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Pizza disaster for newbie...help!

einarseinars Posts: 2
edited November 2011 in Baking

 

I tried baking a frozen pizza using the stone plate atop the plate setter and the results were less than stellar :-(

I stabilized the coals at 425 degrees and put the plate setter legs up on the fire ring. The stone plate was placed on the plate setter and allowed to come up to heat for 15 minutes. 

The instructions called for 18 to 20 minutes.  I took the pizza off after 20 minutes.  The results were so smokey and smokey tasting as to be nearly inedible.  Where do you think I screwed up?

Bob 

Comments

  • LitLit Posts: 2,808
    What kind of lump? Was smoke coming from the top of egg? At that temp pizza shouldn't make smoke unless toppings are burning on the plate setter.
  • I have never cooked a frozen pizza on the egg.  Only homemade pizza's.  I would think maybe the coldness of the pizza "grabbed" more smoke than one starting at room temperature?  Also, how easy was it taking the pizza off the grill with it sitting so low in the egg?  I either use the plate setter legs up, with the stone sitting on the grate, or with the plate setter legs down, with the stone sitting on the feet/sitting on the plate setter.
    Large BGE - Small BGE - Traeger Lil' Tex Elite - Weber 22.5" One-Touch - Weber Smokey Joe
  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    My 2 cents worth..... "smokey" flavor usually means you didn't let the fire burn long enough to burn off the bad stuff. Put your palm in the "smoke" coming out of the top for a few seconds and then smell your skin. That is what the food in absorbing.
    When cooking pizza we let our Egg go at 500 for 45 minutes with P/S and stone in place before we put the first pizza on. It take at least that long for the stone to get close to 500. Also, use spacers between the P/S and the pizza stone to allow air flow. 
    Keep trying - it will be the best pizza you ever had!
    Kent
    Madison MS
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited November 2011
    @troutgeek... smoke doesn't really work that way.  i'm inclined to guess along the line's of bbqmaven's reply.  except that the original post mentioned a decent enough chunk of time to let the 'bad smoke' burn off.

    were wax starters used at all?  if the airflow is interrupted even a little bit, wax starters can go out.  the flame stops, and they simply glow.  if so, the smoke from them is horrible.  one reason i stopped using them.

    in the end, lean over the chimney and take a whiff of the smoke.  if it smells good, it will taste good.

    another thing, if you haven't added any wood for extra smoke, you should have pretty minimal smoke from the charcoal.  that's one of the reasons charcoal is a preferred fuel source for cooking: minimal smoke. 

    if your nothing-but-charcoal fire smells bad, it's usually a full load of lump, and not long enough waiting for the VOCs to blow off
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,258
    I've found pizza is one of the easy foods to impart smoke flavor into it.  If you have sensitive reactions to smoke, you may need to play with different lumps to minimize. 

    Also, it takes me a good 45 to 60 minutes to burn in and preheat before I can put a ZA on the stones.  t
    www.ceramicgrillstore.com
    ACGP, Inc.
  • I do Costco frozen pizzas a LOT, and they turn our GREAT. I think you just didn't let the "bad" smoke clear out. What I normally do is light the Egg, then let it sit there for about 10 minutes, then place the plate setter in, then the little green feet (or some other "spacer" - heck, even rolled up balls of aluminum foil will work) - then the pizza stone. Let ALL that ceramic mass get up to temp - so you're talking probably another 20 minutes or so.

    I usually do them about 400, and I usually put some cornmeal on the stone, then place the pizza right on there. About 15-20 minutes later, I have a PERFECT pizza that tastes like it was done in a high-end wood-fired pizzeria!!

    I have read where some folks use the platesetter as a the pizza stone and just bypass the extra stone altogether, but I prefer my "2 stone" method.

    P.S. I also actually prefer the taste of my "leftover" pizza, as the next day, it seems the pizza takes on even more of a smoky taste, and re-warmed (either in a toaster oven or the microwave), it tastes even better (just my opinion)!!

