We are excited to have completed our “How-to” video of the KettlePizza Gas Pro. The Gas Pro is our first product for the gas market as all our previous pizza oven kits were for the charcoal kettle grills. Let us know what you think of the video!
The time has finally come for us to share the secret new product that we have been talking about over the past month! For years people have asked us if we had a pizza oven kit for gas grills and we have put countless hours of product testing and development to create one that was worthy of the KettlePizza name. We are now confident that we have a product that exceeds the strict quality and performance requirements that we require. The KettlePizza Gas Pro is made of solid one piece stainless steel construction, includes cordierite stone, and is made with American workmanship and materials. We think you will be very happy with it! You can learn more about the product KettlePizza Gas Pro line here: http://www.kettlepizza.com/Gas-Grill-Pizza-Oven-Ki…/1880.htm
We are pretty excited to release a brand new product to our offering on June 5, 2016. We can’t tell you what it is, but we can share a picture and some hints. Hint #1: it is used for cooking pizza! Big surprise right. Hint #2: it is made of the best American Made stainless steel. Any guesses what it is?
Kettle Pizza Holiday Gift Guide – Treat Your KettlePizza Capo to a Few Practical, Affordable, Fun Accessories for Enhancing His Backyard Wood Oven Pizza Game.
By Mindy Merrell and R.B. Quinn of CheaterChef.com.
Another year-end celebratory season is upon is which means it’s time focus on the holiday gift list. What about your Pizza Prince of the Patio, the King of the KettlePizza? If you’re looking for some great gift ideas, we’ve got some.
One of the great things about a KettlePizza kit is that, unlike most activities and hobbies guys love, it doesn’t require an endless need for accessories and upgrades. Once you’re in the KP game, you’re in the game. Add dough, sauce, toppings and fuel and you’re making wood oven pizza at home. That’s the good news.
As a KP Capo builds up his skills and dials in his pies (and other dishes), however, there are a few cool tools and other gear to add to the KP equipment room that can further raise the bar and add to the convenience and enjoyment of the KettlePizza experience.
We’ll look at some great ideas you can shop for at www.kettlepizza.com, and we’ll also show you our recommendations available Walmart and online retailers like Amazon.com. Let’s take a walk around and see what we find. If you’re the Pizza Don in your house, go ahead and just tell everyone what you want this year!
KettlePizza Holiday Gift Guide:
Heavy Duty Welder’s Gloves ($24.95)
Good quality heavy-duty gloves provide real protection for hands and arms from the heat generated by KettlePizza. And since they’re designed for welders who require durability and dexterity, welder’s gloves are plenty flexible (and comfortable) for maintaining the charcoal and wood fire and managing hot pizza stones and Baking Steels, while allowing plenty movement for the occasional sip of a cold beverage.
Long Metal Tongs ($12)
Charcoal grill, fire pit, barbecue, and fireplace guys know the value of sturdy, long (16-inch) metal tongs. Tongs are extensions of your hands and are never far from the fire. Metal tongs can, however, wear out and occasionally walk away. A simple but good quality hinged-style tong offers good grip for lifting and moving and better than the flimsier, clumsier tongs often bundled in grill tools sets which bend under pressure of a strong grip.
Long Handled Metal Spatula ($20)
A long handled metal spatula (18’ to 20”) can be as useful at KettlePizza time as good metal tongs. Think of it as a mini-peel that can slide, shift, and lift a pizza for optimum placement on the stone. And when your wood chunk toss is off a bit, use the spatula to finish the shot and push the wood into the fire basket, save the horseshoe and cornhole practice for when you’re off KP duty.
Another reason for a good spatula is that after a couple of pizzas the flour dusting that helps the pie easily slide off the peel and onto the stone can build up and char. A spatula pointed down quickly scrapes away the left-behind excess flour and prepares the stone for the next pizza. It’s the KettlePizza equivalent of the wide shovel used by the NHL’s mid-period clean-up skater crews.
Long Handled Wire Brush ($14.95)
This long handled wire brush available at KettlePizza.com is another great tool for sweeping off your stone between pizzas and for cleaning the stone when the party’s over. The extra length of the handle allows for sufficient downward pressure on the brush when used through the narrow KP opening. Very handy, indeed.
Infrared Thermometer ($39.95)
Another good idea from KettlePizza.com, a high temp infrared thermometer will tell you with laser accuracy the temperature of your stone so you know it’s ready for pizza. Just point and pull the trigger. This model reads the high temps that KettlePizza generates. And think of all the nearby things you’ve never known the surface temperature of. This gadget makes science fun.
Dough Cutter ($11.00)
No matter what kind of dough your KP guy prefers, a stainless steel dough scraper is a must have. This sharp-edged cutter divides homemade, store-bought, or pizzeria-made dough into perfect pie-sized sections. This scraper is made by fellow U.S. manufacturer and not far neighbor of KettlePizza, Dexter Russell, the largest maker of cutlery in the U.S. in Southbridge, MA. A Quality, long-lasting product.
