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Detroit Style Pizza Techniques

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  • coreyo
    Club Member
    • Aug 2015
    • 38

    #61
    Dangers Of Using Roccbox!!!

    This past weekend I had a very bad experience, and I thought that it would be worth sharing as a cautionary tales to others. First off, here's what I was trying to do:



    And here were the results:
    Click image for larger version  Name:	hand2.jpg Views:	1 Size:	352.6 KB ID:	723140Click image for larger version  Name:	hand3.jpg Views:	1 Size:	296.6 KB ID:	723141Click image for larger version  Name:	hand4.jpg Views:	1 Size:	651.3 KB ID:	723143Click image for larger version  Name:	hand5.jpg Views:	1 Size:	500.8 KB ID:	723142

    "What happened?!" you ask? The Roccbox is not bad for applications like this. The crazy rocket heat is great for searing meat, as you can see. The problem, is that the crazy rocket heat also produces crazy hot grease...

    My wife poopoo'd my Roccbox purchase, so I showed her this video. Ever since, she's been bugging me about making it for her. Costco had a great deal on some large, pre-aged, bone-in ribeye steaks. This was the perfect opportunity. I had everything set up, preheated the Roccbox to about 800F and had the flame pretty high for the initial sear phase. I had placed a stick of butter, a separated bulb of garlic, and a few sprigs of rosemary in a small bowl as prep for phase two. After searing the crap out of the steak, I lowered the flame, pulled the insanely hot cast-iron pan out, and dumped the contents of the bowl into an "empty" area of the pan. Little did I realize just how much fat had rendered out of the steak. By this time, there was a pool of oil in the pan. The splash from the "well beyond smoking point" oil was so large that it coated the side of my hand, and the entire palm of my hand. I was in the garage, away from the sink and so it took me a good 30 seconds before I could reach the sink and wash the oil that was literally frying my hand.

    I dowsed my hand in water and then ran back out into the garage to place the steak back into the Roccbox. I had screamed to my wife to bring me some ice in a bag, but by this point I could barely keep my eyes open the pain was so bad. I should mention at this point that my wife is a certified Nurse Practictioner. She brought me a Ziploc baggy of ice and prepped me 800mg of Ibuprofen. At this point I had a bag of ice in my fried hand and a greasy oven mitt over the other hand still trying to move the ribeye around and baste it at regular intervals between screams of pain. My wife had to feed me the pain killers. I pulled the steak out the oven and ran inside to prep a bowl of ice water while my wife gathered everything from outside and brought it in along with the steak itself.

    I should take this time to talk a bit about burn wounds. Burn wounds are some of the most painful injuries that you can have. The damaged nerves continue to transmit pain to your brain long after the initial injury is sustained. There is no correlation between the severity of the burn and the severity of the pain. Relatively minor second-degree burns can require weeks of pain management and even psycho therapy. The only other time that I had ever felt pain on this scale was when I was passing kidney stones. Once we realized the magnitude of my pain, my wife handed me 10mg of Norco. This did absolutely nothing. The only thing that was keeping the excruciating pain at bay was plunging my hand into a big bowl of ice water. If I removed my hand from the water, the pain would quickly begin to grow in intensity until I let out a little yell and plunged my hand back into the water.

    At this point, my wife is cutting up the steak for me and preparing my plate. Utensils were out of the question. I had to eat a pre-sliced tomahawk ribeye with my bare left hand while holding my right (dominant) hand in a bowl of icewater sitting on the table right next to my plate. This was a low point for me. On the bright side, my wife said that the steak was "absolutely delicious" and even went back for seconds.

    I spent the next several hours moving my injured hand between a bowl of ice water to stop the burning sensation from the literally fried nerves, and a bowl of tepid water to stop the aching from the cold. At some point after midnight, I was finally able to use a single bowl of relatively cool water to keep the pain at bay. However, every time I'd get up to go to the bathroom, I'd have to stop mid-stream and go running back down the hallway to plunge my hand back into the water with a loud groan of relief. I eventually took to walking around the house with a bowl of icy water in one hand, and my other hand inside of that bowl.

