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Scott Roberts

KJ Joe Junior - Pizza-Porta

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Just saw this on their site! 

KJ Joe Junior - Pizza-Porta

199.99

The Cutest of the Pizza-Porta KJ models. But don’t let it fool you. Easily cooks at 650F and a load of charcoal lasts over 3 hours. You can now make pizza at the beach, or on a tailgate! Make 10” wood-fired pizzas

Door Opening is 11” by 3.75”

Recommended stone size is 12” (Big Green Egg makes a MiniMax 12” stone)

 

My 

opinion is that the stone should come with Pizza Porta for the Price they are asking, but with that said I want one!!

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42 minutes ago, Daz said:

fancy! but if you cook the stone to 650 it'll burn the dough before the top is cooked. keep the stone at 450.

 

Why do you say that? There are plenty of dough recipes that can be cooked with a stone temperature in the 800*-900* range. 

 

I do agree any store bought dough or the average internet recipe is going to burn at 650 *. Pick a different dough recipe and manage the top and Porta vents properly and I'm certain you could successfully cook a reasonably fast pizza at 650* stone temp. 

 

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1 hour ago, ckreef said:

 

Why do you say that? There are plenty of dough recipes that can be cooked with a stone temperature in the 800*-900* range. 

 

I do agree any store bought dough or the average internet recipe is going to burn at 650 *. Pick a different dough recipe and manage the top and Porta vents properly and I'm certain you could successfully cook a reasonably fast pizza at 650* stone temp. 

 

I spent some time experimenting with pizza, both store bought and hand made. I got fascinated with pizza after I tried a local italian pizza truck called "What-it-a-Dough". You can look um up on instagram, they make some bomb pizza. The guy uses a refractory cement pizza oven imported from Italy. It's wood fired and it'll heat up over 1000 degrees. But you cannot leave the pizza on the floor for more than a minute! he'll pick it up w/ a long peeler and lift it closer to the top of the oven where the air is the hottest to cook the top. If he has left it on the stone, it'd been charred. 

So I got some dough from him and start to cook pizza with my Akorn. First of all it's a total PITA to put the soft and super thin dough on top of the stone centered. A couple of times I had to convert it to a calzone coz the dough would stretch and toppings fell onto one side! My stone was over 700 degrees and it'll burn the bottom before the top is brown, and there is no way I can lift the pizza like in a real pizza oven. After messing with it for a while I got tired and decided to try the store bought. To my surprise the frozen pizza selections are abundant and many thin crust choices. Again I heated up my stone to well over 600 degrees and the bottom was done within 5 min and the top is still undercooked. Store bought dough actually stands heat better, the fresh ones got charred quick. 

So now I always cook the pizza at 450 stone temp, takes 10~15 min depends on the brand and topping but it always comes out perfect. I never cooked a pizza in a 15" kamado so maybe the air is searing hot. Porta is a cool concept - I made my own pizza ring for the Akorn so I respect the fancy door he added! But I think majority of us will cook store bought pizza and here are my pizza stories haha.

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1 hour ago, Daz said:

I spent some time experimenting with pizza, both store bought and hand made. I got fascinated with pizza after I tried a local italian pizza truck called "What-it-a-Dough". You can look um up on instagram, they make some bomb pizza. The guy uses a refractory cement pizza oven imported from Italy. It's wood fired and it'll heat up over 1000 degrees. But you cannot leave the pizza on the floor for more than a minute! he'll pick it up w/ a long peeler and lift it closer to the top of the oven where the air is the hottest to cook the top. If he has left it on the stone, it'd been charred. 

So I got some dough from him and start to cook pizza with my Akorn. First of all it's a total PITA to put the soft and super thin dough on top of the stone centered. A couple of times I had to convert it to a calzone coz the dough would stretch and toppings fell onto one side! My stone was over 700 degrees and it'll burn the bottom before the top is brown, and there is no way I can lift the pizza like in a real pizza oven. After messing with it for a while I got tired and decided to try the store bought. To my surprise the frozen pizza selections are abundant and many thin crust choices. Again I heated up my stone to well over 600 degrees and the bottom was done within 5 min and the top is still undercooked. Store bought dough actually stands heat better, the fresh ones got charred quick. 

So now I always cook the pizza at 450 stone temp, takes 10~15 min depends on the brand and topping but it always comes out perfect. I never cooked a pizza in a 15" kamado so maybe the air is searing hot. Porta is a cool concept - I made my own pizza ring for the Akorn so I respect the fancy door he added! But I think majority of us will cook store bought pizza and here are my pizza stories haha.

