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Achievement Unlocked: Pizza on the Grill: The Vortex Pizza Oven

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  • Thunder77
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 2620
    • Halethorpe, MD
    • Weber 26.75" Kettle with SnS. Broil King Baron 5 burner. Akorn Kamado, and Akorn Jr kamado. Primo Oval Junior. Love grilling steaks, ribs, and chicken. Need to master smoked salmon Favorite cool weather beer: Sam Adams Octoberfest Favorite warm weather beer: Yuengling Traditional Lager All-time favorite drink: Single Malt Scotch

    Achievement Unlocked: Pizza on the Grill: The Vortex Pizza Oven

    I have been wanting to try pizza on the grill for a long time. Yesterday, my daughter announced that she is going to a backyard pizza making contest at her friend's house. Boy did that light a fire under me! About a month ago, I tested my Vortex as the base for a pizza oven. Yesterday I put it to the cook test.

    Firstly, I put the Vortex in wide end up. Fired up 42 briquettes, and dumped them in that baby. Pizza stone on top of an adjustable roasting rack, to get into the dome level. While that was warming up, I started getting the pizzas ready.

    Got the first pizza ready, and then everything goes South. I mean waaaay South!! My dome temp is only 325. Way too low for pizza! Can't find the infrared thermometer. Damn! Why didn't I look for it last night?? I quickly chucked some more coals in the chimney and got them fired up. FINALLY found the IR thermometer. Everything is a go. Or so I thought. The first pizza has been sitting so long, I can't get it off the peel! Aaaaaarggh! I finally got half of it off the peel, but all squished up, and topping was everywhere. I spilled half of my beer, and I was really royally pissed by this time! 😜😜😡😡 Well, I was about ready to quit right there. But I kept on. The next pizza was a work of art by my son. He was very meticulous about getting the toppings just so. I just wanted to get the damn thing on the grill! This time I used parchment paper, (thank you @Breadhead!) and slid that puppy on the pizza stone slick as you please. Checked in 3.5 minutes later; almost done. Pulled it off at 5 minutes. Beautiful!

    The last one was ham and pineapple. My favorite! And I don't care what anyone says, it's STILL pizza with ham and pineapple!! 😎 Upon biting into it, my son said, "You could serve this in a restaurant!" Well I almost fell on the floor. I thought it was good, but not that good! And my son is fairly picky about what he eats. So I will take it!

    Overall conclusion: about a 75% success. I am not 100% pleased with the crust. But I learned some valuable lessons. I will be trying this again.

    P.S. The photo that looks like alien offspring was the first pizza, the total failure. I posted it to show that this was not all smooth sailing.

    Tips/Lessons learned:
    1) Find all of your tools the day before!
    2) Mis en Place is VERY important in pizza making. Have everything ready to go.
    3) Have a plan, but be ready to be flexible.
    4) Don't let your daughter "help" with the sauce unless you demonstrate what you want first!!! 😂😂
    5) Don't push your dough. Let it relax, and tell you when to stretch it.
    6) Parchment paper is your friend.
    7) Have fun! Grilled pizza is the bomb-diggity!! 😎🎉🎉
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Thunder77; July 20th, 2016, 06:49 PM.
  • RonB
    Club Member
    • Apr 2016
    • 11207
    • Near Richmond VA
    • Weber Performer Deluxe
      SNS
      Pizza insert
      Rotisserie
      Smokenator 1000
      Cookshack Smokette Elite
      2 Thermapens
      Chefalarm
      Dot
      lots of probes.
      CyberQ

    #2
    I thought the next to last photo was a chicken... LOL Good writeup and good lookin' pizzas too .

    Comment


    • Thunder77
      Thunder77 commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah, that was the "fail!"
  • martybartram
    Former Member
    • Apr 2016
    • 462
    • Vass, NC

    #3
    Great write up and great pics! I now have a reason to get a vortex

    Comment


    • Thunder77
      Thunder77 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks, Marty! I love my Vortex for chicken. It is a chicken MACHINE! Wings, drumsticks, thighs. And it will also do a killer sear on a steak.

    • Thunder77
      Thunder77 commented
      Editing a comment
      martybartram, I bought the medium vortex for my 22 inch Weber kettle. I think I could probably have gotten the small, for a larger indirect zone. But I still love it!

