SETUP INSTRUCTIONS

 
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The XL has an offset spring hinge so installation is different than the large.

Fill the BGE with charcoal - 600-700F cooking kamado consumes charcoal faster than a regular cook.

Setup:

Start by placing the plate setter with legs down.  Make sure one of the legs is positioned toward the front.  The plate setter does not have to sit down in the notches of the fire ring. Then, place the cooking grate to separate the hot plate setter from the pizza stone. Additional spacers can be placed here. I choose to place an additional deflector under the pizza stone - in this case an aluminum deflector.  Then, place the pizza stone.  I recommend the 14" stone on the XL as the larger stone extends beyond the plate setter and blocks a great deal of heat. If you have the XL stone, make sure to space it up above the felt line to allow heat to flow around the edge.

Installation:

Set the Pizza-Porta on the base of the grill positioned slightly offset toward the front (1/2"). Lower the dome. Just before the dome is fully closed push the Pizza-Porta toward the rear, positioning it left and right at the same time to center. The top metal tabs should be inside the dome allowing it to close tightly around the perimeter.  The rear of the Pizza-Porta does have some flex designed in so it may be a bit tight on first fitting.

Troubleshooting: 

The hinges of the BGE allow some variability in their adjustment, and they can drift with usage.  Sometimes dealers even get the hinge too high or low.  If the Pizza-Porta does not fit as described above, ensure that the hinge is 10mm apart all the way around and that it is centered between the top and bottom.  Follow the BGE instructions for adjustment procedure.  Tighten the bolts regularly. 

SETUP WITH A RISER RACK

This is a brief picto-blog of a different setup on the XL Big Green Egg for pizza.  This is a fantastic arrangement for cooking at 700 degrees.

 

You should do a dry run of this setup to get everything aligned.  When you are going to actually cook, get your charcoal started here and do the rest of this assembly as it is heating up. Really fill the firebox for a high temp cook that will last 3.5 hours. This XL in this photo could use even more charcoal.

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The next addition is the plate setter or Eggcessory® called the convEGGtor®.  It is very important to put one of the legs forward to block the heat at the door.  Next, I use a raiser rack, but you can use anything as long as it does not transmit heat and it gets the pizza stone up off the plate setter by a couple of inches. Balls of aluminum foil, flower pots etc.

 

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And now a little secret sauce. This is our aluminum deflector. I place it on the raiser rack and position the arm toward the rear so that I don't send pizzas off the back. 

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Then comes the Pizza stone. This is the 14" Big Green Egg pizza stone, but any heavy-duty stone will work. Just use the same size aluminum pan as pizza stone.  I also had better results with the 21" stone using a pizza pan below it. If you have not purchased an XL pizza stone, I wouldn't recommend it.  It is so large that it traps heat.  Make 3 12" pizzas instead of 1 16".

The XL Pizza-Porta installs by setting the unit on the base of the BGE with the dome open.  Align it 1/2" to 1" forward (away from the hinge).  As you lower the top, slide the unit back into place.  The sides should align with the edges of the Egg base. The top tabs should just slide inside the top dome.  They are stops so that you do not pull the unit out when opening the door. You can bend them back slightly if they keep the lid from closing fully.  You can flex the top and bottom sections on the back of the Pizza-Porta together with your hand if the back of the BGE is too tight.

 

 Top safety Tabs

Top safety Tabs

Closeup of the tab.  With the hinge at factory recommended settings, these tabs will rest against the inside of the dome/lid and are designed to match the slope of the lid closure.

 

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If everything is aligned and fits, go back and start the fire.  Open the chimney, or daisy wheel and close the Pizza-Porta side vents to let the chimney action bring the temperature up.  Unlock the vent locks from the door as shown while they are cool.

Wait until the temperature reaches 500-550F before opening the side vents and closing the chimney. You can now even use the BGE ceramic top cap. Once you make the change to using the side vents, it will take 10-15 minutes for things to settle.  The dome heat may be 550 or 600, but the stones take a while to get up to temperature. Pizza dough will stick to the stone if it is below about 400F.

Once the heat has soaked in you can adjust the bottom vent and side vents to match your temperature.  I find that the temperature will continue to climb as the walls and interior ceramic heats up, just damper down the bottom and side vents to control the kamado temperature.

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Now it is time to cook pizzas.  Remember that wood fired pizza looks a bit darker than pizza cooked in an electric oven.  That is the whole point! Watch the bottom of pizza for done-ness, and hold the pizza up in the dome on the peel if you want to brown the top a bit more.  This is an authentic kamado wood-fired pizza - and it was cooked in an XL with a Pizza-Porta.

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Enjoy!

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