The quest to bake the perfect pizza at home can be an arduous one. Your kitchen oven simply cannot reach the temperature needed for the ultimate pizza and of course, there would be zero wood flavour. Many other braai brands on the market claiming to be “as good as the Egg but a lot cheaper” crack under the pressure when put to the test of high temperature cooking. Sometimes it pays to invest a bit more to achieve the best possible result. This is that one time! You want to choose the market leader in charcoal braais that’s been around for 40 years – and counting. It makes sense to choose the outdoor cooker that carries a lifetime warranty on the ceramics because high temperature cooking – and low-and-slow – is where the EGG blows the competition away! You want a quick-to-reach-temperature and easy-to-sustain pizza oven that turns out one delicious pizza after the other without losing heat.
Now that you now why the Big Green Egg is perfect for pizza, let’s share our tips and tricks of how to bake that perfect pizza at home…
- Preparation is key: Give your EGG a good clean out to ensure there is no ash or coal blocking any vents.
- Check your firebox: Ensure the gap in the firebox is aligned to the bottom vent as you’ll struggle otherwise to reach the required high temperature.
- The correct set-up: The EGGhead forum is rich with advice on this and is worth a read. While we don’t advocate using bricks etc. in your EGG, you can play around with a couple of configurations. Ideally, the convEGGtor should be in place in the “legs up” position, on top of which rests your stainless steel grid followed by a pizza baking stone. Trying to bake directly (without the convEGGtor) would burn the pizza base as the convEGGtor acts as a barrier between the flame and food turning your EGG into a convection oven.
- Fuelling the EGG: Thanks to the unique design, there’s no such thing as “wasted charcoal” as you simply re-use leftover coal at your next cook. So, go ahead and load up the firebox right to the top!
- Getting to temperature: Lighting your EGG as usual, you can heat up your baking stone as soon as the desired temperature has been reached and stabilised some. Bearing in mind you’ll lose a bit of heat when the stone is inserted, those thick ceramic walls mean you’ll be up to temperature again in no time! The general consensus is about 30 – 40 minutes heating time on the stone.
- BURP your EGG! We can’t stress this enough. When cooking at high temperatures (over 200°C), gently raise the lid to prevent any flare ups.
- Preparing the pizza: Assemble the pizza just before sliding it into the Big Green Egg to bake. Doing so long before, will result in it sticking to the pizza peel. Avoid too many wet toppings when baking a thin crust pizza.
- To flour or not flour the pizza stone: The jury is very much out on this one! Many people swear by a dusting of cornmeal or flour on the pizza peel before sliding the pizza onto a floured stone. Others make use of parchment paper. Your pizza should not stick to a well heated hot stone.
- Recommended baking times: For thin crust pizza at 375°C, 4-5 minutes should be enough to get you golden on top and baked through at the bottom. Thick crust pizza can be baked at 300°C for 7-10 minutes while a Deep Dish Pizza Pie can go in at 190°C for about 20 – 25 minutes. Gently open the lid and have a look at the pizza base in between to ensure an even bake.
- Closing the daisy wheel: A lot of EGGheads swear by closing the dual function metal top once the pizza is baking for extra smokiness.
While there may be as many tips and tricks to the perfect pizza as there are toppings to choose from, one thing is certain: Big Green Egg is perfect for pizza!
We’ve given pizza a local twist with our Bobotie Pizza with Quick Pineapple Chutney.