    By about 3:00AM, it became clear that the pain was not going to subside, and I was not going to get any sleep. I pulled several ice packs from the feezer and gripped them tightly. We woke up the baby, and my wife drove us the emergency room where I was given Percocet and Lidocane and told to follow up at the Burn Center in San Diego as soon as possible. As before, even a topical anesthesia and straight up Oxycodone made no difference in the pain. The doctor told me that I had partial thickness burns (2nd degree burns) and was likely to have terrible pain for some time. We arrived back home around 6:00AM. I don't know if it was the Percocet or the fact that I had been up the entire night, but at this point I was extremely drowsy. We put the baby back to bed and I managed to get about 3 hours of sleep with my hand resting on the Ice pack. I woke up every so often to a burning sensation in my hand, placed it back on the ice pack, and then went back to sleep.

    When I finally awoke a few hours later (about 11 hours after the initial incident), thank GOD the pain was completely gone. I'm not sure what happened exactly. I had a working theory that if I could just bare the pain long enough, the overload would cause my spinal column to dial back the pain signal. Unfortunately, I couldn't last more than about 20 seconds before screaming and plunging my hand back into the water. Allowing the nerves to fire while I was asleep must have allowed my nervous system to adjust. At this point, my hand was beginning to form GIANT blisters and the only real discomfort came in the fact that I was doing most things one handed.

    I made an appointment with the burn clinic and saw them early this morning. These doctors are a special breed indeed who enjoy slicing open giant blisters and draining fluids from open wounds, using their own fictional vocabulary to describe everything that we were seeing. They removed all of the blisters from the sores, scrubbed the open wounds, bandaged me up, and gave me a giant bag of all kinds of specialized, petroleum-soaked gauze, enzymatic debridement ointments, and what looks like the mesh that they put over Asian pears. At the end of the day, I am very lucky. I will have to scrub the open wounds and redress them once a day for the next several weeks. In the meantime, I'll have to stay away from the Crossfit gym. At least the giant callouses that I have developed from years of Crossfit kept me from suffering 2nd degree burns over the entire palm of my hand. I'm able to work just fine, although I can't seem to hit the question mark key with my pinky at the moment.

    Let's take this opportunity to talk about the Roccbox specifically. The folks at Gozney go out of their way to push the idea that the Roccbox is more than just a pizza oven. They regularly release videos showcasing different methods and techniques involving the Roccbox. To be fair, the injury that I sustained is not a Roccbox-specific problem. Any Neopolitan pizza worth buying will be achieving heat levels that are absolutely terrifying. Until now, I was limited to dry baking. Adding oil and grease to such a hot environment makes it significantly more dangerous. One problem that the Roccbox has specifically is the fact that the cooking area in the oven is very small (barely 12 inches wide) and the mouth of the oven is even smaller (only a few inches high). I initially received a few small burns on the back of my fingers trying to get pans in and out of the oven until I bought this wonderful device:

    Click image for larger version  Name:	473586.jpg Views:	1 Size:	205.0 KB ID:	723145

    To achieve a great product this portable and this hot, I'm sure that compromises have to be made. It's also because of this that I still wonder whether I should have gone with the Ardore pizza oven instead. I cannot justify buying both of them, but if anyone would like to donate one or start a gofundme page, I would gladly post my opinions and results in great detail. I'd also give explicit instructions on exactly how to get the best Detroit-Style pizza out of it. Just throwing that out there... In the meantime, I am still achieving better Detroit-Style pizza than I could have imagined.

    At the end of the day, the real tragedy is that my $35 ribeye turned out medium well. I'll never be able to un-see that grey interior as my wife cut the steak for me.
    Last edited by coreyo; July 31st, 2019, 12:58 PM.

