4 Simple Tips to Optimize the Mighty Pizza Oven Temperature

The Mighty Pizza Oven temperature can reach 600oF to over 800oF high temperature by simply using 2 to 3 burners with a minimum 10,000BTU per burner. How, you ask? Follow the simple tips below.

 

What You Need:

  • Infrared (IR) Thermometer – an essential tool in pizza baking, it determines the temperature of oven floor and ceiling, choose a thermometer that can measure temperatures over 900oF.
  • Water mist spray bottle
  • Heavy duty aluminum foil
  • 1 piece 15” x16” metal wire mesh (mesh size of 0.5″x 0.5″ or 1″x1″)
  • 2 pieces ⅛” x 2” toggle bolts
  • 14” diameter ½” height round aluminum pan
  •  A handful of ⅛” high stainless steel nuts

 

Tip # 1 – Cover Open Areas

 

The Mighty Pizza Oven foot print is 17″x17″.However, majority of gas grill grates area (cooking area) is larger than that. If you’re worried that heat would escape on the areas not covered by the Mighty Pizza Oven, you can simply close the gap by covering the open areas with couple layers of heavy duty aluminum foil.

 

Tip 2- Positioning Mighty Pizza Oven over the burners

 

The Mighty Pizza Oven is directly dependent on the quality of the grill it is attached to; its internal temperature is influenced by a couple of factors. These include the type of gas grill, the number of burners available, burners’ shape, space between burners, and BTU rating of burners. Since all grills are almost unique from one another, there is a need to adjust the Mighty Pizza Oven’s condition to better suit your grill.

 

If you incorporate Tip1, the Mighty Pizza Oven can reach over 625oF using only 2 burner gas grill with a minimum power of 10,000BTU on each burner. To optimize the heat flow, the Mighty Pizza Oven should be position over the burners in such a way that the majority of the flame heat is located within the red zone areas as shown below in the figure.

 

Positioning Mighty Pizza Oven 2

 

If using 2-burners gas grill, it is suggested that the Mighty Pizza Oven be positioned at the top center of the two burners. If your grill contains steel flavorizer bars (like the one shown below), it recommended to remove them to allow the Mighty Pizza Oven to heat up fast and efficient.

 

 Steel Flavorizer Bars

 

If you have a 3- or more burner gas grills, it is recommended that the Mighty Pizza Oven be positioned at the top center of the three burners. The first and third burners should be turned on and set on high while the middle burner should be turned off (see figure below).

 

PositioningMightyPizzaOven

 

If you’re done positioning the Mighty Pizza Oven on your gas grill, the next step is to have the top and bottom stone temperature of Mighty Pizza Oven very close to each other. Here is where infrared thermometer enters.

 

The temperature of the oven’s floor and ceiling and the baking stones can only be measured through the use of infrared temperature. Take note though that at first, the hotter the top stone is, the better. If the bottom stone gets way hotter than the top stone, pizza crust will get cooked faster than the toppings. This would lead to uneven baking and, worse, burning of crust. It is thus recommended that the Mighty Pizza Oven be heated first without the bottom stone. Doing so would expose the top stone to direct heat and gets a head start on heating compared to the bottom stone. If the bottom stone is heated at the same time with the top stone, the bottom stone will block the majority of heat source. The top stone should also be heated first to induce proper heat convection. Once the top stone is hot, majority of the burner’s hot air will be forced to be channeled through the chimney due to chimney effect. You can really feel how hot and how fast the draft is when you turn off all your gas grill burners.

 

Note:

  • This is where the infrared thermometer is necessary. Without it, it would be impossible to determine the Mighty Pizza Oven’s stone temperatures.
  • To figure out the best setting for the Mighty Pizza Oven on your grill, you may burn a few pies before figuring out the best location for your Mighty Pizza Oven on your grill as well as your burners setting. Just keep trying! After some practice, you’ll then figure out the best setup of Mighty Pizza Oven on your gas grill.
  • It would be tempting to use all 3 or more burners to get Mighty Pizza Oven hotter, but doing so is extremely not recommended. Yes, the oven temperature can reach over 800 to 900oF. With these high temperatures, difficulty in balancing the Mighty Pizza Oven’s bottom and top stone temperature will be experienced without implementing tip 3 & 4.

