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Frustrated Pizza Chef

cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,055
edited March 2012 in EggHead Forum
I made pizza a few weeks ago and nailed it. I used the same setup today...600 degrees dome, plate setter legs down, stone on plate setter with spacers between plate setter and stone. Today the bottom of my pizza was badly burned. What's the deal?
Mark Annville, PA

Comments

  • Well, I guess a few "troubleshooting" questions need to be asked / answered first:

    1.) Is the way you described today exactly the same as a few weeks ago?
    2.) Is the pizza the same (same brand, or if you made your own, same crust, same toppings, etc)
    3.) Did you let your stone sit in the Egg the same amount of time for both instances, thus ensuring that the stone was the same temp as before?

    So let's start w/ those questions first, and go from there ;-)
    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
  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,055
    Yes, Yes, & Yes. One of the doughs was a canned dough from the store. I knew that one would burn at high temps, but that was all I had. The second batch was homemade dough that I made before. It didn't burn as bad, but it was definitely burnt. The only thing I can think of is that my heat got away from me a little bit when I started the egg. Maybe the stone got too hot. I was able to get the dome temp back down, but it took a while.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • Hillbilly-HightechHillbilly-Hightech Posts: 966
    edited March 2012
    hmmmm... have you touched your dome thermometer between the last time & this time (as you know, sometimes just the act of wiping it off, moving it, etc might actually throw it out of calibration if you "twist" the dial by accident).

    In terms of getting your stone "too hot" - well, if everything was the same as before, then the stone should've been the same temp as well. I mean, I've done 6 pizzas before, 1 right after the other, and the crust on Pizza #1 looked the same as the crust on Pizza #6 - so if the dome temp remained the same, there's a finite temperature that the stone will get to & remain the same as well.

    But yes, if you somehow knocked the thermometer outta calibration, then the temp could've gotten away from ya...

    Anyone got any other suggestions?
    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
  • danv23danv23 Posts: 622
    I never had any luck above 425, so that what I do.  You'll never burn another crust.  Another suggestion is to do feet up, grate, stone on grate.  Need to have the air buffer between the diffuser and the stone, which is another way I founf not to burn the crust.  Others will differ, works for me.

    The Dude: Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

    Walter Sobchak: [shouting] Has the whole world gone crazy? Am I the only one around here who gives a **** about the rules? Mark it zero!

    Cumming, GA - XL, L, Small
  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,055
    I'm doing 2 butts this weekend. I'll calibrate the thermometer to see if it is off. I don't think I bumped it, but who knows? Thanks for the tips/thoughts.
    Mark Annville, PA
  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,055
    I use a tip given to me by Little Steven. I use plumbing tees to give me space between the stone and PS
    Mark Annville, PA
  • Cort - well, hopefully there'll be some other suggestions as well.

    Personally, I also do what Dan does - I do all my pizzas around 350-400 max. Never go above 400. I tried the 500+ once... ONCE. Didn't like the results. Since then, found I can get just as good results, and much more consistent, by just keeping the temp down.

    But, that wasn't the point of your original question, so I'm assuming you're wanting to continue to do your pizzas at high temps. And I know there are those who can & do cook their pizzas at high temps & get good results consistently.

    So to be quite frank, aside from my original troubleshooting, I don't know what else it could be.

    Sorry!! :-(
    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
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 6,675
    The only logical difference is stone temp. That or you cooked it a lot longer. Click clack.
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • FlyingTivoFlyingTivo Posts: 352
    Try to use an infrared thermometer to check the pizza stone before putting in you pizza!
    If too hot then wipe down with wet rag to cool it down.

    Felipe
    Men, easier fed than understood!!
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 6,675
    Try to use an infrared thermometer to check the pizza stone before putting in you pizza!
    If too hot then wipe down with wet rag to cool it down.

    Felipe

    Or ruin 200 more pizzas until you figure it out for the same price as an infrared thermometer. Just kidding...kind. Of.
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • Doc_EggertonDoc_Eggerton Posts: 4,965
    I'm doing pizza tomorrow for the first time since I got a Mavrick.  I figured I'd put a sensor on the stone and actually know the stone temp.

