 20, 2009, 05:55:42 PM »
Very nice!!!  Cedar handles are next on the list for me!   One of these days we're going to have to get together for a pizza and (Tea Party) Party! 
Name the time and place, bro. BTW my GF loves Tennis. Maybe we can come hang out with you when you play.


And I still have over half of the cedar plank I used for those handles if you want it. It's still like 3 feet long or so.
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

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

Offline texmex

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #712 on: August 01, 2009, 11:12:03 AM »
Thanks for posting the dump & stir recipe again cookemhorns...saves me having to search for it!

I finally purchased all of the remaining items to complete my LBE mini.  I found a new 12" circular kiln stone on ebay for $18.00 plus shipping. Got my pizza peel, and long leather gloves.  I also purchased a high temp thermo-gauge like you see on smoker grills, and was going to try installing that instead of using the infrared gun, but Harbor Freight has the gun on sale for $26, so I'll pick one up today.  I am excited about completing the finishing touches, and trying this baby out. 

Thanks to all who have posted to this thread. 
It's been a fun project, and I can hardly wait to share the end results.
I'll take pics, and post to my blog.
Reesa

Offline anton-luigi

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #713 on: August 01, 2009, 11:51:10 AM »
$26  ???  its not 26 online?  they still show 59.99 on the site

Offline R2-Bayou

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #714 on: August 04, 2009, 05:10:25 PM »
The Little Black Egg has landed in Oregon!! I'm an east-coast transplant and pizza maniac. When I found this website, I found my new project. I really wanted to clip the self-cleaning latch off my home oven to achieve optimal pizza making temps, but I don't think my security deposit would have survived any move out inspection! The Little Black Egg was the perfect solution for my space...

My materials:
Classic Bayou Cooker SP-10 from Amazon (delivered)   $57.11
18" Weber Grill from Craigslist   $25.00
16" Old Stone Oven Pizza Stone from local kitchen store    $42.00
13" & 15" Sunbeam Pizza Stones from eBay (delivered)   $30.00
Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil, Nuts, Bolts, & Bits   $15.00
Neiko Tools Non-Contact IR Thermometer from Amazon (delivered) $37.99

All tolled, the project cost about $200.

I started by cutting an 11" hole out of the bottom of my weber using a dremel tool with the cutting wheel attachment: one pass to take off the paint, and another pass to cut through the steel. I then cut an 8" x 1" vent in the side of the lid. I used a course grit sand paper to smooth all the rough cut edges. I then used a tile/metal drill bit to drill a 1/4" hole through the center of the 13" pizza stone and then the lid. I lined the weber's body and lid with heavy duty aluminum foil, as well as wrapping the 15" pizza stone with foil. The foil wrapped stone was placed directly on the grill grating to act as a flame buffer for the cooking stone. The OSO 16" stone was placed on top of the foil wrapped stone and cheated toward the side with the vent. Finally I bolted the 13" stone to the lid using a 1/4" x 3" steel bolt and several nuts and washers. I placed the whole rig onto the burner and voila! The R2-Bayou has been born!!

My pizza recipe was inspired after studying Jeff Varansano's NY Pizza recipe website, and reading Ed Wood's, "Classic Sourdoughs". I've gotten pretty handy using sourdough cultures, and I think its been a big upgrade in my doughs. For the launch of R2-Bayou, I made 5 pizzas: 2 margaritas, 1 spinach and gorgonzola, and 2 pies topped with marinara, muzz, carmalized onions, kalamata olives, and home smoked chorizo. The first couple pies were my beta test, getting used to the temperature and general methodology. The first pie's shape had some thinner spots that created big bubbles that over charred. My temperature was also well over 850 degrees on the top and bottom stones. I reduced the temperature to 725 on the bottom stone and 750 on the top stone, and I found this to be the optimal temperature for me. By the fourth and fifth pies I had perfected my method. I hope you enjoy the pics! THANK YOU LBE THREAD!!!!!
« Last Edit: August 04, 2009, 05:37:38 PM by R2-Bayou »
"Wretched excess is just barely enough."

Offline CookEmHorns

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #715 on: August 10, 2009, 11:18:51 AM »
Welcome to the forum!  Awesome job, awesome tutorial, awesome photos, awesome looking pies!!! 
I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

-Pablo Picasso

Offline Ronzo

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #716 on: August 10, 2009, 11:24:46 AM »
Great job! Pie looks awesome!
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

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


Offline aiannar974

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #717 on: August 17, 2009, 03:43:49 PM »
Hello Everyone,

I have read through the post and see it is over 2 years old.  A lot of information in that time and its sounds like a lot of you have had a lot of fun with the project.

In some cases there are ideas mentioned and I cannot tell if they were implemented and if I missed it, what the results are.  That being said, what has been determined to be the ideal configuration to date?

