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Need tips for cooking pizza in PB


Sea-Hawks
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I initially used my cheap pizza stone from my oven and quickly learned as many others have that it's not made for that kind of heat. It's now in 3 separate pieces that I maneuver around for heat deflectors. I ordered the CSG Spider and two half pizza stones. Was so excited to cook on them last night. Started the fire, set the spider and stones down and left the top open for a while to get it going. Once I had some good coals I closed the lid but cranked all the vents wide open.

 

It took a while to warm up. I'm not sure if it's because of the thick stones I had in there, or the fact that it was 20 degrees outside last night. Eventually it got to 400 and I threw a pizza directly on the stone. I didn't time it, I was just eyeballing it. After about 6 minutes the top of the crust wasn't looking right, but the bottom was black. I pulled it out and none of the kids would eat it. 

 

Ok, let's try again. Maybe the top of the stones are a little cooler now that they've had something on them. Nope, second pizza was even worse. Completely charred the bottom. Ended up tossing the pizza like a frisbee into some bushes. 

 

Maybe some parchment would help? Nope. Parchment went under 3rd pizza and was blackened to a crisp. It actually stuck to the bottom of the pizza even though I had a healthy layer of corn meal between the two.

 

What did I do wrong? Here are some things you may need:

 

 

Spider was just 2-3" above coals, so I assume the stones were very hot

PB was only up to 400 degrees (would a hotter cook allow the top to cook faster before the bottom burns?)

I tried directly on the stone and with parchment - same results

 

 

I'm wondering if I need a second pizza stone? One on the bottom as a heat deflector and one on the main rack to hold the pizza? That would keep the direct heat off the stone which I assume would prevent the burning. But, how long will it take for the top stone to warm up? I apologize if this has been repeatedly discussed here. I did a search and the only results I found were people discussing their cracked pizza stones.

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26 minutes ago, Sea-Hawks said:

 

 

 

I'm wondering if I need a second pizza stone? One on the bottom as a heat deflector and one on the main rack to hold the pizza? That would keep the direct heat off the stone which I assume would prevent the burning. But, how long will it take for the top stone to warm up? I apologize if this has been repeatedly discussed here. I did a search and the only results I found were people discussing their cracked pizza stones.

 

 Exactly that, you need 2 stones to do a pizza cook. One to deflect the heat so that it doesn't burn the bottom of the dough. We've cooked out pizzas at 600* and had no issues with, the top stone will absorb the heat at that high of a temp.  

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As Jesse wrote you need two stones. I found that lower temperatures (450 ish) worked better to get both the top and bottom cooked to the appropriate doneness simultaneously. However, the right temperature is likely going to be something you arrive at via trial and error, based on how the PB cooks, how thin you roll out your crust, amount of toppings, how done you like your crust, etc.


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30 minutes ago, Jesse said:

 

 Exactly that, you need 2 stones to do a pizza cook. One to deflect the heat so that it doesn't burn the bottom of the dough. We've cooked out pizzas at 600* and had no issues with, the top stone will absorb the heat at that high of a temp.  

Thanks. After all the money we spent on Christmas, it may be a while before I convince her to spend another $50 on my toy.

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23 minutes ago, Sea-Hawks said:

Thanks. After all the money we spent on Christmas, it may be a while before I convince her to spend another $50 on my toy.

 

You don't need to spend $50 for something to cook the pizza on. You have the spider and the (2) half moons so, continue to use that for your deflector. All you need from there is a cheap cast iron griddle, pizza stone, pizza pan to throw on the top grate to cook the pizza on. I use these from Academy to cook my pizzas on but there are lots of options: Outdoor Gourmet 14" Preseasoned Round Griddle

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Although I do not have a PB I have never had a pizza go completely black on the bottom at 400 degrees -even in an Akorn, even with a very thin pizza stone. The only time that happened on that grill was when the temp exceeded 700 degrees. I am wondering, is there sugar in your dough? Perhaps you dome temp is way off? Maybe your stone is much hotter due to proximity to the coals?


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What everybody else said. Pizza needs to be cooked high in the dome.  I would turn the spider over so you can put more lump in the firebox and put your second stone on the top rack for the pie.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have had good results with no deflector.

 

Spider inverted, PB grates on top, stone on the upper grate raised high into the dome.  Additional spacers may help.

 

Temp depends on dough and toppings, but with this setup I am usually in the 600-650 range for a NY style pizza (not a Neapolitan which needs hotter temps and not a thick crust which would need lower temps).

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  • 3 weeks later...

What most have said is correct.  2 Pizza stones in key with an air gap in between.  I use the pit boss deflector with 3 clay pot feet to create an air gap, then 2 16 inch half moons on top of that.  I cook pizza at very high temps, closer to 700+, but use Tipo 00 flour for my dough and like a Neopolitan style pizza.  I take out all racks and grids with just the pit boss deflector set at the highest height.

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Yep two stones, one set 4 or 5 inches below the other. However the bottom stone that serves as a deflector should be at the main grate level and not set low on a spider. The second stone is set above that up into the dome to get reflected heat back down onto the pies surface. The reason not to set a deflector low as on a spider or a Vision type deflector rack  during a high heat pizza cook is that the deflector set in that position, will throw excessive heat back down in to the fire box and possibly cause it to crack, IMO anyway.  Here is my set up using a CGS AR actually made for a Vision but used in my BGE. You can see the similarity with some of the other set ups shown and described. We all do something similar but in different ways using different tools. Happy Cooking, learning what works is half the fun, eating the pie is the other half. 

 

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