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Pizza Will Never Be the Same: My Weber Kettle Pizza Oven [moved from Home Cooking]

Moose Oct 29, 2010 03:56 PM

After discovering a how to guide on building a propane fired pizza oven from a Weber Kettle, I couldn't resist and decided to do it myself. The main thing that attracted me to this was the fantastically high temps you can get in these, which many of you know takes pizza crust to a whole new level. I was not disappointed in the least. At stone temps of 675, my pizzas are cooking in 3.5 minutes and getting beautifully browned crispy crust that just isn't possible in an oven, even using a stone.

Here's what I did:

I purchased a beat up donor kettle from Craigslist, for $20, and cut a ten inch hole in the bottom with a jigsaw, then placed the kettle on top of a propane powered turkey fryer burner. Then, I cut a 10 inch x 2inch vent in the front cover of the kettle to create a pathway for the hot air to flow over the pizza as it cooks. I then mounted an 18 inch pizza pan to the inside of the lid, which effectively lowered the ceiling of the oven.

Given the kind of stone I chose to use, I created a heat diffuser out of a 10 inch stainless steel bowl, which I then placed directly above the burner.

Here's the link that started it all for me, as well as some pics of my build and an example of finished pies:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/...

 
 
 
 
 
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  1. amokscience Oct 29, 2010 07:59 PM

    Congratualtions! I love that thread, particularly how it evolves into the current product. May have to bite the bullet and get the tools to make the mods myself.

    1 Reply
    1. re: amokscience
      Moose Oct 29, 2010 08:35 PM

      It would be well worth it, trust me. If you don't want to spring for the tools, you could always ask a friend or hire a handyman. The cutting takes about 10 mins max.

    2. tommy Oct 30, 2010 07:27 AM

      Your pizza looks great. If you could get the cook time down to below 2 minutes I'd *really* be impressed.

      However, I will say that is possible to cook pizza in 3.5 minutes in a standard oven, without any hacks, but rather by making sure the stone is preheated very well (mine gets up over 650 degrees) and by managing the heat and heating element.

      What's your dough recipe?

      http://www.tommyeats.com/.a/6a00d8345173e969e201348894bcd4970c-800wi
      http://www.tommyeats.com/.a/6a00d8345...

      11 Replies
      1. re: tommy
        b
        Bryan Pepperseed Oct 30, 2010 08:36 AM

        Not to take away from the OP's version that I personally would consider if I had a spare Weber, here are a couple of other variations that I've been considering:

        1 - A little less hacking to the lid, but still apparently takes about 3 minutes:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYRnKe6gJxs

        2 - More hacking/materials, but if it really does get close to the "advertised" 1000 degrees I imagine it might make it in under 2 minutes.

        http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2010...

        1. re: Bryan Pepperseed
          Moose Oct 30, 2010 10:21 AM

          Bryan,

          The YT video you posted of Villa Roma is an early build; since then he opened up the front of his kettle lid with the vent. You need the vent as it helps force hot air over the pies.

          As to the pizza hacker, well, he says he will sell you the plans, but I've written him three times and no response. Ultimately I decided to go with propane vs. wood due to much greater temp control and ease of use...

          I am using lower temps right now because of the flour I'm using. Once I get my hands on some 00/Caputo flour, I'm cranking this thing up to 800 degree stone temp.

          1. re: Moose
            b
            Bryan Pepperseed Oct 31, 2010 06:37 AM

            Moose,
            Thanks for letting me know about Villa's engineering revision and Krupman's rather odd entrepreneurial methods. Looks like whenever I get a spare Weber I'll just have to take the extra few minutes to cut the lid too.

          2. re: Bryan Pepperseed
            amokscience Oct 30, 2010 11:15 AM

            I'm doing a grill and broil method right now. I start the pizzas on a stone on a charcoal grill and then finish them under a broiler. I haven't been able to measure the temps but the bottoms puff and finish somewhere between 30-75 seconds (too hot to just right). I learned not to use parchment paper to transfer, it completely blacken in seconds. The tops will hardly being to melt so then it's under the broiler for a few minutes. I had one of those moments of pure bliss the first time I made pizza this way. Kettle Oven is my next step!