Side vent, rotating egg, double pizza stone with or without a gap, ceramic briquettes or not, etc.

Please advise.

Thank you,

Anthony

Offline R2-Bayou

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #718 on: August 18, 2009, 06:29:27 PM »
I believe some of the basic tenants for a good LBE is:

High Pressure Propane Burner
High Quality Baking stones; one as a flame buffer and one for a cooking surface
Side vent
Using an infrared temperature gun to gauge how hot everything is getting

I haven't tried installing an aluminum disc in the lid as opposed to bolting a stone, so I'd imagine there's some differences there. My lid stone gets hotter than the bottom stones, and I believe is instrumental to cooking the pie through in the short window of oven time. I'd love to experiment with the aluminum disc technique. The side vent forces much of the hot air out and over the pie, so I can envision how the different aluminum discs aid airflow and cooking.

That being said, I originally installed a cheap stone in the lid and it recently broke. Going to replace it with an Old Stone Oven 13 inch stone. Lesson learned.

My bottom cooking stone tends to have consistent hot spots, which forces me to rotate the pie to even out the cooking. So, I can see the benefit of the lazy susan mod some have done.

Another lesson learned is that even though your propane tank might still have some fuel in it, it needs a certain amount to achieve the pressure required to achieve 700+ degree temps. Both my tanks were low last week and, although I got a flame, it wasn't powerful enough to get the oven past 500F. A newly filled tank cured the prob.. I'd like to figure out what the fuel threshold is to maintain pizza temps.

I made two pies on Sunday: One with pesto, artichoke, muzz, and shrimp, and a second with white sauce, muzz, ricotta, heirloom tomato slices, and salami.. Both were delicious.. The pesto was a surprise hit..
"Wretched excess is just barely enough."

Offline carbon

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #719 on: August 20, 2009, 01:21:58 PM »
Maybe these have been covered already as I did not have the chance to read the entire thread.

Can you use 1" firebricks as cooking surface in place of the stone and not bother with the flame buffer?  Has this method been experimented with?

Also, on average, how long do 5 gal LP tanks last with this setup using the SP-10 cooker?  I'm currently using my gas grill to do pizzas, but with all my burners on high my tanks don't too long.

Thanks!!

Offline DenaliPete

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #720 on: August 21, 2009, 04:55:44 AM »
Well I always thought that by now birds would be preparing to fly south for the winter, but somethin laid me a little black egg all the way up in Alaska.

I christened it for the first time today by cooking 3 simple mozzerella, tomato, and basil pies.  It was undoubtedly a learning experience.

I will post pics as soon as my egg has cooled down enough to manhandle a bit, but here's my setup in a nutshell;

Bayou Classic SP10 w/ 20psi adaptor

2 old stone oven pizza stones, one resting on the grate with HD foil underneath, the other sitting on top of the first (these stones have legs)

HD aluminum foil lining the top and bottom of the innards of the LBE

3 inch vent with soup-can flange ala villa roma

8 by 1.5 inch  side vent on the upper lid just above the lip

standard weber adjustible vent grate

10 inch steel saw blade bolted to lid

Whew, think I listed everything.  I wanted to be sure and list my hardware because I suspect that some of the experts here can help troubleshoot with me.

I should have kept better record keeping with the temperatures, but here is roughly what I encountered;

I slid in my first pie at around 725-750 degrees on the top stone with the infared gun.  Roughly a 3 minute bake.  As I was turning the pizza in intervals I noticed that my top stone was charring a bit on top, which was odd to me because my recipe has no sugar. 

All 3 pies ended up with a burn ring around the bottom.  Nothing that I wouldn't eat, but also not the pristine leopard spotting that I am searching for.  Very encouraging, but still lots of room to grow.  With the third pizza I actually got better results using low moisture tilamook instead of the fresh mozz I'd used on the previous 2 pies.

I think my problem lies in that my heat in the dome area wasn't matching/exceeding the heat on the stones.

What changes would you guys suggest?  There are several things I'm pondering but I'm hoping someone can give me a nudge in the right direction;

1. Lower the sawblade so that it is closer to the bottom stone or replace the sawblade with a small round stone in the hopes that it will absorb more heat and shoot it down
2. increase the space between the two stones using tin foil spacers as villa roma has mentioned prior in the thread
3. Replace the HD aluminum foil underneath the bottom stone with a steel pizza pan for a better buffer
4. Replace the top or bottom stone with 1.5 inch fire brick splits.  I don't know if it would be better to replace the bottom or top stone.

I knew that there was going to be a learning curve to this, but I'm hoping to bring myself up to par soon and do the egg justice.

One more question; what are you guys using for sauce on your pies?  I used some tomatoes I crushed myself (canned plum tomatoes), I expected to be wowed by them,but the flavor really fell short.  Sauce is the weakest part of my game, and I'm hoping to correct that also.

