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John Setzler

This is why your pizza bombed

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29 minutes ago, Andyboy said:

In your quick dough recipe, how much water is needed?

 

It's 350 grams.  You use the same dough mixture for both the quick and the 2 day process he describes.  I can vouch that everything that John says about pizza is right on the money.  Pizza has been the most pleasant surprise and most commonly cooked food in my Kamado Joe. 

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18 minutes ago, AZMDTed said:

 

It's 350 grams.  You use the same dough mixture for both the quick and the 2 day process he describes.  I can vouch that everything that John says about pizza is right on the money.  Pizza has been the most pleasant surprise and most commonly cooked food in my Kamado Joe. 

Thanks! 

 

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John,  Great Tip!!

 

"The pizza stone should be on top of the heat deflector with a gap between them that can be created with anything fire proof that will give you at least a half inch gap between the heat deflector and the pizza stone."

 

I've been using a XL Big Green Egg pizza stone, on top of the heat deflector (top level Gen 1 Big Joe), it's not quite 1/2 gap, but its at least 1/4, plus I use a pizza screen, which is helpful in controlling the heat that the bottom of the pizza is subject to in the being of the cooking stage. I cook pizza's between 600-700 and monitor by just looking through the top vent, instead of opening the lid. 

 

Your other tip's with regard to store bought dough are spot on as well. I make my own dough (when I have time), or I'll just buy one from my favorite local pizza joint (I believe $4.00 bucks), and make my pizza sauce in bulk. 

 

Pizza's are defiantly one of fav's on the Kamado Joe! 

 

pizza2.jpg

pizza.jpg

IMG_3038.JPG

pizza sauce.jpg

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i love the pizzas off my vision and i like loading up toppings on my pizza also.  i shoot for 600 dome temp with my lava stone on the top grate and pizza stone 1 inch above .  

 

how do you prepare your sauce ?  I use a can of san marzanos squeezed up by hand with some salt garlic and fresh italian parsley.   i still would like to pick up an uuni 3 to cook some neopolitan pizzas at 800+  

IMG_0451.jpg

IMG_0449.jpg

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On 5/24/2017 at 12:10 AM, John Setzler said:

nypizza.jpg

 

 

Most failed pizza cooks are for the same reason when it comes to kamados and blackstone ovens.

 

There is a relationship between cooking temperatures and your dough recipes that must be understood.  

 

Rule #1 - stay away from store-bought pizza dough.  Those doughs are designed for cooking in your kitchen oven at lower temperatures.  They have sugars and oils that will scorch easily at the temperatures you are going to see on your Kamado and the Blackstone oven.

 

Rule #2 - Great pizza takes some patience to make.  Make your dough from scratch and the only ingredients that should go in it until you have your process down pat are flour, water, salt, and yeast.

 

Rule #3 - Higher cooking temperature (700+)  = lower hydration dough - Lower cooking temperatures (500-600) = higher hydration doughs  (see recipes below)

 

You need to understand baker's percentages for this process.  Most pizza doughs are between 60 and 70 percent hydration.  This means that for every kilogram of flour in the recipe, there will be 600 to 700 grams of water, depending on your recipe.

 

If you are cooking on a blackstone oven at 800 degrees or higher, you should have a dough that is about 60% hydration.  These pizzas are going to cook very quickly.  They should not have an overabundance of toppings in order to have the toppings AND the crust properly cooked.  

 

If you are cooking on a Kamado at 500-600 degrees, you should have a dough that is about 70% hydration.  The higher hydration allows you to cook longer without scorching the crust.  You can also cook on the Blackstone at these temperatures using 70% hydration doughs as well.

 

Now I will probably get chastised for saying this but it needs to be said....

 

The Kamado ain't the greatest tool in the shed for baking pizzas.

