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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 10-19-2010, 08:12 PM   #1
polishdon
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Default My Try at the Weber Pizza Kettle aka Frankenweber aka whatever you call it....

Here's my version of the "frankenweber". After doing a bunch of online research and seeing how other people have made these I borrowed the ideas
I liked, made a few tweeks and here's what I ended up with.
The goal of this project is to make a wood burning pizza cooker that will cook pizzas at a high temp using materials I had lying around and as
little fabrication as possible. Sorry about the pics, damn blackberrys.

Any ideas or suggestions are welcome.

Start with 2 Weber 22.5" kettle bottoms. One will remain the bottom and hold the fire, the other will be used upside down as the top. The bottom
I decided to use was one I had already cut the legs down on to use as a fire pit. I think the shorter legs are a must when you take into account
the amount this weighs when done.

Decide which one you will use for the top and remove the grates. Remove one of the factory grate holders and mark out your opening hole, mine is
about 15 inches wide by 4.5 inches high. Cut the opening, I used a cutting wheel on a 4" grinder. Clean up the opening to remove any frays or
sharp corners.

Bend the factory pieces that hold the charcoal grate so that you can put the grate below them, instead of on top. This will become the roof of
the oven.
.
Here's a shot of the charcoal grate in place as the roof. My first idea was to attach fire brick to the grate to flatten the top and provide
heat. Due to weight though I think I am going to replace the fire brick in the top with a 16" round pizza stone. Should fit right in.

Add hardware around the kettle to hold the cooking grate in place from falling out as the factory mounts are now on top of the grate. I added
extra hardware around the kettle to account for the weight of the fire brick on the cooking grate.

With the grates in place it will look like this

THen I laid out the fire brick for the base on the cooking grate. Only had a chisel and hammer to work with so I was pretty happy with my
corners. Still have to cut 1 more brick for the front. THere will not be brick along the back edge, I am leaving that open to put a hot log.

I reassembled everything and put the fire brick in. I like the way it's coming along. There's about 4.5 inches between the top of the fire brick
and the roof of the cooker. My hope is that I can get a nice hot fire going in the bottom, then put the top on and put a burning log right on the
fire brick to help heat the cooking area. After letting it all heat up I will push the log to the back on the grate and as it burns out it will
fall back into the bottom kettle.

Now I need to name it.

Things to finish:
Add cooking stone to top
Add some kind of support to make sure the top doesn't slip off the bottom while using. I'm thinking some steel around the inner and outer lip of the lower kettle.
Test cook
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Unread 10-19-2010, 08:41 PM   #2
Moose
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Looks like you're off to a great start - can't wait to see what happens when you fire it up!
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Unread 10-19-2010, 08:46 PM   #3
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thats cool, I have been thinking about building one to
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Unread 10-19-2010, 08:56 PM   #4
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I like the wood fired idea over the gasser, from a flavor standpoint. I plan to make one myself when I get to it. I got other irons in the fire right now.
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Unread 10-19-2010, 09:07 PM   #5
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Looks like it will work, please show us Pizza!!!
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Unread 10-19-2010, 09:33 PM   #6
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Lookin good! Can't wait to see more when you get it going. Thanks for sharing!
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Unread 10-20-2010, 08:39 AM   #7
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Looks like a great start. I do have concerns about the large opening and the gap at the front of your fire brick. Let us know how it works and if those things play a role in your cooks. *waiting on pizza sample*
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Unread 10-20-2010, 08:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colonel00 View Post
Looks like a great start. I do have concerns about the large opening and the gap at the front of your fire brick. Let us know how it works and if those things play a role in your cooks. *waiting on pizza sample*
I am going to fill in the front of the fire brick, just haven't gotten around to cutting the pieces yet.
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Unread 10-20-2010, 11:44 AM   #9
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I second the concern about the vent size in the front, however, I'm guessing you did that so you could have good access to your fuel source. Try it as is, and see how it goes. If you find the top of the pizzas not cooking as well as the bottom, maybe you can take the vent piece you cut out(if you still have it) and cut it in 1/2 lengthwise, and try mounting it back on with two hinges...that way the vent will be smaller, but you'll still have the full larger access you need...just a thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by colonel00 View Post
Looks like a great start. I do have concerns about the large opening and the gap at the front of your fire brick. Let us know how it works and if those things play a role in your cooks. *waiting on pizza sample*
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Unread 10-20-2010, 12:02 PM   #10
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Cool! A pizza Death Star.
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Unread 10-20-2010, 12:04 PM   #11
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I just knew that was coming...

Quote:
Originally Posted by deguerre View Post
Cool! A pizza Death Star.
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Unread 10-20-2010, 12:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moose View Post
I second the concern about the vent size in the front, however, I'm guessing you did that so you could have good access to your fuel source. Try it as is, and see how it goes. If you find the top of the pizzas not cooking as well as the bottom, maybe you can take the vent piece you cut out(if you still have it) and cut it in 1/2 lengthwise, and try mounting it back on with two hinges...that way the vent will be smaller, but you'll still have the full larger access you need...just a thought.
My first thought was to use a D shaped pizza stone so I wanted to make sure the opening was big enough to get the stone in. But then I decided to go with the fire brick. To get to the fuel source I will have to remove the top "cooking" kettle from the bottom kettle.

If it does become a problem I was thinking along the same lines. Use the piece I cut out to make a door.
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Unread 10-20-2010, 12:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deguerre View Post
Cool! A pizza Death Star.
Someone on another site said paint it yellow and call it Pac Man, I like that idea.
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Unread 10-20-2010, 12:29 PM   #14
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looks good so far!...so I assume you have to pull the top part off to tend the fire, or am I missing something with that part? How big of a fire do you think you can get in there? The reason I ask, is I would guess you will need quite a large fire in there to thoroughly heat soak the FB - I used FB on my Primo, and with lump coal, cooker going full blast, it took me over an hour to get the FB up to temp...that is when I went to gas until I can build a WFO:) I wonder if the weber can handle that kind of fire for extended periods?? I dunno?? Please post up the pics of your first effort..I am looking forward to how it works!
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Unread 10-20-2010, 12:30 PM   #15
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