pizza prep

The Egg is a dome, a pizza oven is a dome. What is different?

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

Is it a paddle, shovel, spatula, peal, or peel?

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

Gluten Free Pizza with traditional pizza character!

Gluten Free Pizza with traditional pizza character!

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

Hiawassee Egg Fest - Beautiful mountain setting and great food

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.

IMG_4767

IMG_4767

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.

IMG_4771

IMG_4771

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.

IMG_4794

IMG_4794

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.

IMG_4792

IMG_4792

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!

IMG_4790

IMG_4790

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.

IMG_4789

IMG_4789

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.

Cortlandt

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..

Pizza Prep Hack

PizzaPorta-35.jpg

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. SONY DSC

 

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 SONY DSCused 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.