Author Topic: Yet Another Method for Cooking Neopolitan Pizza on BBQ Grill  (Read 3309 times)

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Offline scottfsmith

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Yet Another Method for Cooking Neopolitan Pizza on BBQ Grill
« on: September 24, 2007, 03:47:07 PM »
Like many others here I have also been working on various methods to cook pizza at high-temp, for me in my BBQ grill.  I recently had my best results so far, so I thought I would briefly describe the method.

Background: up to now I have had intermittent results; the two major problems have been uneven heating and too-long time to warm up the stone.  I have been using a pizza stone on the grates with various things underneath it (bricks, plates, alu foil, etc) and above it.

The "new method": since I felt like I was not getting enough heat I decided to lower the stone closer to the heating elements -- I removed the grill grates and put the stone right over the heat radiator things (the pieces of metal right over the heating elements on my grill).  Every grill is made differently so I am not sure how this method will work on different grills; the basic idea is to get the stone below the grate, yet not getting directly licked by the flame.  I had to make some little supports for the corners to keep the stone completely level.

I coated the stone bottom with aluminum foil.  I then heated it up until my IR thermometer read about 600F on the stone surface.  Since I had the whole bottom coated with alu foil it took longer than when I had the stone on the grates, but still it took "only" 15-20 minutes to warm up which was a lot less than it was taking when I had the stone high up.  At this point I baked some pies.  They took 2-3 minutes to bake, and had the telltale spots of charring on the bottom, plus the big bubbles and browning splotches on top -- in short, it worked great.  The first pie got burnt a bit on the backside bottom (not out of line compared to some shots I have seen posted here of genuine Napoli pies); for the next one I rotated 90 degrees after one minute and avoided that.

I am going to experiment more with this method.  The one downside is it is a bit harder to get the pies in and out since the stone is below the lip on the front of the grill; otherwise all I am seeing is upside.

There ya go .. yet another method to try out!

Scott


Offline BenLee

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Re: Yet Another Method for Cooking Neopolitan Pizza on BBQ Grill
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2007, 04:09:24 PM »
I can do it on my grill.  It's got a thermometer that goes up to 700 F on the top.  I place the stones at one end of the grill (it's a large rectangular grill).  I'm able to raise and lower the charcoals with a crank.  I keep the coals at the same level of the stone (the coals are adjacent)  The grill also has a chamber below for loading more charcoal.  I reload from the top though.  But the key is, keep the chamber open under the coals to supply more oxygen to the coals.  Also, drilling a few holes below helps as well.  I also have an infrared thermometer that allows me to determine the exact temperature of the stone and search for any temperature gradients throughout the stone.  I use a flashlight and shine it though a hole on the side to monitor the pie.  I don't get perfectly even cooking but it is pretty reliable.  I probably could get an even bake if I had fire to both the left and the right of the stones but I don't bother. 

Offline scottfsmith

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Re: Yet Another Method for Cooking Neopolitan Pizza on BBQ Grill
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2007, 08:39:48 PM »
Ben, that sounds like a mini version of a real pizza oven the way you have the coals on the side.  I guess I should have mentioned my grill is a gas grill so there is no such thing as a side fire on it.  One thing I think is working in both of our setups is getting the heat closer to the pizza itself.  I also use that same trick of the flashlight through a hole, using the hole meant for one end of the rotisserie.  To get an even heat you should look at 2stone's new device on the NY forum -- it has a lazy-susan kind of thing to hold the stone so its very easy to rotate the pizza in the oven.

Scott

Offline scottfsmith

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Re: Yet Another Method for Cooking Neopolitan Pizza on BBQ Grill
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2007, 09:03:05 PM »
Hey heres a picture of the setup which may clarify things.  One thing I like about it is how simple it is.  Ignore the thing on the right, its the motor for my coffee roaster rotisserie.

Scott

Offline scottfsmith

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Re: Yet Another Method for Cooking Neopolitan Pizza on BBQ Grill
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2007, 06:48:39 PM »
Heres some pictures of a pizza baked in the above setup.  I still have a ways to go in getting everything else in order since I have been focusing on the oven.  This dough didn't proof long enough, I guess thats why it didn't rise further.  I also probably should have cooked it for a touch longer.  This was a 3-minute bake.  Anyway I hope its good enough to show that the oven is working pretty well.  I am also going to increase the warm-up time a bit to 700F on the stone, this was with 600F.

