The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

outdoor bread and Pizza oven - what is your set up?

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

outdoor bread and Pizza oven - what is your set up?

Hey all, my teenaged son has pizza for lunch almost every day over a decade. It is just his favorite lunch. When he was in grade school, I packed him awful tasting (though he liked it of course) bagel bite pizzas that I thawed and baked and then packed in his lunch box for school.

Then we started homeschool (He is autistic and the schools couldn't meet his needs - dumbing things down for him instead of changing how they taught him. He has been THRIVING since we started to homeschool. He's now 15 and starting 10th grade)

Well, we started doing frozen pizza and that was fine, but I also made homemade pizza frequently and we all prefer that. I started to do some thinking and I decided to bake small pizzas on the grill once a week in bulk and then just reheat them each day. This is way cheaper and way tastier. BUT... You know there had to be a but, we all prefer them when I do them at high heat. I have found some tricks for indoors, but now that it's summer, I'm trying to do most of the heat-producing cooking on the grill outside. I found a make-shift way to set up a pizza oven which I'll share here, but now that I'm baking more and more, I am wondering if I should invest in a used (if possible) brick oven or a new Ooni Pro oven so I can bake bread AND pizza.

My makeshift outdoor oven for the grill is a PizzaQue baking stone turned backward so that the slit is in the back. Then, I got a baking steel to fit under it. I already had the PizzaQue for pizza on the grill (which I found abysmal) and I bought a steel for like $20, so it's a cheap set up.

I preheat and bake. The problem is that the bottom cooks faster than the top, so I use room temperature ingredients and in the end, I put the pizza on top of the stone to the cheese fully melted. I NEVER get that bubbly high heat pizza on the grill with this setup. The worst part is that there is slightly less than a 2-inch clearance to slide a pizza unto

In this particular photo, It shows me baking a pizza WHILE also baking a loaf of bread. It worked and I only had to heat up the grill once for the bake instead of twice.

But what if I had a pizza oven that I could also bake in? Someone is selling a beehive one near me... but is it worth dealing with building a fire? or should I just get an Ooni pro?

 

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

It depends a bit on the type of pizza you make.  If you are making a NY style, many believe they come out best when baked around 500 or 550 F, so a home oven and a steel,  or on a pizza stone on your grill about both nice options - though it helps to get some top heat -  ideally you would have a stone, and a much larger container, like a steam table pan inverted over it so that some of the heat gets redirected to the top.   Something like the Mighty Pizza Oven would be great, but I don't think they are made anymore  https://slice.seriouseats.com/2013/08/pizza-lab-equipment-test-the-mighty-pizza-oven-and-the-kalamazoo-pizza-oven.html    For me,  I use 100% home milled white winter wheat, and I find I need to cook at a higher temp, like 650 to 750 F -  for that, a dedicated pizza oven is best -  Ooni makes several models,  I have the Koda 16,  there are cheaper versions that are smaller, and that would probably work better for you since you are making a batch at a time.   I suggest you stay with a propane oven, the pellets are a bit harder to control, and most say that pizza is cooked so quickly, you won't get any smoke flavor.  In terms of reheating, there are several options.  One is in a covered skillet on you stovetop on a medium flame -  it recrisps the bottom, but keeps the top tender by keeping in the moisture with a covered skillet.  The other option is to put it on a pizza pan, and put it in a cold oven, then turn the oven on to 200.  It gradually warms up the pizza, and that way the cheese won't be burning hot, and it should not heat up your kitchen much.  

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

Funny you should mention Ooni. I've been eyeing the Ooni pro for over a year, but I just can't bite the bullet to just buy it, but my setup is ridiculously inadequate. And they today a Bakersoven became available locally, used only once and it had the manual and box and he was only asking $15. I have a good weber summit grill, so it fits fine. I'm going to give it a try tomorrow.

I was just hopping on to ask for a killer pizza recipe using whole grains. 

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

The summit is a great grill,  I have had mine  for years and it is still going strong.  I have played with a pizza stone and using the IR broiler, but could never get the timing just right.

For whole wheat,  my current recipe is 100% home milled winter wheat  ( if you want a wheatier flavor -substitute up to 40% red spring ).  70% hydration, 4.5% starter, 2.6% salt  ( For a 14 to 15 inch pie,  262 g flour, 183 water, 12 g starter, 7 grams salt).   I knead for 3 to 4 minutes, then put it a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a the cover, then into the refrigerator for 2 days.  When I remember, I take it out during that time and reball, but it generally does not rise at all during the 2 days.  2 to 3 hours before baking, take it out of the fridge and let it start to come to room temp. 

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

My grill is the genesis (not the summit) but is really good and we use it all the time.  

Thanks for the recipe. I'm thinking of doing a mix of WW and Semolina, but I have no idea what proportions. 

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

I would start with 20 to 25 % semolina, and then adjust from there. 

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

So, I found for $15 this pizza oven for the grill, so I quickly nabbed it. 

