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Everything posted by fafrd

  1. On advice from this Forum, I bought The Elements of Pizza and we were thinking about trying his 24-48 Hour Pizza Dough recipe for our first attempt. Ingredients are similar to the recipe you posted but salt is 13g instead of 10g and yeast is 1.5g instead of 0.5g. The recipe you've listed is called "I Slept In But Want Pizza Tonight" Dough in the new book and I appreciate your recommendation and cooking guidelines.
  2. Yeah, there is that. Using the Kamado for anything less than a small pizza party with anything less than 3 (and ideally at least 6) pizzas isn't too sensible. If we end up deciding Kamado pizza is way better than 550F Electric Oven pizza, I may need to look into rigging a propane burner into the bottom of the fire basket to make smaller cooks on the Kamado more practical, but that will be for a future time (and a future thread). On the gaskets, hopefully I've got that covered by upgrading to a 1000F gasket before plunging into this adventure. Until I've got some experience with the cooker, it's hard to assess safety issues. Past smokers/grills I have owned were all pretty tame and the possibility of runaway heat was remote. You'd have to effectively leave a pot on the stove and go out for groceries to have any risk of inadverdantly starting a fire. The daisywheel top vents on the PB24/LG24 seem pretty small (about 11.5 square inches by my estimates) which should limit peak temps to lower levels than on Kamados like the KJ that can swing open to a larger opening of ~18 square inches or so. In fact, it was concerns regarding inability of the PB24/LG24 to reach 900F with stock top vent that motivated me to rig up my little smokestack - sounds like thst may not be needed, but the only way to understand what temps the grill want to head to with a full firebox is to give it a try... Appreciate the advice and the caution.
  3. Cool, so you've reached 900F with the stock daisywheel/top-vent - that's good to know. Can I ask what type/brand of lump you used? If you're still using the stock gasket, I've read about owners melting it at 900F temps - the LavaLock XTR78 just came on the market, is rated to 1000F, and comes with a 1-time no-questions-asked replacement warranty (I have no affiliation with LavaLock or any other barbeque/grill/smoker-related companies). And flashbacks means what? What can happen if you forget to 'burb' before opening at high temps? Thanks for the response and it's encouraging to know you've reached 900F on a PB24/LG24 with the stock daisywheel vent (no smokestack needed). Can I ask how long you typically take to go from a cold start to 900F? Does your heating protocol involve any midpoints or do you literally just dump in a chimney's-worth of lit lump, pile on top of it until the fire bowl is filled with fresh lump, and then just close the lid with both top and bottom vents open wide and let 'er rip?
  4. Thanks for the reply, John. I don't yet understand how to break up a long quote into smaller pieces as you've done, so I will respond in a similar sequence: Rotation - got it, thanks. Not sure what time to expect for a 700F Neopolitan, but would you also advise a rotation for that case? (As well as use 60% hydration dough at 700F?) Space between Heat Deflector and Pizza Stone - understand now that excessive space = effectively no space (i.e. no deflector). The ceramic spacers I am considering come either 1" tall x 1.5" x 1.5" or 2" tall x 1.5" x 1.5": http://www.californiapizzastones.com/pizza/stones/pizza-posts.php Either of these can be used on their side giving me the 1-1/2" spacing you suggest, so would you think having 1" or 1-1/2" options to try or 1-1/2" or 2" options to try would be more useful (the 2" tall spacers are going to be a bit more stable on their sides than the 1" spacers, so I was leaning that way...). Closing Vent while Cooking Pizza - message recieved loud and clear (and this is precisely why I asked). Thanks to you, I now understand vents closed ever at high temps is dangerous and will leave top and bottom vents wide open. 900F Neopolitan versus 700F Neopolitan - I'll be honest that discovering your Kamado Pizza - 101 video was a huge part of what inspired me to try a 900F cook. That video makes it look doable and did not voice any of the warnings/reservations you are expressing now. So you might think about adding a similar warning in your pizza 101 video (and possibly also including a 'safer' 700F cook). I'm probably going to try getting up to 900F at least once just because that's the kind of guy I am (as well as the fact that I lived in Milan for 5 years, so I know what I'm aiming for when it comes to good Neopolitan pizza ;). But since this first cook was going to be an experiment anyway, I'd be interested to also make a 700F Nepolitan if that is your recommendation for a safer temperature to cook pizza on a Kamado on a ~monthly basis. Would 700F be better with 60% dough, 70% dough, or something in between like 65%? How long would you expect a Nepolitan to cook with appropriate dough at 700F? 5-minutes? Less? Emulating Pizza Porta by Venting through Seam - I'm suspecting your going to say this is another crazy idea and not worth experimenting with, but didn't see any response from you on this point. Do you believe there is anything to the advantages of side venting versus top venting when cooking pizza on a Kamado as claimed by Pizza Porta? (or is the only real benefit of Pizza Porta reduced heat loss when opening the Kamado to place an uncooked pizza?) Do you see any reason to try cracking the egg by ~1/2" and then closing the top vent to get more airflow over the surface of the pizza like in a wood-fired pizza oven or should I forget about that idea until I've mastered the basics through the top vent? My next door neighbor has been making excellent 550F oven pizza for decades and we're teaming up this weekend to make 3 60% pizzas and 3 70% pizzas. Here is our current plan: 60% at 900F top vent 60% at 900F or 700F vented through the seam cracked ~1/2" (unless that's stupid) 60% at 700F 70% at 700F 70% at 550F in Kamado 70% at 550F in conventional electric oven (her usual pizza as a control) Any advice on timing for 700F pizza to aim for (at both 60% and 70%) as well as whether it's worth screwing around with venting through the seam appreciated. 6 pizzas is way more than we can eat, so if we don't ruin a pizza or two out of this effort, we'll feel like we really didn't push the boundaries as far as we should have on this initial experiment. The question is what ways ruining a pizza or two will be most educational, so if you have any other suggestions for experiments to try as part of this initiative, that would be appreciated as well... P.S. In terms of your statement that Kamado grills are not designed for 900F, aside from the gasket and needing to be conscious about taking a sufficient length of time both to warm up and to cool down, is there anything else you'd worry about at 900F? I already replaced the stock gasket that's only rated to 700F with a LavaLock XRR78 gasket rated for 1000F: https://bbqgaskets.com/lavalockr-xtr78-for-big-green-egg-1000f-lifetime-replacement-warranty.html. If I take 15-20 minutes to reach ~350F and then another 30 minutes to reach 900F (or wherever it maxes out if less than that), would you have concerns about stressing/damaging the grill at 900F?
