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>900º reliably?

edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
Hi all,

I have a medium egg.

While I've reached temps of over 900 before, it's spotty and unreliable. The best results I've had were with lump charcoal (not BGE, filled up to nearly the top edge of the fire box. If I do this with BGE char, I have to pile it even higher and it's a huge waste of money. Even then, once I've thrown a few pizzas on there, the temp starts dropping and I'm lucky to keep it over 600.

For those of you who routinely cook at over 800-900, what's the trick? How do you reach that temp and sustain it ?

Thanks in advance
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Comments

  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    Been an egg owner for 14 years, and have never had the need to sustain 800-900* cooks, for ANYthing. Would love a bit more info as to why you think those high temps sustained are needed? We do our pizzas at 550* with tremendous results, and for a sear, we just let the coals get good and lively, and have never been disappointed. Why the need to sustain those high temps for so long?
  • Little Chef wrote:
    Been an egg owner for 14 years, and have never had the need to sustain 800-900* cooks, for ANYthing. Would love a bit more info as to why you think those high temps sustained are needed?

    hi LC, thanks for the reply.

    I'm cooking neapolitan-style pizza, and I'm confident that my temp needs are accurate. If you're interested in trying, I can send you some resources...but I'd rather not derail this question for now. Still looking for an answer :)
  • Rick GRick G Posts: 166
    I have never heard of neapolitan-style pizza so I did a search....wow that is crazy high temps....seems like the same could be acomplished with an increase in time and a decrease in temp...but any way, in answer to your question, I dont have one ;)
  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    I don't need the resources, though thanks for the offer. Do you par-pre-cook your crusts? And trust me, more will chime in tomorrow, so perhaps you will get an answer you like better. But, I can honestly tell you, when we plan for a pizza night, we remove the leftover lump, vacuum the ash, reload with old and new lump (a full load), and light. You can only get so long when burning THAT high. The Egg is tremendous, but it is not a 'magic maker', and needs fuel to burn. Not really sure what you are expecting here.
  • I understand what you are shooting for, and your reasoning was the original reason I bought my first egg. I was (and still am) way off on the type of dough you are using, so I have not had that success yet. However, I have had my eggs in the heat realm that you are talking about on my attempts. My hottest egg is my medium, and I had a 1000+ degree burn on it, but you are not going to hold that temp for very long (30-45 minutes). Since your pizzas are going to cook in 1-2 minutes each, I would recommend getting all of them ready to go, and move quickly so they can all get the results you are looking for. Get an IR thermometer so that you know your pizza stone temp. I think much over 700-800 stone temp and that pie is going to vaporize instantly. I know there are a few people on the forum that cook neapolitan style pizzas (hey, isnt that what the egg is for? ;) ), they will chime in with more success tips than I have. Good luck, and enjoy your egg.

    John - SLC, UT

    Webers, Eggs, Bubba Keg

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Start with a clean egg and a very full load of your favorite lump charcoal. Fire it up in several places to build heat quickly and close the dome with the lid removed. Once the temp exceeds 500-600 degrees, add the lid, wide open. Once you have to start to close the lid to hold the temperature down below 600 degrees, fill with the lump again.

    Once well heated and with a fresh load of lump, the egg will cook reliably at 900-1000 degrees for several pizzas.

    Best of luck,
    Spin
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 6,753
    900°?!! Best I have ever done is about 750°. And even that is difficult. If I fill mine up and open everything wide open, it generally tops out at about 650-700°.

    Would love to try some neapolitan, but just can't get the temps.
    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

    "Avoid at all costs that vile spew you see rotting in oil in screwtop jars. Too lazy to peel fresh? You don't deserve to eat garlic." Bourdain
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,070
    Señor Pantalones,

    Hello and welcome. I just stick the shop vac hose in the exhaust and hold the hose in the lower vent for a bit.

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Some people just can't get their particular Egg to higher temps. Tim M used to post here a lot and he couldn't get his small Egg over 550 and he was an experienced Egger. I get mine over 750 easily. I do my max temp tests in my medium and 900 is fairly easy with most brands of lump. I don't think I've ever had a lump (certainly not more than one or two out of 90 or so brands) that didn't get over 800.
    The Naked Whiz
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,168
    So why did you ask for more information, then tell him you don't want it when he offered to send it?

    To wit: “Would love a bit more info as to why you think those high temps sustained are needed?”

    So when he offers to send a bit more info and you tell him you don't need the resources.

    I tend to agree with S.P. that some pizzas NEED to be cooked at temps higher than 550. Baking works that way. Some doughs need high and fast, some need longer bake times and relatively lower temps.
  • I have been backing down on my temps for pizza for a couple of reasons.
    I have cracked fire boxes and fried gaskets and used an enormous amount of fuel. Plus after a couple trips up to very high temps I don't think any dial thermometer gives an accurate read.
    When doing it my fuel of choice was Dragons Breath. It was able to reach high temps and hold it longer then others.
    My results for the pizza where spotty at high temps. I had stones that where so hot that my crust would go far beyond a nice char, into what the wife called ;) Cajun pizza.
    The only thing that I could count on was a really clean egg when I was done.
    WLL
  • Bobby-QBobby-Q Posts: 1,993
    You shouldn't do it. The thermometer stops at 750 degrees for a reason. The fact that you can obtain those temperatures does not mean that you should.

    Do you red line your car and want to hold it there because you can?

    I would challenge you to obtain the same results with more controllable temperatures, it can be done I promise you.
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,168
    Bobby,

    The egg website states "Withstands temperature extremes from below 0° to 1800°F"

    So half that upper extreme is hardly "redlining" it.