And then last night I found this recipe for whole-grain pizza with semolina. Either the proportions are WAY messed up, or using whole grains (that I allowed to autolyze) is radically different as this was SOUP. I don't know how much flour/semolina/Whole wheat flour I added (plus a bit of everything else too except water) to make it finally work, but I got a nice dough that I could get to stretch really well. My mother in law hated the pizza (she lives with us and she's a traditionalist, so I think it was just "odd". Most importantly, my teenaged son LOVED it and since these are for his lunches, that was what was important. I liked it quite a bit and my husband thought it was OK, but could be better. His standards are pretty high because, well, I'm a really good cook and he knows it. So, while he finds it tasty enough, he also thinks it can stand improvement and that is definitely true.

The Bakerstone worked pretty well. Next time I'm taking out the flavorizor bars before heating it up to see if I can get it a bit hotter (as that was a suggestion if it doesn't heat up hot enough). For $15. It was GREAT. 

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

Take out the flavorizer bars and use them to fill the gaps on the sides of the oven. Only way to get above 750F with this setup. The high temp may affect the black paint on the oven though. I have the chrome version and the high heat discolored some parts but no damage. I think I got down to about couple minutes per pizza. 
-James 

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

Barely fits, but it turns out great!

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

Wow.. you made bread with it? Nice!

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

I guess I don't understand... use the flavorizor bars to fill gaps? I guess I haven't looked enough to see if there are gaps. As I bought this secondhand (It was only used once - came with box and directions) and I just looked to see that it looked like it was put together well.

have you seen that there is a stand-alone version for $150 (plus shipping)? I'm thinking of getting that so I don't have to mess with my grill every week, but then, it's just once a week. Here's the link to the other stuff. 

 

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

Look at the photo of the oven on the grill in the link you posted for bakerstone. you see the 3 bars of the grill that is showing?  put the two flavorizer bars there stacked together and also on the other side to block the heat escaping from the sides. they fit perfectly. the oven's is not designed like that but it really boosts the heat.

Best ciabatta ever made on that grill oven. you just have to make sure you stretch out the dough and tap it down a bit so it doesnt get too tall.

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

Nice bread! I'll look at the box tomorrow, but I see what you mean now. That indent under the handle?

I was itching for an ooni pro, but I think this will suffice for now. My grill is 8 years old and we use it ALL THE TIME!

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

Not the handle.  The oven base doesn’t cover the entire surface of the grill. On either side there’s about 2 or 3 inches of the grilling grate showing. Use the flavorizer bars to block those areas. That way heat is channeled more to the baker stone oven. 

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

Not the handle.  The oven base doesn’t cover the entire surface of the grill. On either side there’s about 2 or 3 inches of the grilling grate showing. Use the flavorizer bars to block those areas. That way heat is channeled more to the baker stone oven. 

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

OOOOOH.... and you have to put those bars somewhere anyway, so why not?

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

So I did a search and found your post about getting this set up... I had to chuckle as the exact same thing came to me - I want a brick oven. It is probably never gone to happen, so... I'm a creative sort - I had to think outside the box. I just kept looking for used options and up popped this bakerstone for sale locally secondhand.

But... in your post, you said that you thought it void your warrantee which I realize is LONG gone, but in the manual, I have it actually suggests that as an option to make it hotter - you can tell this was added later as it's a single sheet insert for "suggestions". 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

bbb: did you use store-bought whole white wheat and store-bought semolina, or did you use home-milled white wheat and home-milled durum?

The linked recipe doesn't say, but when left unspecified, it is assumed the recipe author means store-bought.

 

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

yes, I assume that the link is all store-bought. I finely home-milled all of it (durum and red wheat berries) and used bread flour, not all-purpose for the recipe.

 

 

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Another option it to use foil to cover all of the grill other than where the box sits.  https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=20334.0    You may want to search that site for pizza recipes as well. 

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

Thanks! I'll look. If I need to do a lot of work, I might as well buy the dedicated LP unit and keep it separate because I would need to set it up every week as I used that grill about 4 times a week (or more) in warmer months. Basically, I don't like to cook (or eat) inside in most of the year because I hate heating up the house and in summer we eat a lot of grilled fish and grilled veggies that just taste better on the grill because it's the right kind of searing heat. We all do some meat too.


I've almost found a way to make my bread "just right" on the grill too without burning it.

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

Well, the good and the bad. The pizza box I got works fine... but... today the stone broke and it wasn't even that hot. 

AND... I got caught in a sudden rainstorm while baking the pizza. After waiting forever for the grill to get hot and betting about half the pizzas baked, the skies just opened up. We got 1.75 inches in a big GUSH... we almost never never get slow steady rains. We get GUSHERS with flash flood warnings.  Anyway, the pizza was safe and I didn't melt. My eyes got bloodshot with all the rain beating on my face, but...

Now I need to decide if I'm finally going to buy the Ooni Pro. 

\