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mrmarkfr

Pizza with the top vent removed

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Historically, I had a stone on my Weber rack on where the smoking stone goes, then the grate, then a layer of interlock bricks(for more thermal mass and to raise it into the dome, I learned that trick 4 years ago), then my good pizza stone.  I'm going to try without the bottom stone this time, see what temps I can get to.  If I can, I may try Friday night, before the pizza party Saturday.

 

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If you remove the vent on an Akorn, good luck with trying to get it back on until the fire dies out which could be hours.  Good luck also if it goes to 900 or above and destroys itself. If you take the bottom vent lose same thing. Once it gets too hot and you don't have any controls it could melt itself or create a black hole (maybe not) or do something really bad.

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Just now, T Yelta said:

If you remove the vent on an Akorn, good luck with trying to get it back on until the fire dies out which could be hours.  Good luck also if it goes to 900 or above and destroys itself. If you take the bottom vent lose same thing. Once it gets too hot and you don't have any controls it could melt itself or create a black hole (maybe not) or do something really bad.

The idea wasn't to toss the cap away, or remove the ashpan.  It was to have the ashpan sit on the clasps, and the vent open, and when the lid is shut ,stuffing the cap back into the hole would/should put the fire out.  From what I remember, it's held in with 1-2 screws, but it will still fit into the hole, even without the screws.  This will be a mute point anyway, if when I remove the cap, the 2 layers aren't joined.  If that's the case, I'll be back to the drawing board anyway.  As to putting the fire out, take a look at a BGE, Kamado Joe, Primo sometime.  Their caps aren't secured on, they''re sitting on top.  The Akorn will probably work the same way.

 

TBH, I haven't been on this site in a few years.  I started my charcoal or non-gas journey with my Akorn(coming up on 5yrs ago right now), and at my peak, I was burning about 150-180lb of lump a year.  But that was when I only had the 1 grill.  I've since picked up a Weber kettle and a couple of pellet grills, so low and slow get done on those, high heat steaks on the Akorn, burgers will get done on anything, my charcoal consumption has gone down to about 40-60lbs per year, and my pellet consumption has gone up to 200-300lbs per year, maybe more this year.  

 

This site used to be about experimentation, trying new things, modifying the grill to get the most out of it, John Setzler was always trying new ways to do things(I still have an expanded steel grate I put on the "ears" in the firebowl, and fill it with a chimney of coals when I'm doing steak, that I learned from him), and that's what got me into the Akorn.  I still enjoy experimenting with it(I did a caveman steak on that same expanded steel grate the other day in the Akorn), and won't replace it until it rusts away(which isn't happening anytime soon, it's always covered, and has the 1/8" weeping hole in the bottom of the ash pane, that we figured out years ago gets rid of the moisture ,and helps them last longer)  I've done 14 hour smokes in -30C weather, pepper stout beef more times than I want to think about, won chili contests,  and cooked pizza's and breads. 

Long story short, I am not a rookie, at cooking, or experimenting with the Akorn, I came here to see if anyone had tried doing it before because that's what I use forums for, to see if someone else has done something before I try, and if not, maybe I'll try it myself.  I'm still learning with this thing, and part or learning is trying new things to see what works and what doesn't.

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On 7/24/2018 at 11:24 PM, 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

If you get rid of the interlock bricks you will come to temperature a lot faster.  You really don't need that much thermal mass.  All that's doing is soaking up your heat.

Raising your cook higher into the dome is the way to go in order to achieve the convection cooking from the dome. The two stone set-up with an airspace in between is a tried and true method.

Good luck with your experiment but I don't see it working either.

 

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8 hours ago, mrmarkfr said:

The idea wasn't to toss the cap away, or remove the ashpan.  It was to have the ashpan sit on the clasps, and the vent open, and when the lid is shut ,stuffing the cap back into the hole would/should put the fire out.  From what I remember, it's held in with 1-2 screws, but it will still fit into the hole, even without the screws.  This will be a mute point anyway, if when I remove the cap, the 2 layers aren't joined.  If that's the case, I'll be back to the drawing board anyway.  As to putting the fire out, take a look at a BGE, Kamado Joe, Primo sometime.  Their caps aren't secured on, they''re sitting on top.  The Akorn will probably work the same way.

 

TBH, I haven't been on this site in a few years.  I started my charcoal or non-gas journey with my Akorn(coming up on 5yrs ago right now), and at my peak, I was burning about 150-180lb of lump a year.  But that was when I only had the 1 grill.  I've since picked up a Weber kettle and a couple of pellet grills, so low and slow get done on those, high heat steaks on the Akorn, burgers will get done on anything, my charcoal consumption has gone down to about 40-60lbs per year, and my pellet consumption has gone up to 200-300lbs per year, maybe more this year.  