    While I agree that good pizza is certainly attainable at lower temps, certain types of pizza are better at the higher ranges.
  • Bobby-QBobby-Q Posts: 1,993
    I challenge you to find me anything that has to be cooked at those temperatures.

    Speedometers often go to 140 and even higher but you should never drive at those speeds.

    What the product can do is often times different from the normal and safe operating range.
  • Bobby-Q wrote:
    I challenge you to find me anything that has to be cooked at those temperatures.

    Speedometers often go to 140 and even higher but you should never drive at those speeds.

    What the product can do is often times different from the normal and safe operating range.

    This whole thread is about something that needs to be cooked at these temps. It's called Neapolitan pizza. It's how pizza is made in Italy. Many people buy eggs because of this ability. They may not frequent this forum, but pizza forums have members that talk about this ability that all kamado cookers have.

    John - SLC, UT

    Webers, Eggs, Bubba Keg

  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 6,753
    Bingo...

    bianco.jpg

    From Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix.
    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

    "Avoid at all costs that vile spew you see rotting in oil in screwtop jars. Too lazy to peel fresh? You don't deserve to eat garlic." Bourdain
  • Wow, that just looks tasty ...

    John - SLC, UT

    Webers, Eggs, Bubba Keg

  • fishlessman runs his egg at about 1100-1200 when doing his neapolitan pizza. there are no issues except needing to make sure the bands don't loosen too much (they expand)
  • Spin wrote:
    Start with a clean egg and a very full load of your favorite lump charcoal. Fire it up in several places to build heat quickly and close the dome with the lid removed. Once the temp exceeds 500-600 degrees, add the lid, wide open. Once you have to start to close the lid to hold the temperature down below 600 degrees, fill with the lump again.

    Once well heated and with a fresh load of lump, the egg will cook reliably at 900-1000 degrees for several pizzas.

    Best of luck,
    Spin

    Thanks! that's a technique I hadn't heard before -- cool, thanks. So, to clarify, you're saying fire it up and close lid shortly after, instead of the usual lid-open-for-20-minutes routine?
  • Little Steven wrote:
    Señor Pantalones,

    Hello and welcome. I just stick the shop vac hose in the exhaust and hold the hose in the lower vent for a bit.

    Steve

    Thanks, Steve. I'm considering that too. I've heard there are special fans made for the BGE for temp control. Have you had any problems with ash blowing up into the dome?
  • jennjuicer wrote:
    I think your issue could be that you are not getting enough lump lit at the same time. Because you don't have a ton of time at that temp I would suggest getting a weed burner so you can light a lot of the lump and get it going right away. That should help you.

    I thought you may be interested in this for comparison. Sort of like that same idea:


    Yeah, PizzaHacker is legendary here in SF. As far as I can tell he's just doing the standard Jeff Varasano recipe but it really works. And there's something super cool about his technique and DIY approach.

    I'll stop by OSH today and check out a weed burner or MAPP torch...thanks for the tip
  • HungryManHungryMan Posts: 3,470
    Can't get to my pics now. But will send them if you want. I did mine at 700 and it was done in 3 minutes. Don't think I can get mine to 900 and maintain it. But it would probably cook in 1 minute.
  • Ok -- a grouped response here...

    Thanks for all the responses and support. While I am new here and don't intend on putting anyone off in a friendly community, my question was "how," not "should i." So I appreciate everyone who's posted the reasons and the pics of nicely-done napoletanas. Mine are getting there:

    photo_1.jpg.scaled.1000.jpg

    As Fidel said, there's really no reason to argue about the "should i" if you don't understand the technique required :) No, this cannot be done at 550 degrees. There's a guy who's "hacked" the idea by pan-frying the dough and then cooking it right under the element in the stove, but it's not quite there.

    Anyway thanks for all the replies -- I'll hunt down a lot of these resources mentioned, including posts by fishlessman. If anyone has any more ideas and tips, please let me know

    Best,
    Justin

    P.S. I tried coconut husk coal after hearing it was the highest burning temp and supposedly the "greenest" -- total waste of $. what a scam. It took an entire box and didn't even break 800.
  • fishless will chime in with some tips and pics, he's usually away fishing (i think this is the last weekend of his season) over the weekend.

    if he sees this monday, he'll post i'm sure.
  • thebtlsthebtls Posts: 2,300
    I suspect the 1800 is at the coals not the dome!
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  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 6,753
    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

    "Avoid at all costs that vile spew you see rotting in oil in screwtop jars. Too lazy to peel fresh? You don't deserve to eat garlic." Bourdain
  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Close the dome as soon as you start the fire. The egg needs to heat up if you want high cooking temps. The more well heated the ceramics are, the hotter the cook can be.

    Spin
  • ... and close the dome with the lid removed. Once the temp exceeds 500-600 degrees, add the lid, wide open. Once you have to start to close the lid to hold the temperature down below 600 degrees, fill with the lump again.

    Spin- by "lid" do you mean DFMT/Daisy?

    are you doing this all without platesetter and pizza stone in place (because you're adding lump as part of the process)?

    I'm thinking if you get it up to 600 degrees with the platesetter in, when you take it out to add lump you must have some serious flames going.

    My fires all start better leaving the dome open until the firestarters are burned up. the dome heats up pretty quickly after that- but I understand your point about getting the ceramics heated up to keep the heat concentrated inside.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,070
    No, there is not a lot of ash at those temps. I would always clean the egg before a high temp cook for obvious reasons.

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

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