Author Topic: Little Black Egg Pizza Oven - How to make one.  (Read 20839 times)

Offline Jmolinari

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Little Black Egg Pizza Oven - How to make one.
« on: June 13, 2010, 09:23:59 PM »
Pictures: http://picasaweb.google.com/jasonemolinari/LBE

You'll need:

18.5" weber kettle grill  (standard grill at home depot)

1 6" unglazed quarry tile (home depot)

Bayou Classic Burner -
http://www.amazon.com/Bayou-Classic-SP10-High-Pressure-Outdoor/dp/B000291GBQ/ref=pd_bbs_2?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1220027326&sr=8-2

Instant non-contact temperature gun -
http://www.amazon.com/Raytek-MT6-MiniTemp-Infrared-Thermometer/dp/B000O80B5M/ref=pd_cp_hg_1?pf_rd_p=413863601&pf_rd_s=center-41&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B0002198GY&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=06JJE2PPDFZG7NV3Y3AD   OR http://www.amazon.com/KINTREX-Clear-Temp-IRT0421-Non-Contact/dp/B0017L9Q9C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1220027403&sr=1-1   they seem to be pretty much the same.

15-16" pizza stone. I used the Old Stone Oven round pizza stone, 16". Google for it. It's expensive, but about 5 times heavier than the cheap ones, and i cracked 3 of the cheap ones before i bought this one. I think Gadget Geek had some links for some serious pizza stones as well.

16" aluminum pizza pan (like the ones they serve pizza on at restaurants). You can get them for about $3 at restaurant supply stores..otherwise you'll have to mail order it.

Heavy duty aluminum foil.

I think that's it.  The assembly is as follows.

Cut a 10" or so hole in the bottom of the kettle grill. Use a bowl or something to give you an outline to cut to. Try to make it so the hole is "flat" relative to the grill...so it sits level when you put it on the burner. I'm not sure if I'm explaining what I mean.

Where ever you're going to cut the grill, cover it in masking tape so the enamel doesn't crack and propagate all over the grill.  How you cut the hole is up to you. I used heavy duty dremel cutoff bits..it took about 10 of them! When I ran out of those I tried a jigsaw with a metal cutting blade, and it seemed to sail through the stuff like butter...but I didn't use it much as I was basically done. Wish I had!

Cut a vent like in my pictures on the side of the top, across from the premade top vent. My vent is about 1.5" by 8". I don't think size is super critical...just approximately that size should be fine. The original top vent is always closed.

Line all inside surfaces with HD aluminum foil..shiny side viewable.

Drill a hole in the center of you 16" pizza plate/pan and a hole in the center of the lid too. Try to make this centered. You can do this by taking the plastic off the handle, and using the screw hole that is on the metal handle as a guide. Mount the pizza pan to the top using a long bolt and a wingnut like you see in my pics. The goal of this is to reduce the volume of the top lid where hot air would end up. I reduced it even further but also putting in the lid the ash catcher that came with the grill. That's that weird small dome you see in my lid picture. If you want to do that too, just make a hole in the ash catcher, and use a longer bolt to go through that, then the pizza pan then the lid.

The grill comes with 2 grates. The cooking grate and the charcoal grate. Put the charcoal grate in the grill, and then put an UNGLAZED 6" quarry tile (available at SOME home depots) on the charcoal grate, directly above the burner. I'm using this so that the burner flame doesn't impact the pizza stone.

Put the cooking grate in put the pizza stone in.

Put the pizza stone towards the front/vent size of the grill, so there is a larger opening on the back side of the grill between the stone and the grill walls, which will force the hot air up on the back side, then out towards the front vent and over the pizza.

Close it up, light the fire, and on low-medium heat preheat for about 15 minutes...raise the heat a little, and keep preheating until your stone
is at about 750 deg (use the new temp. gun).

It takes a good 25-30 minutes to preheat it somewhat gently and so that the stone is pretty evenly heated and doesn't crack.

Slide your pizza on, close the lid quickly, and CRANK up the gas to max. This will create a huge roaring flame that will generate tons of heat,
that will be forced over the pizza and out the vent. Watch out...the air coming out is REALLY hot.

You'll have to turn your pizza about every 30-45 seconds to get it to char up evenly on the top. Do this by quickly opening the lid, grabbing the pie with some tongs, twisting it then closing the lid. Repeat as necessary. The pizza should cook in about 1.75-2.5 minutes. Depends a lot on your dough and your toppings. You can watch the pizza as it cooks and chars through the vent.

The goal is to get the bottom charry and done at the same time as the top. You might have to mess around with what your stone temperature needs to be before putting the pizza on. My best one has been stone temperature 700-750. I let all my toppings, cheese, tomato, come to room
temperature before baking.

I use about 220g per dough ball, spread to about 11". I use a wet mozzarella as the dry stuff would not to so well under the high temperature.

You'll end u pwith something that looks like this:



And you'll produce pizza like this:

« Last Edit: June 13, 2010, 09:26:42 PM by Jmolinari »

Offline Lorenzo

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Re: Little Black Egg Pizza Oven - How to make one.
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2010, 07:18:16 AM »
Nice looking pie!  Gadgets are great, but the proof is in the pudding.

Offline Jmolinari

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Re: Little Black Egg Pizza Oven - How to make one.
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2010, 07:44:33 AM »
Lorenzo, thanks. Since i've had the LBE i refuse to make pizza in a regular oven. I'd rather have nothing:) This makes 2 minute pies.
The only problem is that the cook basically doesn't get a chance to sit down to eat. He's constantly making pies.