Scott
« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 06:51:22 PM by scottfsmith »

Offline icemncmth

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Re: Yet Another Method for Cooking Neopolitan Pizza on BBQ Grill
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2007, 09:30:09 AM »
I use a ceramic cooker that uses natural lump charcoal...I can run it up to 1000deg +....


Offline 2stone

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Re: Yet Another Method for Cooking Neopolitan Pizza on BBQ Grill
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2007, 02:05:41 PM »
scott,

you gave me an idea.... I see you have gone below the grate,
the 2stone's rotating hearth sits up 1-3/4 off the grate so you should
be able to drop it down a couple inches, still be able to load, and get allot more heat.
just curious... as long as there is room to turn the stone.....

willard
2Stone blog: www.2stoneblog.com

Offline scottfsmith

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Re: Yet Another Method for Cooking Neopolitan Pizza on BBQ Grill
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2007, 02:44:20 PM »
Willard, I have been planning to try that option.  When it is put in directly on the radiator grates (as I did with the stone above) it may be a touch too low to be able to load, so I probably need to find something to prop it up a touch. 

I just did the first "dry run" on my new 2stone with it sitting on the grill grates, and it got up to 850F on the stone but it took awhile.  Hopefully I will be able to try some pizzas tonight.  I noticed the front vs back of the stone differs by about 100F if it is not rotated, so I started rotating it while heating up.

Iceman, is that a big green egg kind of thing?

Scott

Offline shango

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Re: Yet Another Method for Cooking Neopolitan Pizza on BBQ Grill
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2007, 03:59:13 PM »
Seems like similar results ,as far as crumb, oven spring and color, could be just as easily acheived in a conventional oven, with stone, at about 550 degrees..

The actual live flame is just as important as the high temperature.
pizza, pizza, pizza

Offline fabio

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Re: Yet Another Method for Cooking Neopolitan Pizza on BBQ Grill
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2007, 05:32:36 PM »
Shango, I agree with you completely, but I'm not convinced that the (only) problem is the absence of a live flame. I've cooked in a gas deck oven as well as a wood-burning, but indirect flame oven (the flame is under the stone), each produced great oven spring and pizze that were very neapolitan, even without a live flame. I don't disagree that a live flame helps, but something else is missing here, probably in the dough recipe/kneading technique/proof time & temp. Scott, if you are interested in improving your dough to go for a more neapolitan result, please post the recipe you used and you will get a flood of help from the forum members. Good work.


Offline scottfsmith

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Re: Yet Another Method for Cooking Neopolitan Pizza on BBQ Grill
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2007, 07:17:22 PM »
Fabio, this was "junk" dough, I was just working on the oven.  It was a bread machine batch - fast, easy, mediocre.  I recently did some pizzas with my 2stone and a more reasonable recipe, and things came out much better, also greatly helped by getting a couple hundred degrees hotter with the 2stone  ;D   I posted about it on the 2stone thread in the NY forum:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5541.msg48372.html#msg48372

Re: live flame, its going to make a difference for sure but based on the results so far on the 2stone I think you can do pretty well without it.  Live flame only hits one side of a pizza in a brick oven, the rest of the heat the pizza gets is reflected just like a grill.

Scott

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Yet Another Method for Cooking Neopolitan Pizza on BBQ Grill
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2007, 08:02:45 PM »
Live flame only hits one side of a pizza in a brick oven

I disagree. Live flames shoot up the dome of my brick oven and down on to the top of the pie.  Very important effect for baking pies the way I like them. Also coals and flames hit all edges of the pie because the pie is rotated a few times during baking.

Bill/SFNM
« Last Edit: October 21, 2007, 08:04:33 PM by Bill/SFNM »

Offline 2stone

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Re: Yet Another Method for Cooking Neopolitan Pizza on BBQ Grill
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2007, 09:00:19 PM »
Fabio, this was "junk" dough, I was just working on the oven.  It was a bread machine batch - fast, easy, mediocre.
Scott,

Only people who are truly obsessed would really understand "junk dough"
I have made a lot of "junk dough" I might add.... my dog is greatfull!!

Willard
2Stone blog: www.2stoneblog.com


 

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