Grill Pizza Stone?

Discussion in 'Grilling Tips' started by deltadude, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm looking for a pizza stone about 15", capable of using on both my weber kettle and my weber gas grill.
    Any recommendations appreciated, however be sure the recommendation will work on both.

    So far I have found the following, has anyone bought or seen used this stone?

    Professional Grade FibraMent-D Baking Stones
    Round with aluminum flame diverter for use in outdoor grill (pictured below)
    Although FibraMent has a 1500°F continuous use operating temperature limit, it cannot be exposed directly to flame. The flame diverter that comes with our barbecue grill stones must be used.
    AWMCO INC. Barbecue Grill Stones
    Both products are 3/4" thick.
    13 5/8" diameter $55.00
    15 1/2" diameter $63.00
  2. i've read that unglazed terra-cotta or quarry tile would work... prolly alot less expensive :)
  3. bigwayne

    bigwayne Smoke Blower

    This place uses the fibrament stone with a steel contraption over it. Looks like it works well.

    I did some research and am thinking 18" unglazed tile will work well. I saw one writeup of using an 18" travertine tile. Travertine is pricey if you are doing your house, but one tile is cheap or free if you find a store that gives out samples.

    I am thinking to make a metal cover out of a steel drum if I can find someone to cut and weld it for me. (I have a commercial size grill with no lid).
  4. vlap

    vlap Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have always kinda liked the look of this one. The thick heavy stone will hold heat when your pizza hits it which helps cook and crisp the crust. One day when I have a grill again I will have this stone.

    Till then to be honest I like the pizzas straight on the grates. Slide it on and don't worry the dough wont fall through.
  5. 13spicerub

    13spicerub Meat Mopper

    i do it directly on the grate but i heard you can use an upside down terra-cotta pot base. wayyyy cheaper
  6. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I was watching an old Bobby Flay BBQ show last night. A guy used cut granite stones to cook fish on. So, I'm wandering if your local granite guy (sometimes cabinet makers) would have some scraps/broken pieces that would work for a pizza stone? Would take longer to heat up, but should work well and hold up to the environment.
  7. vlap

    vlap Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Call them and ask for thier drops. These are basiclally pieces that have been cut out and are not really useable.

    With these as well as the terra cotta just be careful of polish's and treatments. The granite or marble isn't bad but the terra cotta is porous and will absorb chemicals or treatments. Not saying its a bad idea just saying be careful.
  8. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  9. jbchoice1

    jbchoice1 Smoking Fanatic

    good thinking there dude... gonna have to try that. get that 15" for a great price
  10. Or you could go with a true stoneware pizza round from Pampered Chef.

    I would send you the one that my wife got for Christmas one year and has never used......but would hate to throw 27 years down the drain. [​IMG]
  11. Never seen those - is that good for food?

    I'd stick with the terra-cotta or the food grade items shown.
  12. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Here is a Cordierite pizza stone, actually this is probably the best material for a pizza stone, I've been doing quite a bit of reading on the subject since I started this thread. Using a kiln shelf that doesn't have an official FDA approval sticker is no different than using either a terra cotta tile or a quarry stone. In fact several sites selling kiln shelfs, list pizza ovens or pizza stone as a recommended use.
  13. thats good to know then [​IMG] its alot cheaper than the first ones you were looking at!
  14. goobi99

    goobi99 Meat Mopper

  15. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Bought a 15"x16"x5/8" cordierite octagon shape Kiln Stone Shelf, $18+tax. I wanted a 15" round or 16" round but none to be found in Sacramento. There was a 16x16 but the corners would have not fit in the kettle, so I decided to go ahead with the octagon. After thinking about it, I think the octagon will work better allowing more heat to pass around the sides thus heating the space above the stone faster after opening the lid and putting a pizza on.

    The goal: Attempt to make pizzeria quality pizza with that wood/brick oven flavor at home, 1st in the weber kettle, later on my weber gas grill. I want to put the pizza on the grill once, cook once, not cook one side and remove then cook the other side. This is a serious challenge of controlling heat, in a weber kettle.

    1st attempt weber kettle.
    My pizza making experience is not much. I have tried to make a few pizzas using store bought pizza shells, 1st cook one side, then take off grill add sauce and toppings and cook other side. The results are mixed, bottom over cooked mostly and top not quite done.