Offline Larkemon

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Re: Little Black Egg Pizza Oven - How to make one.
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2010, 09:25:49 AM »
Excuse the naive question, but is the primary benefit of your design the high heat?  I'm asking because I have a Charbroil Red grill that can achieve some pretty high temps (700+ at the grate and 600+ in the dome).  Your pizzas look great and inspire me to try to make one on a grill, but don't have the ingenuity to create my own pizza oven! :)  Just wondering if I can achieve near results without your gear...

Offline Jmolinari

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Re: Little Black Egg Pizza Oven - How to make one.
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2010, 09:42:46 AM »
Larke, the most important feature of the design (which is not mine, it was developed by some folks on pizzamaking.com) is the super hot air flow over the pizza and the very fast recovery time after opening the lid because of the massive burner.
A grill on its own won't work b/c there just aren't enough BTUs to bring the whole system back up to 800+ deg. in just a few seconds after opening the lid to put the pizza in, turn, check... Plus the air flow isn't right. Putting a stone on a grill will results in a burned crust on teh bottom and a raw top. I've tried.

There is a guy who makes a system that goes inside a grill that modifies the air flow (as well as standalone systems). Reports on it seem to be pretty good:
http://www.2stonepizzagrill.com/

Offline Larkemon

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Re: Little Black Egg Pizza Oven - How to make one.
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2010, 10:05:33 AM »
Makes sense. Thanks for the info! 

Offline Lorenzo

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Re: Little Black Egg Pizza Oven - How to make one.
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2010, 10:45:48 AM »
Yeah, I've tried to make pizza on a stone on a gas grill, but other than achieving a higher temperature than a home kitchen oven it doesn't really have any of the characteristics that make a pizza over work the way it does.  Fun to do, and better results than the kitchen oven, but these days I'm content to leave it to the experts at APN/Varasanos/Fritti/etc.

Offline The_Scientist

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Re: Little Black Egg Pizza Oven - How to make one.
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2010, 12:01:34 PM »
Alton Brown used a gas grill to make thin crust pizza on his last show.  He spread olive oil on one side, put it face down on the grill, cooked it for a couple of minutes, then flipped it and put the toppings on.  It looked pretty good, and it didn't require any special equipment.  He even showed how to use gas burners on a stovetop to make pizza chips.

He mentioned Jeffrey Varasano's trick of breaking the lock on an oven to use the self-cleaning cycle, but strongly discouraged actually trying it.
"Crayons taste like purple" - Tardy the Turtle

Offline Jmolinari

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Re: Little Black Egg Pizza Oven - How to make one.
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2010, 03:19:58 PM »
I was actually disappointed by the last show. I saw the title "wood fired oven pizza" and got really excited to see what AB would hack to work...only to see him make grilled pizza.
Nothing wrong with grilled pizza, but why not title the show "grilled pizza"?!

Offline theflamme99

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Re: Little Black Egg Pizza Oven - How to make one.
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2010, 07:14:11 AM »
Hi,
Anyone have tried with a weber 22,5" instead of a 18,5"? If the space between pizza stone ans the edge of the LBE is bigger, can it cause trouble?
Thanks for your answer!
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 09:24:25 AM by theflamme99 »

Offline Jmolinari

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Re: Little Black Egg Pizza Oven - How to make one.
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2010, 01:53:22 PM »
The larger space might be ok or it might affect the airflow of the hot air over the pizza and out the front vent

Offline jimmy

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Re: Little Black Egg Pizza Oven - How to make one.
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2010, 03:03:17 PM »
Dude, awesome work. I may need to replicate this soon. Was considering breaking my oven ala Jeff, but I like this option better. Portable too.

Do you use a sourdough starter?

Thanks for posting!

Offline Jmolinari

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Re: Little Black Egg Pizza Oven - How to make one.
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2010, 04:15:52 PM »
I have used a sourdough starter, but honestly don't find it that much better than a nice dough made 24 hours in advance, it the sourdough is a tremendous amount of work unless you use it every day.
Let me know if you want some sourdough starter.

Offline Mike GadgetGeek Stock

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Re: Little Black Egg Pizza Oven - How to make one.
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2010, 07:07:20 PM »
I have used a sourdough starter, but honestly don't find it that much better than a nice dough made 24 hours in advance, it the sourdough is a tremendous amount of work unless you use it every day.
Let me know if you want some sourdough starter.   

I would love to trade some starter.. Let me see what I have and we can trade ?

I HAD some really old starter but it got corrupted in the last year and I poured it out.  It was called "Moe" and was 30 years old in my possession and possibly 40 more years before I got it.

I hated to lose it.. Perhaps Lamar has some of the Moe children running around it one of his "starters".. ?

I have some that have been frozen since 199?, but have not revived any of those in a while.. Others that I have dry-frozen have been very active and robust after about the third generation....

.




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Finding offense where none is intended is a form of selfishness.

When facts change, I change my mind.  What do you do?

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Offline Jmolinari

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Re: Little Black Egg Pizza Oven - How to make one.
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2010, 10:01:29 AM »
GG, no trade needed, just have to meet me somewhere convenient to get some. Let me know, and i'll have to make sure it's still alive and kicking, i haven't fed it in a couple of months...it's in the fridge.
This is from Ischia, an island off Naples...

 

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