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mrmarkfr

Pizza with the top vent removed

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Has anyone ever tried to cook pizza with the top vent removed, to try and get better airflow?

Thinking of those BGE videos, where they have it at 700+, and thinking that the only reason I can't get that hot is becasue of the the size of the top vent holes.

I'm also thinking of opening the ash pan wide, and actually lowering it on the clasps to get improved airflow from the bottom.

 

Looking for high heat for some thin crust za this weekend.

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Too much air flow (top vent open or non-existant) let's all the heat escape. You burn way too much lump in the process. 

 

Once you get a raging bed of coals start shutting down the top vent to trap the heat in the kamado and watch your temperature rise. 

 

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This is not my first pizza on the Akorn, I've been cooking on it for 5 years, and have done pizza's a few times.  I always load it up with my Emile Henri pizza stone, I raise it up on some interlock bricks, to get better heat reflection off the dome, but I find it takes forever to get everything up to temp.  I'm looking for 600-700F for the pizza, which isn't as hot as the true pizza ovens get, but will be better than the 450-550 I'm getting now.

I may try a dry run on Friday and see how hot it gets before Saturday's pizza party

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9 hours ago, mrmarkfr said:

This is not my first pizza on the Akorn, I've been cooking on it for 5 years, and have done pizza's a few times.  I always load it up with my Emile Henri pizza stone, I raise it up on some interlock bricks, to get better heat reflection off the dome, but I find it takes forever to get everything up to temp.  I'm looking for 600-700F for the pizza, which isn't as hot as the true pizza ovens get, but will be better than the 450-550 I'm getting now.

I may try a dry run on Friday and see how hot it gets before Saturday's pizza party

refer the the above posts and you will achieve what you want we get its not your first rodeo but cooking in any cooker is a learning experience even for us vets..good luck

lots of good advice above

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46 minutes ago, Stile 88 said:

refer the the above posts and you will achieve what you want we get its not your first rodeo but cooking in any cooker is a learning experience even for us vets..good luck

lots of good advice above

I appreciate the feedback, I really do, but I enjoy experimenting with my grills,it's one of the things I love about the hobby, and as I said, I've done pizza on them a few times, so I will be trying without the top vent.  I know what my grill does with the top vent in, doesn't look like anyone knows what will happen with the top vent out(other than speculations).  I've done exactly what has been mentioned, I've also used my Auber fan to drive the temp up, with the extended temp probe, but the question still remains if anyone else has done it without the vent.  I'll be trying it this weekend on a dry run(hopefully), if not, I'll go the traditional way, but it doesn't usually hurt to experiment.  The pizza's below are some of my previous pizza nights, other than the shape, we were happy with them:)

IMG_20140829_210106.jpg

IMG_20150830_191534.jpg

IMG_20150830_192507.jpg

IMG_20150830_192938.jpg

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3 hours ago, mrmarkfr said:

doesn't look like anyone knows what will happen with the top vent out(other than speculations). 

 

 

No speculation. We know what happens in a kamado with the top vent wide open (or off). You are the one who doesn't know.

 

Your last post is the reason why I stopped trying to explain the top vent unless somebody specifically asks. The top vent is sort of counter intuitive and your brain wants to work it differently than how the vent works in practice. 

 

 

 

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What cooker do you have?  I've owned 3 different brands of kamado and could get any of them over 900 easy with the vents in place.  What other variables might be at play?  Size of lump?  The way it's loaded?  The amount?  Gap between plate and bowl?  You mention raising the stone up in to the dome, any chance you got it so high it is nearly cutting off air flow?  Something seems odd to me about your temp issue.  Try your experiment and see what happens.

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2 minutes ago, philpom said:

What cooker do you have?  I've owned 3 different brands of kamado and could get any of them over 900 easy with the vents in place.  What other variables might be at play?  Size of lump?  The way it's loaded?  The amount?  Gap between plate and bowl?  You mention raising the stone up in to the dome, any chance you got it so high it is nearly cutting off air flow?  Something seems odd to me about your temp issue.  Try your experiment and see what happens.

I'm using a Chargriller Akorn, with a 13" stone, and the stone is only raised a couple of inches, so there's a few inches gap at least all around the edge.  I'm going to play with it a bit this weekend and see what I can figure out.

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3 hours ago, ckreef said:

 

 

No speculation. We know what happens in a kamado with the top vent wide open (or off). You are the one who doesn't know.

 

Your last post is the reason why I stopped trying to explain the top vent unless somebody specifically asks. The top vent is sort of counter intuitive and your brain wants to work it differently than how the vent works in practice. 

 

 

 

I too have experimented with the vent partially closed trying to keep the heat in, but never got the stone above 500ish.  I'd like to get hotter, which is why I'm experimenting.  I understand the principle of trapping the heat by closing the vent, but at the same time, I've seen videos of BGE with the top completely off, with significantly higher temps, so maybe there is something in getting a larger airflow(hence the reason why I'm experimenting with hanging the ask basket from the clasps also, to increase total airflow, not just out the top.

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6 hours ago, mrmarkfr said:

I too have experimented with the vent partially closed trying to keep the heat in, but never got the stone above 500ish.  I'd like to get hotter, which is why I'm experimenting.  I understand the principle of trapping the heat by closing the vent, but at the same time, I've seen videos of BGE with the top completely off, with significantly higher temps, so maybe there is something in getting a larger airflow(hence the reason why I'm experimenting with hanging the ask basket from the clasps also, to increase total airflow, not just out the top.

 

I hear what you are saying and there is more than one way to the end. I had a Akorn for about 2-3 years before I upgraded and never had a problem going nuclear and I never removed the top vent. Figure out how to get the Akorn nuclear without the stone. If adding the stone prevents that then the problem is with your stone, your stone setup or the procedure that you used bringing the stone up to temp. 

 

There is never a need to run a kamado wide open or the top vent removed. The only thing that will accomplish is blowing through a bunch of charcoal in a short amount of time.. 

 

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8 hours ago, philpom said:

What cooker do you have?  I've owned 3 different brands of kamado and could get any of them over 900 easy with the vents in place.  What other variables might be at play?  Size of lump?  The way it's loaded?  The amount?  Gap between plate and bowl?  You mention raising the stone up in to the dome, any chance you got it so high it is nearly cutting off air flow?  Something seems odd to me about your temp issue.  Try your experiment and see what happens.

 

I have to agree with you @philpom, there is definitely something wrong. Never a need to remove the top vent no matter what temp you are going for especially in an Akorn. Look away for a few minutes and you'll be nuclear before you know what happened (been there, done that). 

 

 

 

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I also wonder why it won't heat up. I have seen another post with a similar problem. I have inadvertently let my Akorn heat to 1179f+ at the grate. (My infrared thermometer tops out at 1179)

You can cook steaks on a 1000 degree grill. Just re-season it after.

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I have had my Akorn over 900° with the top still on. With the top on and wide open it's impossible to keep the temps below 700°. Are you using the Akorn diffuser stone in it's normal position? I never do high temp cooks with the stone in the standard location, it traps too much head in the bottom of the grill. When i do pizza on my Akorn, I put the stone on the main grate and then put some plumbing fittings on top of it, to raise it up about 2 inches and then put my Pizza stone on the fittings. As I said getting it hot enough is never a problem.

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