 

I respect your effort but (and I'm not trying to be ugly) don't equate your failures with everyone else. I've had plenty of failures over the years. I've also had plenty of successes. Most of them (failures and successes) are posted sonewhere here on Kamado Guru. Started with an Akorn then Blackstone Pizza Oven at 900* about 45 seconds. Komodo Kamados and recently a Wood Fired Oven. Launching a super thin pizza is doable straight from the peel it just takes the right dough and a lot of practice. 

 

Yes 450* is much easier but plenty of people on the Guru are cooking pizzas in the 650* + range. 

 

Store bought pizzas are formulated for home Ovens. You'll never get store bought to cook right at 650*. They weren't formulated for that high a temperature. 

 

Don't give up on the idea of hot fast pizzas. Do more research. Try, try again. Success is right around the next knead (pun intended). 

 

 

 

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Agree completely with the keep trying advice. So much of high temp pizza cooking is about balance - if your dome temp isn’t high enough then a ripping hot floor isn’t going to work. The reason 900-1000F Neapolitan ovens work is that they are in perfect balance. A 900* floor with a 600* dome can only have two outcomes - burnt base or raw topping. 

 

From my (fairly limited) experience of Kamado pizza you need to work our what dome temp you can successfully reach and maintain, once you have an idea of this you can try and tune the floor temp to fit. If your dome temp is going to take 4 minutes to cook your top, your floor temp has to work with that. 

 

As far as the dough is concerned, high temp cooks are going to need high hydration dough with little or no browning additives - things like malted flour, sugar and even (to a certain extent) oil are often added to dough recipes to help get browning in domestic ovens. As mentioned above, if you cook those at high temps they’ll char before they cook properly. 

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Just to add some examples from a recent pizza cook I did. This was done indoors using a black iron pan on my rangetop and then under a broiler but it illustrates the importance of balance. 

 

This was a tasty pizza but it was a bit unbalanced - the base heat was a bit too high for the top so I had more charring than I’d like on the base and not quite enough to the top. 

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On 5/17/2019 at 4:45 PM, ckreef said:

 

I respect your effort but (and I'm not trying to be ugly) don't equate your failures with everyone else. I've had plenty of failures over the years. I've also had plenty of successes. Most of them (failures and successes) are posted sonewhere here on Kamado Guru. Started with an Akorn then Blackstone Pizza Oven at 900* about 45 seconds. Komodo Kamados and recently a Wood Fired Oven. Launching a super thin pizza is doable straight from the peel it just takes the right dough and a lot of practice. 

 

Yes 450* is much easier but plenty of people on the Guru are cooking pizzas in the 650* + range. 

 

Store bought pizzas are formulated for home Ovens. You'll never get store bought to cook right at 650*. They weren't formulated for that high a temperature. 

 

Don't give up on the idea of hot fast pizzas. Do more research. Try, try again. Success is right around the next knead (pun intended). 

 

 

 

Appreciate the advice! But I wasn't commenting based on my failures - I made perfect Neapolitan pizza from fresh dough and stone was out of range for my infrared gun. You just have to lift the pizza off the stone and hold it up until the top is brown. Honestly I'm not gonna do that again because at 450 you can cook it to the same results without the hassle. I worked as a cook in a Greek place for 3 years and I baked 20~30 pizzas in a day. Stove was set to 450 and our pan crust Greek pizza was da bomb. The pizza stove got stone slabs that's 6" apart so the toppings got cooked fast. After I picked up my Akorn I probably did a few hundreds pizzas on it. From 350 to 1000+ I did them all while developing my own controller. It has a "Manual Fan Power" feature that was designed to cook pizza. I'd love to see many posts showing off their pizzas cooked at 650+ with freshly made dough in a Kamado, on a regular basis. But it's not happening. So If you ask me, cooking pizza at 932 or even 650+ is somewhat a hype. Not it's not doable, but the effort it takes to get high temp pizza done right each and every time, is a LOT of work. unless you got a career in it you probably wouldn't do it more than a couple of times a year. So my 450 degree option is for the rest of us, who buy store made pizza and turn them into brick oven pizza on a weekly basis. 

I also approach my problems from another angle - blame the device. I'm making a rack to support another pizza stone on the top to cook the toppings faster like a commercial pizza stove. We'll see how that goes. I'm also working on a peeler that splits in the middle So the dough can get released easier. Anyone deal with thin fresh dough would know what I'm talking about.

I made 2 store bought pizza today and they were cooked at different degrees. You can see the result. For thin crust, it doesn't matter if it's store made dough or hand made, if the stone is over 600 degrees, you'll have to lift the dough up from the stone before the top turns brown. yea dough comes many different ways and Neapolitan pizza is the holy grail of the pizza, but you can cook them at lower temp for the same results, just more consistently. But, maybe my double-stoned pizza rack can change that. We'll see :)

pizza-550a.jpg

 

Stone temp 573

 

pizza-550b.jpg

 

pizza-550bb.jpg

 

Grill Temp 543, 3~4 minutes later, the bottom is done, but the top needs more time.