 

This site used to be about experimentation, trying new things, modifying the grill to get the most out of it, John Setzler was always trying new ways to do things(I still have an expanded steel grate I put on the "ears" in the firebowl, and fill it with a chimney of coals when I'm doing steak, that I learned from him), and that's what got me into the Akorn.  I still enjoy experimenting with it(I did a caveman steak on that same expanded steel grate the other day in the Akorn), and won't replace it until it rusts away(which isn't happening anytime soon, it's always covered, and has the 1/8" weeping hole in the bottom of the ash pane, that we figured out years ago gets rid of the moisture ,and helps them last longer)  I've done 14 hour smokes in -30C weather, pepper stout beef more times than I want to think about, won chili contests,  and cooked pizza's and breads. 

Long story short, I am not a rookie, at cooking, or experimenting with the Akorn, I came here to see if anyone had tried doing it before because that's what I use forums for, to see if someone else has done something before I try, and if not, maybe I'll try it myself.  I'm still learning with this thing, and part or learning is trying new things to see what works and what doesn't.

hey its your grill do what you want go crazy and experiment

 

but your first question was this that you posted

 

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

 

those of us that have experimented and done so for many years ans your question and told you why we dont take our top vent off

 

in the above post you say your not a rookie but still learning with your grill and you havent done what you are asking which is taking your top vent off

 

you may be a vet to cooking on your grill but u are a rookie when it comes to this question while the rest of has done this and we are offering advise to u which way to go

 

but again go wild and do experiment its your grill

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10 hours ago, John Sand said:

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.

I reseason after every pizza or steak cook as the oils are burned from the grill.

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4 hours ago, K'man said:

If you get rid of the interlock bricks you will come to temperature a lot faster.  You really don't need that much thermal mass.  All that's doing is soaking up your heat.

Raising your cook higher into the dome is the way to go in order to achieve the convection cooking from the dome. The two stone set-up with an airspace in between is a tried and true method.

Good luck with your experiment but I don't see it working either.

 

The idea with the bricks is 1) to move the pizza stone up into the dome, 2) help keep the stone from cracking(first time I did a pizza on my wife's pampered chef stone, when I opened the lid, the stone cracked), 3)help retain the heat when we lift the lid 4)make it more like a traditional pizza oven.  Maybe it's overkill, I'll try reducing the # of bricks 

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22 minutes ago, Stile 88 said:

hey its your grill do what you want go crazy and experiment

 

but your first question was this that you posted

 

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

 

those of us that have experimented and done so for many years ans your question and told you why we dont take our top vent off

 

in the above post you say your not a rookie but still learning with your grill and you havent done what you are asking which is taking your top vent off

 

you may be a vet to cooking on your grill but u are a rookie when it comes to this question while the rest of has done this and we are offering advise to u which way to go

 

but again go wild and do experiment its your grill

I'm not sure I had anyone come back and say that they have tried to remove the lid, people have told me that I shouldn't need to, and that the vent can be beneficial to keeping the heat in, but unless I missed it, no one on this thread has said that they tried what I'm proposing.  I may be completely in left field, but it's still and experiment.  

That being said, I'm going to try a modified run tomorrow night, with the vent still on, with some bricks removed, see if it works any better

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There's nothing wrong with the spirit of experimentation. There's also nothing wrong with people weighing in on how this experiment might go badly awry and offering up alternative solutions. You shouldn't take it as questioning your cooking prowess or experience.

 

Personally I don't want to be in a situation where I can't just snap the vents shut to regain control over a potentially runaway fire situation. But that's me. I'm an err on the side of caution guy. I'll be interested to see how this turns out.

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This thread is getting a bit heated :rofl:

 

in the spirit of encouraging experimentation, hanging the ash pan from the clips seems like a good idea. If thing get out of control, just latch up the ash pan to choke down the fire. 

 

As as for the top vent, if you remove it and things get out of control, there might be an issue of getting it back on due to thermal expansion of the steel dome against an ambient temp vent. I suppose you could be prepared to cap off the vent hole with the top vent upside-down and fully closed to choke down the fire or cap it off with one of the bricks you’ve been using to raise your stone. 

 

I would plan ahead for a runaway fire... and maybe keep a fire extinguisher handy jik 

 

 

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Sounds like a great way to finish of your Akorn.

 

Absolutely zero reason to go full nuke temp by taking the vent off......but, by all means, have at it.

 

 

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I've always thought the key to getting a screaming hot fire was to maximize the air intake.
It will be interesting to hear how lowering the ash pan works. I'd try that, without removing the top vent, first. Keeping the top vent on will, at least, give you a little control.
 

 

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