    • martybartram
      martybartram commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the feedback!
  • Breadhead
    Banned Former Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 1

    #4
    Nice job jgjeske1 ... Everything came out good for your first attempt. Nothing ever goes perfect on your first try but you figured it out. Your next pizza cook with that gear will be much, much easier.👍 Mis en Place is critical on all cooks for me. I'm anal about walking myself through a cook before I even get the ingredients out. Stretching your dough... Once you develop that skill, your dough talks to you.😉 You know just how far to push it.

    Comment

    • Meathead
      BBQ Whisperer, Mythbuster
      • May 2014
      • 1221
      • Chicago area
      • Remember, no rules in the bedroom or kitchen
        Meathead

      #5
      My best kettle pizzas have been done in the opposite fashion, by making a ring of coals around the edge so the bottom won't burn and the heat will rise to the tip and cook the top better. Makes me wondere how the Slow N Sear might work...

      Comment


      • Thunder77
        Thunder77 commented
        Editing a comment
        Mr Meathead, I was thinking along the same lines. On my next cook, I will be placing only maybe a dozen or so coals in the center of the vortex, and then wrapping the rest around the outside.

      • RonB
        RonB commented
        Editing a comment
        I have been fiddling with pizza on the grill for years and the SnS does the best job yet. I think the key is the amount of wood that you put on top of the hot coals. I used a fair amount in my last attempt and got the best pizza to date. Next time I may add a whole tree.
    • Meathead
      BBQ Whisperer, Mythbuster
      • May 2014
      • 1221
      • Chicago area
      • Remember, no rules in the bedroom or kitchen
        Meathead

      #6
      Well by golly, here's the answer https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/fo...izza-attempt-2

      Comment

    • Thunder77
      Founding Member
      • Jul 2014
      • 2620
      • Halethorpe, MD
      • Weber 26.75" Kettle with SnS. Broil King Baron 5 burner. Akorn Kamado, and Akorn Jr kamado. Primo Oval Junior. Love grilling steaks, ribs, and chicken. Need to master smoked salmon Favorite cool weather beer: Sam Adams Octoberfest Favorite warm weather beer: Yuengling Traditional Lager All-time favorite drink: Single Malt Scotch

      #7
      Mr Meathead I have both the SnS and the Vortex. I chose the Vortex because of the more central heat, hoping to avoid the overcooking of the side close to the SnS. Also, the Vortex gives you an awesome indirect zone that can get really HOT! I did notice that the middle of my pizzas were getting done more quickly, and I had a hot spot in the middle of the stone. That's why I am going with your method next time.

      Comment

      • DWCowles
        Founding Member
        • Jul 2014
        • 9760
        • Smiths Grove, Ky
        • Hi, my name is Darrell. I'm an OTR truck driver for over 25 years. During my off time I love doing backyard cooks. I have a 48" Lang Deluxe smoker, Rec-Tec pellet smoker,1 Weber Genesis 330, 1 Weber Performer (blue), 2 Weber kettles (1 black and 1 Copper), 1 26" Weber kettle, a WSM, 8 Maverick Redi Chek thermometers, a PartyQ, 2 SnS, Grill Grates, Cast Iron grates, 1 ThermoPop (orange) and 2 ThermoPens (pink and orange) and planning on adding more cooking accessories. Now I have an Anova sous vide, the Dragon blower and 2 Chef alarms from Thermoworks.

        #8
        And this has been achieved on a Weber kettle NOT a Kamado or a BGE. Imagine that.

        Comment


        • Thunder77
          Thunder77 commented
          Editing a comment
          Well, mine will, until I can afford a BGE or similar... :-). You have to work with the tools you have!

        • DWCowles
          DWCowles commented
          Editing a comment
          I can afford a BGE or a Kamado but I have no desire of owning either

        • Breadhead
          Breadhead commented
          Editing a comment
          DWC... Ain't it great to be an American! You can do whatever you want and no one's going to jerk your chain about it, unless it's illegal.👍
      • surfdog
        Club Member
        • Mar 2016
        • 704
        • Sunny SoCal
        • Cooking gadgets
          Weber Summit Charcoal Grill Center
          Weber Summit Platinum D6
          Blue Rhino Razor
          Dyna-Glo XL Premium Dual Chamber
          Camp Chef Somerset IV along with their Artisan Pizza Oven 90
          Anova WiFi

          Thermometers
          Thermapen Mk4 - ThermaQ High Temp Kit - ThermaQ Meathead Kit - ThermaQ WiFi - ThermoWorks IR-GUN-S - ThermoPop -ThermoWorks ProNeedle - ThermoWorks TimeStick Trio x2 - and a Christopher Kimball timer - NO, I do not work for ThermoWorks...I just like their products.

