May be the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten.
Thick slices of fresh bread I baked and grilled with a swaddle if mayo.
Topped with Nauset Farms hand shredded chicken salad (thanks Warren)
Next daughter Eloise’s homemade pickles and a drizzle of sriracha!
Yesterday Sista Felicia and I added an Uuni Pro Multi-fuel Pizza Oven to our arsenal of outdoor cooking devices. This particular unit can run off of propane, wood or charcoal. We used it with propane for our first cook and will experiment with charcoal/wood and report back our findings.
The unit performed flawlessly with the gas maintaining deck temps of between 650-725F in yesterday’s cold windy conditions.
We were banging out pizzas as a team. Felicia prepped them and I cooked them.
Roughly 60-90 seconds per pizza depending on how many toppings or how thick she stretched the dough.
I launched the pizzas so the edge of the pizza was roughly 3 inches from the mouth of the oven. Then let it sit for about 20 seconds and turned the pie with the peel 120 degrees so that there would be three turns around to get all sides cooked as the heat is concentrated more at the back of the oven. 20 seconds turn/20 seconds turn/20 seconds turn-done.
Many people on the Ooni pizza online forums suggest that cooking with wood doesn’t impart any difference in taste as the pizza is only exposed to the smoke for 60-90 seconds. What I do know is that maintaining temps with the gas was easy and predictable. pretty much foolproof. We haven’t tried the wood but my guess is that maintaining temps of over 650F for extended periods of time while also cooking and preparing pizzas rapid fire with the wood and charcoal will be more challenging and I’m not sure worth the hassle However THE JURY IS STILL OUT. We will test it.
I’m in the charcoal BBQ camp in that I like to mess around with the vent controls on long low and slow BBQ cooks and for me that is part of the fun. Maybe I’ll feel the same way about tending a charcoal/wood fire in the back of the Ooni.
I’ve done a decent amount of research so far and this is what I’d recommend from the research so far-
The Ooni Pro is fairly expensive new. Chances are you wouldn’t be able to find one used. But Ooni has a newer designed model named the Koda. It is strictly run off gas and has a very smooth design and is much less money. you can buy them on Amazon for $329. I think that’s a tremendous value as my guess is that we will probably end up running our pro on propane 95% of the time. It has what looks to be an updated design over the pro model that we got. I think this minimalist design and propane fuel firing does an awesome job from all the videos I’ve seen on it.
Last night’s dinner was a collaboration with my beautiful wife Kate. Quarantining has been pretty great when you love being with the ones you’re quarantined with.
Two lbs 80/20 chuck (if I had veal and pork I would have used those too)
Two Cloves Garlic Minced
2/3 cup Parmeseasn
2/3 cup Riccotta
2/3 Cup Panko
Red Pepper Flakes and Black Pepper
Indirect cook 400F for 30 minutes
Transfer to pot with Kate’s sugo to simmer for a half hour on the stove
Time to Eat!
Are Gas or Charcoal Grills More Cost Effective
In his blog post Len compares the cost of charcoal cooking vs gas and electric grill ownership.
There are a bunch of variables that Len uses that I’d quibble with namely the cost of charcoal as I usually bulk purchase charcoal when there are super sales like Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. I’ve been following these predictable super sales for the past four years and Kingsford charcoal can routinely be purchased for 25% of the cost he uses in his calculations
He makes great observations about the cost of gas grill ownership and the pain of refilling propane tanks and also points out the ease of use of propane.
For me the ritual of starting the coals and managing the temps is a get away, a pleasant escape and mind cleansing. It makes me happy sitting out with a beer tending the grill or kicking back on a long smoke and enjoying the results.
There’s no right or wrong answer but I’m firmly in the charcoal camp. BTW it’s interesting that he didn’t bring pellet smokers into the conversation. They’ve still a niche but gaining momentum. Also not for me as the ritual and manual control of the heat management is one of the things I like most about charcoal grilling.