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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 06-30-2010, 02:55 PM   #1
caliking
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Default Pizza on the kettle grill

Hello Brethren.

Begging your forgiveness, but no pron this time. I assure you it did happen, but it was one of those first-time cooks, where I was focusing on strategy (timing between making dough, making sauce, cutting veg, starting fire, etc.), so I wasn't thinking about photo documentation .

I made a half all-purpose flour/half whole wheat dough for the crust and threw some rosemary from the garden in. I used the Cook's Illustrated 75-minute dough recipe. The key is to heat your oven to 200F, then turn it off and let the dough rise in it for 40 mins. The sauce was from Contadina crushed tomatoes in puree, Italian seasoning, with extra garlic and a splash of olive oil.

My pizza stone is kinda thin and cheap and I've never been quite happy with it. After reading about one of the brethren who saw folks making pizza on the grill using a cast iron skilled turned over, I went to Academy Sports and bought a cast iron skillet lid ~15" for ~$15 vs more $$ for a cast iron skillet of that size. I had also recently bought a 15" griddle for about $20 from an Indian store, which I had intended to use as a lid for my tandoor, but discovered that it made an awesome pizza peel as well (flat, round, same size as cast iron skillet lid, has a handle).

Opened all the bottom vents on the kettle grill set an upside-down deep aluminium foil pie pan in the middle of the charcoal grate. Then poured a third of a bag of Kingsford Comp briquets around the pie pan, to make a ring of charcoal. Lit up a chimney full of briquets and then poured them in the kettle when ready. Placed the cooking grate on, with the overturned cast iron skillet lid set on 2 bricks (to keep it level). Opened the top vent and
then let the charcoal fire up and the cast iron lid warm up for 40-45 minutes. The Trager thermometer on the kettle lid maxed out - I think it may have hit 600-700F.

Made 2 pizzas - first was a margherita (fresh basil, buffalo mozzarella from costco, tomatoes, sauce), the seconda was random (red bell pepper, basil, mushroom, parm, sauce). Left the first one on for 10mins - the top looked great, but half of the bottom of the crust burned. The second pizza was cooked for 5mins and still the crust burned ( but less than the first one). Cut off the burned sections and salvaged the rest. They tasted absolutely awesome!

What I learned:
- 2-3 mins might be enough to cook the pizzas.
- Seasoning the cast iron lid may be necessary (apparently it was pres-seasoned, non-Lodge though)
- Schedule of events should be : start the sauce, make the dough, start the fire, cut the veg (unless you want to eat dinner at 11pm like we did .

I'm new to making pizza on the kettle, so any tips would be appreciated. Would like to try firing with wood for a more authentic wood-fired flavor. Will work on generating some pron next time!
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Unread 06-30-2010, 02:59 PM   #2
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thanks for posing this - I would have never thought of using the lid to a cast iron pan. Very inventive.
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Unread 06-30-2010, 03:09 PM   #3
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One of my prouder moments. I've seen the posts about cracked pizza stones (those suckers are expensive). I figured the cast iron lid would hold heat like the overturned skillet, but was *much* cheaper. Plus it is much easier to handle in terms of risk of breaking, cracking etc.
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Unread 06-30-2010, 03:11 PM   #4
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i put my pizza right on the grate
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Unread 06-30-2010, 03:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotwood View Post
i put my pizza right on the grate
This is the way to go.
I use a pizza stone in my oven during the winter months. But, for
the summer cooking on the grill; I just put the pizza right on the grate.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=83597

Click on the link above, to see my post about Pizza on the grill.


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Unread 06-30-2010, 03:59 PM   #6
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I think your temps were too high. I cook pizzas at 500 degrees in the Egg. This seems to be a good balance between giving the toppings enough time to cook and keeping the crust from burning.

