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Naan Bread on the Blackstone Oven Got the hankering today for some naan bread on the Blackstone. Used a yogurt based naan recipe off the web and included minced garlic and chopped cilantro as some toppings rolled into the flattened rounds. Cooked on the Blackstone Patio Oven at between 650 and 700 degrees for about 1 ½ minutes. The wood pizza peel worked well to load the naan rounds in sequence with up to three at a time on the rotating stone. I may have left a few in a bit too long and got them crisper than they should have been learning the cooking times. But they were still good eats. Next time out I might raise the temperature to over 800 – we shall see how that works. Not a bad result at all for first time baking naan on the Blackstone. The bread was brushed with salted melted butter after baking. The bread formed the base for a meal of left over New York strip steak that had been previously grilled on the Kamado as dinner earlier in the week along with sautéed red and green bell pepper, onion and seasonings. Enjoy! Blackstone Naan Naan Dough Proofed and Ready Garlic and Cilantro Topping Portioning Heating the Blackstone Rolling the Rounds - My son took over this part. after he saw my first couple of the rounds... LoL Let’s Bake Baking Underway Hot Off the Stone A Tray of Naan Bread Dinner Is Served - Steak on Naan
Swordfish Steaks on the Blackstone Oven Three nice swordfish steaks that I had in the freezer were defrosted and patted dry. They were marinated and grilled on the Blackstone oven on a cast iron grill plate and served with homemade double cheese mac & cheese and a simple salad. Quite a nice meal. Is this good looking or what? A hearty meal on a cool day The marinade paste my son made had Garlic, Soy, Fresh Ginger, Onion, Serrano Pepper, Avocado Oil, Sesame Oil, Black Pepper, Lemon Juice (note updated based on further conversation with my son) - run through the food processor to make a thick marinade sauce. This was placed on the fish in a vacuum bag and sealed in my Vacmaster VP215 chamber sealing machine and left in the fridge for about an hour and then out at room temperature for another 30 minutes. Vacuum Sealed Upon removal from the marinade, the bulk of the marinade sauce was removed from the fish (to avoid burning on the Blackstone) and he made a few additions to the marinade and gently cooked it into a side table condiment for the fish. It was really good. Out of the Marinade and Resting The cast iron I used and the minor modification to fit it in the Blackstone is documented here: The cast iron on the ridged grilling side was well oiled with a wipe of avocado oil (which has a very high smoking point) and placed it in the Blackstone on the bottom cooking stone. I was going to remove the cooking stone but that made the cast iron hard to remove from the oven (should it be necessary) as it drops down into the recessed turn table with no stone. I heated the cast iron and the oven to stone to between 425 and 450 degrees. When cooking the fish I adjusted the flame level as needed over the course of the cook to even out the cooking between what I anticipated the bottom was doing on the cast iron and what the top was doing from the flame and convection heat. You have to watch the fish and let it tell you what it needs. Preheating the oven and cast iron Fish Ready to Transfer to the Cast Iron The 1.5 inch thick fish was cooked about 5 minutes, removed from the oven and internally temperature checked. I turned the steaks over and returned them to the oven for a few minutes to finish. In hindsight, 4 minutes on the first side and about 2 minutes flipped might have been preferred – but that’s learning as you go with nay new cook approach. In fact my son and I concluded that it should be possible to cook them without flipping by properly increasing the flame heat near the later portion of the cook to finalize the cook but not burn the top. That will be for the next time cooking this. Some wood pellets for flavoring To manipulate the fish this is what I found worked well. I sprayed my aluminum pizza peel with cooking spray. Set the three fish steaks on the peel and before a piece is placed in the oven turn it so the point of the triangle shaped fish piece is toward the outer end of the peel and the rounded outside of the fish towards the handle end. Why? Well as the turn table rotated by I used the peel and a metal turner to slide the fish onto the cast iron with the rounded (skin end) of the fish facing the outer edge of the grill plate. That way all three pieces fit nicely and the wider parts would pass under the flame front. To remove the fish I positioned the peel at the front of the oven and used the long handled turner to loosen and lift the fish onto the peel. Should it have been necessary to remove the hot cast iron I had my pizza pan pliers handy and a heavy weight cloth oven cooking mitt so that I could with the pliers and the mitt maneuver the hot iron over to a metal table adjacent to the Blackstone where I place three fire brick as a trivet. I tested this technique and it works. Just do not plan on carrying the hot cast iron anywhere -- It needs to go from oven to the table placed next to the Blackstone in one smooth motion. Just for grins I placed some oak wood pellets on the ear tabs of the griddle plate and they would eventually catch fire and add (maybe) a hint of smoke. Not sure if that did much in the end but it was an easy thing to try. Round and Round They Go Flipped Over and Almost Done . Conclusion - this was an excellent way to cook the fish. The family all agreed this was a winner. The hot cast iron grilling surface and the oven/broiler effect made for a perfect cook in flavor, texture, and appearance. The combination effect added something more than just grilling on the Kamado or over the gasser and was different from an oven only or broiler only cook. It also impresses people to carry the fish inside on the pizza peel and set it on the counter for serving. LETS EAT!!!! Hope this gives you some ideas for a cook of your own.
