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Ideal space between heat deflector and pizza stone?


fafrd
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4 minutes ago, fafrd said:

Going to sand off the dark spots or flip the stone to see if that reduces the charring...

Great job on being thorough and detail.. I would highly recommend not sanding or worrying about the charring. Let me post a few additional notes in the next reply.

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22 minutes ago, andiamhappy said:

One additional note: consider reducing the number items you throw into the Kamado setup. An absolute waste of thermal energy.

 

I'd like to think that it is because folks choose to ignore the science behind it or learning others' bad habits.

 

If that's meant for me (and my placesetter+heat deflector stack), I don't see the extra thermal mass as wasting energy and think it shoukd actually help with temperature stability and recovery.  Yes, it takes more energy to bring the additional mass up to temp, but once there, you will maintain temps better and recover temps more quckly with the added mass (energy consumption will be roughly equivalent).

 

But that was not my primary reason for stacking placesetter below the heat deflector - the primary reason was to get 5/8" higher into the dome...

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I see you are passionate and will soon start making pizzas that everyone will crave.

 

That right.. a good thick pizza stone should easily be able to withstand thermal shock, the thin ones don't, will crack. Kiln shelves are made to withstand 1500F variations. So, 200F is easy. I have cracked a few cheap and home-made ones myself, so speaking from experience.

 

Very interesting thought on Ice cube, never tried. Please do post your observations, if and when you do.

 

CAUTION: you are right, please do be careful of the evaporating steam, will burn your skin on contact!! Very Calientes!!

 

My method: I use a high-heat bbq glove, one that is rated for 900F+ covering the fore arm. I use tongs to pick up, dip and baste the stone with the cloth, working one section at a time evenly reducing the temp.

 

You are right about crust-release. I used to peak initially, but now I go by the feel on the spatula (stainless steel slotted) and sound of the crust as it lands back on the stone. I am sure you will get it right-away as well. Once in a while, I may decide to slightly shift or rotate the crust, usually at the beginning of a batch.

 

Done-ness: this depends on the melding of cheese with the base sauce. My kids absolutely love the perfect blend of the fats from the tomato and cheese, which creates a tangy-cheesy-acidic taste in mouth. one of them will not eat if the cheese is too caramelized or not melded. Usually I peak through the top vent to spot the bubbling oil in the toppings (blended fats of cheese and tamato).

 

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7 minutes ago, andiamhappy said:
Quote

 

I see you are passionate and will soon start making pizzas that everyone will crave.

 

That right.. a good thick pizza stone should easily be able to withstand thermal shock, the thin ones don't, will crack. Kiln shelves are made to withstand 1500F variations. So, 200F is easy. I have cracked a few cheap and home-made ones myself, so speaking from experience.

 

Very interesting thought on Ice cube, never tried. Please do post your observations, if and when you do.


 

 

 

Now that I understand your technique in more detail (using tongs) I like that better.

 

With ice cubes I'd have two concerns:

-local cooling rather than uniform cooling (probably need at least 3 spots)

-the ice flying off of the stone and into the firebowl

 

If/when I do decide to try a varient using ice cubes, using tongs like you do and wiping the cube over the stone until it has melted away makes more sense.

 

But for now, I'm going to give your below technique a try.

 

7 minutes ago, andiamhappy said:

 

 

Quote

 

CAUTION: you are right, please do be careful of the evaporating steam, will burn your skin on contact!! Very Calientes!!

 

My method: I use a high-heat bbq glove, one that is rated for 900F+ covering the fore arm. I use tongs to pick up, dip and baste the stone with the cloth, working one section at a time evenly reducing the temp.

 

 

If you've got a link on Amazon or wherever to those gloves, I could be interested in a pair.  I've got a pair of silicone gloves that do a good job protecting from direct contact with high temps, but not for long.  I have some long BBQ tongs close to 2 feet long, so I should pretty much be able to keep my hands out of the dome area when doing this.

 

So you are using the 'sign' of the steam stopping as a reference that you have dropped the next section of stone to ~500F, right?  How many 'sections' do you typically divide your stone into when cooling?  Termperatures will equalize as the stone is warming, so I'm guessing it's not necessary to be too careful about cooling each section equally.  As long as you don't skip an entire section...

 

7 minutes ago, andiamhappy said:
Quote

You are right about crust-release. I used to peak initially, but now I go by the feel on the spatula (stainless steel slotted) and sound of the crust as it lands back on the stone. I am sure you will get it right-away as well. Once in a while, I may decide to slightly shift or rotate the crust, usually at the beginning of a batch.

 

Another brilliant technique - thanks for that.  I use a large aluminum peel and can 'feel' when I've already got char.  Lifting the pizza a bit and 'dropping' it back on the stone may be just the ticket to sense how much more time is needed.  With your slotted spatula, are you only lifting and dropping in one spot (the front) or several!?

 

7 minutes ago, andiamhappy said:

Done-ness: this depends on the melding of cheese with the base sauce. My kids absolutely love the perfect blend of the fats from the tomato and cheese, which creates a tangy-cheesy-acidic taste in mouth. one of them will not eat if the cheese is too caramelized or not melded. Usually I peak through the top vent to spot the bubbling oil in the toppings (blended fats of cheese and tamato).

 

 

Yes, I monitor 'doneness' of toppings through the top vent as well.  I can even see the formation of leoparding on the rim of the crust.  My challange has been that if I cook until the top is done, the bottom is often overcharred.  Your 'cooling the stone' idea may be just the breakthrough I've needed!