    You can see from the picture the bottoms got burned using the new pizza stone, however in three attempts, each pizza got better with adjustments. I apologize for no pictures, when I can successfully produce a decent pizza I will post the pics.

    My method:
    Pizza One
    1. Bought 3 pre-made pizza doughs from Trader Joes, 2 plain and 1 whole wheat.
    2. Started the charcoal briquet starter, when ready dumped in weber, heated grill for 10 min. cleaned grill. Started 2nd group of charcoal in briquet starter.
    3. Added pizza stone, and preheat. Preheat stone time would be the time to start 2nd batch of charcoal.
    4. Ready toppings and dough. Making a round pizza out of the dough was an interesting challenge. The package said make 12" pie. I was able to get to about 14".

    BIG PROBLEM, no pizza peel (paddle). After going to target, walmart, sears, I was still up pizza-creek without a paddle (peel). Moving sticky dough is tough enough, loading that dough after the sauce and toppings are added is impossible. After getting a reasonable pie shape I had put the dough on a floured pizza tray, stretched till about 14" then added sauce and toppings. I put the tray on the pizza stone. The idea let the crust get firm and then slide pizza directly on pizza stone, cooked in tray about 3 or 4 minutes.

    5. Slid pizza directly on pizza stone and cooked about 8-9 minutes, until toppings done.

    The majority of crust bottom burned crisp, the top was not quite done, could have cooked another minute or two.
    Still editable on outer edges.

    Adjustment for 2nd pizza.
    I raised stone 2" off grill with metal ring I have. This time instead of pizza tray, I used a throw-a-way 12" thin aluminum pizza pan, again put on stone. After 2 minutes slid pizza out of pan directly on stone. I peeked about 2 minutes later and the dough was rising and cooking very nice. Cooked for another 7 minutes.
    Again the crust bottom was burned, mostly the center. The top was almost perfect, nicely cooked, the outer crust was done nicely and tasted great. Most of the pizza was editable.

    Adjustment for pizza 3
    The 3rd pizza was the wheat dough. We decided to push all the charcoal to the sides, leaving about 6-8" bare space in the center of charcoal rack. This also got the remaining coals very hot. Again used another 12" aluminum pan to place pizza on stone. Cooked 2 min. in alum. pan then slid pizza directly on stone. We peeked at about 5 min. the pizza top looked great. Cooked another minute, and pulled.
    The center of the crust was burned again, but not as bad as pizza 1 or 2. The pizza top looked amazing the side crust looked great, the top looked as good as pizzeria pizza. Taste, pizza 3 almost had that taste, it was good, everything cooked, cheese melted perfectly. The bottom crust had a slight crisp bread like crunch, except in center where bottom was burned.

    1. Absolute must, get a pizza peel! After all was done, I realized I could have used cardboard + parchment paper. I had both.
    2. Putting the uncooked pizza directly on the stone would have had much better results. The alum tray or pan reflects heat away, yet was sitting on a 500 deg stone, the bottom is getting cooked but the heat is not going through the pizza and cooking the remainder.
    3. NO olive oil on bottom crust. I kept seeing this in videos about cooking pizza on bbq grill. However in none of these videos was a pizza stone used. Yes olive oil is needed to help brown crust quickly when no stone is used. When a stone is used the olive oil burns.
    4. Need to get two new remote probe digital or dual probe thermometers (my taylor quit). I need to monitor what is happening with temperatures, both on the stone and 2 or 3" above stone. I had a oven thermometer on the stone, it read 550 deg, so the stone temp was near perfect.
    5. I liked moving the coals to the sides. I will get about a 10" x 6"hi metal ring, when I add 2nd batch of briquets I will then use the metal ring to keep coals to the side. The cordierite stone holds heat, so there should be enough radiant heat to keep the stone at 500+deg with coals not directly under the stone. I will play with it both ways of course.
    6. Next time I will do some dry runs on dough alone. Learning what is happening with the heat, during the cooking process is critical to good results. Controlling heat is what us smoker/grillers do to get great tasting food.
  16. deltadude

    deltadude Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    2nd attempt at pizza on a Weber Kettle.