    XLBGE X 2, LBGE (gave this one to my daughter), MBGE and lots of toys

  • horsefleshhorseflesh Posts: 204
    You can get an infrared thermometer for $20-30. I have often used mine for checking pizza stone temp in my BGE. 
  • FlyingTivoFlyingTivo Posts: 352
    Infrared from thermoworks for the prize of 2 pizzas!!! :)

    Felipe
    Men, easier fed than understood!!
  • mikey5874mikey5874 Posts: 86
    I have not had the burn problem on the pizza, but I also used the PS legs down, and just about toasted the factory gasket. First few pizzas was around 400, then last one at 600, did not see much difference in the results. All I know is pizza like everything else on BGE is awesome. I usually use the KISS theory (And now  the Maverick) also while cooking anything, it is a lot more fun that way and if anything comes out bad, I just learn from it. 
  • cortguitarmancortguitarman Posts: 2,055
    I figured it out! My sure made the dough. It must be her fault. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :)
    Mark Annville, PA
  • GatoGato Posts: 766
    @Doc_Eggerton
    What temp are you cooking your pizza? Will the Mav be ok at that temp?
    Geaux Tigers!!!
  • Doc_EggertonDoc_Eggerton Posts: 4,965
    Store bought dough, just 400.

    XLBGE X 2, LBGE (gave this one to my daughter), MBGE and lots of toys

  • I'm having the opposite problem. I'm not getting the bottom cooked enough before the crust is cooked. I guess that can only mean I'm not pre-heating the stone enough, right? How long do you preheat your stones for? Once I get the grill to 500 degrees (the temperature I've been cooking it at) I put the plate setter and pizza stone on and let it warm up for 15 min. Not long enough? I've done it both ways but most recently have been doing legs down and pizza stone directly on plate setter without any spacers. 

    It looks like I might be adding an infrared thermometer to my ever-growing gadget box. What temperature should the stone be before your through your pizza on it?
  • CowdogsCowdogs Posts: 488
    edited March 2012
    So we all know ... if the bottom is not getting done, your stone is not hot enough.  Conversely if your stone is too hot, you can burn the bottom.  Other than running you BGE at oven temps (less than 500) you will always have a chance this can happen.

    I go with a really hot egg & stone (650-750).  After a few minutes of cooking, I start checking the bottom of the pizza every few minutes. When it looks perfect, I slide 1 (or 2) pizza screens underneath the pizza.  This lifts the pizza about 1/8" to 1/4" off the stone, and seems to stop or really slow down the bottom cooking long enough for the top to get cooked.
  • How long are your pre-heating your stone, Cowdogs?
  • JoeAJoeA Posts: 22
    My guess would be stone temp too high for thickness of crust.  Thicker crust 400 -450 works best, can take 12 - 15 minutes to cook.   We do pizza every week, legs up stone on grate.  Once temp gets up to 300 platesetter & stone go on.  We do thin crust rolled out to 1/8" thick, once dome hits 750 pizza goes on. usually done in 4 - 5 minutes.

    Good luck!
  • How long does it take you to go from 300 degrees to 750 degrees, JoeA? How long does your stone end up pre-heating for?
  • JoeAJoeA Posts: 22
    Not more than 5 minutes.  let it stabilize for 1 minute @ 750, then first pie goes on.  After 6 pies temp drops off but stone is super hot.

    Works great but burns alot of lump.

  • CowdogsCowdogs Posts: 488
    How long are your pre-heating your stone, Cowdogs?
    I put the stone in, 2 stones stacked with spacers actually, right after I am sure the fire is going good. I would say it takes 20 minutes to get up to temp, and I let it soak another 10 or 15 minutes. I want the stone hot. I prefer if the bottom cooks faster. If the top cooks too fast I can't leave it in longer to finish the bottom. The pizza screens allow me to keep cooking the top if the bottom gets done first.
  • scaryangelscaryangel Posts: 135
    What is a pizza screen and where do you get one.
  • My guess would be stone temp too high for thickness of crust.  Thicker crust 400 -450 works best, can take 12 - 15 minutes to cook.   We do pizza every week, legs up stone on grate.  Once temp gets up to 300 platesetter & stone go on.  We do thin crust rolled out to 1/8" thick, once dome hits 750 pizza goes on. usually done in 4 - 5 minutes.

    Good luck!
    I do the same setup and temps with home made dough (thin crust). They take about 11 minutes for mine and they don't burn at all. I was shocked that the dough recipe called for this amount of time at that temp but they were right. We got the dough recipe from Bon Appetit mag. It's as good as I've found so far. Here it is: 


    Good luck and let us know if you figure it out. I've had decent luck with pizza but I could definitely learn more!


    Keeping it Weird in the ATX
  • CowdogsCowdogs Posts: 488
    What is a pizza screen and where do you get one.
    Amazon. Just search on Pizza Screen. They are cheap. Get 2 of them in the same size as your stone. I slide 1 or 2 under the pizza depending on how dark the bottom looks. I do 1 screen if it is close to done, and 2 screens if it is done.
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