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Unread 10-04-2010, 02:48 PM   #1
bob80001
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Default Weber Pizza Oven - Build and first cook pics

This weekend I finally put all the parts together and made my frankenweber/little black egg/weber pizza oven. The build was surprisingly easy, except for my kids yelling that I was making too much noise with the power tools.

Here is the donor kettle. It was in sorry shape and ready for some new life. I found it on the side of the road for free.



Drawing my lines to cut out the bottom. This is the second jig I created to make the circle - you can see the first one didn't work out so well... It was a piece of yarn, and stretched and was not controllable. I never claimed to be much of a builder or handyman, but I get by.



Ugliness removed from the kettle, ready to move on to the lid.



Lid taped up and ready for cutting.



The opening is a little rough. I will clean it up, but I had pizza to cook so no time for that on this day...



One part you don't see in the pic above is the installation of the 16" pizza pan inside the lid. I didn't have my camera available at that stage, so everyone can use their imagination. If someone wants to see it, I can upload some later. Below is the burner I used. It's the Bayou Classic SP 10 that I have seen a lot of others use.



Kettle bottom set in there with bottom grate. Four firebricks set on the bottom grate for the heat shield.



Top grate and pizza stone in place.



Lid on and pre-heating...



Getting close to temp... My thermometer only went to 699º or something like that. If it got above 700º it just said "HI" so I don't know what temp I ended up at...somewhere in the 750º-850º range I guess. I may need to get a new thermometer.



Finally cookin'



Up close and personal...



Some final product...



This one was mangled by a giant bubble during cooking...



One last pie...



A couple of thoughts and observations about the build/first cook: My toppings were not done enough when the crust was done. I actually burned the first pizza that I made while trying to get the top cooked. As you can see from the first two food pics, the cheese isn't quite done. I like mine with a little brown. The 3rd pic shows it after I put it under the broiler in the oven. Not the way I really wanted to finish off the pies, but it worked, and they tasted great. I don't know if the temp was too high (I wasn't sure that would really be possible) or if I need to foil the lid. It seems that there is not enough heat swirling above. Maybe the stone is too large and not enough heat is getting around it. I'm not quite sure where I am going to go from here to remedy the issue. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know.

And I've got to hand it to my wife for the dough she made. It was perfect! (She seemed a little irritated while kneading it by hand for 15 minutes before letting it rise.) Just wait 'till I ask her to triple or quad the recipe so I can do a little more testing.
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Unread 10-04-2010, 02:58 PM   #2
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Mucho bueno Bob!
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Unread 10-04-2010, 03:01 PM   #3
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I suspect that the stone is a little large and not allowing enough flow from bottom to top. Did you have the vent open to create heat convection from bottom to top? I also think either heat mass or reflective material (foil) would help redirect heat to help with the pizza toppings.

One of the key things in a wood oven seems to be getting the heat to swirl through the oven and create a hot air cushion over the pizza. This really means getting the exhaust balanced with the heat source.
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Unread 10-04-2010, 03:06 PM   #4
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Wow pretty amazing looking pies!
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Unread 10-04-2010, 03:07 PM   #5
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Thanks for the build pic, I have this saved now for when I build mine!

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Originally Posted by landarc View Post
I suspect that the stone is a little large and not allowing enough flow from bottom to top.
I agree with landarc here, from what I have read you need an opening behind the pizza so the hot air is forced behind the pizza, over the top of it and then out the vent. I bet if you opened that back area up and added HD foil to the lid you'd get much more heat down on top of the pizza.
Pies look great!
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Unread 10-04-2010, 03:13 PM   #6
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Cool build. Looks fun!! I also think that the size of your stone maybe to cause for allowing more heat above the pie?
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Unread 10-04-2010, 03:13 PM   #7
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maybe just scoot that stone to the front of the kettle and that might open up the back opening enough to create the draft.
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Unread 10-04-2010, 03:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob80001 View Post
.


A couple of thoughts and observations about the build/first cook: My toppings were not done enough when the crust was done. I actually burned the first pizza that I made while trying to get the top cooked. As you can see from the first two food pics, the cheese isn't quite done. I like mine with a little brown. The 3rd pic shows it after I put it under the broiler in the oven. Not the way I really wanted to finish off the pies, but it worked, and they tasted great. I don't know if the temp was too high (I wasn't sure that would really be possible) or if I need to foil the lid. It seems that there is not enough heat swirling above. Maybe the stone is too large and not enough heat is getting around it. I'm not quite sure where I am going to go from here to remedy the issue. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know.
Always remember about proper balance of the ingredients... You should consider cutting down the total amount and/or the thickness of the toppings.
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Unread 10-04-2010, 03:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
maybe just scoot that stone to the front of the kettle and that might open up the back opening enough to create the draft.
I think I'll start with this - as it requires no new parts, and see how it goes. If I have to go to a smaller stone, that's not really a big deal, as I am making 9 or 10 inch pies. I guess when I was ordering the 16" stone I said, "yeah, that'll fit" and didn't consider the other issues. I'm pretty new to pizza making - as far as a pizza oven works - but I have plenty of experience eating. At least the testing is yummy.
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Unread 10-04-2010, 03:32 PM   #10
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im with Vinny. Ive been a pizzaman for 10 years, and can tell you, less is more. Crust will be crisper, and top will be more well done. Toppings = moisture
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Unread 10-04-2010, 04:17 PM   #11
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Bob, another thought, if you can fit it, add an additional stone, that will slow the cooking from the bottom and get the pizza somewhat closer to the metal allowing the radiant heat to finish the top, Marc
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Unread 10-04-2010, 09:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zippylip View Post
Bob, another thought, if you can fit it, add an additional stone, that will slow the cooking from the bottom and get the pizza somewhat closer to the metal allowing the radiant heat to finish the top, Marc
I have some additional fire bricks i could put under the stone. Thanks. It gives me something else to try.
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Unread 10-04-2010, 09:18 PM   #13
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I also agree. Your stone looks too big and you're not getting enough airflow over the top. I have one of these:

www.grilledpizzastone.com that looks like it may be ideal. I'll find out soon enough once I fire up mine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saiko View Post
Thanks for the build pic, I have this saved now for when I build mine!



I agree with landarc here, from what I have read you need an opening behind the pizza so the hot air is forced behind the pizza, over the top of it and then out the vent. I bet if you opened that back area up and added HD foil to the lid you'd get much more heat down on top of the pizza.
Pies look great!
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Unread 10-05-2010, 01:08 AM   #14
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Be sure to post photos of your next "tests"

Is that an 18.5" or 22.5" weber?
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Unread 10-05-2010, 02:07 AM   #15
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Cool idea i'm going to build one of these. Well done on the build. The only problem is trying to find some webers on CL or freecycle.
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