Blackstone Oven – Grilled Oysters Having a gallon of shucked Gulf Coast oysters at hand and a Blackstone Patio Oven the brain naturally began to drift to trying grilled oysters in the Blackstone as my first foray into cooking items in the Blackstone other than pizza. This was a late lunch snack. A first look (from Batch 1) I used this recipe of mine, but when I was going to make the sauce, noted there were no green onions – so ---- use regular white onions instead: I did two batches, unsure of the best cooking settings. Batch 1 was cooked for 4+ minutes at 400-450 degrees. Batch 2 was 4+ minutes at 550-600 with a crank up on the near the end of the last revolution. Batch 1 had grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Batch 2 did not. For reference, the “oyster shells” used are actually a molded and then hand finished ceramic stoneware oyster shell manufactured by Loftin Oysters (www.loftinoysters.com). They work well if you do not have real oyster shells. Not necessarily cheap but worth it. I think they are better than the stainless steel “shells” for direct grilling. They also look real. These folks in Destrehan, LA have a unique product. The "shells" Unlike my grill cooking recipe, I did not do a two-step process of first the oyster cooking for a couple of minutes and then add the sauce and finish the cook. The cold “oyster shell” was sauced and topped from the onset – mainly because it is a bit more difficult with the Blackstone (or appeared like it would be). Batch 1 (say ~425 degrees - 4 minutes – Parmesan Extra Topping) Good Looking Oysters (Tip - for shucked oysters, which they rinse, you need to add just the right amount of salt to the oysters & liquor in bucket) Batch 1 Ready to Cook Batch 1 During Its Spin Batch 1 After Cooking Batch 2 (say ~575 degrees – 4 minutes – no extra toppings) Batch 2 Underway Batch 2 Just Out the Blackstone Batch 2 - Let's Eat Both were good. The one-step approach resulted in the ending point sauce being more watery versus “saucy” as they were not cooked/reduced as a first step like the recipe to reduce the oyster liquor and get the oyster started cooking. Not a show stopper. The sauce was good slurping! In terms of cooking of the oysters – It seems like 500 degrees might be a sweet spot and that the two step process of the recipe might be best to follow to get the proper sauce reduction. I did not in these two batches do the two-step cook. Will try it next time. It turns out that removing and reinserting the tray of the oysters is not that difficult. I stop the turntable. Also, I use a pizza pan griping tool and a pot holder and it works well. In Batch 1 in the Blackstone, because of the overhead heat with the Parmesan cheese on from the beginning I was seeing browning of the cheese before the oyster was fully cooked and the sauce was not reduced as much. Again the two-step approach or probably better yet even a third step of adding the optional cheese at the very last might be in order in the Blackstone. In Batch 2, at the higher heat level, the elements in the topping mixture that were exposed cooked too fast and browned excessively in relation to the body of the oyster. You can observe this in the photos. Bottom Line - it works but it is a much different cook from the grill. I need/want to refine the grilled oyster technique in the Blackstone. I think I can get it to be virtually equivalent to the charcoal grill. The main issue is not having the high level of direct grilling heat on the bottom of the shells. In the Blackstone, the top heat is higher (or at least a direct flame broil) and you have to balance this in some way. Grilled oysters like a high bottom heat. Next time I may also pull the lower cooking stone and put my pan right on the steel platter. That might however, make it difficult to remove unless the pan has the right shape on the sides. Also using a steel pan preheated in the Blackstone and then removed long enough to transfer the oyster shells to it might also help. Or a steel pan with a preheated bed of rock salt. A number of future possibilities to test. BTW - You do NOT want to cook this right on the pizza stone. You need the shells on a tray (which I lined with aluminum foil) both for the spill over aspects and for timely handling of the multiple shells.
