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Why pizza? What am I missing?

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    Why pizza? What am I missing?

    I admit, I love pizza, but we’re fairly picky these days, being blessed with a couple of outstanding sources nearby, both the original UNO Chicago deep dish and a thinner local standout. I see all of these posts on here about cooking pizza on the kettle, etc... not something I think of when I wanna slow-cook some meat or sear steaks... what am I missing about this craze? Does it impart a smoked flavor? Not being a smartass, trying to decide if & why I should get into this? Do you need a pizza stone?

    #2
    I think of the difference between wood fired pizza and oven baked. I’m trying (with little success I admit) for some of that difference when I grill pizza. FWIW.

    Comment


    • patcrail
      patcrail commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks! I gotta admit, I don’t really know the difference between wood-fired & oven baked, so I’m admittedly ignorant—— the main thing is that I’ve only found two pizza joints that I can tolerate recently, one of which I love, the other is tolerated... our true pizza love is UNO CHICAGO original, frozen is all we can get... I’ve always loved pizza, so I have to try this!

    #3
    I use the KettlePizza attachment on my Weber Kettle to create a hot wood burning pizza oven. It can reach 600 degF or hotter temperature creating a great environment for quickly cooking Neopolitan-style pizza with great leopard spotting on the bottom crust and a nice char-enhanced crust on top. Nothing low and slow or smokey about this pizza. Simply a hot and fast cook to turn out great homemade pizza the way I like it. So much better than I can achieve in my kitchen oven which seems to top out at 450 degF.

    Comment


      #4
      We've even done frozen pizzas on the grill just to keep from turning on the oven inside.

      But we do like the grilled crust

      Comment


        #5
        Wood fired pizza tastes better in my opinion. I am not blessed with a good pizzeria nearby so I make it myself when I want something better than Pizza Inn.

        I use my kamado which can get over 750 degrees. I also like sourdough crust so I use my sourdough cultures to do a 3 day ferment for the crust. It requires planning ahead but It is not hard, and the pizza is great! I use store bought pepperoni but I use my own Italian sausage when I want a sausage pizza. Look at Baking Steel's website for some good pizza tips.

        Comment


          #6
          Agreeing with the others, it’s that char you get with wood fired oven pizzas. If that’s not your thing then you can pass on it but it’s one thing I didn’t realize I liked about some of my favorite pizza places.

          This is from one of my first attempts on a pizza stone.

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            #7
            I love the flavor charcoal and wood add to the pie. It's something I can't even get in a good pizza joint. It takes some effort to figure out what works in you cooker, but to me it was worth it.

            Here's what I do:
            Preheat the stone or steel in your oven until it reaches the temp you are planning to cook the pie at, or as close as you can get.
            Prep the pizza on whatever you will use to launch it - just before moving your stone or steel to the cooker.
            Move whichever to the hot grill - use multiple layers of gloves and or potholders. You may need someone to open/close doors if ya don't want to leave them open for a bit.
            Make sure the pie is not stuck to your peel and launch it onto the hot surface, (some use parchment to keep the pie from sticking - just trim off the excess.
            Watch the pie closely and rotate if one side is cooking faster than the rest.
            Check the bottom to see if it's browning faster than the top and pull the pie if the bottom is ready before the top and brown the top under the broiler. If the bottom is not brown enough when the top is ready, take the top off the cooker and let the bottom brown on your stone or steel.
            Last edited by RonB; July 12, 2020, 01:55 PM.

            Comment


              #8
              If you don't live near Uno or Due, or Lou Malnati's, or Gino's East, then you spend your life trying to get that deep dish Chicago style pizza.
              When I was growing up (Park Ridge), my parents were friends with all the originals at Uno (Ike, Ric, Mary Alice, Rudy (Lou's dad). When he worked late downtown, he would frequently bring one home. Moved to Phoenix in the mid 70s and always looked forward to going to Chicago for pizza. They franchised Uno's in the 80s, but it wasn't the same company, and it wasn't the same pizza. A few locations around the country were pretty good imitations, but unfortunately, the Phoenix locations weren't among them.

              So, it was go to Chicago, or learn how to make it. My Kamado Joe, a pizza stone, and careful emulation of the ingredients, and I've had passably good pizza when I wanted it.

