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Author Topic: Pizza Help!  (Read 4204 times)

Jon R.

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 44
Pizza Help!
« on: February 06, 2016, 02:02:01 PM »
Tried grilling pizza last night for the first time with my new Weber Pizza Stone.  A disaster!  I read on the forums that most use corn meal so the pizza doesn't stick.  Well, all we had on hand was corn meal mix which is corn meal with flour.  Burnt the crust like a sum beach.  What wasn't burnt tasted really good with the mesquite wood flavor.  I did put the mix on the pizza stone and on the pizza paddle.

Read a little more on the forum and learned that I should have put the coals around the perimeter of the grill rather than in the middle and right under the stone.  Temps were up to 600 degrees.  Question, will the straight corn meal burn as well?  Should I not put any on the stone itself?

Thanks 

Jon

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1346
Re: Pizza Help!
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2016, 08:34:03 PM »
The coals should go to the back, not directly under the stone.

Put corn meal on the peel when you load the pizza, brush off whatever is left behind between pizzas. Don't put any on the stone itself, just on the peel.

MeatAndPotatos

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 177
Re: Pizza Help!
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2016, 10:58:06 PM »
Tried grilling pizza last night for the first time with my new Weber Pizza Stone.  A disaster!  I read on the forums that most use corn meal so the pizza doesn't stick.  Well, all we had on hand was corn meal mix which is corn meal with flour.  Burnt the crust like a sum beach.  What wasn't burnt tasted really good with the mesquite wood flavor.  I did put the mix on the pizza stone and on the pizza paddle.

Read a little more on the forum and learned that I should have put the coals around the perimeter of the grill rather than in the middle and right under the stone.  Temps were up to 600 degrees.  Question, will the straight corn meal burn as well?  Should I not put any on the stone itself?

Thanks
The corn meal is to keep the pizza from sticking to the peel, not the stone.

Its much like throwing raw chicken on cast iron. stick or not once it cooks up a bit it will loosen... But with insufficient corn meal when you go to launch the pizza of the peel it will deform and stick like a mother...

In my experience... which is MOSTLY oven, as well as some propane turkey fryer burner... The corn meal wont really burn until you take the pizza off of it. When the pizza is on the corn meal it will take enough energy from the corn meal to keep it from burning.

When the bottom of the pizza burns, it is just indicative of the biggest challenge... Heating the top.

IMO two things are important. 1) Don't heat the stone directly from below. It will get too hot, and the air above will not get how enough 2) Direct the hot air flow across the top of the pizza.

Stone temps will depend on your dough/flour/pizza style choices. I like a neapolitan pizza which requires something more like 600-700 temps. Its great if you can use an IR thermometer. If you have harbor freight near you you can almost always find 20% off coupons online, and get one for $20-$25.

I would put the fire on the back side of the kettle, the stone on the front... Leave the vent lid closed and set the lid slightly askew, so that there is a gap in front of the stone. look for a gap large enough for a standing flame. This will allow the fire to burn in the back, and will force the air to exhaust out the front, just over the top of the pizza... Keeping the stream of hot air flowing over the top of the pizza to help even cooking. This is basically what kettle pizza does. This pattern of airflow from beneath and behind the stone over the top is important in my experience.

Jon R.

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 44
Re: Pizza Help!
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2016, 02:36:34 AM »
Great advice, gents.  Thanks.

MikeRocksTheRed

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 3329
    • The Kettle Cookers (facebook group)
Pizza Help!
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2016, 07:57:33 AM »
As @Jon and @MeatAndPotatos have said the main problem was most likely coal placement.  I've found with my KettlePizza I do need a few coals under the stone, but not many.  The main load of coals goes in the back and some around the sides.  You shouldn't need to put anything on the stone to prevent stickage, just on the paddle so your pizza will slide off easily.  I've done 6-7 pizza cooks now and it is still a work in progress.  Did two pizzas Friday night that came out awesome, then another pizza on Saturday that came out a little bit burnt on one side.  I did rotate the pizza like usual on saturday but I think I had a few too many coals under the stone on that cook.

I've been using my coal baskets when doing pizza and it seems to work pretty good.  Place them so that they are touching in the 12 o'clock position, with one going toward 3 and the other going toward 9 o'clock.  Then when I dump the coals in I fill the baskets and then put coals in the place between where the baskets are coming together at 12 o'clock, as well as fill in behind the baskets.