Blackstone Patio Oven - A Modification for Front Access to Red Knob on Regulator Valve In using the Blackstone oven one really needs to be able to readily access the red regulator knob for fine adjustment of the temperature. Unfortunately, in the Blackstone design, the normal tank orientation puts the regulator at the rear of the oven – meaning one has to bend down and reach under the oven to the rear to adjust. This risks a face full of heat from the front of the oven and is inconvenient. If one rotates the tank and bends the rubber hose into much tighter bends, the regulator knob can be located facing the right hand side. Better, but still not right. Here is a simple fix. Orientation Range of Regulator as From Factory (by turning the tank) The Fix Ideally the red regulator knob should be facing out the front or thereabouts. This can be accomplished with a simple non-destructive modification in one of two ways. In the slightly more complicated modification I did, I could place the knob/regulator (by turning the tank) anywhere from directly facing directly frontwards or in other positions around towards the right hand side. I also tested in actual use the red knob itself oriented flat (top parallel to the ground) and vertical (top perpendicular to the ground). Full Forward Facing Regulator For me, the optimum placement was to orient the tank with the regulator towards the front, angled toward the right side with the red knob vertical. That way I could be slightly off to the side, back from the oven's open face and the heat flow and observe the flame while adjusting the knob by rolling it with a finger – I did not have to grasp it to use it. My Personal Choice of Optimum Regulator/Knob Position The Modification (Option 1 & 2) My first thought was to merely add a right angle fitting where the regulator rubber hose connects to the pipe at the rear of the oven body. This is the simplest approach. In analyzing it with measurements, it provides OK placement (in my view of the best orientation) of the regulator/knob. However, if you want the knob to be more towards or directly to the front, this approach will not allow that range of placement. However, I did not go this simple route, mainly because no place in town had an SAE 3/8 inch flare 90 degree swivel elbow (male swivel to female) fitting (and secondarily, I wanted to experiment/understand the wider potential orientation range) Arghh… I could have ordered one somewhere on line and waited and been done with it when it arrived but I didn't. One of these fittings: Instead, since I already had 3/8 copper tubing and the requisite tools, I got a couple of flare fittings and a flare double male straight union. I fabricated an adapter assembly, cutting to length and bending to shape, as well as flaring the tubing. Took no time at all. Option 1: Optimum Arrangement (Minor Fabrication of Extension Tube Adapter) Turn off the main tank gas valve. Disconnect regulator from tank. Disconnect regulator hose from fitting coming out rear of oven. Use two wrenches! Cut a piece of 3/8 copper tubing to a length of about 14-15 inches. Insert flare nut on pipe and flare the end. Using tubing bender, bend the tubing to 90 degrees. I bent mine so the short arm was about 2.5 inches, as my bender would not let me make it any shorter. No problem. Now do the other end. Remember to put the flare nut on the tubing. Make same bend as before. (I think I actually used a length of about 12 inches but it was almost too short in the final result.) It worked but 14 inches is better. The extension adapter looks like this: Fasten the adapter to the pipe on rear of oven. Fasten other end of adapter to a 3/8 inch SAE flare double male straight union. Connect the gas line hose to the union also. Connect regulator to tank. Adjust orientation of tank, turning it so the regulator is facing where you prefer to have it in the front. Orient the regulator red knob position (flat or vertical) to your choosing. Do not kink or over bend the hose. Make sure hose is not touching heated parts where it could melt. Now tighten all fittings/connections. Use two wrenches on the tubing connections. Using soap solution, turn on gas and test all fittings for leaks. Done! Option 2: OK Arrangement (Plug-N-Play using Right Angle Fitting)Turn off the main tank gas valve. Disconnect regulator from tank. Disconnect regulator hose from fitting coming out rear of oven. Use two wrenches! Insert the right angle swivel fitting. Point downwards. Tighten. Attach gas line hose to the elbow. Tighten. Reassemble regulator to tank and your preferred orientation of the knob (flat/vertical). Turn tank for desired orientation toward front. Do not kink or over bend the hose. Make sure hose is not touching heated parts where it could melt. Using soap solution, turn on gas and test all fittings for leaks. Done! I have no photos of the fittings for this mod actually installed because I could not find the fitting locally. But it is so simple you get the idea. Here is a view of the maximum forward position you can achieve with the simpler right angle fitting mod (tested by having my son hold the hose where it would have connected to the elbow): I hope you might find this idea useful on your Blackstone Patio Oven.