          3. re: tommy
            Moose Oct 30, 2010 10:57 AM

            Those are some nice looking pies, Tommy. I'm happy to share my recipe if you share yours. :)

            1. re: Moose
              tommy Oct 30, 2010 11:27 AM

              sour dough starter from sourdo.com, and the dough is about 60% hydration. cold rise for at least a day and sometimes up to 4. just water, salt, starter, and King Arthur bread flour. I'm obviously shooting for a somewhat Neapolitan stye, but until I get a wood-burning oven (or a rig like yours) I'll settle for this style.

              1. re: tommy
                Moose Oct 30, 2010 11:55 AM

                This is what I've been using:

                AP Flour (100%): 399.7 g | 14.1 oz | 0.88 lbs
                Water (68%): 271.8 g | 9.59 oz | 0.6 lbs
                IDY (.85%): 3.4 g | 0.12 oz | 0.01 lbs | 1.13 tsp | 0.38 tbsp
                Salt (2%): 7.99 g | 0.28 oz | 0.02 lbs | 1.67 tsp | 0.56 tbsp
                Oil (2%): 7.99 g | 0.28 oz | 0.02 lbs | 1.78 tsp | 0.59 tbsp
                Total (172.85%): 690.88 g | 24.37 oz | 1.52 lbs | TF = 0.0918
                Single Ball: 345.44 g | 12.18 oz | 0.76 lbs

                1. re: Moose
                  tommy Oct 30, 2010 12:16 PM

                  That's pretty wet! Nicely done.

                  Flour: 646.64 g | 22.81 oz | 1.43 lbs
                  Water: 338.93 g | 11.96 oz | 0.75 lbs
                  Salt: 7.25 g | 0.26 oz | 0.02 lbs | 1.51 tsp | 0.5 tbsp
                  Preferment: 175.2 g | 6.18 oz | 0.39 lbs
                  Total: 1168.02 g | 41.2 oz | 2.58 lbs | TF = N/A

                  10 ounces balls.

                  I suspect you spend some time on pizzamaking.com.

                  1. re: tommy
                    Moose Oct 30, 2010 01:38 PM

                    Yes, I have been on pizzamaking.com. And I suspect you spent some time on Jeff Verasano's website? :)

                    The dough recipe I used was given to me by another pizzamaking forum member who I bumped into on bbq-brethren.com, which is usually where I hang out, mostly. You might find some of my posts interesting - my screen name there is exactly what it is here.

                    I'm planning on making some pies tonight, and some calzones tomorrow.

                    Thanks for the measurements. I will be upgrading to a sourdough starter soon - does it make a huge difference in your opinion?

                    BTW, nice blog you have!

                    1. re: Moose
                      tommy Oct 30, 2010 02:10 PM

                      In my opinion the starter does make a difference. There's more flavor. And it seems like I'm actually doing something cool. :)

                      I'm on bbq-brethern as well, although I read more than post. Smoking meat and making pizza are my two main passions.

                      I've read JV's website hundreds of times. I just wish he would have went back and made it more cohesive than it is. It's a bit scatter-brained to my mind. But I can't be too critical as he did exactly what I'd love to: get out of the rat race and opened a pizza restaurant!

                      Tonight is pizza night here as well: margherita with mozzarella di bufula, homemade sausage/onion, and mushroom/taleggio/fontina/thyme/artichokes and an egg. All of the ingredients used sparingly, of course. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing when making pizza.

                      Good luck with tonight's pies!

                      1. re: tommy
                        Moose Oct 30, 2010 02:59 PM

                        I'll certainly post some pics. I also did a post on the Brethren with details on my kettle build if you want to check it out:

                        http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sho...

                        When I can get my hands on some good truffles, I'm going to try some shavings on a pie!

          4. thew Oct 30, 2010 12:05 PM

            along similar lines i make pizza on my big steel keg (an insulated steel version of the kamado/big green egg style cooker). it's really fantastic

             
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