 

The kamado can work very well for pizza, but there are some issues that make it difficult to tame sometimes.  The problem in the kamado environment is that the pizza stone can get too hot for the temperature in the dome.  If stone is 700+ degrees and the temp in the dome is 500 or less, it can create some issues with burning crusts before the toppings are done.  The kamado loses a LOT of dome heat when you open the lid to put the pizza on.  By nature, the ceramic kamado grills recover that lost heat quickly but in the case of a super hot pizza cook they may not recover it quickly enough.  We are looking at pizza cook times here that are just a few minutes long.  Third party products like the Pizza Porta can help with this.  There are other add-ons that allow you to have a pizza stone under and over the pizza that help as well.  At any rate, if you plan to master pizza on the kamado, my recommendation is to do it at lower temps where the stone and the dome temps are in the 550 degree range and use 70% hydration ( or possibly higher in some cases) dough recipes.  

 

Setting up the kamado for proper pizza cooking is important also.  You need your heat deflector at the top level... it can be sitting on your cooking grate.  The pizza stone should be on top of the heat deflector with a gap between them that can be created with anything fire proof that will give you at least a half inch gap between the heat deflector and the pizza stone.  This process will help you keep the pizza stone from overheating.  The fire in your firebox is raging hot if your dome temperature is 500+ degrees.  This gap helps keep the temp of the pizza stone under control.  Learning to get the pizza on the stone quickly and without fully opening the dome lid is also a beneficial trick to learn.  

 

 

SUPER TIP:

 

When learning to make great pizza at home, start out cooking them in your home oven rather than a kamado or other pizza oven.  This will give you the opportunity to learn the pizza making process with one less variable in the loop.  Your home oven may not be your favorite choice of tools for cooking a pizza, but I can tell you that it will cook at a consistent and easily reproduced temperature setting.  When you master a particular pizza recipe in your home oven give it a try in the kamado!  

 

As I have recommended to many before... go buy this book:

 

The Elements of Pizza

 

This book teaches you a LOT about the art of making great pizza.  I also recently picked up this book:

 

The Pizza Bible

 

The philosophies in these two books are a little different but the are both beneficial books if you wanna make great pizza at home.  

 

Some dough recipes to get you started:

 

60% and 70% Hydration Simple Pizza Dough (with multiple techniques for flavor enhancement) :

 

This is enough dough for three 11-12" pizzas...

 

500 grams Flour (all purpose flour or 00 italian style flour) = 100%

350 grams water @ 90-95 degrees = 70% (300 grams if making 60% dough)

13 grams fine sea salt = 2.6%

Instant dried yeast (see below for quantities based on your technique)

 

QUICK DOUGH:

 

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve 2 teaspoons of yeast in the warm water.  Add the flour and salt and mix by hand until the flour is completely incorporated and no dry flour remains.  Cover the bowl and let rest for 20 minutes.

 

Remove the dough to a floured surface and divide into three equal parts.

 

Shape each part into a dough ball with a tight skin across the top.  Place the dough balls on plates and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours or until at least doubled in size.  

 

After the dough has risen, shape the dough balls into a pizza crust and top with whatever you like, remembering that less is more on a pizza like this :)

 

Cook this on a preheated pizza stone in your grill or oven at 500-550 degrees until done.  

 

ONE TO TWO DAY DOUGH:

 

Change the yeast quantity to 1.5 grams (3/4 of 1/2 teaspoon)

 

This process works the EXACT same was as above with a minor change.  When you form your dough balls and put them on plates with plastic wrap covering them, place them in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours.  After you remove them from the fridge, let them sit out at room temperature for four hours before shaping into pizza crusts.  This slower cold ferment process will improve the flavor of your pizza crust.  

 

If you don't use all of your dough balls, you can vacuum seal them and put them in the freezer after the ferment process.   When you are ready to use them remove from the freezer and let them come to room temperature on the counter for 5-6 hours before forming your pizza crust.  

 

 

Thank you for the tips sir, they were fantastic, I sacrificed my gasket because I was cooking at 450 Celsius .. it was easier for me to stretch the dough by hand etc I’m a pizza maker and professional chef , since I got my KJ classic 2  I’m a huge fan thank you mr. setzler 

 

C6394726-C905-4D30-8B59-A9BE010AA1A2.png

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B088BD01-C2DB-4815-A89A-31DE4C31A304.png

1AB82DDB-4929-4DF9-9A4E-EAD7E3A466E4.png

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Just now, KamadoSalim said:

