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cerreta 01-07-2010 09:39 PM

Weber Genesis with Pizza Que Stone Project w/PICS
I have been posting into two separate threads, but problems arose. Pizzas began sticking to the stone after converting the grill to Propane. Temps are much hotter now, but I think it is too hot.

I thought it was best to centralize the information into a Project thread.

This is the Grill and the Goals of this Project:

I love the Weber grill. No other like it. I use a Genesis gas grill. I made a discovery that needs more exploration of cooking the perfect Neapolitan pizza.

First, my quest has been to replicate the margherita pizza that so many people covet. I lived in Naples for three years, so memories of this wonder have eluded me for the past ten years after leaving Italy. I have tried many Margherita pizzas in America and found a few goods ones, but most don't even come close to the Original.

I recently discovered this wonderful site and learned about the importance of the dough and Caputo flour. I am brewing my fist dough batch right now. However, in the past few days during this experimental phase, I learned that Vero Amore, a local Italian pizzeria (unable to reproduce the perfect Margherita pizza, does have a wonderful dough). They use Caputo flour too. So, I have bought their dough balls for $3. A bit pricey but these are really really good and close to the real deal.

The Grill:
1. Weber Genesis Gas Grill connected to Natural Gas (NG), piped into house gas.
2. Built in Thermometer range 150-600 deg.
3. Has Wood Chip attachment (using Alder wood chips)

The Stone:
1. Williams and Sonoma Pizza Que
2. Stainless Steel Base with built in thermometer range 200-600 deg, but needle goes to about 700 without a number in this extrapolated position

The Pizza:
1. Margherita pizza with dough ball using Caputo 00 Italian flour

The Goals:
1. Recreate a genuine Neapolitan pizza
2. Crust should be slightly charred on bottom
3. Must add wood chips to get the smokey flavors
4. Pizza should be firm on outer edges and flimsy in the middle (all Naples pizza were like this, and it is an essential component to getting it cooked just right)
5. Temps must be about 700 degrees in the stone and around 600 or higher in the surrounding air.
6. Cook time should be about 2 minutes, no more! This is another critical piece to the perfect pizza.
7. Italian pizza ovens allow frequent entering to turn and move pizzas without losing heat. A Gas grill loses about 100 deg in air temp after opening lid for about 5 seconds.

1. All burners on high. Preheat for 45 minutes. Stone temp reached 700 deg
2. Air Temp reached 450 deg.
3. Pizza cooked for 6 minutes.
4. Pizza was delicious! Bubbly on top, lightly browned on bottom, no charring.
5. Dough was crispy and delicious, just like Naples flavor, but the crust was firm throughout. It did not have a flimsy center as required of the original.

The Bottom Line:
1. Stone temp was good, but air temp too low. It must get over 600 deg
2. Cook time too long. Six minutes is too long.
3. Dough from Vero Amore was awesome. I hope mine comes out as good.

The Breakthrough That Will Have Everyone Rushing Out to Buy a New Grill!!!
1. As mentioned above, this Weber runs on Natural Gas. NG is denser than Propane. Therefore, the burners have large jet holes.
2. I converted the Weber to a Propane tank without changing the burners. Now, the grill will reach higher temperatures as the thinner Propane propels through the larger jet holes in the NG burners. Very Cool!!!

1. All burners on high. Preheat for 45 minutes. Stone temp maxed at 700 deg but you can tell the stone was hotter than before and discolored too.
2. Air Temp reached over 600 deg, about 700 deg, but temp gauge stops at 600.
3. Pizza cooked for 3 minutes. Then I checked it.
4. Bubbly on top, scorched on the bottom, beyond typical charring. Stuck to stone
5. Despite being scorched, the pizza tasted great. Wife thought it was too black on the bottom but she ate it anyways. I liked the flavor, but it is not ideal. The center was crisp and firm, not the desired flimsy center.

The Bottom Line:
1. Stone temp was almost too hot, but air temp was about right at 600 deg for a gas grill.
2. Cook time too long at three minutes. I actually cooked another one at 2.5 minutes and it was still scorched on the bottom, but had that desirable flimsy center. Two minutes with these grill temps should be perfect! I hope.
3. Converting an NG Webber grill to Propane is rewarding!!!

Here are some photos of the first pizza, before the grill was converted to Propane:

Tomatoes and goodies, yum.

Mozzarella di buffala is the best, but pricey.

Margherita Pizze con Pancetta solo meze

cerreta 01-07-2010 09:39 PM

Re: Weber Genesis with Pizza Que Stone Project w/PICS
Weber grill running on Natural Gas maxed out at a temperature of 450 degrees.

Stone temp on NG grill reached over the max of 600 deg. Looks like it pegged out over 700.

Using adler wood chips to add smokey flavor. Smells great too.

