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Pizza stone on a Weber charcoal grill [moved from Home Cooking]

ttoommyy Mar 25, 2012 02:43 PM

Does anyone use one? I'd love to hear from anyone who does or has at least tried it. I want to make pizza during the summer but it gets too hot where I live to do it indoors in the oven. Thanks.

  1. m
    mbCrispyBits Mar 25, 2012 03:41 PM

    You can actually put the pizza right on the grill grates! You just need to make sure the grate is VERY well oiled and plenty hot. If you were to use a stone directly on the grill you'd have to let it heat for a long time, which would be a waste of charcoal. Put your rolled/stretched dough directly on the oiled grate for 3 minutes, then flip it over and spread on your toppings while the bottom cooks. Cover the grill and about 5-6 minutes later your cheese will be melted.

    Some folks put the coals around the edges of the grill, effectively using indirect heat to cook the pizza instead of having it directly over the coals. Just remember to oil up the grate really well and you'll have no need to use a stone on the grill.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mbCrispyBits
      ttoommyy Mar 25, 2012 04:01 PM

      Thanks. I've done it directly on the grill grate before and I really don't like the ultra-crispy texture. That is why I am interested in a pizza stone. Wasting some charcoal doesn't bother me if it means I don't have to heat up my house in the dog days of summer. Thanks again for your anwer though mbCrispyBits.

    2. Bada Bing Mar 25, 2012 03:57 PM

      Not effective for a Weber kettle. As mb... notes, it would use a lot of coal to preheat the stone, and once that is done, the bottom crust would be done way before the toppings.

      Grill right on the grate, as mb suggests. Might take a couple of tries to get the hang of it, but it's great.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Bada Bing
        ttoommyy Mar 25, 2012 04:05 PM

        I see that they sell pizza stones for Weber grills, so I guess that some people do it. My pizza in the oven only takes ten minutes in total. Would it really cook quicker on a stone on a Weber?

        1. re: ttoommyy
          flourgirl May 18, 2012 01:59 PM

          Yes, but the OP is talking about trying to avoid heating his house during the summer by using his oven. The pizza may only take 10 minutes, but it takes a long time to get the oven hot enough, and he might want to make more than one pie.

      2. Moose Mar 25, 2012 04:21 PM

        I bought the pizza stone made by Red Sky specifically for the Weber kettle. It's a great stone and it's rated to over 2000 degrees. The one problem making pizzas on the Kettle using this or the KettlePizza metal insert is you're going to need a LOT of fuel.

        Putting pizza on the actual grates isn't a very good option if you want really GOOD pizza, especially as the crust will get very dry.

        I found a better way to make pizzas on the Weber Kettle and made my own LBE(Little Black Egg) I call mine the FrankenWeber Pizza Kettle out of a donor Weber kettle and a propane powered turkey fryer. If I'm using 00 flour, I get the stone up to 750+ degrees and the pizzas cook in under 3 minutes. Total cost for everything including an infrared thermo was just under $150, and is a pretty close approximation of a wood burning pizza oven at a small fraction of the cost. We haven't ordered pizza since I built the pizza kettle, that's for sure. There's some YouTube videos showing these in action, and if you Google FrankenWeber pizza kettle, you'll likely find links in another forum to my exact build and modifications.

         
         
         
        7 Replies
        1. re: Moose
          ttoommyy Mar 25, 2012 05:13 PM

          Looks and sounds great, but way beyond my technical skills Moose. Plus I live in a condo and I grill on our 15th floor terrace; I wouldn't feel safe with a grill reaching 750+ degrees out there.

          1. re: ttoommyy
            Bada Bing Mar 25, 2012 05:18 PM

            I've heard that system does work well. And precisely because it doesn't release the top heat when you insert the pizza. I haven't gone so far myself yet, but one of these days...

            1. re: Bada Bing
              Moose Mar 25, 2012 06:36 PM

              Actually, the opening you see in my lid is merely a vent - I opted not to make it larger as the largest size pizza you can get on the stone using this method is not much bigger than 10 inches. Therefore, I have to lift the lid when I want to rotate the pizza a few times while it's cooking, but I haven't had a problem with it at all.

