I am asking a couple of experts in their field 5 questions. I hope this helps you learn some great tips for cooking great pizza. This is the first interview in the series. As you know we are fans of the Kick Ash Basket. I asked Chad, the President of Kick Ash Basket these 5 questions.
Q1 – What is the advantage of a basket over a standard cast iron charcoal grate for high pizza cooking temperatures?
Chad: With a standard charcoal grate in the grill, the small holes tend to get blocked by charcoal chunks during a cook (if they weren't already plugged at the beginning of the cook due to insufficient cleaning of the left-over charcoal). The basket is more open and allows the ash and small chunks to fall through the bottom easily. The basket design also keeps charcoal away from the sides of the grill and the secondary side air holes. With better air flow you get better, consistent temperature control throughout your pizza cook.
Q2 – Pizza cooks hot, will the high temperature required for pizza affect the basket?
Chad : The Kick Ash Basket is made from high quality heavy-gauge stainless steel and is resistance welded like a truck frame. High temps for pizzas minimally effect the stainless basket other than discoloration due to high heat, charcoal and grease. There is a 3 year manufacturers warranty on the stainless steel Kick Ash Basket.
Q3 – How do you reload if you burn through all of the charcoal?
Chad: If your Pizza Party is going crazy good and you notice the temperature starting to drop, you may need to add more charcoal to your grill. If that is the case, Grab some Kick Ash Hot Gloves, a Kick Ash Super lifter (to lift the plate setter) and remove your cooking rig to a safe place that can handle the heat. Then you can add more charcoal right on top of the remaining fire. You may want to shake the Kick Ash Basket to have clean burning embers. Also, let the fire kick up a bit before reinstalling your cooking set-up, that way you know that you'll be back up to temperature as fast as possible.
Q4 – Does the basket change the overall cooking experience in other ways?
Chad: When lighting, open up the vents and you can achieve high temperatures faster than you've been able to reach them before. As mentioned above, the Kick Ash Basket creates an environment for optimum air flow with consistent temperature control throughout your cook. The basket also keeps the charcoal away from the secondary side air holes for better cooking. And, when you are ready to cook the next time you just -shake that ash- off your leftover charcoal. All this makes your grilling experience totally Kick Ash!
Q5 – What does everyone need to know that I haven't asked?
Chad: Ceramic kamado style grills have been around for a very long time and provide an extremely versatile cooking experience. The simplicity of the system with the lower vent and top vents to control your temperatures is timeless. However, if the internal system is misaligned or simply clogged up you will have a slow start and a frustrating afternoon. With the simplicity of the Kick Ash Basket providing the opportunity to clean left over charcoal and remove ash from your grill before every cook, the kamado grill experience elevates to a whole new level. The Kick Ash Basket has been Kicking Ash and Making Flames since 2014.
Bonus Question – What is your favorite pizza?
Chad: I had some great friends make a Thin Crust Chicago Style Hot Dog Pizza. It was so good and unique that I think about it and talk about it often!
Thanks Chad - I appreciate you explaining the difference that your basket makes!
If you are looking for a Kick Ash Basket, you can find them on his site, or use the dealer locator to find a dealer near you. Click here for the Kick Ash Basket