What a day - read about our adventure.
Wood fired pizza ovens have been evolving for centuries, maturing into the igloo shapes made of fire bricks that we know today. These ancient, simple, ovens have cooked outstanding bread and pizza for centuries. What is so different from a Big Green Egg or Kamado style grill? It may be odd to think
So, why use a giant paddle?
You know that tool, the one you’ve always seen the chef at your favorite local pizzeria using—what special function does that paddle serve? The technical term for that handy pizza paddle is a “peel”. People often ask
We are pizza nuts spreading the idea of backyard craft pizza on the BGE. When doing demos we are always asked about opening this world to people who want gluten free pizza. I have been focused on getting traditional pizza just right so I have not put much attention on this challenge. One of my team members is a great cook and
If you have not been to this Egg Fest in the GA mountains - you are missing out. Ample parking, a tree-lined thoroughfare, buildings for the vendors, real bathrooms, and Lake Hiawasee in the background. We packed the Egg in the car and put the mobile cart on the back and headed 2 hours North to the mountains.
The site was absolutely gorgeous and we did most of the setup on Friday night before the fantastic covered dish cook's dinner. Thank you to all of the cooks who brought their "A-game" to the covered dish. (If you are going to attend a covered dish dinner - make sure there are a bunch of Eggers there! Wow)
Saturday morning we started setting up for Pizza production. We had 40 dough balls on deck and plenty of ingredients to make a variety of different pizzas.
We cranked up the egg about 8:45 thinking that with a 9:00 gate opening, we would have "tasters" at about 9:30. We were wrong! People showed up at 9:02 and were excited to start tasting food.
This photo was taken at about 11:00. See the line in the background? We had great folks coming by all day long. There were many questions about how to handle dough and transfer it to the pizza stone. We tried to do as many demos as possible. I even had a challenger watching my every move to see if one would stick to the peel. I had one stick to the peel late in the day - we got a little more cornmeal on that edge and it slid right in.
My good friend Mark was a substitute pizza chef for this event. He actually volunteered for this. For those who watched and tasted, Mark had only made 4 or 5 pizzas before this event. I think you will agree he did a great job.
With the help of both of our daughters we cranked out and served pizzas. At about 12:30 it was time to add charcoal. So our first load of charcoal lasted nearly 4 hours. This is a new record for the Pizza-Porta cooling crew! We reloaded and after a 10 minute warm up we were cooking again. We realized that we had already cooked 28 pizzas! Only 12 left for an event that lasts until 3:00!
We were so busy that we didn't take very good photos of our creations. This Margherita was near the end of the day. We slowed our pace a bit and ventured out to taste some of the fantastic dishes from our Egg neighbors. Shout out to elk sausage, stuffed peppers, and some sort of pork extravaganza on a tooth pick.
This is our last pizza at about 2:15.
We got to meet some legendary eggers and some who were taking the plunge by buying an Egg at the festival. Welcome to the family! Thank you to all the organizers. A special thank you to Crane Creek Vineyards for agreeing to share booth space. See you next year!
Thank you for reading.
Sign up to get updates on our progress. here
You can now purchase your own Pizza-Porta here
Post trip update:
While unpacking, I found the leftover charcoal from the entire day of cooking pizza - we used 1/2 bag for 40 pizzas..
We were planning to do an event at on offsite location. It is better to roll out dough on a granite countertop that is easy to clean and has a smooth texture. I came up with this simple, cheap, tile solution.
I visited a major floor and decor tile outlet and found this large 23" by 23" ceramic tile. As you can see it is hard to tell that it is not real marble. The marble tiles would have worked, but this tile was less than $10. I will bet that you could just lay this tile on your BGE table and it would be fine for years. I am a classic over-doer so I rough cut a $12 piece of cement backer board glued it to the back and then used a trim bit on the router to trim it flush.
This makes a perfect surface to press out your dough right next to the Big Green Egg. This size also leaves room for your tomato sauce, onions, mushrooms, and BBQ pork in containers around the edge.
Sign up on our page for future updates.