          Other useful bits...
          KitchenAid 7-qt Pro Line stand mixer
          A Black & Decker food processor that I can't seem to murder
          A couple of immersion blenders, one a "consumer" model & the other a "high end" Italian thing. Yes, the Italian one is a bit better, but only marginally
          Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus 8-qt + accessories like egg-bite & egg holders
          All-Clad pots & pans, along with some cast iron...everything from 7" Skookie pans to 8-qt Dutch ovens
          Weber GBS griddle & pizza stone
          Knives range from Mercer to F. Dick to "You spent how much for one knife? One knife?!" LOL

        #9
        Great write-up and the pizzas look great.
        Eh...except for that one weird chicken shaped alien crash landing thing. LOL

        ​But your tips/lessons also made me think...
        ​
        1) Find all of your tools the day before! ~~ Very important regardless of the cook. Been there done that.
        2) Mis en Place is VERY important in pizza making. Have everything ready to go. ~~ Some would argue it's very important always. (I'd be one of those. LOL)
        3) Have a plan, but be ready to be flexible. ~~ Unquestionably (It's part of the secret to pulling off the magic.)
        4) Don't let your daughter "help" with the sauce unless you demonstrate what you want first!!! 😂😂 ~~ Or anyone for that matter! In fact...unless I'm "teaching" my kids/friends...then it's "I got this. Thanks for wanting to help but just sit back and enjoy." Not that I'm an ogre but sometimes one can't say, "You're not really helping." >:-/
        5) Don't push your dough. Let it relax, and tell you when to stretch it. ~~ Truth. Learned that working in a bakery with an owner that LOVED making his own pizzas.
        6) Parchment paper is your friend. ~~ It's almost magic. Purchase it by the case. LOL EVERY kitchen needs it.
        7) Have fun! Grilled pizza is the bomb-diggity!! 😎🎉🎉 ~~ Yeah buddy!


        Comment

        • morganjim
          Former Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 106
          • East Texas

          #10
          Did the parchment paper go into the "oven"? How high of temps can it stand? I mean, if it were 700 degrees would it still work?

          Comment


          • RonB
            RonB commented
            Editing a comment
            You need to cut the parchment as close to the dough as possible after placing the dough on top of the parchment. At 700* it will definitely burn if exposed.
        • Thunder77
          Founding Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 2620
          • Halethorpe, MD
          • Weber 26.75" Kettle with SnS. Broil King Baron 5 burner. Akorn Kamado, and Akorn Jr kamado. Primo Oval Junior. Love grilling steaks, ribs, and chicken. Need to master smoked salmon Favorite cool weather beer: Sam Adams Octoberfest Favorite warm weather beer: Yuengling Traditional Lager All-time favorite drink: Single Malt Scotch

          #11
          I put the parchment paper in the oven. If you have any overhanging the edge of the stone, it will burn.
          Last edited by Thunder77; September 25th, 2016, 07:33 AM.

          Comment

          • Breadhead
            Banned Former Member
            • Jul 2014
            • 1

            #12
            Originally posted by morganjim View Post
            Did the parchment paper go into the "oven"? How high of temps can it stand? I mean, if it were 700 degrees would it still work?
            Any part of the parchment paper that extends over the edge of your baking stone will burn. It will NOT continue to burn past the edge of the stone.

            I cut my parchment paper so it is a half inch from the edge of my pizza stone... And I can use the same piece of parchment paper many times.👍

            Yes... If the parchment paper is not exposed to DIRECT heat it will not burn... Even at 800° to 900° when baking true Neapolitan dough in a Kamado.

