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    Pit Boss

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  1. Yeah, I used a true Nepolitan dough with '5 Stagioni' 00 flour, 59% hydration, some sea salt, and a bit of yeast. No oil. No sugar. So I don't think the dough is the problem. At 900F it just cooks too fast. Literally turns black upon contact and by 15 seconds, it's already getting too charred. At 700F, the cook takes ~4 minutes, you can 'watch' for doneness of the toppings through the vent, and everything is great except there is no Neopolitan-style char on the bottom of the crust: That crust is not bad, but it lacks the flavor component contributed by more charring. I'm going try 800F before giving up, but I've concluded that 900F on a Kamado is unfortunately out of reach (makes little sense, as several have warned me).
  2. Well, the CGS AR and new grills just came in today, but that Kamado has now been through 3 900F pizza cooks and one quick sear of lamb chops followed by some grilled veggies. Cooking at those temps keeps it pretty clean. Now that I've got the AR, will finally do some low and slow (probably ribs). I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with the build quality of the CGS products.
  3. My new CGS AR came in today and using the placesetter upside-down and my 1-3/8” spacers on the 20” grate bring the pizza stone to 6-1/2” above the felt line: This gives me exactly 2-1/2” below the center of the dome and I’ve confirmed my 2” x 12-1/2” spacer block is not touching the closed dome when positioned 1” in from the edge of my 15” Pizza stone (and seems to me just making contact positioned 3/4” in from the edge). So I’ll have 2” of clearance for pizzas no closer than 3/4” from the edge of the stone and since my thermometer stem is 7-1/4” from the center of the dome, it will also be clear of pizza that does not get closer than 3/4” from the edge... I don’t think any of the pizzas we’ve made yet have come close the 13-1/2” diameter - closer to 12” is probably more typical. For larger pizzas, the heat deflector can be removed which will give me 2” clearance over the entire 15” diameter of the pizza stone... P.S. We tried 900F pizza with the ‘old’ rig yesterday, and it was a challenge. Crust literally charred upon contact with the stone (even before the loading peel was fully removed) and even after a 15-sec+15 sec cook, the crust was slightly over-charred while the tops were underdone. So I think I’m going to forget about 900F and will focus on 800F for the next pizza cook - didn’t you say you generally cook your pizza around 800F? For how long (typically)?
  4. I used some KJBB for the first time last weekend, and while I was happy with the longevity and heat generation of the lump, I was very unhappy with how much fumier/smokier is was than the Fogo Super Premium (beige bag) that I used in my first two cooks. Loaded up with fresh KJBB, I had an excessive amount of smoke for over an hour which so bad, when we heard a fire truck in the distance coming our direction, we wondered if someone might have called them on us. This picture doesn’t really do justice to how much smoke was generated, but I kept the smokestack in place even after the coals were well-lit in an attempt to get the smoke up where it would be less bothersome. Fogo Super Premium did not smoke nearly this much and this first experience with KJBB was distressing enough that I’m thinking the extra $$$s for the Fogo May be money well spent. The smoke was all cleared up an hour later once temps were up over 550F and I assume the entire bed of coals were lit. Is that what causes such white smoke? It’s fresh coal coming up to temp and getting lit and once there are no more black unlit chunks of lump the smoke runs clear?
  5. 11-1/2” x 13-1/2”. It’s sold by Woodland Direct: https://www.woodlanddirect.com/Soapstone-Baking-Deck-for-Vermont-Bun-Baker-Wood-Stove $110 including shipping.
  6. These stones are virtually impossible to break with any natural temperature shock: http://www.californiapizzastones.com/pizza/files/pizza-stones-That-Do-Not-Thermal-Shock.php These stones exhibited no cracks after: -being placed in a 600F kiln after being soaked in water at room temp -being placed on a bowl of room temp water after being heated to 700F -being placed in a 1200F kiln after being soaked in water -cranking the heat in the kiln to 2000F These stones are only 5/8" thick but are virtually indistructible due to the hgh percentage of grog. To quote the manufacturer: "Our Pizza and Baking Stones are made from a Non-Toxic Mullite mixture, containing a very high quantity of grog. Grog is clay that has been fired to 2500 - 2600 degrees then crushed and put back into our clay mixture. This makes our Baking Stones virtually indestructible and impervious to thermal shock."
  7. Thanks. From your input and others, I’ve decided to forget about trying to sear on my cordierite heat deflector and am awaiting a soapstone griddle...
  8. Great, thanks. Any point in partially preheating it on the stove or the oven and moving it onto the coalbed once it’s over 250? These things are supposed to retain heat so well, I’d guess you could probably finish an entire sear with flames and heat cut entirely once the stone reaches 500...
  9. Yeah, especially since the price end up being the same once shipping was factored in. Done. Thanks. Well it's all relative, isn't it? After taking 4 hours to heat up my Kamado to cook pizza, I suspect I'll think the soap stone is pretty speedy :). How long do you usualy plan on to get your stone up to 500F?
  10. Appreciate the advice - you've convinced me go with Soapstone (the only negatives I've found for Soapstone is that it's more fragile to scratching, but I can deal with that). I'm going to get a rectangular stone and for a bit more, I can get one with a routed juice groove like this: Seems like a juice groove would be a good idea but just wanted to check whether you think it's worthwhile having for searing or if it might cause some issue...
  11. Oh, so those are the dimensions of the carrier. So the stone must be quite a bit smaller - perhaps as small as 10” x 13”? No problem to fit in an AR then - the AR has a 15-3/4” opening up not an 18” diameter. The stone will be suspended over the coalbed, so no need to worry about spacing to another surface. Seems as though the grilkgrwtes griddle is made of aluminum. Why do you prefer that for searing over your lavastone? Mainly cleaning and storage or does it do a better job on the actual sear (faster? more efficien? better caramelization?)
  12. Thanks John - I’m going to forget about pizza stone and get either soapstone or lavastone. Do you have any opinion on differences or pros and cons between those two stones?
  13. Here’s a guy that sears steak on a cordierite pizza stone: https://altonbrown.com/thermal-shock-porterhouse-steak-recipe/ I have a 16” cordierite heat deflector, so if that’s a viable material to start getting into stone-searing, maybe I’ll start with that and gain some experience with the technique before buying something new. Anyone tried searing on cordierite (pizza stone)? Anyone know any reasons why cordierite is a bad idea for searing meats (taste, cleaning, sanitation, etc...)?
  14. Here is a guy who sears steak on a cordierite pizza stone: https://altonbrown.com/thermal-shock-porterhouse-steak-recipe/
  15. I’m getting convinced I should pick up a stone for searing Sous-vide cooked meats, but as I read about lavastone versus soapstone, it occurs to me that I already have a 16” cordierite heat deflector. Can a cordierite stone be used for searing? In terms of carmelization, formation of crust, clean-up and sanitation, is cordierite inferior to lavastone and/or soapstone for some reason, or is it an option to start trying Stone-based searing?
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