Adjustable Rig for the XL Big Green Egg® - PIzza
Pizza (baking) with the XL Adjustable Rig
Pizza and Baking are fan favorites on ceramic grills. Both cooks can be done on the XL Adjustable Rig very easily. For thin crust pizza, most folks prefer using just one stone. For thicker dough pizza, a second stone may be necessary depending on the baking temperatures, type and thickness of the dough and your experience.
We have two mantras for pizza cooks. If the dough is thin, then we treat the cook like a grilling cook. If the dough is thick, we treat the cook like a baking cook. By classifying the cook, grilling or baking, we instinctively get into the right cooking mode to make great pizzas. Sounds a little far fetched but it works for us.
Because pizza is such a diverse food, it's difficult for us to give an all-in-one cooking process. We can recommend that most folks find success with pizza by raising the pizza stone high in the dome. High in the dome provides the convection/reflective bounce off the dome for the pizza's top side. High in the dome also gives the rising heat ample space to create a consistent temperature zone.
You'll need some type of barrier between the stone and dough. It can be corn meal or parchment paper. With Pappa Murphy pizza, we use the tray that comes with the pizza.
The quickest set-up is the Rig and 17.5" Round Ceramic Stone. Same stone we use for indirect set-ups with barbeque cooks. The 20" Round or 16"x20" Oval Grid holds the Stone atop the Rig. The Stone is approximately 3" above the felt line.
Check the photo below. We pulled the stone toward the end of the cook to crisp the dough. Picture above shows the pizza's bottom side.
We do not recommend using the Big Green Egg® XL pizza stone with CGS equipment. We find it's just too big. The 21" BGE stone does not fit inside the Rig and may not fit on the Rig when the Rig is used atop the XL ConveGGtor or XL Woo.
We can push the pizza stone higher in the dome by using the XL Woo or ConveGGtor under the Rig set-up. With the Stone higher in the dome, the pizza benefits more from the convective and reflective forces in the dome.
If you find the pizza bottom burns, then a second stone or ConveGGtor may be required. Note with multiple stones, the bottom stone needs to be as big as the top stone(s). This insures the rising heat is pushed out past the edges of the upper baking stone(s).
Care must be taken when setting the stone at the felt line. If the stone is too large, it can push the heat out toward the felt and damage the felt. Again with pizza, we recommend setting the baking stone high in the dome to minimize damage to the felt.
If you are throwing a pizza party or plan to a good number of pizzas, we suggest doing more smaller size pizzas than fewer bigger ones. Going smaller, you can personalize them better. With smaller you can manage the cook easier by taking 'em off as each gets done. Plus, you can rotate or spin them on the stone to adjust for hot/cold spots in the stone.
With pizza parties, folks like to open the grill and show off the cook. Understandable, but honestly, it's not a good idea. The more the dome is open, the harder it will be to control the pizza stone temperature. So, when doing multiple pizzas, quick in and quick out of the grill is the goal. Also, if you are doing large number of pizzas, you might need to periodically close down the lower damper through the cooks. This compensates for opening and closing the dome so often.
We played with baking two pizzas at the same time. It can be done but this is truly a specialized cook as multiple stones absorb, convect and manage heat differently. We recommend limiting the pizza stone's diameter to 16" to help preserve the felt line and improve airflow though the grill. The best set-up we found is the sliding grids indirect set-up, so you can easily rotate the pizzas, if needed.
Having the pizza stones atop the Oval Grids in the sliding grids set-up makes it easy to rotate pizzas and/or the pizza stones. Just rotate the two Oval Grids. Our experience suggests overall cook times can be extended for both pizzas.