              Lou Malnati's showed up in Phoenix a few years ago, and that helps. So did Gino's, but they closed.

              So, that's why it's a big deal to others, but maybe not so much for you, you lucky devil

              Best regards,
              Jim

              Comment


              • patcrail
                patcrail commented
                Editing a comment
                That is exactly my problem! I love the ORIGINAL UNO, not the chain bs... I just recently found how to order the original from Pizzeria UNO (as opposed to UNO PIZZERIA & GRILLE — the bs chain)... it is what I remember from Ike growing up... but it’s pricy... I really don’t mind for a real Numero Uno, but I have the kettle fired up so much, I’d love to try this! Can you help with a recipe for deep-dish?

              • patcrail
                patcrail commented
                Editing a comment
                jgg85234 : will you share your recipe? I highly doubt I’ll ever find a thin pizza I like 1/2 as much as an authentic Chicago

              #9
              Thanks! I guess I’m gonna have to give this a try! Stones look expensive.... is there a workaround to get the feel for it before I invest?

              Comment


              • Mojo0209
                Mojo0209 commented
                Editing a comment
                I found the pizza que setup at Home Depot for $50 towards the end of grilling season about 4 years ago.

              • Skip
                Skip commented
                Editing a comment
                I do pizza on the BGE for the fun of it. Years ago I did it on the gas grill with just the regular grates-also fun. If you have a Cast Iron pan try that if you want to see how it works before investing in a stone.

              #10
              This is my setup. Wife and kids really enjoy it. Takes some prep, but it is fun. Definitely hot and fast. Cooking with charcoal, oak and mesquite I get temps around 900. The heat really wears on the kettle, but I keep my eyes open for a used kettle for a replacement. I don’t think it is for everyone, but we have fun with it.
              Attached Files

              Comment


                #11
                I gotta ask: it seems like Neapolitan style pizza is the goal here, with a slightly crisp crust? Not sure, just guessing from the answers... never been a big fan of thin crust pizza, love deep dish or Sicilian style thick crust.... but willing to try something different. I really hate to spend $50 or more for a pizza stone if I’m not gonna keep making them.... do thicker crusts work ok? Or should I stick with thin crust? & if so, is there an alternative to buying a pizza stone just to make sure we like this style?

                Comment


                • Andrrr
                  Andrrr commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Lodge makes a 14" cast iron pizza pan which is what I use and I've had great results. The reason I went that route was because it could double as a griddle for smash burgers, etc.

                • patcrail
                  patcrail commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Andrrr do you make thick crust pizza in that or thin?

                • Andrrr
                  Andrrr commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thin. I haven't tried thick yet

                #12
                patcrail I also have a love for Chicago deep dish. My mom grew up in Chicago and I’ve visited family there many times. My favorites are original Uno, Due, and Lou Malnatti’s. I’ve found great success with a recipe on the pizza making dot com forums. I use the recipe and technique on this page by user BTB, recipe is found about halfway down the page.
                https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/in...topic=6480.700
                I use a 12” cast iron skillet and it works great. I make this in the oven.
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                • patcrail
                  patcrail commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks Red Man, that looks incredible, gotta try it!

                • Mr. Bones
                  Mr. Bones commented
                  Editing a comment
                  That there's one Damfine lookin pie, Brother

                #13
                I'm in the thin crust crowd and also use the Lodge cast iron 14 inch pan. I use my home oven, though. Tonight's cook went about 4 minutes on 550 and then another three with the broiler. I find my Kamado too unwieldy for the process and am quite happy with the indoor flavor.

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                  #14
                  If you are only interest in pan cooked pizza. Whether true deep dish, Chicago style or Sicilian, there is no need for a pizza stone. Deep dish or Chicago style can use a cast iron skillet. Sicilian or Detroit style uses a steel pan or a rimmed baking sheet.

                  I make pizzas that run the gamut from Neapolitan that cooks in 90 seconds to NY style to Sicilian to bar style, grilled pizza, etc. not all of them require a stone.

                  Comment


                    #15
                    I make Sicilian pizza in the oven in a rimmed baking sheet. I have a pizza stone but the Sicilian comes out better when I don't use the stone.

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