If you want to try a pizza stone, get the Big Green Egg stone. It is made of the same material as the Egg and will handle the heat and last forever.
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Unread 06-30-2010, 04:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotwood View Post
i put my pizza right on the grate
I'm planning to try this tomorrow night ...
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Unread 06-30-2010, 05:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grillman View Post
This is the way to go.
I use a pizza stone in my oven during the winter months. But, for
the summer cooking on the grill; I just put the pizza right on the grate.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=83597

Click on the link above, to see my post about Pizza on the grill.


.
.
.
Thanks for the link. Great looking pizza, judging by the look of your peel, I can tell you have much more experience with this than I do. I don't have a cast iron grate like yours, so I worry about the dough falling between the bars on the grate - they seem rather skinny to me. Maybe I'll try your method next time. What temp did you pre-cook the dough at?

Re: the temp, recipes for pizza baked in the even seem to favor 500F since typical home ovens can't go much higher. Posts on a well-known online forum for pizza/outdoor oven enthusiasts seem to favor higher temps and short cook times for pizza.

I've heard of the BGE pizza stone and it sounds mighty fine. Has anyone compared pizza on a stone vs cast iron? Or tasted the difference?

Thanks!
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Unread 06-30-2010, 06:03 PM   #9
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You could also try one of these - The Grilled Pizza Stone, made for 22.5 inch Weber kettles:

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Unread 06-30-2010, 06:09 PM   #10
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Like Ron_L said - a green egg pizza stone is a great investment. I use one on my kettle as well.
I used to stay away from temps above 500 on my eggs for pizza until I started raising my stone above a platesetter with the little BGE feet - what I call indirect, indirect pizza. Now at 650F my crusts don't burn and toppings get melted/cooked. That said, I don't load down my pizzas with tons of toppings.
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Unread 06-30-2010, 06:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeJumper View Post
That said, I don't load down my pizzas with tons of toppings.
I do . That's probably why 500 to 550 has worked better for me. I also use an inverted platesetter and the BGE feet under the stone to create an air gap.




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Unread 06-30-2010, 06:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
I do . That's probably why 500 to 550 has worked better for me. I also use an inverted platesetter and the BGE feet under the stone to create an air gap.
I usually am guilty of overloading my pizzas as well, and find that temps in the 550-650 range work best on Bubba Ho-Keg. Having said that, I tried SmokeJumper's method last time I made some at a higher temp and it worked real well (even if I did use a pan instead of a stone; I've managed to break at least 3).
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Unread 06-30-2010, 08:08 PM   #13
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First time I used my pizza stone in the oven it cracked @550.... Still use it , I just slide the pieces together...LOL
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Unread 06-30-2010, 08:25 PM   #14
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I got tired of setting things up just to do pizza so I built myself a brick pizza oven. Good thing is, I could pretty much do anything else with it as well, including roasting and long smokes.

Anyway, this is how I used to set up my kettle. I used a 14" Lodge cast iron pizza pan.
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Unread 06-30-2010, 08:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caliking View Post
Thanks for the link. Great looking pizza, judging by the look of your peel, I can tell you have much more experience with this than I do. I don't have a cast iron grate like yours, so I worry about the dough falling between the bars on the grate - they seem rather skinny to me. Maybe I'll try your method next time. What temp did you pre-cook the dough at?

Re: the temp, recipes for pizza baked in the even seem to favor 500F since typical home ovens can't go much higher. Posts on a well-known online forum for pizza/outdoor oven enthusiasts seem to favor higher temps and short cook times for pizza.

I've heard of the BGE pizza stone and it sounds mighty fine. Has anyone compared pizza on a stone vs cast iron? Or tasted the difference?

Thanks!
I cook at the same temp as most others here; as close to 500° as
possible.
I precook the pizza dough for a short time until it begins to firm up.
If you put the pizza on with the toppings; without precooking the dough,
it may sag down through the grate; making it very hard to remove it.

The BGE pizza stone is a great choice, or the one that Moose shows
in his post above.
After you cook a few pizzas you will be a PRO and never buy delivery
pizza again.

Last edited by Grillman; 06-30-2010 at 10:19 PM..
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