Author Topic: Reverse engineered coal fired brick oven  (Read 182694 times)

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Offline WestCountry

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Re: Reverse engineered coal fired brick oven
« Reply #660 on: April 16, 2008, 10:45:48 PM »
Willard,
I agree with Bill/SFNM. Thank You for taking the time to put together some really helpful instruction. And THANKS for everyone else here in the forum adding their great input and ideas.

-Chris  ;D


Offline 2stone

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Re: Reverse engineered coal fired brick oven
« Reply #661 on: April 17, 2008, 09:16:54 AM »
"Fundamental Tips & Tricks" continued



8. Topping procedures


Less is more………... (What can I say…it’s simple but it’s true) Try cutting down on everything. You will be surprised at how much better your pizza will taste. It will bring out the subtle flavors of the crust that you have worked so hard to perfect.
Whether you sauté, roast, grill, or sun dry your toppings, get the excess moisture out of them. Not only are you avoiding a soupy pizza, but by doing so you add flavor to them. Put your cheese on in cubes or chunks, fresh mozzarella is better if you dry it out.     
 
When baking at 700-800 it is easy to scorch sensitive thin toppings such as grated cheese or fresh basil. Sprinkling olive oil on before baking adds flavor and can also help protect sensitive toppings. Otherwise it is better to put some toppings on after the bake to preserve their subtle delicate qualities from the scorching heat.


thanks, Bill and Chris
FVG thanks for the detailed Caputo recipe

LabRat, 750F is a good place to start, if you are having burning issues.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2008, 09:38:53 PM by 2stone »
2Stone blog: www.2stoneblog.com

Offline canadianbacon

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Re: Reverse engineered coal fired brick oven
« Reply #662 on: April 17, 2008, 10:35:43 AM »
Hi Willard,

My deck is clear of snow now..... I can almost smell the pizza baking in my new 2Stone pizza oven !

I don't know what I'll do, - should I try my gas grill that goes up to 600 degrees, or should I use my weber
bbq smoker which I can also use as a bbq and try that to do my first pizza ? hmm...

I wonder if charcoal will have a higher temp than my gas grill.... what do you think Willard ?

Anyway, I think I'll have a good summer practicing both ways, and seeing which is better, that's really the only
way to tell, and it's fun eating the experiments !  :P
Pizzamaker, Rib Smoker, HomeBrewer, there's not enough time for a real job.

Offline 2stone

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Re: Reverse engineered coal fired brick oven
« Reply #663 on: April 17, 2008, 11:16:44 AM »
Hi there Mark,

Funny thing I just sold a 15" 2stone PG to a guy with a small natural gas grill. I was worried since he wasn't even able to close the door on his grill because it was too small. He said he could really get his grill hot (it was a 36000 BTU Weber) I heard from him later and he said it was working like a charm.

First thing I would do is try to tweak your grill (Natural gas has all the muscle you need if you just figure out how to harness it properly.)

Now I have never tried this directly.....so maybe you could be the trailblazer.
I have added a charcoal starter full of burning lump coal under the gas burner on tests I was doing on the pizza pro. To make a long story short everything got so hot it all started to warp and twist along with burning off the handle on the charcoal starter that I scrapped the idea. I have the space under the burner on the pizza pro so a smaller version of the charcoal starter can be inserted with some wood chips to add wood flavor.

So I see no reason why you couldn't insert a cheap charcoal grate over your flames under your existing grate and put a few lump coal chunks on for added heat and flavor. This could potentially give you the best of both worlds and would certainly give you enough heat. It would be a lot simpler than burning straight charcoal and would still give you the ability to dial up and down with the gas to fine tune things.

I would be very surprised if it didn't work. Just make sure you use lump coal not reg charcoal, since charcoal has to burn off some gases before you can use it. (or if you use charcoal make sure you burn it down and check to make sure your stones aren't picking up any of the residue) Also place the coal so it doesn't restrict the flames from coming through.

