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View Full Version : Pizza on the BGE kicked my arse tonight


MilitantSquatter
08-06-2010, 08:15 PM
Made another pizza tonight on the BGE but after steady improvement, experimentation etc this one brought me back a few notches to reality. It reminded me of one of my favorite quotes from pizza great Chris Bianco (it applies equally well to BBQ for the non-pizza fans)

Chris Bianco: You never master it, I don't care how many lifetimes, and that's the beauty of it. You see, that's the slippery slope, where people say 'master this' - there's no master; you're in a relationship with something. That's what's really beautiful about it, it's always bigger than you. It needs you, you need it. There's no difference in any relationship. There's no mastering of it - you engage. You engage with it on a daily level. Take pizza, we have our objective, our intention, our medium. Our cooking medium, what we're able to work with: flour, water, condition, time, audience and what their expectations are, and what's our intention - and really being clear with that intention - and serving that intention and staying focused on it. It's very similar to music or sports in that way, where you stay focused on your mission and know that you might get better at something, but the minute you believe you've mastered it, it'll show you who's boss. I've had a beautiful relationship with flour, water, yeast, salt and the human experience.

Anyway this cook made me realized that the BGE is good for pizza but it's not great for pizza. Meaning it works, but it's not a wood fired pizza oven and not meant for high temps. I fired up the BGE and got dome temp to approx 675 and let it stabilize about 30 minutes. Prepped the pizza and put it on the stone. Bottom side of dough got a bit charred. You can't see the charring but if you look very closely at the left slice on the front tip you will see the blacked crust.

The other bigger problem makes me realize the BGE is not really designed for really high heat that I'm trying to cook at.. It farks with the rear hinges as heat expands the metals and makes it very difficult to open/close the dome properly as everything shifts...

I'd love to save up for a Forno Bravo Primavera for the yard... http://www.fornobravo.com/residential_pizza_oven/beehive_oven.html

jonboy
08-06-2010, 08:19 PM
Looks GREAT from here.
That pizza can kick me anytime.
jon

AZScott
08-06-2010, 08:22 PM
I have come to agree. The BGE and I do grilled pizza's and I enjoy them more.

zydecopaws
08-06-2010, 08:44 PM
Pizza is an ongoing challenge for us, and I cook a lot of it on Bubba Ho-Keg. I've finally figured out that my best results don't come above 600F, but rather in the 550-600F range.

And I would gladly eat that pizza for you. Looks pretty good from here...

1_T_Scot
08-06-2010, 08:52 PM
Your Pizza looks good to me.


Preheating the Egg and Vacuuming out prior to starting are your friends. You can't rush and get the egg hot fast. I run mine with the hat off. Now keep in mind I've broke some of the thinner stones. I'm looking for a thicker one. Just haven't bought one yet.

EDIT: ---->>>> Oh woops sorry I missed your preheat for 30 minutes. Ok now I'm puzzled. What temp do the wood fired ovens cook at?

SmokeJumper
08-06-2010, 08:53 PM
That pizza looks tasty and even the best pizza places sometimes have a few light scorch marks on the bottom of the pie. Quit making me lust for beautiful pizza ovens!!!!

I've resorted to using an instant read infrared heat gun to measure the surface temp of my stone. For my thin lightly loaded pies I shoot for 500-550F stone 625-650F chamber. When doing multiple pies for a crowd I have resorted to pulling the stone for a minute with welding gloves to cool it down if I wait too long between pies. The stone stays cooler than chamber when there is a pizza on it. Using those guidelines I nail most my pies. Most...

KnucklHed BBQ
08-06-2010, 08:57 PM
looks great! I like a little bit of char mixed in with the crispy crust... that's why we do it on the grill ain't it? :becky:

MilitantSquatter
08-06-2010, 08:59 PM
Thanks... When I started I was making pizzas at 500 deg or so and those were fine for what they were but not what I was trying to produce.. I've been specifically trying to make my own hybrid version of several legendary NY elite pizzas like Totonno's, Grimaldi's and Patsy's. Once I got those where I wanted it, I planned to start practicing more traditional classic neopolitan pizza with the 00 type flour, small diameter etc. Both of these styles require very high heat.

I should have the infrared thermometer in a few days. It will be nice to know what my stone and inside dome temp is. Next up is the Bosch Universal mixer to make my doughs...

Saving up for the outdoor wood fired oven would be great (but not likely too happen any time immediately). Building one sounds like a great project like I see some guys do but I don't know chit about masonry and I'd be annoyed if it didn't come out right.