  5. Yeah, thanks - forgot to mention that I'd understood heating up and cooling down relatively slowly were both recommended and that I was planning to do so. From my experience with my FatBoy, I'm pretty comfortable controlling temperatures through the vents, so I was hoping to avoid needing to open things up and removing my heat deflector to add more lump after getting to 300/400. My plan is to: 1/ light a small amount of larger-sized lump with my electric lighter (larger pieces) then 2/ remove the lighter, fill the firebox up with lump (smaller pieces towards the top) and position heat deflector (legs down), 2" spacers, and 5/8" 15" pizza stone 3/ close it up with top and bottom vents wide open and monitor how fast it's heating up. If two fast I'll close of the vents a bit and if too slow I'll add the smokestack on top. My overall plan was to get from 75F to ~350F over 10-15 minutes and then shoot up to 900F as quickly as I can from there sitting at 900F (or whatever max I reach) for a 20-30 minute heat soak before burping to put in the first pizza). Any advice on recommended speeds / times to get from ambient to 300-400F and then from ~350F to 900F greatly appreciated (especially from any other PB24/LG24 owners who have done this before).
  6. New owner of a $499 Costco LG24 looking for any do's and dont's advice on hitting 900F in this Kamado. Before even firing up my new toy for the first time, I removed the stock felt gaskets and replaced with the new Lavalock XTR78 1000F gasket: https://bbqgaskets.com/lavalockr-xtr78-for-big-green-egg-1000f-lifetime-replacement-warranty.html I know how to structure a fire and have bags of both Kamado XL Lump and Fogo Premium Lump, so I think I should be good to go as far as quality fuel and structuring for goid airflow. I've seen some comments regarding the small size of the PB/LG daisy-wheel top vent compared to the KJ vents that swing completely open, so I've made a jury-rigged 16" smokestack that should provide a +50% draft to increase peak venting to close to KJ fully-open levels. And as far as safety, I understand about burping, have a fire extinguisher and hose at the ready, and have the grill positioned on a fire-proof grill mat, so I believe I'm prepared. I'm a very experienced low and slow smoker that originally jumped on this LG24 because my 10-year old Backwoods Smoker Fatboy is on it's last legs (rusting out), but now that I've understood these Kamados are as usable for 'Extrememy High and Very Fast' as they are for Low and Slow, I'm itching to try making a 900F Neopolitan Pizza! Any pointers, advice, or cautions from others owning similar budget Kamados who have successgully gotten them up to 900F appreciated... [EDIT: P.S. Just to keep the subject of this thread appropriate to the subject of this Forum and limited to getting PB24/LG24s up to 900F, would prefer to avoid any comments or advice on cooking pizza on this thread. I'll eventually post an update on whatever temperature I succeeded to achieve on my first attempt this weekend but will linit it to a picture of the thermometer and perhaps my smokestack if it works well. Any updates regarding my first attempt at Neopolitan pizza (including any pics) will be posted in the Pizza Forum. Thanks.]
  7. John, I am a longtime smoker/grill but new Kamado owner excited to try my first pizza. Your posts and your videos have been invaluable and I think I must have viewed 'Kamado Pizza - 101' at least 10 times now! I had a couple quick questions on that video and hope I can ask them here (first post): 1/ For the last pizza grilled at 900F (stone), you rotated the pizza by ~90-degrees after one minute (halfway through) though it didn't appear that you rotated the other pizzas you cooked at lower temps - is there a reason the neopolitan cooked at 900F needs to be rotated after a minute? Is it because the 'leoparding' / charred spots on the bottom of the pizza will get too burned if not broken free from the stone and moved after a minute? 2/ You recommend 1-1/4" to 1-1/2" spacers between heat deflector and pizza stone, but is there any downside to increasing that spacing a bit to move the pizza stone further into the dome? (I'm thinking about using 2" kiln spacers with 1-1/2"x1-1/2" base) 3/ I've seen some Kamado owners say to close the top vent to 'trap in all the heat' when cooking a Nepolitan an 900F for 90-120 seconds, but it appears you leave the top vent completely open for the duration of the cook, correct? Any thoughts on 'vent open' versus 'vent closed' for 900F Neopolitan pizza cooks? And finally, my last question is not about your video but I'd appreciate your thoughts about another idea I am toying with on the subject of venting: The Pizza Porta guys make abig deal about the benefits of venting out of the side versus the top vent while cooking the pizza (airflow more like a conventional pizza oven). I'm thinking about putting a 1/2" spacer across the front of my basket after the pizza is in place and then closing the top vent to simulate some of the effects of the Pizza Porta's side vents. Is there any reason you think this is a bad idea guaranteed to fail or do you think it's an experiment worth making?
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