Welcome, Guest

Shop Amazon.com and support the WKC | WKC T-Shirts

Author Topic: Experimenting with the Stok Mega Pizza Stone Insert  (Read 7862 times)

addicted-to-smoke

  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 5783
Experimenting with the Stok Mega Pizza Stone Insert
« on: March 10, 2016, 01:54:52 PM »
At Xmas my brother-in-law tells me he picked up a pizza insert "for the Weber, with handles" but forgot to bring it with. So wow, I'm thinking he got me the #8836 Gourmet System insert, since he said he talked it over with my wife first and she confirmed I didn't have it.

Turns out it's Stok's Mega Pizza Stone Insert, http://www.stokgrills.com/accessories/mega_pizza_stone.php

It's yuge, and the included frame replaces your normal cooking grate. I like that idea, even though it means I can't raise the pizza up higher to better cook the toppings. Turns out that didn't matter.

Here are the directions:



OK not really. But apart from the usual safety stuff there are no directions beyond a recommendation to let it heat up for 30 mins (!) prior to the pie going on it. Ain't nobody got time fo dat!

In the time-honored tradition of failed scientist everywhere I elected to introduce as many variables as possible, to negate any possible relevancy here. You're welcome!


Goal: extra heat, and pushed off towards one end ...

Apple wood chunks, with a full chimney of lit charcoal soon added on top:




That was a bad idea. I got heat, and nice big flame but with lots of white smoke:




I picked out most of the wood chunks, redistributed and was soon ready to go albeit with reduced heat. Broke 'er in cooking 3 different frozen (partially thawed actually) pies, two different Tombstones and a smaller diameter gluten free thing. The Mega Pizza Stone Insert was big enough to handle a Tombstone and the smaller gluten-free one at the same time, however each sorta hung off the edge just a bit.

Temps remained low (350) and times remained long (10+ minutes) but it worked. The gluten-free pizza was the first off, and it stuck. Badly.




Here's one of the Tombstones ( jalapeņos added ). It was pretty fantastic actually.



So back to the Stok. It does indeed fit the 22.5" kettle just fine and yes the handles move out of the way to let the lid close. It's quite thick, a good 1/2" or more, and seems to hold up to heat very well. Although I did rotate the thing about halfway through each session that wasn't entirely necessary, even with the heat source off to one side. I could never say that about my smaller pizza stones. Either the thickness absorbed/redistributed the heat more evenly, or its larger diameter allowed the heat to roll under to the other side perhaps.

I think next time I'll try two full chimneys.
It's the iconic symbol for the backyard. It's family/friends, food and fun. What more do you need to feel everything [is] going to be all right. As long as we can still have a BBQ in our backyard, the world seems a bit of a better place. At least for that moment. -reillyranch

kettlecook

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 361
Experimenting with the Stok Mega Pizza Stone Insert
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2016, 06:50:54 PM »
As you probably found out, wood is only going to burn clean and hot if it's flaming, not smoldering like it does in a closed grill. I'd stick with charcoal unless you get a KettlePizza.

As for gluten free pizza, your pic says it all. But the Tombstone pizza DOES look fantastic!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: March 10, 2016, 06:52:38 PM by kettlecook »

addicted-to-smoke

  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 5783
Re: Experimenting with the Stok Mega Pizza Stone Insert
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2016, 05:55:04 AM »
So I was wondering. Wood burns clean in the KettlePizza because of increased airflow from not being so closed down? Still covered, is all.
It's the iconic symbol for the backyard. It's family/friends, food and fun. What more do you need to feel everything [is] going to be all right. As long as we can still have a BBQ in our backyard, the world seems a bit of a better place. At least for that moment. -reillyranch

kettlecook

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 361
Re: Experimenting with the Stok Mega Pizza Stone Insert
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2016, 06:44:48 AM »

...Wood burns clean in the KettlePizza because of increased airflow from not being so closed down?...