If it works it would be a great solution for anyone with a gas grill with temp issues.

regards,
willard

2Stone blog: www.2stoneblog.com

Offline 2stone

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Re: Reverse engineered coal fired brick oven
« Reply #664 on: April 17, 2008, 09:01:46 PM »
"Fundamental tips & tricks" continued



9. Prep area & Peel tips & tricks

If you have a granite counter top you are definitely in business. Along with a nice smooth surface the thick stone mass is also a room temperature “heat sink” Lay your cold dough on the thick stone surface and with your IR gun you can almost watch it come to room temperature within minutes. Don’t despair if you have wooden or Formica counter tops. For a few bucks you can get a 20 X 20 ceramic tile that will do the same and give you a nice stone work surface for your prep area. (or for a few a extra bucks get a marble tile)

Use two wooden peels to build your pizza. Build your pizza on the larger one and just before you are ready to load the oven, transfer the pizza over to the freshly floured smaller peel. For the first few seconds the pizza will slide off incredible easy, and you won’t be disappointed by a misshaped / deformed pizza. An 8”spatula works great for tending and unloading the pizza.

This may seem difficult at first, but with a little practice it becomes second nature. Nothing is more disappointing than loosing a great pizza at this stage, so with a little practice back and forth between two peels, you won’t have to deal with any bad accidents. When dealing with 700-800 F temps cornmeal and semolina tend to burn. I use flour only, but I have seen others use a blend of flour and semolina on their peels with good results.
2Stone blog: www.2stoneblog.com

Offline canadianbacon

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Re: Reverse engineered coal fired brick oven
« Reply #665 on: April 17, 2008, 10:07:56 PM »
Hi Willard,

I think you have the perfect idea there !

It's funny you mention this, because I know a bbq guy that uses his gas grill as a charcoal grill.  He had mentioned he
uses a special charcoal tray in his BBQ, and just uses the gas to heat up the charcoal, ignite the charcoal, and then he turns the
burners off.

However, now I see where you are going with this, and this is very interesting Willard.  Sounds like a good test
if you ask me !

I thinking I could just use an old retangular pizza tray and that would do the trick. 

I'll report back with results when I do some pizzas ( with images )

Thanks for the info Willard.


Hi there Mark,

Funny thing I just sold a 15" 2stone PG to a guy with a small natural gas grill. I was worried since he wasn't even able to close the door on his grill because it was too small. He said he could really get his grill hot (it was a 36000 BTU Weber) I heard from him later and he said it was working like a charm.

First thing I would do is try to tweak your grill (Natural gas has all the muscle you need if you just figure out how to harness it properly.)

Now I have never tried this directly.....so maybe you could be the trailblazer.
I have added a charcoal starter full of burning lump coal under the gas burner on tests I was doing on the pizza pro. To make a long story short everything got so hot it all started to warp and twist along with burning off the handle on the charcoal starter that I scrapped the idea. I have the space under the burner on the pizza pro so a smaller version of the charcoal starter can be inserted with some wood chips to add wood flavor.

So I see no reason why you couldn't insert a cheap charcoal grate over your flames under your existing grate and put a few lump coal chunks on for added heat and flavor. This could potentially give you the best of both worlds and would certainly give you enough heat. It would be a lot simpler than burning straight charcoal and would still give you the ability to dial up and down with the gas to fine tune things.

I would be very surprised if it didn't work. Just make sure you use lump coal not reg charcoal, since charcoal has to burn off some gases before you can use it. (or if you use charcoal make sure you burn it down and check to make sure your stones aren't picking up any of the residue) Also place the coal so it doesn't restrict the flames from coming through.

If it works it would be a great solution for anyone with a gas grill with temp issues.

regards,
willard


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

Offline 2stone

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Re: Reverse engineered coal fired brick oven
« Reply #666 on: April 18, 2008, 08:47:34 PM »
Hey Mark,

You get the idea, but I would probably go for an open grate for the charcoal,
so the flames and the gas heat come through the grate. That way you are really
sure to get some serious heat.

willard


Here is a pie I did tonight.
80% high gluten 20% whole wheat.
mozzarella provolone shredded mix.
the cheese only works when it is smothered,
in this case pepperoni and thin sliced tomatoes.
Baked in the 2stone Pizza Pro at 700F / 3-4 min
« Last Edit: April 18, 2008, 08:51:10 PM by 2stone »
2Stone blog: www.2stoneblog.com

Offline pwaldman

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Re: Reverse engineered coal fired brick oven
« Reply #667 on: April 19, 2008, 05:00:22 PM »
I couldn't stand it anymore and after a couple of emails with Willard I took the plunge and ordered the 15.5 2 Stone and the great looking cart!  I need to get new peels now that I will be moving away from 16" pies in my kitchen oven.  Anyone know how wide the opening is for the 15.5 oven?  I want to be able to deposit up to a 14" pie with a little "wiggle room" on the peel; hoping that 16" wide peel will just fit!