Thank you for the tips sir, they were fantastic, I sacrificed my gasket because I was cooking at 450 Celsius .. it was easier for me to stretch the dough by hand etc I’m a pizza maker and professional chef , since I got my KJ classic 2  I’m a huge fan thank you mr. setzler 

 

C6394726-C905-4D30-8B59-A9BE010AA1A2.png

03B39FBF-F47A-4916-A240-A5A4556AB7B1.png

C2A9BB35-6CA8-4507-951A-89DCEE08C73B.png

238D97DF-EA6C-4C52-88A6-D75D5E856DA8.png

B088BD01-C2DB-4815-A89A-31DE4C31A304.png

1AB82DDB-4929-4DF9-9A4E-EAD7E3A466E4.png

 

EE06EFBC-C0FE-4D41-93AF-FAE314500410.png

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3 hours ago, John Setzler said:

@KamadoSalim

 

Get some Permatex Ultra Copper from a local auto parts place and run a small bead of it under the gasket.. works like a champ.

 

Thanks for the tip man , have you been to Australia before ? I love your videos bro, my wife and I are huge fan. How many kamado joes you have ? And which one you love the most? Cheers  

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9 hours ago, KamadoSalim said:

Thanks for the tip man , have you been to Australia before ? I love your videos bro, my wife and I are huge fan. How many kamado joes you have ? And which one you love the most? Cheers  

 

I have not been to Australia.  Maybe one day...

 

I have all three Kamado Joes.  The Classic is my go-to and work horse.  It gets used probably 20x more than the Big Joe and Jr combined.

 

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Would putting a pizza stone on top of the 5½ inch tall grate extender put the stone at a good height in a Big Joe?  (Assuming that the dome doesn't hit it.)

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On May 23, 2017 at 7:10 AM, John Setzler said:

nypizza.jpg

 

 

Most failed pizza cooks are for the same reason when it comes to kamados and blackstone ovens.

 

There is a relationship between cooking temperatures and your dough recipes that must be understood.  

 

Rule #1 - stay away from store-bought pizza dough.  Those doughs are designed for cooking in your kitchen oven at lower temperatures.  They have sugars and oils that will scorch easily at the temperatures you are going to see on your Kamado and the Blackstone oven.

 

Rule #2 - Great pizza takes some patience to make.  Make your dough from scratch and the only ingredients that should go in it until you have your process down pat are flour, water, salt, and yeast.

 

Rule #3 - Higher cooking temperature (700+)  = lower hydration dough - Lower cooking temperatures (500-600) = higher hydration doughs  (see recipes below)

 

You need to understand baker's percentages for this process.  Most pizza doughs are between 60 and 70 percent hydration.  This means that for every kilogram of flour in the recipe, there will be 600 to 700 grams of water, depending on your recipe.

 

If you are cooking on a blackstone oven at 800 degrees or higher, you should have a dough that is about 60% hydration.  These pizzas are going to cook very quickly.  They should not have an overabundance of toppings in order to have the toppings AND the crust properly cooked.  

 

If you are cooking on a Kamado at 500-600 degrees, you should have a dough that is about 70% hydration.  The higher hydration allows you to cook longer without scorching the crust.  You can also cook on the Blackstone at these temperatures using 70% hydration doughs as well.

 

Now I will probably get chastised for saying this but it needs to be said....

 

The Kamado ain't the greatest tool in the shed for baking pizzas.

 

The kamado can work very well for pizza, but there are some issues that make it difficult to tame sometimes.  The problem in the kamado environment is that the pizza stone can get too hot for the temperature in the dome.  If stone is 700+ degrees and the temp in the dome is 500 or less, it can create some issues with burning crusts before the toppings are done.  The kamado loses a LOT of dome heat when you open the lid to put the pizza on.  By nature, the ceramic kamado grills recover that lost heat quickly but in the case of a super hot pizza cook they may not recover it quickly enough.  We are looking at pizza cook times here that are just a few minutes long.  Third party products like the Pizza Porta can help with this.  There are other add-ons that allow you to have a pizza stone under and over the pizza that help as well.  At any rate, if you plan to master pizza on the kamado, my recommendation is to do it at lower temps where the stone and the dome temps are in the 550 degree range and use 70% hydration ( or possibly higher in some cases) dough recipes.  