            Comment


            • RonB
              RonB commented
              Editing a comment
              I suggest using King Arthur parchment - the cheap stuff will burn. Been there, done that...
          • Mr. Bones
            Birthday Hat Master
            • Sep 2016
            • 7877
            • Kansas Territory
            • Grills / Smokers
              *********************************************

              Kingsford 24" grill (Free) 'Billy'
              Brinkmann Smoke n Grill
              Oklahoma Joe Highland, gaskets, LavaLock baffle / tuning plate. 'Big Joe'
              Weber 18" Kettle ($30 CL) 'Lil' Feller'
              Weber Smokey Joe ($25 CL) 'Lil' Brother'
              Weber 22.5 Master Touch '93 P Code Blue($85) from fellow WKC member Bmitch 'Elwood'
              Weber 22.5 Bar-B-Q Kettle '69-'70 "Patent Pending" Red ($80) from fellow WKC member dwnthehatch 'Maureen'
              Weber 22.5 OTS DD Code Black ($40 CL) 'DeeDee'
              Weber 22.5 OTS DO Code Black ($15 CL)
              Weber 22.5 OTS E Code Black ($20 CL
              Weber 22.5 OTS EE Code Black ($20 CL

              Weber "C" Code 18.5" WSM '81 ($50 CL) 8-0!!!
              Weber "H" Code 18.5" WSM '86 ($75 CL)
              Weber " " Code 18.5" WSM

              Weber 26.75, $199 NFM clearance !!!
              Weber SJS AH 'Lil' Brother'
              Weber SJS AT 'Lil' Sister'
              Weber SJS DE Code (FREE) 'Lil' Helper'
              Weber SJG M Code 'Lil Traveller'
              Weber SJS AH Code 'Kermit'
              (Lime Green)
              Horizon 20" Classic, w/baffle/tuning plate (FREE)
              Good One Open Range, (FREE), Monthly Prize from AR giveaway!!!!



              Thermometers:
              *********************************************
              Ol' Skool Bi-metal probe pocket thermo, that has checked / served ~ 1,000,000 meals in my possession, easily...
              Maverick ET-732, (Black)
              Thermopops, (Red, Yellow, Green)
              ThermaPen Mk4 (Black), THANKS!!! to jgjeske1
              Blue ThermaPen Mk4
              Orange Thermapen Mk4
              Pink Thermapen Mk4
              ThermoWorks IR-GUN-S
              ThermoWorks Smoke
              ThermoWorks Open Box Smoke
              4 Pro Series cable extensions
              Smoke Gateway

              Accessories:
              *********************************************
              2 Slow 'N Sears, Slow 'N Sear XL, Grill 'N Griddle
              BBQ Vortex, 2 Hovergrills, Top Deck
              Warming shelf
              MyWeigh KD-8000Kitchen Scale​
              Backyard Grill marinade injector
              Acoustic Guitars/Electric Guitars/Basses/1928 National Duolian/Harmonicas/Banjo Washboard, Spoons, kazoos, pocket comb with wax paper, egg shakers ;-)
              Bear Paws
              Meat Rakes
              BBQ Dragon/Chimley of Insanity, Dragon Wing Shelves (x2 ea.)



              Cookware:
              Probably a ton of cast iron, mostly very old...still cookin'
              G'Ma's Piqua skillet, :-)( They went out of business in 1934~)
              '60's Revere Ware (Mom's), + others found elsewhere
              60's CorningWare 10-cup percolator (Mom's) Daily driver
              50's CorningWare 10-cup percolator (G'Ma's), for a backup! ;-)
              Carpy Wally World stock pots, in approx 2 gal/3gal sizes, blue speckledty-porcelain enameled
              Tramontina 6.5 qt Dutch Oven

              Cutlery, etc.:
              Shi*-ton of kitchen/chef knives, most sharper than my straight-razors are. (Better steel!) Chicago Cutlery, Old Hickory, various, including some nice German stuff ;-)
              Dexter 12" slicing knife, 6" Sani-Safe boning knife
              Smith's Tri-Hone Natural Arkansas Knife Sharpening System
              Multiple steels, from all over the planet
              Crock sticks
              Diamond stones, various
              Lansky Sharpening System

              Tableware
              Daily driver:Washington Forge Mardi Gras, Navy / Cobalt Blue
              Dinner: Guests: Washington Forge, Town and Country
              Fancy / Formal: Family silverware

            #13
            Originally posted by DWCowles View Post
            And this has been achieved on a Weber kettle NOT a Kamado or a BGE. Imagine that.
            I love the way you guys think!

            Many thanks!

            Bones

            Comment

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