Thanks all,

DenaliPete

Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #721 on: August 22, 2009, 03:15:08 PM »
Well I always thought that by now birds would be preparing to fly south for the winter, but somethin laid me a little black egg all the way up in Alaska.

I christened it for the first time today by cooking 3 simple mozzerella, tomato, and basil pies.  It was undoubtedly a learning experience.

I will post pics as soon as my egg has cooled down enough to manhandle a bit, but here's my setup in a nutshell;

Bayou Classic SP10 w/ 20psi adaptor

2 old stone oven pizza stones, one resting on the grate with HD foil underneath, the other sitting on top of the first (these stones have legs)

HD aluminum foil lining the top and bottom of the innards of the LBE

3 inch vent with soup-can flange ala villa roma

8 by 1.5 inch  side vent on the upper lid just above the lip

standard weber adjustible vent grate

10 inch steel saw blade bolted to lid

Whew, think I listed everything.  I wanted to be sure and list my hardware because I suspect that some of the experts here can help troubleshoot with me.

I should have kept better record keeping with the temperatures, but here is roughly what I encountered;

I slid in my first pie at around 725-750 degrees on the top stone with the infared gun.  Roughly a 3 minute bake.  As I was turning the pizza in intervals I noticed that my top stone was charring a bit on top, which was odd to me because my recipe has no sugar. 

All 3 pies ended up with a burn ring around the bottom.  Nothing that I wouldn't eat, but also not the pristine leopard spotting that I am searching for.  Very encouraging, but still lots of room to grow.  With the third pizza I actually got better results using low moisture tilamook instead of the fresh mozz I'd used on the previous 2 pies.

I think my problem lies in that my heat in the dome area wasn't matching/exceeding the heat on the stones.

What changes would you guys suggest?  There are several things I'm pondering but I'm hoping someone can give me a nudge in the right direction;

1. Lower the sawblade so that it is closer to the bottom stone or replace the sawblade with a small round stone in the hopes that it will absorb more heat and shoot it down
2. increase the space between the two stones using tin foil spacers as villa roma has mentioned prior in the thread
3. Replace the HD aluminum foil underneath the bottom stone with a steel pizza pan for a better buffer
4. Replace the top or bottom stone with 1.5 inch fire brick splits.  I don't know if it would be better to replace the bottom or top stone.

I knew that there was going to be a learning curve to this, but I'm hoping to bring myself up to par soon and do the egg justice.

One more question; what are you guys using for sauce on your pies?  I used some tomatoes I crushed myself (canned plum tomatoes), I expected to be wowed by them,but the flavor really fell short.  Sauce is the weakest part of my game, and I'm hoping to correct that also.

Thanks all,

DenaliPete

Pete,

First off, I'd get rid of the saw blade and install either a high-quality stone or go with Villa's aluminum disk in the top.

Second, the burning comes most likely from excess flour if you don't use sugar in your formula. But it's normal. The trick is to control excess burning. You don't want to have a totally charred bottom and an under-cooked top.

Here's what I do during heat-up time:

Start with a low temp and gradually increase it. I always measure the top stone in 10 min intervals to make sure I get an even heat, from top to bottom. Air circulation is also important. Check and see if there's a steady somewhat forceful stream of hot air coming out of the side vent. That would mean, basically, to leave the top vent all the way closed and only open it during baking if temp should be too high. The top vent is a nice little addition to control air flow and the temperature, imho.

Look at some of the posts on here from members Jasonmolinari, Pizzacraver and, of course, Villa and his videos on Youtube. Very helpful...

Happy Baking.
Mike

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

Offline DenaliPete

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #722 on: August 22, 2009, 08:31:32 PM »
Mike,

Thanks so much for the quick reply.  I'll get to work on finding some aluminum discs right away, funny enough, only one place in town here sells pizza stones and they only sell in 16" rounds and 16 by 18" squares, both of which would probably be too big for what we're after.  Appreciate your help.

I'll keep you guys posted.

Pete


Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #723 on: August 23, 2009, 02:06:52 PM »
Pete,

I got my top stone, a 13" from here:

http://www.biggreenegg.com/setters.html

Scroll down to the bottom.
Mike

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

Offline texmex

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #724 on: September 16, 2009, 01:07:02 PM »
Finally!
The maiden voyage...
I did it and it was amazing.

http://somethink2say.blogspot.com/2009/09/are-you-ready-for-some.html

That's the link to my blog with all the gory details.

I have a few modifications to make,
but the thing works, by golly!

Did I ever doubt it? 
No, not after all the success stories here.

Thank you to all who have come here to tell their stories of LBE creation.
I expect to see a few more of these cropping up amongst my friends.
Reesa


 

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