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Pizza top browning: The follow up!

Hey everyone, I posted a discussion yesterday asking for tips on cooking the top of the pizza before the bottom burned. 

Well, I cooked pizza last night, and again tonight. Some members suggested raising the stone to take advantage of the heat near the dome. However, I couldn't find any firebricks when I went to Lowes, so I proceeded as normal...

Tried san marzano tomatoes and fresh mozz for the first time. Liked the tomatoes, but the mozz was really wet, despite slicing and drying with paper towels for 2 hours:
image

Building the pie on the peel (sauteed mushrooms and onions):
image

Of course the pizza turned out as before, since I didn't change anything...little char on the bottom, undercooked on the top:
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The underside:
image

So it was good... But I had to try something new the next day. Since I couldn't find a way to raise the stone, I decided to try a wetter dough and wiping the stone with a wet rag so maybe the top would finish before the bottom was toast. It worked! Here is tonight's results...
image

I guess the wetter dough and possibly wiping the stone allowed for a slightly longer cook before burning the bottom. I normally use Zippylip's stage 1 dough, but tried stage 2 this time, which is much wetter. This allowed me to bump the cook time from 3.5-4 minutes to 6 minutes, allowing the top to finish cooking before the bottom charred. I didn't get any pics of the bottom this time, but it was a little less charred than even the previous nights.

You all are going to get a kick out of this though...I went to wash my hands inside, and when I looked up, I thought I saw something in my hair...Nope I singed the tips of my hair - Probably from looking in through the top while the pie was cooking. I guess I'll be getting a hair cut tomorrow...
image

Thanks for reading and for all the suggestions yesterday. I will most likely try and find firebricks before the next time I cook pies to try that out as well!
- Proud owner of a Large BGE
- Norman, OK

Comments

  • DMWDMW Posts: 4,139
    Nice job on the pizza! And on the hair, I've done that when searing steaks.
    My Facebook Place where I document my cooking
    Morgantown, PA

    XL BGE, Small BGE, Kenmore Gas Grill, Blackstone Patio/Pizza Oven, Gas Stove, Gas Oven
  • yzziyzzi Posts: 1,529
    Haha, that's great about your hair. Pizza looks great!
    Dunedin, FL
  • CookinbobCookinbob Posts: 1,231
    Fire bricks are not the only way to raise the stone.  I use 3 small  flower pots.  Shown here with a raised grate, but you get the idea
    smokin.jpg
    1200 x 800 - 189K
    XLBGE, Small BGE, Homebrew and Guitars
    Rochester, NY
  • HoovHoov Posts: 237
    True, and your set up looks great. I guess I had thought anything but fire bricks would crack at higher temps for pizza. 
    - Proud owner of a Large BGE
    - Norman, OK
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 5,362
    edited November 2013
    That second pie looks like you nailed it. And I have had that kind of "haricut" before too :)

    Don't which mozz you used but if you have a Costco nearby, look for bufala mozzarella there: looks like this (pic from Google search):
    image

    Its good stuff. Italian, packed in water. That tub with about 4 tennis ball (maybe smaller) sized cheese balls is about $12 i think. Whole Paycheck charges $10 for the same brand but just 1 ball of cheese!

    Its good stuff. Not burrata, but still very good IMO. We like to make caprese salad out of it too. Works well for pizza margherita. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 5,362
    Sorry - image won't upload. Just google "Costco bufala" and the images of a clear tub with a black buffalo will show up.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • HoovHoov Posts: 237
    Thanks for the tip. I'll check that out. I have a Sam's Club nearby, maybe they will have it (No costco). Do you dry it out? I even tried slicing thinner and paper towels again for the second night. You know...I'm starting to think maybe it was the tomatoes making the pie watery...I usually use Hunt's tomato sauce, but wanted to see what all the hype was about on san marzano tomatoes. Agh, too many variables! 
    - Proud owner of a Large BGE
    - Norman, OK
  • HoovHoov Posts: 237
    I just want to add that the pies were very tasty...but the toppings were all sliding off because it was so watery. 
    - Proud owner of a Large BGE
    - Norman, OK
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 5,362
    San marzano tomatoes are tasty. I like the ones that are crushed, come in a glass bottle. I have made no-cook pizza sauce with them before, regular fresh tomatoes on top of the pizza, mozz, and basil. Drizzle of EVOO after the pizza is done. Comes out great.

     I'm not sure if Sam's has that mozzarella, but it can be found Whole Foods - you just pay an arm and a leg for it. Trader Joe's has a variety of mozzarella too - popped in to my local one some time ago and they had 3-4 imported ones. They were all out the day i went, so I didn't get to buy any. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • Is there a difference between fire bricks and pavers? I went to Home Depot this week looking for fire bricks to raise my pizza stone higher and also came up empty...so I bought pavers for 50 cents each...used them with no issues...I guess until I grow a 11th toe...I cooked for about 90 min at temps hitting 700ish...inspected the bricks afterwards and aside from a little darker they don't appear much different then before.
    Making the neighbors jealous in Pleasant Hill, Ia one cook at a time...
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 9,182
    Great pie. I like the frosted tips too, Vanilla Ice. ;)
  • HoovHoov Posts: 237
    Frosted tips, hah! Hmm, I might have to look into the pavers idea.
    - Proud owner of a Large BGE
    - Norman, OK
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 5,362
    Fire bricks are different from pavers. Regular bricks or pavers can spall (shatter/explode/disintegrate) at high temps, but I've used them in kettle grills and now my eggs for years and nothing has ever happened. I wrapped them in a few layers of HD foil in case they did break, but they have been going strong. I can't remember if i ever used them at pizza temps though. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • HoovHoov Posts: 237
    caliking said:
    San marzano tomatoes are tasty. I like the ones that are crushed, come in a glass bottle. I have made no-cook pizza sauce with them before, regular fresh tomatoes on top of the pizza, mozz, and basil. Drizzle of EVOO after the pizza is done. Comes out great.

     I'm not sure if Sam's has that mozzarella, but it can be found Whole Foods - you just pay an arm and a leg for it. Trader Joe's has a variety of mozzarella too - popped in to my local one some time ago and they had 3-4 imported ones. They were all out the day i went, so I didn't get to buy any. 
    I used whole peeled san marzano tomatoes. They crushed to a sauce consistency easily with a potato masher and I didn't cook them. They were really tasty, but now I'm curious about what caused the watery pizza. Could have been the mozz, but I thought I dried it thoroughly.

    We have a whole foods, might have to look there if Sam's doesn't have the bufala mozz. 
    - Proud owner of a Large BGE
    - Norman, OK
  • yzziyzzi Posts: 1,529
    The pavers must be dry or could explode (goes for rocks in fires too). I used thin pavers, wrapped in foil and used in the egg on low a few times to drive out any moisture before using on hi. Worked out ok for me.
    Dunedin, FL
  • In a pinch before I got my fire bricks I used 3 EMPTY beer cans.  They were easy to find.
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 5,362
    edited November 2013
    I wouldn't use beer/soda cans at pizza temps. Unless you do some sort of clean burn - the paint on the cans is not rated for high temps.

    But yeah they are easy to find :)

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
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