Pete

Offline 2stone

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Re: Reverse engineered coal fired brick oven
« Reply #668 on: April 19, 2008, 09:38:47 PM »
hey Pete,

You got about  a 1/2" (that is on a 14" peel) I know it doesn't sound like much, but the
opening is all about keeping the heat inn also, so we don't waste anything!

willard
2Stone blog: www.2stoneblog.com

Offline pwaldman

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Re: Reverse engineered coal fired brick oven
« Reply #669 on: April 19, 2008, 10:16:52 PM »
Thanks Willard.  I'll need to practice my aim!

Pete


Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: Reverse engineered coal fired brick oven
« Reply #670 on: April 20, 2008, 01:54:59 PM »
One Month review:

I have had the 15 inch pizza grill for a little over 1 month. I also recently spent $100 to create a LBE clone using a Masterbuilt 7-in-1 smoker. I did a comparison and hands down the 2stone is easier to use and makes a better pizza. I am sure that if I tinkered around with the LBE clone I could develop a system and timing to compete with the 2stone, but why bother? I now use the Masterbuilt ($85 online steal price) for grilling chicken, while my Weber is left set up for pizza only. Frankly the $85 Masterbuilt kills the Weber Genesis on grilling chicken. Using the same Thai based recipe, the chicken came out much moister and with a better smoke flavor than I could ever do on the Weber.

Now for the 2stone - I can cook a great pizza from 650 - 825 degrees. I have yet to burn one. I pretty much have got the slide off the peel down, except of course yesterday I was so cocky that I screwed up 75% of them, still edible - not pretty. My pizza came out perfect (50-50 KABF/CAPUTO). I wish I could have taken a picture, my wife's pepperoni pizza got very close to the top stone when putting it in the oven. After I set it down I noticed that all the pepperoni was stuck to the top stone by its edges, just kind of dangling from the top. I was able to release them from anti gravity and they cooked nicely.

My complaints - a bit hard with a bad back to tend to the device and see what is going on. Burning hands on Weber handle is still a *#$(%# if you take the gloves off, NEVER take the gloves off. Would love to have a way to bake bread with the 2stone. I have done just about everything possible to get higher than 825 degrees, does not seem possible with my setup. Not sure that it ultimately matters but it is my "Quest for fire" to keep at it.

All in all eventually would like to have a true pizza oven - gas or wood or combo - Send me one Willard!


Seems like anyone wanting to move up from the kitchen oven would do well with the 2stone. Light and crispy crusts with great oven spring.

Offline 2stone

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Re: Reverse engineered coal fired brick oven
« Reply #671 on: April 21, 2008, 12:43:57 PM »
PNW,

The "BAD BACK" issue is a bad thing! I would highly recommend
that you find a good out door high chair. It improves the overall
experience drastically. I too cannot stand hunched over too long
without dire consequences.

I'm looking for a good solution to the hot
handle issue. I'll let you know. 

willard
2Stone blog: www.2stoneblog.com

Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: Reverse engineered coal fired brick oven
« Reply #672 on: April 21, 2008, 02:51:12 PM »
PNW,

The "BAD BACK" issue is a bad thing! I would highly recommend
that you find a good out door high chair. It improves the overall
experience drastically. I too cannot stand hunched over too long
without dire consequences.

I'm looking for a good solution to the hot
handle issue. I'll let you know. 

willard

So far Willard I have been kneeling like Sir Lancealot in the presence of King Richard the Lionheart! Very uncomfortable, will look for a chair.

How about something like http://www.woodstove-outlet.com/gasket1.htm wrapped around the handle. I have no idea if it would work, just figured it would beat the heat.

PNW - Sir Lancealot

Offline dzpiez

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Re: Reverse engineered coal fired brick oven
« Reply #673 on: April 21, 2008, 10:27:48 PM »
Still need to play with the temp., but it ended up being the best pie I ever made.  100% Caputo.