            2. re: ttoommyy
              Moose Mar 25, 2012 06:33 PM

              One challenge with using a Kettle the way you're describing is getting the top to cook as well as the bottom as the hottest air rises to the very top of the inside of the kettle lid. I've seen some solutions to this by placing a cast iron skillet on the cooking grates, then pulling the stone on top of the skillet. this effectively raises the cooking surface and exposes it to the higher temp heat that rises to the top of the kettle. Another option would be to find a donor lid, and mount an 18 inch pizza pan to the inside which will lower the ceiling of the lid and force the hotter air over the pie. While I still use my red sky grilling stone in my kettle for an entirely different set up than it is intended for, you might look into this as a viable option given your situation. Their site has a complete tutorial on how to use it...hope this helps. The kettle pizza sleeve also seems to get pretty good feedback.

              1. re: Moose
                ttoommyy Mar 25, 2012 06:52 PM

                Good information. Thanks Moose.

                1. re: ttoommyy
                  Moose Mar 25, 2012 07:04 PM

                  For whatever it's worth, if your oven can heat up to 550 degrees, and can fit a 15-16 pizza stone, you can make incredible pizza in the oven. I bought a 16 inch round 1 inch thick granite stone from a guy on CL, and we've also been really happy with the outcome. It takes about 45 minutes for the stone to reach a surface temp of 500 or so, then we're good to go. I use the kettle primarily for Neapolitan style pies with 00 flour that can withstand the high heat the kettle can generate.

            3. re: Moose
              breadchick Mar 26, 2012 05:09 PM

              Moose, that pizza looks divine. And, I kinda hafta say that your grill looks a bit like a Santa grill. (But definitely cool.)

            4. f
              freia Mar 25, 2012 07:09 PM

              OK I've edited this because I responded hours ago but didn't submit (guests! dinner!) and when I did and refreshed, I realized that my point was really a moot point as it had been discussed above.
              All I have to add is pizza on the bbq rocks! :)

              1. t
                thimes Mar 25, 2012 08:03 PM

                I have come up with a system that makes me happy.

                My weber still has these two little half moon shaped briquette holders that I use for this. I put some charcoal under the stone but most of my charcoal goes in these holders. I preheat my grill and stone together and when I'm ready to cook, I move the coals to the side of the stone underneath and then put the baskets up-top on the same level as the stone.

                It cuts down some of the stone space but I find that if I keep all of the charcoal under the stone, the bottom of the crust burns before the top is where I like it. If i move most of the heat up to the stone level (once the stone is heated) it seems to even this out.

                I am sure I loose a lot of heat when I take the top off. But I find that with the coals on the same level as the stone - that it all works out. The trial and error came from figuring out how long to let it cook before taking the top off again. You can't keep peeking. I get about 5-7 pizzas done before I notice I really need to extend the time under the cover.

                There is a product that is made to fit the weber grill and turn it into a pizza oven. I don't know anyone who has used it but looks similar to the frankenweber pictures posted above.

                7 Replies
                1. re: thimes
                  Bada Bing Mar 26, 2012 04:33 AM

                  On your last point, I think you mean this product for the Weber grill:

                  http://2stonepizzagrill.com/

                  Looks promising.

                  1. re: Bada Bing
                    t
                    thimes Mar 26, 2012 04:53 AM

                    I hadn't seen that before, looks interesting.

                    Actually I was meaning this

                    http://www.kettlepizza.com/

                    1. re: thimes
                      ecwashere7 Mar 27, 2012 10:58 AM

                      That looks great. Except that a "conversion kit" costs more than the grill itself. Wow

                  2. re: thimes
                    ttoommyy Mar 26, 2012 06:49 AM

                    Thanks thimes. Your method is just about what I was thinking. Glad I seem to be on the right track.

                    1. re: thimes
                      Bada Bing Mar 26, 2012 07:12 AM

                      That is a very intriguing and inventive method, by the way. If it can blast enough heat up to the dome and back down, it should work.

                      1. re: Bada Bing
                        breadchick Mar 26, 2012 05:06 PM

                        Here's my thoughts on this: the issue seems to be too much heat on the bottom and not enough on top to melt the cheese etc. Well, I thought about how many times I put cheese on my burgers and put the kettle lid on for a couple minutes and the cheese is melted just right.

                        What if there was some thinner intermediate surface between the coals and the dough - such as a round pizza pan (heavy duty type - no warping.) If there were coals ready to go, super hot, and the dough placed on the pizza pan (oil it first, or use parchment) the dough would bake and rise and the toppings would get hot and melt the cheese once the lid was stuck back on for about 7 minutes or so?

                        I may try this with my Weber, as I actually have dough resting in the fridge from Saturday night pizza blitz. I typically use parchment smeared well with olive oil, so there won't be a sticking issue if I followed that same step.

