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Hosting a Pizza Party

We’ve finally gotten serious about pizza making and are enjoying some success. We are still learning, but I get this is the best pizza in town comments. I’d like to have a few more cooks and then invite friends over. My older daughter wants a pizza birthday party.  

I’m trying to think through a few logistical issues to batch process things well enough to keep it moving. I want to be able to cook at least 4-6 pizzas in 45 minutes.  

I use a wooden peel for building / putting pizza on the egg and a metal one for getting it off / moving. 

What temperature works best for a party?  I’ve done nuclear hot before as well as 500. I had my fire wide open last weekend for 1.5 hours and it burned way down temp wise. 

What’s the maximum time you can keep dough on your peel before it sticks? I’m wondering if I can build 2 at a time (get another wooden peel). 

Any other hints or links to posts about a bigger party cook would be great. I’ve read a bunch but this forum has so much useful experience. 

Thanks,
QD


Comments

  • SmokeyLopeySmokeyLopey Posts: 434
    We have laid out five pizza doughs on parchment paper and had sauce, toppings and cheeses in bowls so each could build their own pizza. I used the Smokeware combo and cooked two at a time, somewhere around 600°. As all pizzas didn't come off at the same time, we set the oven at its lowest temp to keep pizzas warm. We have done this several times and folks really dig it!
  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,716
    Cook at the temp you normally do.  It usually takes a few attempts to get pizza cooks dialed in.  Don't make a substantial change in cook temp just for the party - go with what works for you.

    This is where parchment paper is your best friend.  You can roll out the dough ahead of time, place on parchment, and leave on the counter.  Dress each pie just before cooking. You could even make them individual size and let each party goer add toppings to their own. You can leave them on parchment and move them around at will.
    Southeast Florida - LBGE
    In cooking, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’  Dare to think for yourself.
     
  • quickdrawquickdraw Posts: 15
    I’m definitely going to give parchment paper a try next cook on one or two pies just to see / understand how to work with it. Having the dough ready will speed up the process. 

    I’ve thought about a rack for the pizza too, but focused on cooking perfection one at a time. 
  • The main issues we have had with multiple pies on a bge are:

    1- the stone takes a few minutes to get back to optimal temp after each pie. Give it 2-3 minutes with the dome closed between removing one and adding the next

    2- does not sound like this is going to be an issue with your cook but this has happened to us more than once. We have some other foodie friends who like to make dough to go along with ours or we have made 2 types of dough ourselves. We realized too late that one dough cooked differently than the other (one liked more heat) and it made for some soggy pies. Keep your dough and your temps consistent and you should be fine. 

    as far as temps burning down, just make sure you fill all the way up to the top of the fire ring. that will give you a few hours at high temps.

    have fun. Kind of jealous I can't be there to see how it goes :)

    Keepin' It Weird in The ATX
  • jdMyersjdMyers Posts: 312
    you can actually make your dough separate it and cling wrap the dough balls.  I freeze mine so I just have to grab it and set it out at room temp.  works great.  You will need more than one peel.  one for loading and one for getting ready.  The parchment paper works well.  Some of the fun is making your own sauce and making memories.  Thinner crust cooks faster for sure.
    Columbus, Ohio
  • If you're worried about temps dropping and running out of lump. Something I've done is thrown the stone in my oven at 500 an hour or so before I wanted to throw the pizza on. That way once the egg itself got ripping hot i only waited 15 minutes or so instead of the usual hour or 45 minutes to ensure the stone was up to the right temp. 
    MED - Manhattan
  • EggNorthEggNorth Posts: 1,344
    I agree on parchment paper, that will eliminate the stress of sticking dough.   Just Leave it on to cook a few minutes until the dough releases it then you can take it off.

    The issue of course is you can only cook 1 pizza at a time, which means some will be eating before others.  Unless you make a generic one first to get everyone going.

    Good luck, let us know how it goes.
    Dave
    Cambridge, Ontario - Canada
    LBGE (2010), Mini Max (2015), LBGE garden pot
  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 3,205
    +1 on the parchment paper.  I usually remove it after a few minutes when rotating the pizza.

    The temperature depends on your recipe (be careful not going too high if there is oil/sugar in the recipe)

    Let the stone reheat between pies (I try to wait at leas 5 minutes).  You can give yourself a buffer by keeping a few pies inside in the oven at keep warm setting.

    Pro-tip: You can finish broiling the cheese and give some char to the crust using a blow torch.

    ____________________
    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • jdMyersjdMyers Posts: 312
    so how did it go wheres the photos
    Columbus, Ohio
  • dmchicagodmchicago Posts: 2,360
    Check your bands.
    Philly - Kansas City - Houston - Cincinnati - Dallas - Houston - Memphis - Austin - Chicago - Austin

    Large BGE.

    "I'm a complete moron when it comes to Egg/Dome assembly!"
    Dennis - Austin,TX
  • alaskanassasinalaskanassasin Posts: 3,202
    Make sure it is parchment paper not freezer or wax paper.
    South of Columbus, Ohio.
  • KiterToddKiterTodd Posts: 2,421
    edited January 14
    I do this with the kids often for family dinners or sleepovers when they have friends over.
    I always cook a test pie first with just sauce and cheese.  Then I call everyone over to start making their pies one at a time.  Each time one comes out I slice it and add it to the "buffet".
    I don't use parchment paper, by choice, but the challenge there is once I put the dough down on the peel they have to make it right away and it can't sit too long.  If the dough sits on the peel too long it will stick (even with flour / corn meal). It's not the end of the world, the pies just don't come off the peel as round as they went on the peel.
    I cook at around 500 and the pies go pretty quick.  By the time I take one pie off, the next one is ready to go on. It seems the stone has a chance to get back up to temp in the time I'm shuffling things around. The last pie is always the best, though... that's when I have everything dialed. :)
    LBGE/Maryland
  • blind99blind99 Posts: 4,690
    just the usual stuff with a big cook like this:
    everything prepped and ready to go
    an assistant who can roll out dough on parchment and help with assembly
    chilled dough is a little easier to work with IMO
    you keep an eye on the egg and temps and cooking, the assistant is in charge of assembly.  you can't do both. if you try, you will wrap the dome thermo and end up cooking pies at nuclear temps that burn.  i speak from experience!
    Chicago, IL - Large and Small BGE - Weber Gasser and Kettle
  • GoooDawgsGoooDawgs Posts: 1,059
    I always use an infrared thermometer to see the stone temp.  I aim for 600 degrees with 00 flour and it gives great "leopard spots" on the bottom crust after 7 minutes.    The dome thermometer fluctuates between 400 - 700, so it's not too reliable to get consistent results.   Good luck! 
    Milton, GA 
    XL BGE & FB300
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