Saiko
08-06-2010, 09:27 PM
Looks pretty good to me. I agree about pizza though. I've been cooking for over 25 years; I'm pretty good at BBQ, darn good at Indian, Thai and Greek styles, pretty good at others. But I still struggle (as you and have talked about) with the perfect pizza.
I think part of it is that we been exposed to the highest end Neopolitan pizzas, so the bar is very high. If we only knew Pizza Hut, we would consider ourselves pizza gurus! :-D

Smiter Q
08-06-2010, 09:33 PM
@Militant Squatter

1)Have you tried the LODGE cast iron pizza pan?
I am thinking of buying one of these. I think it has
the potential to make a great crust.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000E2V3X/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=3405528385&ref=pd_sl_84ov1rnj0g_e

2)for a pizza oven, I came across this site.
great gallery for you to look at of people who do not
have masonry skills... but made ovens with the detail
plans and photo journal that comes with it.
http://www.traditionaloven.com/

jerryz
08-06-2010, 09:49 PM
Never met a pizza I didn't like

MilitantSquatter
08-06-2010, 09:54 PM
@Militant Squatter

1)Have you tried the LODGE cast iron pizza pan?
I am thinking of buying one of these. I think it has
the potential to make a great crust.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000E2V3X/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=3405528385&ref=pd_sl_84ov1rnj0g_e

2)for a pizza oven, I came across this site.
great gallery for you to look at of people who do not
have masonry skills... but made ovens with the detail
plans and photo journal that comes with it.
http://www.traditionaloven.com/

never tried a cast iron pizza pan...Probably good but not what I'm looking to achieve. Reminds me a bit of pizza hut.

Thanks for the website link... cool stuff !!!

Never met a pizza I didn't like

I'm the opposite.. I'm fairly picky about pizza.. I've tried enough really good ones and too many avg or bad ones to appreciate the difference.

Carbon
08-06-2010, 09:55 PM
Great looking pizza!

Anyway, I've never owned a BGE so I can't comment on that but I kinda of wanted something different from doing pizzas on the gas grill, on the Weber kettle, or in the kitchen oven so this spring I started my own WFO build out in the patio and it's near completion now.
Those Primaveras are very nice ovens, btw...

zydecopaws
08-06-2010, 10:00 PM
@Militant Squatter

1)Have you tried the LODGE cast iron pizza pan?
I am thinking of buying one of these. I think it has
the potential to make a great crust.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000E2V3X/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=3405528385&ref=pd_sl_84ov1rnj0g_e

2)for a pizza oven, I came across this site.
great gallery for you to look at of people who do not
have masonry skills... but made ovens with the detail
plans and photo journal that comes with it.
http://www.traditionaloven.com/

I recently got one of these and gave it a go on the Bubba keg. Learned the hard way that it is a lot different than using a stone and will get a LOT hotter than a stone.

But a least I am unlikely to break it (unlike every stone I've owned)...

MilitantSquatter
08-06-2010, 10:05 PM
Great looking pizza!

Anyway, I've never owned a BGE so I can't comment on that but I kinda of wanted something different from doing pizzas on the gas grill, on the Weber kettle, or in the kitchen oven so this spring I started my own WFO build out in the patio and it's near completion now.
Those Primaveras are very nice ovens, btw...

Wow... just found your thread about it here..

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=87838

very cool !!! :thumb:

Brauma
08-06-2010, 10:07 PM
I've got the Pompei Oven plans from Forno Bravo. Would love to build one of those puppies as a family project one year.

6dog
08-06-2010, 10:11 PM
Just trying to help here, so please don't be insulted... Did you make sure all excess flour/corn meal was off the bottom of the pizza before transfer to the stone? Did you rotate the pizza during the cook to avoid hotspotting?

MilitantSquatter
08-06-2010, 10:18 PM
Just trying to help here, so please don't be insulted... Did you make sure all excess flour/corn meal was off the bottom of the pizza before transfer to the stone? Did you rotate the pizza during the cook to avoid hotspotting?

not insulted at all.. I appreciate it.

very little flour was used. just enough to quickly transfer from pizza peel to stone.

I did rotate once as the rear of the BGE tends to get hotter. That's usually the time I experience problems re-closing the lid due to the heat expansion messing with the hinge mechanism and shifting it.

6dog
08-06-2010, 10:41 PM
Only things I can think to suggest is giving it a couple shakes on a perforated pizza peel before transfer (away for the stone) to minimize amount of flour transferred and maybe consider giving it a quarter turn a few times during the cook. By the way - those toppings sure look good!

gtsum
08-06-2010, 10:54 PM
your pie looks good. I agree with you on the pizza though..for me, it has been a very challenging quest to perfect my pies on my Primo Oval XL. For me, it has been far harder to get excellent results with homemade pies then any bbq grub has been. There are so many variables in making a pizza (dough recipe, kneed technique, rest time, rise time, cold ferment, etc)...and then you have the sauce, cheese, etc, etc. Not to mention time and temps. I have finally (after maybe 20 pies) got my technique down, but I agree with you on the ceramic cookers...they are GOOD for pizza, but not great. I put my pies on (NY style) at about 650 degrees and close her down..temps drop down to about 550 and they cook in about 5 minutes....(stone temps are about 500 or so via IR gun) they come out great, but the bands on the ceramic are loosening and stretching because of the heat...and it is not a good feeling when you are standing there with a 650 degree cooker with the lid open and the bottom band is slipping up and you are trying to get the pie on or off!! A brick oven is the best bet and I would like to have one, but as it is, the ceramic cookers definitely give a much better taste to pies compared to the oven - I suppose I could cook pies at a lower temp (and I have done that), but I love the char and the oven spring of the dough when it hits that 600 degree stone