Pizza on the Big Green Egg/ Kamado Joe is already great - how could this accessory make it any better?
Pizza can be great on the BGE. I know first-hand as I mine turned out great from time to time. Unfortunately, I made way more average and burned pizzas. The Pizza-Porta® is designed so that the oven chamber of a kamado grill matches that of a wood-fired pizza oven. The Pizza-Porta cooks pizza like pizza likes to be cooked, hot and steady. I wanted the techniques I was learning in dough making and handling to result in better and better pizza. I was held back by the inconsistency and uneven temperature of the oven chamber. Read on for the details.
How does it work?
The Pizza-Porta allows the top vent/cap to be closed off while cooking. This simple change completely alters the cooking process. You can stop losing your heat.
The heat is contained in the dome, heating up the ceramic to increase radiant energy that is now focused on the top of the pizza.
The side vents are below the dome, so airflow is directed over and around the pizza, creating convection oven cooking.
The door keeps the airflow under control for steady, consistent temperatures.
This is only if you are making multiple pizzas, right?
The Pizza-Porta helps you keep the temperature steady so your first pizza cooks the same as your last pizza. It is invaluable for making three, ten, or twenty pizzas for a party. But, most importantly, the changes that improve the cooking chamber and temperature-balance will make a profound difference in every one of your pizzas.
How long does it take to install?
The Pizza-Porta just sits in the grill. There are no brackets or adapters. After ensuing that everything is aligned, simply place the Pizza-Porta and close the lid.
How long does it take to cook a pizza?
At 650°F, a pizza will cook in less than 5 minutes in a Pizza-Porta. This is different than cooking at 650°F without the Pizza-Porta because so much of the heat energy is lost through the chimney.
Is the Pizza-Porta really “Made in the USA?”
When the project started we looked for a manufacturing partner who could help refine the design and make it better for manufacturing. We were lucky to find METCAM in Alpharetta, GA when they had an opening in their Business Solutions Division. The Pizza-Porta, and the RCL rack are cut and formed with US labor right here in Georgia. The box is made in Suwanee GA and the Oak handles are made in Nicklesville Ga.
Why do you need a door?
You wouldn’t cook on your Big Green Egg/Kamado Joe with the lid open would you? What does the temperature do if you leave the cap completely off? The kamado grill concept is based on controlling the cooking temperature by controlling the airflow. We preserve the airflow control by closing the door and chimney and adjusting the airflow with side vents. A side benefit is that the temperature is more balanced front to back.
What is your set-up?
For a single pizza stone use the plate setter legs down, the metal grate, some spacers (like 1" aluminum foil balls) and then the pizza stone. Our deflector accessory adds additional deflection and also includes a backstop to keep pizza from being pushed off the back.
Can you cook two pizzas in there at the same time?
Why yes you can. We purposely designed the door to accommodate a double-stacked rig. Our RCL double rack holds the stones at the perfect height for access and also folds for storage. With a double rack you have about the same capacity as a 34” Wood Fired Oven.
Can you cook other things in there?
We called it the Pizza-Porta, but we could have called it the Anything-Porta. You can cook anything in a Pizza-Porta. If you have a cast iron skillet, placing it in the oven door is much more convenient than burping the egg and reaching over all that escaping heat. Blackened fish - yup, bread baking - easy, casseroles -sure, Deep dish pizza - of course, cherry pie - definitely. You can simply dial the temperature you want with the side vents.
What grills will it fit?
There are 7 Pizza-Porta units. There are small units to fit the BGE MiniMax and the Joe Junior. The 2 larges will fit the Large Big Green Egg, the Kamado Joe Classic (pre air hinge), Big Steel Keg, Primo round, and it will fit the Grill Dome and Akorn. The Kamado Joe classic version fits the air-hinge classic size (with the front latch). The Pizza-Porta XL will fit the Big Green Egg XL. The Big Joe version fits the AIr-Hinge Kamad0 Joe, Big Joe. See the list Here.
The hinge style and the diameter dictate whether it will fit.
Does it use a stone? What else do I need?
Yes, you cook pizza on a pizza stone inside the Pizza-Porta. We recommend a heavy pizza stone rated for over 700°F. You will also need at least one pizza peel to place and retrieve your pizza from the oven. We recommend a wooden peel for placing and a metal peel for retrieving. A Kick Ash Basket is a great choice to ensure high temperature.
Where do you get your dough?
We make our own dough. It is very inexpensive and with a little practice is easy to do. Many pizza places will sell you raw 8oz dough balls if you ask. Grocery store dough is usually repackaged bread dough and will test your will. For dough recipes click HERE.
How do you shut it down?
You do not need to handle a very hot accessory for shut-down. The Pizza-Porta is designed to control the airflow. Simply close/latch the side vents and close the bottom vent of the grill and the charcoal will be starved of oxygen and extinguish.
Is there a temperature Maximum?
The Pizza-Porta is manufactured of 304 stainless. We chose this more expensive material so that material/finish is not a limitation to the temperature that you run. Some chefs run at 800F-900F. You will want to practice at different temperatures to find what suits your style.
How long does a load of charcoal last?
A full load of charcoal will last about 3.5 - 4 hours. Your results may vary, but it is great to load it and forget it for a party. With a single stone and a few cocktail breaks that is easily 20 pizzas! Perfect for a pizza party.
Is it made out of real stainless steel?
We wanted so badly to paint the Pizza-Porta red, white and green. (the Italian flag). One of our prototypes at our first Pensacola Eggfest was painted with special automotive paint rated at 900℉. Unfortunately the paint deteriorated and left the metal exposed. We searched and searched without any luck for a powder coat or a paint that would handle the temperatures of a pizza oven. It is a great deal more expensive to use thick, high grade stainless, but to ensure the durability of the Pizza-Porta it must be made of 20 gauge 304 stainless steel (many grills are made with 430 stainless which rusts). All of the metal and the hardware is made of this high grade, non-magnetic stainless. If a magnet sticks to it, you know it is not high grade stainless.
Can I make a 18" pizza in there?
The Pizza-Porta was carefully engineered to manage the temperate by limiting airflow. We had to balance air exchange with convenient access size. The opening of the Large is 14" wide and 6” tall and the XL is 16" X 6 1/4”. Pizzas cook fast so we recommend making 2 or 3 12" pizzas rather than one huge pizza. The Small has a 12”X 3 3/4” opening which is great for 10” pies.
Is the Pizza-Porta® worth it?
Of course we are going to say ‘yes’. But consider that kamado grills were not designed to bake pizzas. Yes, you can put a pizza stone in and cook a pizza, but it will not cook as evenly or as steady as it would in an oven chamber optimized to cook pizza. You could also throw a pork shoulder in a crock-pot to make pulled pork. How will that compare to the pork you cook in your kamado grill?
Pizza is a wonderful dish to add to your repertoire. And, having an oven running at a steady, even temperature makes pizza night much more enjoyable. Your guests or family can participate and have their pizza creations come to life. For you, there is so much less stress about losing temperature or burning the bottom of a pizza. You will notice the difference in a pizza that is cooked evenly at over 650F. It is fantastic. Our customers say it changes their pizza game.
You can learn more by visiting our BLOG
Or, check out our customer photo album HERE