Here is a quick sketch I did.  Baskets and 12pm area between the baskets are holding 2 chimneys worth of coals, with a few coals under the stone.  I think you can get away with no coals under the stone as long as you give your stone time to heat up and rotate it during the heating process.  I also use a ton of wood chunks (mesquite).  I'd say I use 3-4 lbs of mesquite chunks per cook.



« Last Edit: February 08, 2016, 07:59:13 AM by MikeRocksTheRed »
62-68 Avocado BAR-B-Q Kettle, Red ER SS Performer, Green DA SS Performer, Black EE three wheeler, 1 SJS, 1 Homer Simpson SJS,  AT Black 26er, 82 Kettle Gasser Deluxe, "A" code 18.5 MBH, M Code Tuck-n-Carry, P Code Go Anywhere, 2015 RANCH FREAKING KETTLE!!!!!!

BBQFiend

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 89
Re: Pizza Help!
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2016, 11:13:36 AM »
It's not like a friggin need another grill accessory but all these pizza posts are making me want to get one.
Weber 22" Kettle Grill

Jon R.

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 44
Re: Pizza Help!
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2016, 04:49:27 PM »
Thanks, Mike.  Your pizza looks really good.  Yeah BBQFiend, I've got enough accessories but keep wanting to buy a Pizza Kettle!

MrHoss

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 3465
Re: Pizza Help!
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2016, 05:42:44 PM »
You don't need corn meal at all. I used to use it all the time but it will burn on the stone when there is no pizza on top of it. All you really need to do is have a little extra flour on the bottom of your dough round and a little loose on your pizza peel before you transfer the dough to it. Then when you go to slide it off you have the extra flour to help it along. Plus there is no residual crap to burn up on the stone. Use a metal spatula to help in the sliding off of the peel.

Just remember not to overload the dough with toppings. A heavy arse pie will not slide of easy.....corn meal or flour or nothings gonna help you there. Just a sloppy mess.
"Why do you have so many bbq's?"....."I just like lookin' at em' sometimes....and I have enough purses and shoes"

blksabbath

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 739
Re: Pizza Help!
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2016, 04:16:56 AM »
One more fun little trick to prevent sticking/fumbling around.  Use Parchment paper for getting the pie on, spinning, and pulling it off.


Beans and rice!

MacEggs

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 3378
Re: Pizza Help!
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2016, 01:14:54 PM »

I have posted this a number of times.  I use these screens, and they are cheap.  Maybe $2-4 each, depending on size.
I work the PD on a board, then slide it onto a screen (pre-spray the screens).  I do not work the PD on the screen, as it gets into the meshing.
Then put on the toppings.  Easy-peasy.  Turning is easy, removal is easy, especially with an aluminum peel Ummm, it's really easy. 
When the pie is done, it slides off the screen . easy.  YMMV   My stone is a kiln shelf.






Those in the cheaper seats clap your hands,
the rest can rattle your jewelry

Nate

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 998
Re: Pizza Help!
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2016, 06:27:14 PM »
As mentioned, coal and stone placement is key. I'm guessing you don't have a KP. Try setting your stone on some charcoal baskets with the charcoal baskets sitting on the cooking grate. Use a full chimney of lit coal spread around the perimeter and add a few more unlit to that. If you want, throw some small wood chunks on that. Let that heat up with the stone in. Also mentioned, you don't need anything on the stone. I use semolina flour on my peel so I can easily launch the pie. Or use what MacEggs suggests. I still use this method for my deep dish pizzas and the KP for the others. You'll figure out the method that works best for you.

MikeRocksTheRed

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 3329
    • The Kettle Cookers (facebook group)
Re: Pizza Help!
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2016, 08:40:44 AM »
@Troy - and this one
62-68 Avocado BAR-B-Q Kettle, Red ER SS Performer, Green DA SS Performer, Black EE three wheeler, 1 SJS, 1 Homer Simpson SJS,  AT Black 26er, 82 Kettle Gasser Deluxe, "A" code 18.5 MBH, M Code Tuck-n-Carry, P Code Go Anywhere, 2015 RANCH FREAKING KETTLE!!!!!!