 

pizza-550c.jpg

 

pizza-550d.jpg

 

7 minutes later, the top is done but the bottom is overcooked. I could've used the pizza ring and a peeler to lift it but then it won't show you what a 550 degree stone can do to a dough within 6 or 7 minutes.

pizza-550g.jpg

 

pizza-550e.jpg

 

Now for the 2nd pizza, I did it at 450 for both stone and grill, 10 minutes and it was good both sides. I would've wanted the top to be more browned but then the bottom will be slightly overcooked...this is where a pizza ring will be handy, just lift the pizza off the stone for a minute or two then the top will be perfect.

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pizza-450b.jpg

 

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10 minutes later...done both sides.

 

pizza-450c.jpg

 

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I don’t think many people would agree that a Neapolitan pizza cooked at 900 and a shop bought pizza cooked at 450 get “the same results”!

 

you're totally right that 450 with shop bought pizza is easier... not really sure what the Kamado brings though? It would be even easier to just do this in an oven with a pizza stone wouldn’t it?

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@Daz search around there are a few people on here who do a double stone setup where the pizza is between the two stones. I want to say keeperovdeflame is one of those people but I could be wrong.

 

I totally agree 450* is way easier but a 60 second pizza is more fun :)

 

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9 hours ago, &roid said:

I don’t think many people would agree that a Neapolitan pizza cooked at 900 and a shop bought pizza cooked at 450 get “the same results”!

 

you're totally right that 450 with shop bought pizza is easier... not really sure what the Kamado brings though? It would be even easier to just do this in an oven with a pizza stone wouldn’t it?

no fire no fun! ha...well i thought using an electric oven to heat up a 14" stone is kinda wasteful. with charcoal you can get the stone to 450 in 10 min. one good thing about kamado is you can just shut the vents and the coal can be re-used next time.

Neapolitan pizza can be cooked at 900 or 450, i tried them all and you can't tell the difference. And store bought pizzas have been growing at an amazing rate. Try newman's and california pizza kitchen's, you'll be impressed.

not i don't like fresh dough, but it's a 2 day's job and i gotta go surf!

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On 5/17/2019 at 8:51 PM, Daz said:

I spent some time experimenting with pizza, both store bought and hand made. I got fascinated with pizza after I tried a local italian pizza truck called "What-it-a-Dough". You can look um up on instagram, they make some bomb pizza. The guy uses a refractory cement pizza oven imported from Italy. It's wood fired and it'll heat up over 1000 degrees. But you cannot leave the pizza on the floor for more than a minute! he'll pick it up w/ a long peeler and lift it closer to the top of the oven where the air is the hottest to cook the top. If he has left it on the stone, it'd been charred. 

So I got some dough from him and start to cook pizza with my Akorn. First of all it's a total PITA to put the soft and super thin dough on top of the stone centered. A couple of times I had to convert it to a calzone coz the dough would stretch and toppings fell onto one side! My stone was over 700 degrees and it'll burn the bottom before the top is brown, and there is no way I can lift the pizza like in a real pizza oven. After messing with it for a while I got tired and decided to try the store bought. To my surprise the frozen pizza selections are abundant and many thin crust choices. Again I heated up my stone to well over 600 degrees and the bottom was done within 5 min and the top is still undercooked. Store bought dough actually stands heat better, the fresh ones got charred quick. 

So now I always cook the pizza at 450 stone temp, takes 10~15 min depends on the brand and topping but it always comes out perfect. I never cooked a pizza in a 15" kamado so maybe the air is searing hot. Porta is a cool concept - I made my own pizza ring for the Akorn so I respect the fancy door he added! But I think majority of us will cook store bought pizza and here are my pizza stories haha.

 

Higher in the dome = crispy on top. 

This is what works for me. 

A deflector sitting on top of another deflector.

And yank the parchment paper out, after the first couple of minutes, if I want to cook over 560°, cause you know, flame on goes the parchment,  but usually don’t because why complicate life. 

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2 hours ago, Daz said:

 

Neapolitan pizza can be cooked at 900 or 450, i tried them all and you can't tell the difference.

 

Proper Neapolitan pizza (by definition) has to be cooked in a 900F oven in 60-90 seconds.

 

But that’s a bit by the by... The sort of pizza that cooks well at 450 would be ruined in a 900 oven, just as much as a proper Neapolitan one won’t come out right in a domestic oven. 

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