Exactly. The airflow difference with the KettlePizza vs covered grill is night and day.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

addicted-to-smoke

  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 5783
Re: Experimenting with the Stok Mega Pizza Stone Insert
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2016, 07:37:29 AM »
Thanks. I just never had thought about it before. No wonder temps get so high there.
It's the iconic symbol for the backyard. It's family/friends, food and fun. What more do you need to feel everything [is] going to be all right. As long as we can still have a BBQ in our backyard, the world seems a bit of a better place. At least for that moment. -reillyranch

kettlecook

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 361
Experimenting with the Stok Mega Pizza Stone Insert
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2016, 07:48:00 AM »
Thanks. I just never had thought about it before. No wonder temps get so high there.

Let me put it like this. I have an 18" diam Okie Joe offset smoker that requires VERY well seasoned hardwood and the firebox door left open most of the time to keep thin blue smoke. I can't even use briquettes for my coal bed. With the PizzaKettle the draft is so much more that I can use regular old Kingsford for the coal bed. (The wood burns down to HOT coals so no more charcoal is needed other than the initial mostly ashed over heaping chimney.) No way would I use mesquite in my smoker but MikeRocksTheRed is using it in the KettlePizza and I just bought some chunks of it as well for quick heat spikes later in a cook. I'm telling you, if you have a kettle you don't mind getting a little crazed, the KettlePizza is a blast...and FAST!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: March 12, 2016, 07:50:41 AM by kettlecook »

addicted-to-smoke

  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 5783
Re: Experimenting with the Stok Mega Pizza Stone Insert
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2016, 08:16:34 AM »
So do you think I could use the KettlePizza with the large thick Stok stone, or should it be something smaller diameter? This really seems to promote even heat.
It's the iconic symbol for the backyard. It's family/friends, food and fun. What more do you need to feel everything [is] going to be all right. As long as we can still have a BBQ in our backyard, the world seems a bit of a better place. At least for that moment. -reillyranch

kettlecook

  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 361
Re: Experimenting with the Stok Mega Pizza Stone Insert
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2016, 09:36:27 AM »

So do you think I could use the KettlePizza with the large thick Stok stone, or should it be something smaller diameter? This really seems to promote even heat.

Unfortunately, ceramic stones just aren't up to high heat pizza cooking temps. You need a cordierite stone...or just use a good pizza pan like the one that comes with the basic kit. I'm actually surprised more folks aren't cooking with a pan, at least for shorter cooks and larger pizzas, and there's no learning curve with the pizza turning. Anyone can turn a pan. You just have to make sure you have some charcoal under it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Swamp Yankee

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 41
Re: Experimenting with the Stok Mega Pizza Stone Insert
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2016, 10:46:02 AM »

So do you think I could use the KettlePizza with the large thick Stok stone, or should it be something smaller diameter? This really seems to promote even heat.

Unfortunately, ceramic stones just aren't up to high heat pizza cooking temps. You need a cordierite stone...or just use a good pizza pan like the one that comes with the basic kit. I'm actually surprised more folks aren't cooking with a pan, at least for shorter cooks and larger pizzas, and there's no learning curve with the pizza turning. Anyone can turn a pan. You just have to make sure you have some charcoal under it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I've had good luck with the Big Green Egg pizza stones - they're nice and beefy. I've never cracked one yet and typically cook pizzas with the thermometer pegged (past 700°F)

Having said that - I do want to get a corderite stone.

addicted-to-smoke

  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 5783
Re: Experimenting with the Stok Mega Pizza Stone Insert -- Round Two
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2016, 03:38:28 PM »
OK, 2nd attempt

I changed the setup and got better results. Moar airflow!

More heat:
1 full regular and 1 full small chimney, all piled into 1/3 of the area (couldn't contain it anymore without a fence of some kind.) I may not do this again, I cautiously looked at the outside and saw it turn a dark cherry red. Yikes.




That's NOT a plum-colored kettle.

This time I moved the stone (till sitting on its metal carrier, remember) as much to the opposite side from the heat as possible. It worked; this created a large enough gap at the back to where flames could lick up above the stone.

Also, for more airflow and reduced heat loss through the top, I closed the top vent and cracked the lid. This also worked. Dome temp never went below 450 for more than 1/2 hour and hit 550 or so for a while. I've never had such consistent high heat before from just charcoal.