                        I wouldn't be heating my stone (which wouldn't fit anyway since mine is extra large and rectangle) so I wouldn't be using a lot of coals.

                        The other issue is to perhaps use lump charcoal and not brickettes - which may have a longer burn time?

                        Finally, I actually like a crispy burnty crust, so I may flip the dough on the grates first, then plop it on the pizza pan and continue to load the toppings and not need to bother with the parchment at all.

                        Just some ideas, and I'm getting curious now to see what will happen.

                        1. re: breadchick
                          b
                          bagofwater Mar 27, 2012 11:11 AM

                          @breadchick- Regarding lump vs. briquettes, you have it backwards. The latter brings you the greater burn time, by a pretty large margin.

                    2. l
                      lutherben Mar 26, 2012 05:29 PM

                      Yes, very easy. You will need a peel to get the pizza on and off of the stone.

                       
                       
                       
                      2 Replies
                      1. re: lutherben
                        breadchick Mar 26, 2012 05:41 PM

                        I need to start inviting myself over when I see these photos....

                        1. re: lutherben
                          ttoommyy Mar 27, 2012 06:12 AM

                          lutherben: since you have obviously done this with success and say it is "very easy" can you comment on the posts above that say using a pizza stone on a Weber wastes charcoal and burns the crust before the toppings are set? Thanks.

                        2. b
                          bagofwater Mar 27, 2012 11:10 AM

                          You can use a pizza stone in a Weber kettle pretty effectively. Many people raise the level of the stone for a more even bake. I have the Kettle Pizza insert and a Red Sky stone, which works great (pics attached), though I do use a lot of fuel. So the short answer is, yes, it can be done. I'd recommend checking out some of the discussions on the Virtual Weber Bulletin Board: http://tvwbb.com

                           
                           
                          1 Reply
                          1. re: bagofwater
                            ttoommyy Mar 27, 2012 11:56 AM

                            Thanks. Will do.

                          2. monkeyrotica May 18, 2012 07:01 AM

                            I've used stones on the Weber kettle, WSM, and Kamado. You burn through a ton of fuel to get the right temp. Having two or three charcoal chimneys helps. The Kamado does the best job, but I end up using a combination of a Lodge cast iron pizza pan on the WSM using an elevated rack to get it as close to the dome as possible. I've found that the iron gives a good char to the crust and putting it close to the dome forces a lot of heat down onto the pie. You can also get a good char just by pulling the stone out and cooking directly over the coals before serving. Agree with bagofwater that VWBB is an excellent source for grilled pizza techniques.

                            1. l
                              LWales Jul 8, 2012 11:20 AM

                              A little late to the topic, but I will chime in as I have been cooking pizzas this way for several years now during the summer. I use my 22" Weber and fill a chimney with briquets, light them off and when they are ready, you spread ALL the briquets along the extreme outside of the bottom grate and put only two or three briquets in the middle of the grate. I am using a large Pampered Chef 15" diameter stone. So the heat has to come up around the edges and the stone isn't taking the brunt of the heat.

                              I cheat and use premade crusts though. When I am ready to cook I will put down the stone on the grate and sprinkle some corn meal, then place the pizza. All the vents are fully open and this method allows me to leave the top on and watch through the top vent--when the cheese is melted, the crust has just the right amount of 'crisp' to it. It only takes about 8-10 minutes. I usually cook two pizzas, and I will give the second one a new layer of corn meal and the same process.

                              I've been cooking them like this for years, and my well-seasoned pizza stone shows it!

                              Lance

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: LWales
                                c
                                Chi_Guy Jul 8, 2012 11:47 AM

                                How long do you pre-heat the stone before putting the pizza on it? It normally takes 45-60 mins to do it in my oven but I wonder if you raised the lower grate so the briquettes are closer to the stone, would it speed up the pre-heat time?

                                1. re: Chi_Guy
                                  l
                                  LWales Jul 8, 2012 02:02 PM

                                  I won't preheat the stone very long--maybe 4 minutes at most. Now remember, I am using premade crusts like Mama Mia or Boboli and just adding toppings. But just putting down the stone, giving it a dusting of corn meal and then throwing the pizza down has worked for me. Here is a picture of the finished product.

                                   
                                  1. re: LWales
                                    monkeyrotica Jul 9, 2012 03:51 AM

                                    One technique I've found that improves a Weber pizza is a grill extender. By elevating the stone closer to the lid, the heat hits the lid and slams down onto the top of the crust. This gives the cheese a nice browning effect.

                                    http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/bak...

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