 

Thanks again for all these pointers.

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54 minutes ago, andiamhappy said:

Great job on being thorough and detail.. I would highly recommend not sanding or worrying about the charring. Let me post a few additional notes in the next reply.

 

Well, I put a great deal more effort into scrubbing off the pizza stone with a green scrubbee and got much more of the black.chat off.  Here is what the stone looks like now:

 

EFDE4D13-4C28-49AF-9FCD-1C331DB65CFF.thumb.jpeg.7b42b12321548fd1c4835af11a42c603.jpeg

 

There are still a couple of small dark spots  that persist despite my best efforts and there is that large long darker area between 1 o’clock and 2 o’clock, but those are distinct enough that if they are causing  excessive charring to occur, I should be able to recogniize the pattern.

 

For reference, here is what the stone looked like after the first time I cleaned it (with much less elbow grease) following our first pizza cook:

 

DDA0A2E5-B07F-4523-A5C7-467FE82E7E29.thumb.jpeg.44229982cfc2e16c823dd6a5affe573c.jpeg

 

(By chance, I believe the two pics may be  of the stone in approximately the same position).

 

Between having cleaned the pizza stone better, using Semolina to ‘lubricate’ the wooden peel rather than ‘00’ flour, and your idea of cooling the pizza stone below dome temperature, I’m hoping this weekend’s pizza cook delivers the breakthrough I’ve been hoping for!

 

Won’t be until Monday, but I’ll report back on how things went...

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haha.. I am sure you will do really well this weekend.

 

You seem much more thorough about cleansing than I. The concept I currently understand is that all food particles turn to dust at 700F, so after each cook, I reverse the stone for the next cook (clean as a slate). A bit of black is actually very good, that's what creates a natural non-stick. I am sure you will read up on that a bit.

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For spatula, I found the Peel too heavy and burdensome, so switched to something like this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0006GSP1Y/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_y.SADbK6CFCH8

 

Going around the crust while releasing using the above helps me feel a little better and when you remove the pizza when done, it gives me a very good indication of the sturdiness of the crust. But that's just me. 

 

Here's are some options that you may want to look at for gloves:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07J69STQT/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_ygTADb7QATH4B

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07F5DVY6C/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_bfTADbX9YA7ZH

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078N7M2HF/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_9iTADb41MKNMJ

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

However the above 4" gap only allows the pizza stone to reach 450F after an hour. Pizza take 8 minutes to cook.

 

This method with a gap of 1" allows the stone to get up to 600F in 45 minutes. Pizza takes 4 minutes to cook with better leopard spots and billowing crust:

20190914_114522.thumb.jpg.4765a526cc9725c8293b97ab0065670b.jpg

 

Using the grill as a support for the deflector also seems to reduce heat transfer hence the accessory rack is a better option.

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I must be a real lazy a$$ or simpleton, or doing something wrong by not sanding down my setup, tossing in ice cubes, etc.

 

I mean, I mix flour, water, salt, and yeast and then do nothing with it for about 24 hours. Then I make a fire and throw my DoJoe onto my KJ and do nothing about any little char on my setup. I'll watch a little TV, listen to some tunes, check my email, have a glass of wine, or whatever, while ignoring the kamado, other than keeping an eye on the temp.

 

Then, I mosie on into the kitchen and lazily steam some broccoli and heat up some sauce. I open up a pizza, throw it on a hastily cut piece of parchment on my wooden peel, add sauce, cheese, broccoli, and basil and haphazardly slide it into the gaping maw of the DoJoe. I keep an eye on it while I sit there like a sloth just eyeballing it every now and then for doneness. A quick spin here and there, if I feel like it. Slip the parchment out from under the pizza whenever. When the pie looks good, out she comes.

 

Good enough for me and my wife. Maybe our bar is set too low.

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2 hours ago, Heuer said:

Not sure what your point is. 

 

Sanding? Ice cubes? You lost me I'm afraid.

 

 

 

I was reacting to some of the prior comments, talking about sanding down the pizza stone, wiping the hot stone with water to cool it down (I guess?), throwing ice cubes onto the stone to cool it down (again a guess), adding thermal mass, too much thermal mass, etc. Seems like all sorts of complications.

 

I prefer to keep things as simple as possible and not seek to reinvent the wheel.

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This was my setup earlier. The ramekins are about 1 1/2" tall. Pizzas came out great cooked at about 600°F/325°C. Haven't got an IR thermometer, so no clue what the stone was. Just put it all in when the starter cubes had burnt out, got it to temp, let it sit for 15 mins. There is another level an inch or 2 higher. May try that next time... 

IMG_20190914_164501.jpg

IMG_20190914_164515.jpg

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18 hours ago, Chris Topher said:

 

I was reacting to some of the prior comments, talking about sanding down the pizza stone, wiping the hot stone with water to cool it down (I guess?), throwing ice cubes onto the stone to cool it down (again a guess), adding thermal mass, too much thermal mass, etc. Seems like all sorts of complications.

 

I prefer to keep things as simple as possible and not seek to reinvent the wheel.

 

hahaha.. the cliche!!

 

Yet you type this on a technology that gets reinvented every second of the day across the world. To each their own!!

 

Like some like to explore, some enjoy the simple life,... some like to experiment, pave the new road or find the pitfall so that others who follow may benefit. Each individual has a taste, role and objective. Solute and respect to all!!!

 

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