This pizza took 6 minutes to cook. It had great flavor, but lacked the droopy center and charr under the pizza. This is why I converted the grill to Proane to get it hotter and get that yummy charr flavor.

cerreta 01-07-2010 09:40 PM

Re: Weber Genesis with Pizza Que Stone Project w/PICS
Pizza number one is done. (The next 5 or so were not as good :( )

So after the conversion, the problem I had are that the stone and grill gets way too hot and the pizzas began sticking to the stone.

I don't have photos yet, but I'm about to cook another pie in the Propane conversion Weber.

cerreta 01-07-2010 10:53 PM

Re: Weber Genesis with Pizza Que Stone Project w/PICS
After converting the Natural Gas (NG) Weber grill to Propane I was able to increase grill air temps as measured on the Weber thermometer from 450max to about 700 deg.

This created a problem with pizza sticking to the stone. I think the problem is related to extreme heat. It should be noted that the gas runs on high during the cooking process. I do not use indirect heat.

Below is a timeline pizza cook where it burnt and stuck to the stone.
Here is what the cold stone looks like. There are burn marks from a few previous cooks where the pizza stuck to the stone

Stone temp maxe out at 700, but I’m sure it is higher, if it is accuarate.

This is the dough I bought from local Italian Pizzeria, Vero Amore. They use Caputo 00 flour and 65% hydration. I am trying to make my own dough balls, which have been sticking to the grill. So, since my dough skills are still developing, I thought I would try this dough, which I know tastes great and is much easier for me to make into a nice pizza. Here it is, round and fairly even. This is a 250g dough ball.

Pie ready to cook

cerreta 01-07-2010 10:54 PM

Re: Weber Genesis with Pizza Que Stone Project w/PICS
Grill temp is a whopping 700 deg. No way a Propane Weber will reach this temp. In fact, the needle will hit the “R” in “Weber” but the grill was so hot that the burner knobs started to discolor and bagan melting. This grill is special because it is an NG grill converted to Propane. Propane is a thinner gas. I did not change the NG burners, s the propane runs through the much larger NG burner holes and results in a super hot flame. Too hot, even for pizza I think. Could use some help on this. Other say it should not burn pizza, but I’m not sure anyone can get their grill this hot.

I had trouble taking quick pics, so the grill temp cooled off much more than when I normally do it. Usually, the grill temp will drop from 700 to 600, but no lower than that. Because I had to shoot photos, more heat escaped and the air temp got lower. Noteworthy, this pizza ws not as burnt as some of the previous ones.
This is 10seconds.

15 seconds, you can see I lost a lot of air hear.

One minute and the pizza underneath is already beginning to burn, but not stuck yet to the stone.

cerreta 01-07-2010 10:54 PM

Re: Weber Genesis with Pizza Que Stone Project w/PICS
1min 5s, grill cooling off as I take the pics.

Exactly 2 minutes and the pizza is done, well over done really. Even when I lived in Naples, most of the Margherita pizzas took about 2 to 3 minutes.

Here you can see the sticking that occurred to the stone. When I slide the metal peel under the pizza I can feel that I am cutting the pizza off the stone.

Dough is golden brown in most areas and a bit burnt in others.

cerreta 01-07-2010 10:55 PM

Re: Weber Genesis with Pizza Que Stone Project w/PICS
The pie

Pieces of pizza with over-charr. It still tastes good like this to me, but my wife does not like it this charred.

I scraped the stuck-on pizza bits into a little pile.

So, would you guys agree that the pizza is in fact sticking to the stone. I am convinced now after using a good dough ball, that the grill is too hot. Even at one minute, the bottom was done and ready to come out, but the top was not ready.

I think this is a result of the direct cooking method. I tried cooking a pizza earlier today at 550 deg and it did much better, but still had sticking issues. I think that was because my crappy dough was too thin in the middle.

I also tried an indirect heat by reaching 700 deg, then turned burners to middle position, when air temp reached 600 deg, I put in the pie. It was still burnt. But my crappy dough was used for this trial too.

Any thoughts or comments would be helpful.


brokencookie 01-08-2010 07:43 AM

Re: Weber Genesis with Pizza Que Stone Project w/PICS
Your problem is that the "floor" temperature is much greater than the oven temp. Take a look at my portable oven build for information about air flow and more even temps. I reach 700 degrees and have not problem getting both top and bottom done nicely.


EADavis 01-08-2010 08:54 AM

Re: Weber Genesis with Pizza Que Stone Project w/PICS
One of the inspirations for my grill conversion was Bruce's (Brokencookie) satellite oven, and his inspiration by TDVT and Villa Roma. It is amazing how people build on other people's experiences on this forum!

One other thought - I get my stones up to 800F (90 second pizzas), and do not have a sticking problem. In my case, I do use a bit of semolina flour as a lubricant on the peel, before putting on the dough. Then after the pizza is cooked, I brush off the little bit of excess semolina left on the stone (otherwise, it will be burnt by the time the next pizza is done).

cerreta 01-08-2010 09:51 PM

Re: Weber Genesis with Pizza Que Stone Project w/PICS
cool, thanks for the tips. I will check out the thread.

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