    HTH,
    Rob
    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • try with the plate setter legs down and the baking stone on top of that. also let the pizza thaw out a little before tossing it on there. I like to let the EGG and stone heat up for 15 mins at a higher temp (500) and then back it down (425-450) when I toss the pizza on.
    Coming to you from the Mothership!
  • AUWAGAUWAG Posts: 72
    I put the legs down and stone on top. Let it preheat for 30 minutes and get the stone warmed up. I only use the electric starter as it seems to be the most efficient and cheapest method for me. I cook homemade and frozen pizzas. I pull my frozen pizzas out about 10-15 minutes before putting on the stone. 20-22 minutes at 400-425 turns out awesome. If you have trouble picking the pizza up or placing it I highly recommend the Pizza Peel. Well worth it if you make a lot of homemade pizzas.
  • Thanks for all of the great suggestions to fix my pizza disaster.  Digesting the comments I think that the "bad" VOCs from the charcoal hadn't burned off sufficiently.  Also, I like the idea of spacers to permit heated airflow around the bottom of the stone plate.  I used was starters as well, perhaps it is time to consider a chimney or electric starting.  (Many years ago my dad was a Weber Kettle guy and, being impatient would use a half coffee can full of lawnmower gas to start the briquets.  Two things...stand back and allow plenty of time for the aroma of Texaco's finest to dissipate. )

    Thanks again for all of the help!

  • gerhardkgerhardk Posts: 781
    I don't think the chimney is that good of an idea with the egg, you might have trouble getting the temperature down if you have too much charcoal burning.

    Gerhard
  • NDGNDG Posts: 875
    For Christmas I got my parents a fully loaded medium BGE, so we had a "pizza night" on the 26th with the full fam . . . amazing!  I learned the hard way with some bad pizzas on my large egg (too smokey so step #2 below is key) but now I can say the simple steps to PIZZA SUCCESS are as follows: 

    1) start full load of charcoal to ~ 450F, platesetter legs down, then ceramic green knobs, then stone on top of knobs (also can separate with grill grate between placesetter and stone).  This will keep some air flow and avoids burning crust if you like it closer to 500F 
    2) let it burn for a solid 45 mins until smoke is clear in color (AKA until you waft hand on top and do not smell smoke) 
    3) roll dough on parchment paper, top your pizza & paint garlic butter on the outer crust
    4) put your 'za on stone WITH parchment paper for first ~3 mins (take scissors and cut paper around dough larger than dough so paper doesnt stick out and burn - see pic)
    4) ~3 mins into the cook, open the egg.  Pull parchment paper off, slide crust direct on stone (optional to throw corn meal on stone before direct crust)
    5) 12-15 mins pull pizza (you can peak from top down to check crust/cheese) and enjoy the finest brick oven pizza in town! 

    - NDG
    three before.jpg
    2560 x 1920 - 2M
    one after.jpg
    800 x 600 - 64K
    Columbus, Ohio
  • For Christmas I got my parents a fully loaded medium BGE, so we had a "pizza night" on the 26th with the full fam . . . amazing!  I learned the hard way with some bad pizzas on my large egg (too smokey so step #2 below is key) but now I can say the simple steps to PIZZA SUCCESS are as follows: 


    1) start full load of charcoal to ~ 450F, platesetter legs down, then ceramic green knobs, then stone on top of knobs (also can separate with grill grate between placesetter and stone).  This will keep some air flow and avoids burning crust if you like it closer to 500F 

    2) let it burn for a solid 45 mins until smoke is clear in color (AKA until you waft hand on top and do not smell smoke) 

    3) roll dough on parchment paper, top your pizza & paint garlic butter on the outer crust

    4) put your 'za on stone WITH parchment paper for first ~3 mins (take scissors and cut paper around dough larger than dough so paper doesnt stick out and burn - see pic)

    4) ~3 mins into the cook, open the egg.  Pull parchment paper off, slide crust direct on stone (optional to throw corn meal on stone before direct crust)

    5) 12-15 mins pull pizza (you can peak from top down to check crust/cheese) and enjoy the finest brick oven pizza in town! 



    - NDG


    That setup works. I cook a little higher but usually do thin crusts. You can pull the parchment after about 30 seconds too

     

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • New users should use their plate setters with the feet pointing up.  They usually burn up their gaskets when using the plate setter with the feet down.  After gaining more experience you can flip the plate setter over and get your pizza higher into the dome.  It's best in the beginning to avoid the trouble and work on perfecting your technique.  There is no short cut to experience.
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 6,513
    I use the same method as NDG, but like Little Steven tend to cook mine at a higher temp. Always worked for me.

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings

     

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