Oh, and the gluten free? Yeah it wanted to stick but I got to it first with a spatula this time. No issue, and two were cooked.




Still impressed with this stone's ability to keep both the bottom from burning and also evenly distributing heat. I imagine its larger size also helps direct heat up the kettle sides. If I ever go back to my smaller (14") pizza stones I'll double them up. I bet that also works better than just a single skinny stone would.
It's the iconic symbol for the backyard. It's family/friends, food and fun. What more do you need to feel everything [is] going to be all right. As long as we can still have a BBQ in our backyard, the world seems a bit of a better place. At least for that moment. -reillyranch

MikeRocksTheRed

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 3329
    • The Kettle Cookers (facebook group)
Re: Experimenting with the Stok Mega Pizza Stone Insert
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2016, 06:45:57 AM »
@addicted-to-smoke  -  Looks good.  I used to do frozen pizzas before I got into making my own.  Tombstone was my favorite once I added some extra cheese and maybe a few more toppings.  You're last cook sounds like it worked great.  Try throwing one or two mesquite chunks in on the next one.  Mesquite really adds good flavor to pizza!  You can even throw your chunk on top of you chimney when lighting it to make sure it gets going good.
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!!!!!!

addicted-to-smoke

  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 5783
Re: Experimenting with the Stok Mega Pizza Stone Insert
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2016, 04:19:37 PM »
3rd go with the Stok, more variables this time. Because I'm a glutton for punishment?

-- New grill (inaugural post for my latest 26 ...)
-- moar charcoal due to 26
-- fresh pizza dough from grocery store

The 26 leans towards the front leg, just like my other '90s 26er. I straightened the legs with a broomstick handle but it had no effect. And they still fall out, so I can't carry it anywhere. Looking for more heat to consume the space I used 4 charcoal holders, lining the bottom with unlit ....



... and dumped a chimney of lit on top of them; waited about 15 minutes and we were ready to go with essentially 2 chimney's worth. Here it is with the lid at a jaunty angle, looking for air.




Mostly done.




Done.




'Twas pretty hot. Just before shutdown.














**************
You can see some burnt pepperoni. That happened early on. I rotated the Stoke 180 degrees twice but could have only done it once. This stone continues to impress, also on the 26 and with more heat. I have yet to come close to burning a pizza bottom, something I couldn't always say about my thinner stones, even when elevated.

However, I'm not so sure the 26 benefitted (read: needed) the lid to be offset as with the 22.

When I felt the "exhaust" slot there wasn't much heat coming out, whereas on the ass end I felt much more heat loss. So I don't think the expected airflow was happening in that way? I just closed the lid after a while and it continued to cook just fine.
It's the iconic symbol for the backyard. It's family/friends, food and fun. What more do you need to feel everything [is] going to be all right. As long as we can still have a BBQ in our backyard, the world seems a bit of a better place. At least for that moment. -reillyranch

MikeRocksTheRed

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 3329
    • The Kettle Cookers (facebook group)
Re: Experimenting with the Stok Mega Pizza Stone Insert
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2016, 09:52:43 AM »
@addicted-to-smoke -  Looking good.  My new stone is thicker than my first stone that cracked into 3 peices.  I think you are right bout the thicker stones doing a much better job.  I might have to try some pizzas on my 26er!  Who am I kidding....my KP is a fun tool and will get the call everytime.  In fact its been a few weeks since I made some pizza, so it might be about that time again!

Whats on the plain pizza?   Is that an orange pepper or a slice habanero?  Sliced habanero on pizza is awesome!
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!!!!!!

addicted-to-smoke

  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 5783
Re: Experimenting with the Stok Mega Pizza Stone Insert
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2016, 09:56:40 AM »
No habanero for the kids, those were baby bells.
It's the iconic symbol for the backyard. It's family/friends, food and fun. What more do you need to feel everything [is] going to be all right. As long as we can still have a BBQ in our backyard, the world seems a bit of a better place. At least for that moment. -reillyranch

Travis

  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 6537
Re: Experimenting with the Stok Mega Pizza Stone Insert
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2016, 03:25:00 PM »
Very nice pies