The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hearth Kit

cmcadams's picture
cmcadams

Hearth Kit

I was at the Frontgate outlet in West Chester, OH, a few weeks ago (you might know them from Skymall).  They have a clearance area, and everything back there was cooking oriented.  I got a fryer for $20, a warming plate for catering for $22.50, and 2 hearth kits (20.5") for $25 each.... I have a cracked window in my oven which is being fixed, but I'll try it very soon! 

 

I'd wanted to try one, but not at the usual $199... For $25, I couldn't pass it up. 

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I really like my HearthKit, though, in retrospect, I think a Fibrament would have done just as well. But for $25 ... that's a steal.

The only drawback is that, if you're cooking something that doesn't require the stone, unless you're going to let the stone heat up (and that takes a while), you can't cook directly on the stone, but need to cook on a rack somewhere else in the oven because the stone will suck heat right out of whatever you're cooking -- and since the Hearthkit takes up a lot of space and it a real pain to move in and out of the oven, that's not easy. More than once I've cooked up a batch of muffins that stuck to the pan something awful because the bottoms weren't properly cooked.

That said, it makes one heck of a kickin' pizza. I hope you enjoy yours; I've certainly loved mine.

cmcadams's picture
cmcadams

I always do my pizzas on the grill/smoker... But I'll have to try them on this.  I did baked potatoes, and the skin was very crispty where it was agains the stone (I put them on parchment).

It wasn't that hard of a decision for $25... Like you said, that's a steal.  I got one for me and one for a friend, but I wish I'd bought more and just put them on ebay!

Curt McAdams

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Oh man, I can't WAIT to try out grilled pizza. I got American Pie for Christmas and, ever since, have been pining for warm weather to try out his recipe. Are you using Reinhart's recipe or something else?

cmcadams's picture
cmcadams

Honestly, so far, I've used Trader Joe's pizza crust. I do the crust right on the grate, then remove to add toppings. Then I finish it on a smoker at about 300 degrees to get the toppings hot and add some wood smoke. They turn out really great.

 

Curt McAdams

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

I don't know how PR does it in American Pie cuz the book is on my wish list for a birthday but I have to admit that when I used to make grilled pizza a long time ago, I used to buy my raw dough from this deli in my neighborhood <blush> lol.

It was sooo awesome! I would form the individual pizzas then throw them on a high grill and let them "set on one side" then flip them and immediately top. By the time I was done topping them, I would close the grill lid for a minute and let them cook. If I needed to, I would drag them to indirect heat or to a cooler part of the grate.

We were using a propane grill.

I keep threatening to try it again with my homemade dough but I'm waiting just a bit longer till I'm sure I've mastered the dough! <eek>

 Good luck and happy pizza-ing!

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

That's exactly how Peter Reinhart describes it. It's supposed to be warm on Sunday -- I think grilled pizza will have to be on the menu.

What did you top yours with?

cmcadams's picture
cmcadams

I like to try different stuff... I'm teaching a grilling class next Monday, and we're doing smoked duck breast pizza, with balsamic vinegar glaze and gorgonzola cheese.  I also like to do barbecue sauce with pulled pork and cheddar.  I don't do typical pizzas very often... Those are too easy. :)

The pizza grilling thing is great for parties... Have everyone roll out/toss their own crust, take it to the grill on a peel, hand it off to the cook, get their ingredients, put them on the crust when it's done, and wait for the finished product.  Everyone gets involved that way, and they make whatever they want, if you provide a variety of toppings.  I usually go with smoked chicken, different sausages, garlic olive oil, pizza sauce, balsamic glaze, different cheeses, good olives, mushrooms, caramlized onions, sundried tomatoes... Anything goes.

Curt McAdams

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Our kids love the "green pizza" I make on the grill. Sometimes I add chicken or sun-dried tomatoes, but is a great appetizer with just pesto.

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

I used to do it for a lot of summer grill out parties. So I'd make these bowls of ingredients and I'd tell people they could pick any three ingredients they wanted in combination! :D

I'd "man" the grill (woman the grill just sounds wrong!). I did not use a tomato sauce because I was always worried about having too much wet stuff on the grill, making it soggy. I think you could get by this, by using the San Marzano whole tomatoes and draining them well then using a stick blender to make a raw sauce. Then just be careful not to use too much sauce. I used a pesto or just plain olive oil brushed on and had sliced tomatoes. I would also have olive oil/garlic or pesto on the tables isf people wanted to drizzle some on their pizzas after grilling. Some of the things I had ready in bowls were:

Slivered purple onion

Sauteed mushroom slices

Pitted Kalamata olives

Sliced Green Olives

Red bell pepper rings

Thinly sliced tomatoes

Caramellized onions

Fresh basil

Sliced garlic

Goat cheese

Buffalo mozzarella (drain these well in paper towels for at least a couple hours)

Feta cheese

Italian sausage

Pepperoni or salami

Grilled chicken

Shrimp

It was kinda a little buffet. People used to eat 2 of them each (they were about the size of personal pizza) and were similar in thickness to fresh pita! They didn't have the tremendous oven spring because I was grilling with the top open to set them and flip them. It might be different if you set them with the lid closed, you know?

And it was fun kinda being the "short order grill cook", havin' a beer and feedin the masses. If you have a huge group (which I have done before) you do the same thing for the toppings but I used to actually pre-grill the dough. It was essentially raw inside still but was at least "kinda seeled" on the outside, so you could pick four up and throw em on the grill top and go. You'd have pizzas in about 3minutes - sometimes less!

 Hope you like doing it! Let me know.