Let’s take a break! Here are the images of the pies I baked in Mighty Pizza Oven following tips #1 and #2. My Mighty Pizza Oven reached 625oF-675oF on my gas grill. Yeah, I know. Those crusts look amazing, right? I used this dough recipe and let it rise for 5 hours. If you have difficulty in preparing your dough, follow the steps here http://www.mightypizzaoven.com/new-york-pizza/:

 

  • 100% King Arthur Bread Flour
  • 63% Water
  • 0.21% Active Dry Yeast
  • 3% Salt
  • 2% Olive Oil

 

 

Tip 3- Insulation Sheet ( Included with MPO 2) 

 

There is a way to get the Mighty Pizza Oven and top stone temperature higher. To be able to do so, slide a metal sheet in the slot above the top stone and position it all the way in the front of the Mighty Pizza Oven with the aid of log bolts.

 

First, you have to create an insulation sheet. I made mine using metal wire mesh for the original MPO, an aluminum insulation sheet is included with MPO2. Its size should be the same as that of the top stone, 16”x15”. Cover the wire mesh with aluminum foil, shiny side out.

 

IMG_6855

 

Attach 2 log bolts on 2 corners of the wrapped wire mesh as shown below.

 

IMG_6852

 

IMG_6853

IMG_6854

IMG_6856

 

Once ready, insert the insulation sheet inside the Mighty Oven’s mid rail (the top stone is located at the bottom rail). Push the insulation so that its front end is touching the front side of the Mighty Pizza Oven. You can easily move and keep the insulation sheet in place using the log bolts (see figure below).The metal sheet will acts as insulation for the top stone. It slows down and redirects hot air flow which allows the top stone and Mighty Pizza Oven in general to retain more heat.

 

MPO-with_inserted_sheet

 

Another pizza time! Using combined tips 1, 2, and 3, my Mighty Pizza Oven reached low 800oF on my gas grill. These lovely pies are baked for 3 minutes more or less. Of course I will not leave out the dough recipe. I allowed to rise for 24 hours. Here it is:

 

  • 100% King Arthur All Purpose Flour
  • 63% Water
  • 0.04% Active Dry Yeast
  • 3% Salt
  • 2% Olive Oil

 

 

Tip 4- Neapolitan Pies with Mighty Pizza Oven

 

You’re probably wondering, “How about the Neapolitans?”. Do not worry! Using tips 1, 2, and 3 plus 3 burners you can create the perfect temperature (over 800oF) for baking Neapolitan pizzas. Of course the bottom and top will still need to have balanced temperature. To prevent the bottom stone from getting hotter than the top stone, you need to keep it away from direct heat. First, evenly arrange couples of ⅛” high stainless steel nuts on a 14” diameter ½” height round aluminum pan. Balance the bottom stone on the steel nuts. During baking of a Neapolitan pizza inside the Mighty Pizza Oven, use three burners on high. Set the middle burner on low when you are not baking or while you are preparing another pizza. This helps prevent bottom stone from getting hotter than the top stone which lead to burning you pizza bottom before getting you pizza top done.

 

 

Want samples of my Neapolitans? Here is a set of pies baked at over 800oF for two minutes with my Mighty Pizza Oven.

 

 

Final Notes:

  • These tips apply to common gas grills with tube burners that positioned front to back. If using other types of grill, positioning of Mighty Pizza Oven may require different approach.
  • For pizza baking temperatures between 500 and 675oF, bread flour is recommended. For temperatures between 650 and 750oF, however, all-purpose flour is more suitable.
  • Caputo flour requires over 800oF to brown when baked. Hence, it is not recommended to be used on regular pies, unless you intend to take the temperature to extreme.
  • Long BBQ gloves are required whenever operating Mighty Pizza Oven especially when operating at high temperatures.
  • Using 3 or more burners with the tips listed above will get the Mighty Pizza Oven extremely hot. Yes, the oven temperature can reach over 800 to 900oF. Your gas grill may not be capable to contain such high temperatures and some grill components may melt and malfunction. Please make sure your grill can handle these extreme temperatures.
  • Even if you used it a hundred of times already, DO NOT ever leave Mighty Pizza Oven and your gas grill unattended.

 

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2 responses to “4 Simple Tips to Optimize the Mighty Pizza Oven Temperature”

  1. Rich Keyes says:

    Have you heard of success with your oven and a TEC Sterling II grill? The TEC uses ceramic infrared burners that can get very hot. However, I am concerned that the shape of the burner may not work.

    I have tried a similar approach in the home oven but was disappointed with the results. Large rec commercial baking stone on top and a smaller round below.

    I am intrigued an wish you well.

    Best regards,

    Rich Keyes

  2. No one has used MPO on TEC Sterling II grill yet. Do you own one? if you do, you can test with your baking stones but you need an IR thermometer gun. I will email with some instruction later.

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