    Comment

    • JimLinebarger
      Club Member
      • Jun 2017
      • 666
      • Spokane Valley, Wa.
      • Grills/Smokers
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      #62
      The word "ouch" doesn't cover that! Your dedication to stay with the cook after such an extreme accident is commendable. Monty Python comes to mind. "It's just a flesh wound." Take time and care for that hand. Sorry, at a loss for words. Take care of yourself.

      Comment

      • RonB
        Club Member
        • Apr 2016
        • 11185
        • Near Richmond VA
        • Weber Performer Deluxe
          SNS
          Pizza insert
          Rotisserie
          Smokenator 1000
          Cookshack Smokette Elite
          2 Thermapens
          Chefalarm
          Dot
          lots of probes.
          CyberQ

        #63
        I have burned myself numerous times over the years and know the pain. However, I have been fortunate enough that the burns have never been that large. I feel your pain...

        Comment

        • au4stree
          Club Member
          • Aug 2018
          • 416
          • Birmingham, AL
          • Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center (WSCGC), PK360(graphite), Jumbo Joe and PBC. Weber kettle @ the hunting camp.

          #64
          Originally posted by coreyo View Post
          Dangers Of Using Roccbox!!!

          At the end of the day, the real tragedy is that my $35 ribeye turned out medium well. I'll never be able to un-see that grey interior as my wife cut the steak for me.
          The fact that you can keep some humor with this is commendable. Hope you heal and thanks for sharing so we can avoid such an event.

          Comment

          • klflowers
            Club Member
            • Sep 2015
            • 2394
            • Tennessee

            #65
            Quite the story, you are the man. I have burned myself numerous times - the worst one that comes to mind was when I put my palm on a screaming hot iron to stop it from falling off the ironing board onto my son. So I feel you. Of course, the most important thing is the medium well steak. That is the real tragedy...

            Keep up the good work, but go easy on the injuries

            Comment

            • ComfortablyNumb
              Club Member
              • May 2017
              • 2862
              • Northeast Washington
              • KBQ C-60
                PK360
                Thermoworks Smoke
                Thermoworks Thermopop
                Thermoworks Dot

              #66
              I had a similar experience, I was brewing beer and carrying an Igloo cooler of near boiling water when the bung came out and poured water down my leg and into my gumboot. Second degree burn from just above my knee to my foot. Like you, I didn't abandon my project, carried on with the help of a neighbour. I couldn't dunk my leg, so I slowly poured water on it when I didn't have to tend the pots. Not being married to a nurse I was taken to the hospital after I pitched the yeast. It's been so long ago I don't remember all the details, I remember I had to use Silvadene cream and crutches.

              Best to you, you'll heal up fine and for you too this will become a story that you can tell in twenty something years that will leave people thinking 'what a dumb ass'! ;-)

              Comment


              • coreyo
                coreyo commented
                Editing a comment
                How could you NOT finish? It's not just your beer, but your manhood that is at stake.
            • RonB
              Club Member
              • Apr 2016
              • 11185
              • Near Richmond VA
              • Weber Performer Deluxe
                SNS
                Pizza insert
                Rotisserie
                Smokenator 1000
                Cookshack Smokette Elite
                2 Thermapens
                Chefalarm
                Dot
                lots of probes.
                CyberQ

              #67
              You will heal, but the steaks a gonner...

              Comment

              • Mark V
                Club Member
                • Oct 2018
                • 157
                • Minnesota

                #68
                I always heard that Detroit pizza was made with cubes of brick cheese. Anyway, I have time for Chicago, New York, Quad Cities, St Louis, etc pizza!

                Comment


                • coreyo
                  coreyo commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Yessir, although if you visit the iconic pizzerias in Detroit, you'll find that they actually use a mixture of mozzarella and brick cheese (often shredded). Unfortunately, brick cheese is not so easily obtained outside of the upper midwest, so most of us have to find alternatives.

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