 

Setting up the kamado for proper pizza cooking is important also.  You need your heat deflector at the top level... it can be sitting on your cooking grate.  The pizza stone should be on top of the heat deflector with a gap between them that can be created with anything fire proof that will give you at least a half inch gap between the heat deflector and the pizza stone.  This process will help you keep the pizza stone from overheating.  The fire in your firebox is raging hot if your dome temperature is 500+ degrees.  This gap helps keep the temp of the pizza stone under control.  Learning to get the pizza on the stone quickly and without fully opening the dome lid is also a beneficial trick to learn.  

 

 

SUPER TIP:

 

When learning to make great pizza at home, start out cooking them in your home oven rather than a kamado or other pizza oven.  This will give you the opportunity to learn the pizza making process with one less variable in the loop.  Your home oven may not be your favorite choice of tools for cooking a pizza, but I can tell you that it will cook at a consistent and easily reproduced temperature setting.  When you master a particular pizza recipe in your home oven give it a try in the kamado!  

 

As I have recommended to many before... go buy this book:

 

The Elements of Pizza

 

This book teaches you a LOT about the art of making great pizza.  I also recently picked up this book:

 

The Pizza Bible

 

The philosophies in these two books are a little different but the are both beneficial books if you wanna make great pizza at home.  

 

Some dough recipes to get you started:

 

60% and 70% Hydration Simple Pizza Dough (with multiple techniques for flavor enhancement) :

 

This is enough dough for three 11-12" pizzas...

 

500 grams Flour (all purpose flour or 00 italian style flour) = 100%

350 grams water @ 90-95 degrees = 70% (300 grams if making 60% dough)

13 grams fine sea salt = 2.6%

Instant dried yeast (see below for quantities based on your technique)

 

QUICK DOUGH:

 

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve 2 teaspoons of yeast in the warm water.  Add the flour and salt and mix by hand until the flour is completely incorporated and no dry flour remains.  Cover the bowl and let rest for 20 minutes.

 

Remove the dough to a floured surface and divide into three equal parts.

 

Shape each part into a dough ball with a tight skin across the top.  Place the dough balls on plates and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours or until at least doubled in size.  

 

After the dough has risen, shape the dough balls into a pizza crust and top with whatever you like, remembering that less is more on a pizza like this :)

 

Cook this on a preheated pizza stone in your grill or oven at 500-550 degrees until done.  

 

ONE TO TWO DAY DOUGH:

 

Change the yeast quantity to 1.5 grams (3/4 of 1/2 teaspoon)

 

This process works the EXACT same was as above with a minor change.  When you form your dough balls and put them on plates with plastic wrap covering them, place them in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours.  After you remove them from the fridge, let them sit out at room temperature for four hours before shaping into pizza crusts.  This slower cold ferment process will improve the flavor of your pizza crust.  

 

If you don't use all of your dough balls, you can vacuum seal them and put them in the freezer after the ferment process.   When you are ready to use them remove from the freezer and let them come to room temperature on the counter for 5-6 hours before forming your pizza crust.  

 

 

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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@fafrd

 

Quote

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 tooburned if not broken free from the stone and moved after a minute?

 

 

The short cook needs a rotation because the heat inside the kamado is not even on a cook like that for that short of a duration.  Longer lower temp cooks don't matter.

 

Quote

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)

 

The space matters.  if you put too much space you may as well not have a deflector below it.  It will continue to heat and get hotter as you go. I don't know why but I know that it happens from experience with this testing.

 

Quote

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?

 

That's horrible advice.  Anyone who told you to do that absolutely knows NOT what they do.  You can ignore any further advice on kamado cooking from whoever told you that.  When you starve a fire that hot of oxygen for 2 minutes, you are asking for all sorts of problems when you do reintroduce oxygen to the environment.  You may even build up enough pressure inside the kamado when you close the vent at that high temp that it will burp itself.  If you choose to try this, i'd wear a fire suit.  Kamados like this are sketchy at best already at 900f.  They are not designed to run that hot.  In this day and time, I really do NOT recommend taking most kamado grills past 700F.  If you wanna cook neapolitan pizzas with any regularity, do it at a lower temp or go buy an appropriate oven for it.  

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