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What happened?

esddesdd Posts: 44
edited October 2012 in EggHead Forum

I am new to the egg, I have tried a few things over the last week and all turned out fairly well. Tonight I picked up a Papa Murphy pizza, fired up the egg, ran the temp up to about 700 then allowed to cool to about 450 then threw the pizza on the stone. It cooked up in about 12 minutes the crust was nice and brown, the cheese on top began to brown slightly. All looked good for the first pizza in the egg. Then disaster struck, the pizza tasted like an old ashtray smells. When I started the fire I dumped in fresh charcoal on top of what was left from sundays wings, gave it a stir and lit with a torch. As the charcoal came up to temp it was smoking heavily, the smoke quit at about 550 deg, let temp go to about 700 for ten minutes then closed the damper and the daisy wheel and let the temp drift to about 450 and put the pizza in. WHAT HAPPENED?????? The taste is horrible!!!!!! I am sure I didn't order old stinky ashtray pizza!!!!!!!

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Comments

  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,851
    Did you have the vents closed during the cook?
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
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  • BigWaderBigWader Posts: 590

    I've had it where the platesetter/stone gets covered in soot/fine black powder from new charcoal/smoke as it get's roaring.  Usually I take an old plain white cloth/towel and wipe the stone right before the pizza goes on - or a metal putty knife and scrape the top of the pizza stone.  Not sure if it is necessary but I don't like the thought of all that junk on the bottom of my pizza.

    Also - did you check your gasket?  It is wool - so when it fries it kind of smells and maybe that could affect your pizza.

     

     

    Large BGE

     

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  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,851
    esdd said:

    Pretty much yes, and there was light smoke.

    I bet that was the culprit.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
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  • esddesdd Posts: 44
    I'm thinking trash wood in the charcoal. The smoke as the charcoal lit and came up to temp smilled strange.
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  • If you want to cook at 450, cook at 450.  Taking it down from 700 makes for soot city.  It would take a good while to get a clean airflow after choking it down that much.
    My actuary says I'm dead.
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  • esddesdd Posts: 44
    If that is so , then why doesn't the same thing occur when cooking a steak where high temp is used to sear the met then the air is shut to finish To the desired temp.
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  • doubledouble Posts: 1,214
    I never shut down and cook sure thing for nasty. I cook alot of papa Murphy's and I stabilize it at about 450 leave the pizza stone in to heat up for about 15 minutes and then put it on. Always turns out good. I am sure the problem was the going that high then choking it as others have mentioned.
    Lynnwood WA
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  • No need to let it roar to 700 and then back down. If you want 450, let it go to 500 wide open and then start clamping down until you achieve a steady state. Otherwise you have a bonfire going and have to choke it off.
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  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 7,145
    No need to let it roar to 700 and then back down. If you want 450, let it go to 500 wide open and then start clamping down until you achieve a steady state. Otherwise you have a bonfire going and have to choke it off.
    +1, in fact if you want 450, I try to start damping it down at 400-425. Just don't do it too much, kinda like skiing powder - no sudden moves!
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
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  • 1) Are you using the platesetter?  If so, is it covered in gunk from your last rib cook? I ended up getting separate platesetter for baking. It stays nice and clean.

    2) Learn to use the bottom vent only for high temp cooks. You'll like it. It keeps things simple.

    3) Try cooking that pizza at 550-600.  That's what I do. Cooks in 6-8 minutes.

    That's just the way it is with pizza cooks on the egg, though. Spend all the time getting the egg to temp and stabilized then spend very little time cooking the pizza.







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  • esddesdd Posts: 44
    After a little post fire I think I found the cause, there is a big chunk of what looks like plastic. This foreign material came in the bag of bge lump given to me with the new egg.
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  • I have never had good luck closing the vent during a cook. Im not sure scientifically what happens but the results are never good. I always stabilize the egg at 400-450 and let the stone preheat. tangent - I recently picked up a lodge pizza pan and it preheats faster and creates a beautiful even crust!

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  • Plastic would do it.
    Mark Annville, PA
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  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 14,935
    Plastic would do it, but also, never completely close either vent with food in it.  If you want to cool it down, close the vents to where you think they should be and wait until the temp stabilizes in the range you're looking for. 

    If you shut all the oxygen off, the fire soon burns all the oxygen in the egg, then dies out and you get a process called pyrolysis, which releases a bunch of foul tasting chemicals including methyl (wood) alcohol.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

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  • esdd said:
    Lodge pizza pan? Cast iron?

    +1 for the Lodge pizza pan.
    My actuary says I'm dead.
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  • esddesdd Posts: 44
    The red ash is what caused the problem. Any ideas? Plastic would not leave red ash. Does the BGE lump have a history Of foreign objects?
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  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 14,935
    You're right.  I've burned enough plastic (don't ask) that I know it's usually black and never red.  The only thing I can think of would leave red ash is something with a high iron content.  But also burns.  Brillo pads?  Looks like the evidence burned up.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

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  • esddesdd Posts: 44

    The one thing that comes to mind is that when I dumped the lump in there was a large piece of what appeared to be a burl, I thought what a waste, burls can be worth a small fortune to wood turners. I can't imagine a burl causing that though. When the fire was first lit I kept looking across my yard to my neighbours I thought he was out smoking one of the horrid cigars he likes.

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  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 14,935
    Maybe there was a piece of fence of something iron growing into the wood that explains the red ash, but a tag or some piece of industrial waste that explains the off-taste. I wouldn't think iron would have that effect gown into a tree.  Coincidence?  Maybe. :)  who knows.  How'd ya identify a burl if it's ashed?  Was it under-burnt?  That would be like burning a chunk of smoke.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr., smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

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  • esddesdd Posts: 44
    You can see the pattern of the grain in the wood. A burl has twisted and intermingled grain, much like looking at a plate of spaghetti.
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  • BotchBotch Posts: 3,277
    Plastic would do it, but also, never completely close either vent with food in it.  If you want to cool it down, close the vents to where you think they should be and wait until the temp stabilizes in the range you're looking for. 

    If you shut all the oxygen off, the fire soon burns all the oxygen in the egg, then dies out and you get a process called pyrolysis, which releases a bunch of foul tasting chemicals including methyl (wood) alcohol.
    This.  While the "combustion" ends when the oxygen is gone, the coals are still HOT and giving off combustible volatiles, while is what you were tasting (don't know about that red thing!).
    I'm surprised you didn't have a huge flashback when you opened the Egg to retrieve the pie!  
    :-O
    _____________________________________________
     
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
     
    Ogden, Utard.  
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