    Changes from the 1st attempt.
    1. I didn't have a pizza peel (paddle) to move dough to and from Weber/pizza stone. Still couldn't locate at any location convenient to me, will have to buy one online. So I improvised. I remember I had smooth small sheet of walnut panel board. So I rubbed on some mineral oil, then flour, then corn meal to prep it for pizza dough.

    2. Instead of 2 stages of charcoal, I used one stage, 2 full starter cans of briquets. I started one starter can until was about 50% lit, dumped into weber then added 2nd starter can amount unlit to the lit briquets in weber. Lid off until all briquets were lit.

    3. I used metal ring to get stone off grill about 2.5" on all 3 pizzas. On first pizza cook I only used ring on last pizza.

    After briquets were all lit I added cooking grate and pizza stone, and preheated stone for 45 minutes. During this time I prep all the pizza toppings and sauce.

    After 45 minutes the temp gauge (oven thermometer) sitting on top of the stone was pegged over 600 deg. It would be at least another 30 minutes until the 1st pizza went on.

    Using the wood panel with corn meal, I built the pizza and slid onto stone. The 1st two pizzas toppings and cheeze were kept fairly light to promote faster cooking.
    Toppings for all 3 pizza were the same.
    • Cheese was blend of 2/3 mozzarella, 1/3 monterey jack, 1/3 mild cheddar.
    • Italian sausage
    • Pepperoni
    • chopped bell pepper, onion, green onion, tomatoes, mushrooms.
    • tomato basil, garlic sauce.
    1st pizza cooked about 6 or 7 minutes. Results were good, crust was crisp, slight char in random spots on bottom of crust, crunch to the side of the crust, fresh baked bread taste to crust. The bottom in center was slightly stuck to stone. (I think this was due to center of dough tearing a bit and slight amount of liquid getting on stone.)

    2nd pizza cooked about 7 or 8 minutes. Results were better than 1st, crust bottom was perfect, sides were crisp crunch, top was cooked almost perfect, no stick to stone. (I used more corn meal on board and pizza slid perfectly onto stone, on 1st pizza I had to pull a bit and thus the possible tear.

    Prior to putting 1st pizza on I brushed stone with my grill brush, thus lid was off. Before putting on each pizza same procedure, the corn meal burns and has to be brushed off of stone. As a result a lot of heat is escaping.
    By the time the 3rd pizza was put on the stone, both the charcoal briquets has burned down some, and the stone has cooled.

    The 3rd pizza (in picture) cooked for 10 minutes +. The dough was not cooking as fast and the toppings while done were not crisping up. Also there was less cheese because we ran out. Earlier I had accidentally dumped our cheese on the ground, so had to grate more.
    Results, the pizza dough is not as crisp, and more chewy. The bottom was only slightly crisp. Obviously not enough heat .

    1. Use two stages of briquets, one starter can lit completely, then add cooking grate and stone. While stone is preheating start 2nd starter can, add just prior to cooking, about 10-15 min prior to cooking 1st pizza. The 2nd starter can briquets need to be all lit before adding to weber. This should result in more consistent temperature, since new briquets will keep the heat going. Also maybe add 1/2 can of unlit charcoal to extend the cook/even temperature burn.

    2. I have to work on technique to not lift lid completely when putting on or taking off pizza from stone. Too much heat is lost.

    3. Buy pizza peel. Maybe even buy two, that way can build pizza on 2nd peel while 1st is used to remove pizza. Of course I have my makeshift peel.

    4. Temperatures need to be above 500deg for the pizza to be cooking without turning. (Most people cook one side then remove add toppings then return pizza to grill to cook other side & toppings.) On a weber kettle managing that heat is the real challenge.

    My son is complaining there isn't enough of that smoky oven flavor. Most likely due to the short cook times. Next time I'm going to try cooking the pizza on weber kettle, then remove and place in MES at about 170 deg and smoke for 20 minutes.
  17. supervman

    supervman Smoking Fanatic

    Papa Murphy's take out sells Peels and Cutters reasonable.
  18. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    looks great
  19. b8h8r

    b8h8r Smoke Blower

    Instead of flour between dough and peel or cardboard, etc. use corn meal. Dough will slide like butter. Check out the bottom of your dominos box next time. Looks good though.[​IMG]
  20. bigwayne

    bigwayne Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the writeup on your experiences. I have seen writeups of how to do it, but never detailing the mistakes I would be likely to make as well. I am going to try something similar very soon.

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