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John Setzler

Blackstone Patio Pizza Oven - Setzler's Review

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I finally decided to buy this beast because I think it will make fantastic pizzas based on what I have seen from others on this forum and elsewhere...  So it arrived this week and I got it put together this morning and fired it up....

 

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Oh yea!  Screamin' hot in no time flat.  This kind of oven has a ton of possibilities for pizza.  At this point, I'm super stoked about cooking on it tonight... I have a batch of scratch sourdough ready to go!  So I turned the oven off and shut off the gas to let it cool... I came back to it an hour or so later to check on it....

 

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The stone is seriously cracked and buckled up.  I sent a photo to Blackstone's customer service and got a response within an hour... they are sending me a new stone.  I sorta figured I had just gotten it too hot and maybe let it cool too fast causing this to break.  After some deeper investigation, I don't think that's the case...  If it was just a crack from thermal shock, it shouldn't really be buckled up like this...  I pulled the pieces out and was able to fit them back together....

 

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Here is where I see a design or spec problem with the stone.  The stone doesnt' fit nicely into the pan where it sits....  I try to show this in these two photos...

 

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In the first of these two photos, the stone is not sitting down as far into the pan as it is in the second photo.  When this oven is fired up, the pan expands and allows the stone to sit down flush all the way around.  Everything goes great until the oven and pan start to cool.  When the pan cools, it compresses the stone and breaks and buckles it as shown in these photos.  

 

In order to test this idea, I heated the oven back up with the broken pieces in place as flush and flat as I could get them.  I just heated it up until the stone was 650°F.  At that point, I reduced the flame and let the oven cool slowly over a one hour period.  I also left the rotisserie motor on to help even out the cooling process.  This slow cooling process still caused the stone to buckle and rise back up in the middle again.  

 

That being said, I feel comfortable cooking on this tonight but I expect it will buckle again when it cools....

 

I have a new stone on the way so when it gets here I'll see how well (or not) that it fits in the pan.  If it doesn't fit any better than this one I may try to sand it down a little because I truly believe that if it has a little bit of slack in that pan when the pan is cool that it won't break like this again....

 

This review will be ongoing... I will post photos of my pizza cook later tonight or tomorrow and I'll report back on the replacement stone when it arrives...

 

I am happy with this so far despite the issue with the broken stone....

 

 

 

 

 

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Well that's sort of a bummer. I checked and mine has about 1/8" of play all around so you might be onto something with the expansion idea. It shouldn't matter how you shut it down. I take mine up to temp and when done immediately shut it off and stop the turntable all the time. At this point my turntable is warped but still doesn't affect anything. I've abused my stone bad enough I didn't think you could break one.

They did upgrade the thermometer. Mine only goes to 800* :-( Be ready at those temperatures pizza is going to cook really, really fast.

Reef's Bistro

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I fired it up to cook a pizza... I went with my simple pepperoni using the dough recipe I have been working on recently... 

 

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This pizza cooked for 3 minutes in the Blackstone... It needed a little more time.  The crust didn't get as crisp as I like but the pepperoni was burning on top so I need to remember that next time.  This oven cooks the top of the pizza a lot faster than the Kamado grill because of the top stone.  This pizza crust needed at least another minute and possibly two at this temp.  I did NOT go super hot here because the recipe I have been working on has been cooked between 600-650 so far and I don't want to change that value until I have my crust recipe where I want it... I might lower the hydration a little the next time around from 75% back down to 70% or maybe a little lower but the flavor profile here is perfect.  I will post more about the specifics of the recipe when it's finished...

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And the stone DID buckle right back up after it cooled.. I will sideline this oven until the new stone comes and I can see if it fits the holder properly... there is a LOT of potential with this oven :)

 

could you temporarily remove their stone and use a stone you have? 

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Great looking pizza. There is definitely a small learning curve on the Blackstone. Another thing you can try - heat it up until the bottom stone is at the temp you want then turn the temp down and immediately put the pizza in. If the bottom is getting down but the tops not ready just crank it up to high. You'll have flames kissing the top of the pizza to catch the top up. Possibilities are endless.

Reef's Bistro

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And the stone DID buckle right back up after it cooled.. I will sideline this oven until the new stone comes and I can see if it fits the holder properly... there is a LOT of potential with this oven :)

could you temporarily remove their stone and use a stone you have?
I've thought about that before. I thought about putting my extra thick baking stone in there.

It would have to be a really good stone.

Reef's Bistro

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And the stone DID buckle right back up after it cooled.. I will sideline this oven until the new stone comes and I can see if it fits the holder properly... there is a LOT of potential with this oven :)

could you temporarily remove their stone and use a stone you have?
I've thought about that before. I thought about putting my extra thick baking stone in there.

It would have to be a really good stone.

Reef's Bistro

 

i suspect john has several options

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john, i noticed the center of your pie browned more than your crust,   this has been documented by other blackstone owners.  i am adding a few links i found while researching this oven over the past couple years.

 

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=26507.0

 

https://sites.google.com/site/blackstonepizzaoven/blackstone-pizza-oven-faq

 

https://sites.google.com/site/blackstonepizzaoven/blackstone-pizza-oven-faq/chauflector-----increasing-browning-of-rim

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My baking steel is probably too heavy for this application. I knkw the classic stone will fit but the big joe stone is probably too big. Imwill have to check it.

I think the baking steel would work. I've cooked some really heavy dishes (baked Spaghetti etc....) in the Blackstone without problem. The way it's designed the weight is supported by the shaft collar and a little high temp grease keeps it from binding up. The rotisserie motor only turns it.

Throw it in there and turn the rotisserie motor on. You'll know right away weather it's going to work or not.

Reef's Bistro

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