Vortex + Pizza rack + Stone = HOT!


 

Robert McGee

TVWBB Gold Member
I had a thought. Why not add the use of the Vortex together with my Pizza Rack and stone to see if it boosted temperatures closer to a wood fired pizza oven.

http://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?62734-Building-a-rack-for-a-Pizza-Stone&highlight=Pizza+stone+rack

Here is what the set up looks like:


A closer look:


The Vortex rests on the charcoal grate little end down. The pizza rack (two grates 4" apart) sits directly on top of a loaded Vortex (one large Weber chimney). I simply put one full chimney of unlit Kingsford Original briqs in the Vortex. The Vortex sits over the gas igniter. I place the pizza stone right on top of the "rack" (the stone is 4" above the mouth of the Vortex). I light the gas. This way the stone heats up gradually from the beginning (should reduce thermal shock to the stone). I use a Cucina Pro stone as it is made from the same material they use for their wood fired pizza ovens and is much thicker than oven stones.

Here are the test results, for any that might be interested:

Lid open after fire is lit to allow coals to ignite. After twenty minutes the top of the stone registers 430 degrees with my laser thermometer.

Close lid.

Twelve minutes with lid closed - 588 degrees.

After thirty minutes , 629 degrees on top of stone.

After one hour, 630 degrees...

After 1.4 hours, 580 degrees...

After 1.6 hours, 580 degrees...

at 2.0 hours, 480 degrees...

At this point I shut it down.

We had high winds (25-30 mph) and 94 degrees while I was doing this test. That may have slightly affected the results. I did no cooking while doing this - strictly a test.

It shows me that I DID achieve much higher heats with the Vortex. This is approaching a wood fired oven (I have read that 650-700 degrees is pretty common for a wood fired oven) and I look forward to my next pizza cook. This much higher heat should really reduce the time for cooking an individual pizza and will hopefully also increase the quality of the pizza (although I have been VERY happy with my pizzas up to now).

To be continued...

I would like to comment that there may truly be something wrong with me - anyone that decides to light a fire and work with 600 degree temps, deliberately, in 94 degree weather MUST have something wrong with them:eek:. Truth is I was so interested in the results, I didn't care:cool:.

Keep on smokin',
Dale53:wsm:
 

Pat G

TVWBB Gold Member
Robert, great info. I am going to try and use my Vortex with the big side up to sear some larger T-Bone steaks. The Vortex guys need to redo their website, they forgot to include pizza cooking and crab boils in the "uses" section.
 

Robert McGee

TVWBB Gold Member
Pat G;
Amen to that, brother!;)

Can you believe that the Vortex added at least 150 degrees to my stone temperature?. That's a LOT, in my book. Further, with a Weber small chimney LESS of briqs. It also means that you can grill pizza at LEAST an hour and a half before you approach my lower temps without it. And-d-d, I only pre-heated it thirty minutes (it was forty-five minutes before it got hot enough with my larger stone before the Vortex.

As you might expect, we will be grilling pizza AGAIN in a couple of days...:rolleyes:

Keep on smokin',
Dale53:wsm:
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Okay, if I see one more adventure with people doing great things with Vortex's I'll be forced to get one. Who's next?

Great test Robert, I'm impressed and thanks for documenting all the results.

Now to convince Barb I need another gadget, this may be painful.
 

Jake Asgood

New member
I am waiting to see the results of the pizza cook n this setup. A little worried if the pizza bottom will be burnt due to the intense heat the vortex puts out. Please keep us updated on your pizza cook. Thanks!
 

Pat G

TVWBB Gold Member
Okay, if I see one more adventure with people doing great things with Vortex's I'll be forced to get one. Who's next?

Great test Robert, I'm impressed and thanks for documenting all the results.

Now to convince Barb I need another gadget, this may be painful.

Go ahead and pull the trigger Rich. I, like many others, absolutely love the results. From what I've seen of Barb's cooking, she will use it as much as you do.
 

TonyUK

TVWBB Wizard
Nice write up Robert. Good info there. Looking forward to the pizza cooks in the pic gallery/

C'mon Rich, take one for the team. Barb can, legitimately, only hit you once with a blunt instrument. Then it's over & done with, & you get to keep the vortex. It's a no-brainer mate. :)
 

JeffG

TVWBB Guru
Nice write up Robert. Good info there. Looking forward to the pizza cooks in the pic gallery/

C'mon Rich, take one for the team. Barb can, legitimately, only hit you once with a blunt instrument. Then it's over & done with, & you get to keep the vortex. It's a no-brainer mate. :)

^^^^This made me laugh, thanks Tony.

Great idea Robert, Ill can't wait to see the results of your first pie.
 

Robert McGee

TVWBB Gold Member
I am waiting to see the results of the pizza cook n this setup. A little worried if the pizza bottom will be burnt due to the intense heat the vortex puts out. Please keep us updated on your pizza cook. Thanks!

Well, I tried grilling a pizza with the super heated stone. Jake's fears were warranted. The pizza was burned in the center (bottom) and barely finished on top. This was with a full large chimney of coals. Before I forget about this method, I want to try it with a small chimney of coals. The big chimney filled the Vortex (small end down) clear to the top. It just may be with a small chimney, the coals will be further from the stone and it might not overheat.

It's worth a try. I'll try it again in a few days. The worst that happens is that I am back where I started with excellent pizza with the pizza stone rack with the stone.

I keep you posted...

Keep on smokin',
Dale53:wsm:
 

 

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