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Old 09-24-2010, 06:13 AM
Serf
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Belgrade
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Default Cooking pizza in barbicue oven, need advice

Hello there,

I've built barbicue oven which is not really intended to cook pizza but i'm determine to modify it and to improvize the effect of pizza oven as much as possible.

Here's the pic

Cooking pizza in barbicue oven, need advice-img_3723.jpg

now, it's made of light concrete blocks on the outside and i've put fire bricks on the inside on all four sides. The dimensions inside are something like 20 x 20 inches and a little more in the height with a classic chimney on top which goes from the right rear side. So, it's not that big but i still got problems when cooking pizza for obvious reason that the front side is too much open and that i probably don't get enough hot air flow on the inside. The temperature is higher as it is closer to the rear wall, and the base bricks gets quite a hot. The problem is that pizza cooks really quick on the bottom and the upper part just can not handle to cook that quick so i m left with unbalanced temperature. I tried several methods:

1. After i move the burning woods, i put pizza on the floor but the upper part is cooking slower. I noticed that if i lay wood coals around the dough it helps a little but the edges of pizza tend to burn quickly that way.

2. Cooking pizza in barbicue oven, need advice-img_3714.jpg

I tried to place another brick above the fire and heat it, like a pizza stone. But pizza is cooking even slower on the upper part.

3. Cooking pizza in barbicue oven, need advice-img_3727.jpg

I tried to make a "roof" closer to the floor with 2 additional firebricks. I preheat them while the fire is heating the bottom bricks and then place pizza on the bottom. It somewhat better but i still got the bottom of pizza cooked in around minute or two but the upper part is nowhere near of finish at that point.

Whatever suggestion you have please shoot! Thank you!
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Old 09-24-2010, 09:54 AM
Master Builder
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Los Angeles
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Default Re: Cooking pizza in barbicue oven, need advice

Try placing a curved sheet metal deflector over the pie.
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:19 AM
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Default Re: Cooking pizza in barbicue oven, need advice

I'm wondering if you could do a full firebrick shelf , like in picture three, with no gap in back. You could do this with a refractory kiln shelf, refractory tile, or use some heat-stop to glue some firebricks together. Then you'd build your fire in the cavity you've created, and when the soot burns off, brush the fire to the side, removing enough coals to create a space to put your pizza.

Since it's a small space, you might be able to get it up to pizza temps without insulation. You could even rig up some vermiculite concrete on top of your top shelf.

It might be worth a try. You might also try putting less toppings on your pizza. Wood fired pizzas are pretty sparsely topped, because of the blistering hot temperatures they're cooked at.
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Old 09-24-2010, 11:50 AM
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Default Re: Cooking pizza in barbicue oven, need advice

The trick is to get the firebrick above the pizza up to 600 F or more. This will then allow radiant heat to cook the top of the pizza.

It looks like you have tried a lot of variations. One thing you might try is to use the peel to raise the pizza up under and near the overhead fire brick for the final part of the cooking.
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Old 09-25-2010, 02:46 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Glendale, Arizona
Posts: 397
Default Re: Cooking pizza in barbicue oven, need advice

Hello Nikola,

You have an interesting project and challenging problem. Let's look at the basic issues and see if we can modify your bbq so it will cook pizza and similar foods. There are very good suggestions from those who are trying to help.

A very hot fire below the pizza stone burns the dough just like it was in a pan on a stove. The air above the pizza is not hot enough to cook the top. In your example the cooking chamber is too big to radiate heat over the pizza. Although a pizza oven is larger, it radiates stored heat to cook foods on the top and bottom. Your challenge is to find a way to store heat to cook the top of the food instead of using live flames to heat the bottom pizza stone.

You could make a fire brick box to heat with the flames and make a wooden or insulated cover for the front part so it is not open to the atmosphere. When the bricks are hot enough you place the pizza on the stone and cover the front so the heat stays inside. You do not want live flames but maybe hot coals are ok. You will have to move the pizza stone higher above the flames so it doesn't get so hot like it is doing now. If you cook pizza in a gas or electric oven you always close the door to keep heat in. It is ok to open the door a little to check on the cooking. Soon you will learn how long to cook the pizza.

I've done a lot of reading and searching the web for ideas about how to cook pizza. On YouTube there is a fellow who made a box of fire bricks to put inside his residential oven. He heats the bricks on a high setting then puts in the pizza to cook. This was his way of adapting a kitchen oven to his purpose.

Maybe you can get ideas by searching 2stone pizza grill - pizza baking- grill insert- high heat and Turn Your Weber Kettle Grill into a KettlePizza Oven! these are products that cook pizza but they are not conventional wood fired pizza ovens.
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Old 09-25-2010, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: Cooking pizza in barbicue oven, need advice

Hello again,

Here is a link to the site about fire bricks in a home oven.

How To: build the ultimate, cheap home pizza oven - Boing Boing The bricks store heat.

Here is another option that is used in Big Green Egg ceramic grills and other keg type grills. You can cook good pizza in a BGE or Bubba Keg Grill by using a heat deflecter known as a "Plate Setter" or difuser. It is a partial barrier between the heat source and the bottom of the pizza that prevents direct heat from scorching the food. The BGE uses ceramic parts but I made my own "heat shield" from a pizza pan wrapped in foil. it is suspended by a hanger of wire to suspend the difuser midway between the hot charcoal and the pizza. You still use a pizza stone that is pre-heated before cooking. Search on "Big Green Egg" or "Big Steel Keg" for ideas.

Best to you,
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