Offline 2stone

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Re: Reverse engineered coal fired brick oven
« Reply #674 on: April 22, 2008, 09:12:08 AM »
dzpiez,

Great looking pie!! was that 720 or 920 on the IR gun?
Boy...... you are straining my eyes!.........but then again,
maybe you are trying to make up for all the large files I post.

willard
2Stone blog: www.2stoneblog.com

Offline dzpiez

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Re: Reverse engineered coal fired brick oven
« Reply #675 on: April 22, 2008, 01:41:41 PM »
Willard,
The temp. was 920.  First time I ever posted pictures, I resized them too small.  But your oven it great, thanks again Willard.

Offline 2stone

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Re: Reverse engineered coal fired brick oven
« Reply #676 on: April 24, 2008, 11:43:41 AM »
dzpiez, glad to hear that.....
and you are definitely operating
in "ungodly temperature ranges" !!


"Fundamental tips & tricks"
cont.


10. 2stone baking tips & tricks

Start with lower temperatures and work your way up. A good place to start is 675-700F
I have ruined more good pizzas with too high temperatures. You can always bake the
pie longer, but you cannot  “UNBAKE”  a pie.

The air temperature can be 200F higher than the stone, so keep that in mind when shooting for a temperature target. A stone temperature of 700F is most likely yielding you an air temperature of 900F.

The “perfect bake” comes right before the “over bake”. When you are baking in the 700-800 range this can be a matter of 5-10 seconds. The whole process becomes less forgiving, and cannot be timed.
Subtle variations in the dough consistency and thickness, along with the toppings and topping thicknesses can change everything. Add to that the different melting characteristics of cheese, whether it is diced, sliced or shredded. Weather it is on top or covered, in the end it all leads to a very “volatile mix” that you have to contend with. This is why there is only one way to achieve great results……practice, practice, practice


more to come,


by the way,
we just did a run with the Pizza Pro at a commercial establishment
the other day. We baked non stop for 2 hrs. and produced 36 pies.
(a little over 3 min per pie, with actual bake times at aprox. 2 min.)

here is a pie I did for lunch

15% wholewheat / 15% Caputo / balance high gluten
6 in 1 tomato sauce / pepperoni / artichoke
Provolone / Mozzarella / grated Parmesan
Oven temp 660 / time 3-4-min
« Last Edit: April 24, 2008, 02:57:39 PM by 2stone »
2Stone blog: www.2stoneblog.com

Offline 2stone

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Re: Reverse engineered coal fired brick oven
« Reply #677 on: April 25, 2008, 05:59:34 PM »
This is a direct response to those of you who have
asked me if we can have some more space between
the stones and possibly do hearth baked bread also.

Today I decided to take a stab at it. In fact it only requires
2 modifications on the "Pizza Pro" to get aprox. 6" of space
between the stones. Loading and baking visibility are greatly improved,
but it remains to be seen how well it does on high temp pizza baking.

The bake turned out to be absolutely phenomenal. I was able
to let the bread rise on a screen which made it easy to insert
the bread into the oven. The hearth temperature was 550, so I'm
guessing the air to be around 700. I was able to mist the bread
with a spray bottle at regular intervals during the 18 min bake.

The bread had absolutely incredible oven spring, and shot right up
to within a 1/2" of the top stone. The crust tasted very wood fired,
and had a nice crispness to it, overall a very different bake than
in the home oven. I was surprised.

This is really exciting since the pizza pro can be used to create hearth
baked artisan breads (with steam) along with high temp pizza.

willard

« Last Edit: April 26, 2008, 07:11:15 AM by 2stone »
2Stone blog: www.2stoneblog.com

Offline Y-TOWN

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Re: Reverse engineered coal fired brick oven
« Reply #678 on: April 25, 2008, 10:59:43 PM »

The bake turned out to be absolutely phenomenal. I was able
to let the bread rise on a screen which made it easy to insert
the bread into the oven. The hearth temperature was 550, so I'm
guessing the air to be around 700. I was able to mist the bread
with a spray bottle at regular intervals during the 18 min bake.


doesn't any of the mist hit the stone?

Offline 2stone

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Re: Reverse engineered coal fired brick oven
« Reply #679 on: April 26, 2008, 07:23:37 AM »
Y-Town,

I haven't done it on a prolonged basis,
but both stones had no problem. I was
surprised myself, since I really soaked the
crust several times. This obviously extends
the baking time and allows the bread to be
baked at a much higher temperature.
(wonder if you could do the same with pizza edges?)

willard 
2Stone blog: www.2stoneblog.com