Pizza Cutters—Rocking & Rolling ($17.75 & $14.95)
Guys, this is not the time to pull out the cleaver. Save it for the next smoked meat fest. Slicing a pizza calls for a lighter touch. Sure, a long kitchen knife will work well enough, but consider a couple different style tools designed for just this job. Part of being a pizza pro is looking the part, so use the right tool for the job.
The Cuisinart Alfrescamore rocking stainless pizza cutter slices pizza in a press down and rock side-to-side fashion.
The KettlePizza stainless rolling pizza cutter makes a clean cut through your creations with a steady hand. Run it across the pie, spin and cut again.
Large Cutting Board
Once your pizzas start coming out of the KP they need to slide off the peel and land on a flat surface to get them sliced up and served. A large (18” x 24”) polyethylene cutting board is sturdy and easy to clean and store. Get at least one (maybe two) depending on your pizza plans. Boards filled with just-made KP pizzas are truly impressive.
And a few stocking stuffer ideas….
Plastic Pizza Dough Sealable Containers
Good storage for your homemade dough is nearly as important as the dough. Small (25-oz) plastic food storage containers with tight-fitting lids are the right size to hold the dough for one pie as it rests in the fridge and develops its flavor. Separating the dough balls in advance makes KettlePizza night that much more streamlined and fun. Find these at any supermarket. Be sure that they are in the 25-oz. size range.
A Bag of “00” Italian Flour
It’s inevitable that a serious Pizza Prince will want to putter around with dough recipes (be sure to try our KP dough) and different flours including classic 00 pizza flour from Napoli, the original home of pizza. Purists may want to use this all the time. We say, KP man, give it a try so that you know what you like and how it works.
Bags of Dough
We love the idea of having a couple of balls of your favorite dough from the supermarket or pizzeria in your guy’s stocking rising overnight and ready for a Merry Kettle Pizza Christmas. Who doesn’t want pizza for Christmas dinner? Ask the kids, they’ll tell you!
Bags of Wood Chunks
A bag of wood chunks will have your Capo headed in the right direction (outdoors to light the charcoal!). Look for bags of oak, hickory, pecan, apple…any mild flavored hardwood will do. You need real hardwood for wood-fired pizza and these bags offer an easy way to keep a good supply.
This makes a terrific stocking stuffer for obvious reasons. Dough, flour, sauce, it’s a hands-on project and a good apron makes clean up a little easier. And a guy in an apron is very sexy.
Hardwood or briquette or a combination of both, what guy doesn’t love a manly supply of <Kingsford> charcoal? Talk about a lump of coal. Now you can actually give one and it will be happily received.
By Mindy Merrell and R.B. Quinn of Cheater Chef
Even if you’re a complete sports nut, fully devoted to your teams and focused on all their stats, you’ve got to admit that a big part of the fun of competitive sports is the food, the drink, and the party that goes with them. There is no better excuse to call friends, fire up the grill, fill the crock pot, and ice the cooler. Game days are party days.
And party days are “made in the USA” KettlePizza days.
With a little planning and organizing you can have it all – hot from the KettlePizza, sides and snacks, friends and family, and cold beverages. And you can do it whether you’re in the crazy three-ring circus stadium parking lot or in a neighborhood backyard (yours or anyone else’s). Let’s face it, everything tastes better in a parking lot.
Successful tailgating and homegating are all about smart organizing and packing, efficient setting up, showing off a few parking lot cooking skills, laughing and talking, sharing food with others, cleaning up, and repacking. More or less in that order.
Accomplished ‘gaters are the ones checking the forecast on Tuesday or Wednesday, shopping on Thursday, and whenever there’s free time washing coolers and folding tables, and staging the necessary gear in the garage so everything is ready to go in the morning.
To get the most out of your KettlePizza tailgate time, here are a few tips:
— Pack the Weber kettle, charcoal, and charcoal chimney last so that they are the first items out of the car.
— Light the charcoal in the chimney as soon as you arrive and before you do anything else – no EZ-Up, no quick round of cornhole or ball-tossing, no beers and joke-telling. Get the fire going first and then get busy setting up tables and chairs, breaking out the coolers, and opening up snacks and pizza fixings.
— Parking lots and backyards can be busy places so set up your KettlePizza cooking zone on level ground and not too close to chairs, tables, and people or car traffic. Give yourself a room to maneuver safely around the kettle.
— Locate your stadium’s charcoal and ash dispensers. Most stadiums provide them.
–If you’re using a foldable plastic table with four separate table legs, bring four sections of plastic PVC pipe about 10-12-inches long and slide them onto the bottoms of each of the table legs. A higher table makes pizza prep and serving a whole lot easier on the back.
— Enlist a couple enthusiastic (i.e. responsible) friends to be your KettlePizza crew. Once the oven is hot, keep the pies rolling so you can enjoy the pizza, clean up, and get to your seats. One of you preps the pies, one works the oven, and one slices and serves.
–This is not the best time for lots of different individual pies. When tailgating, fewer choices are better. Decide your toppings ahead and keep it simple. Everyone can try them all.
–Consider creating a signature pie for your home team and go with that. Here in Nashville we’re taking a liking to pineapple in honor of our new QB, Marcus Mariota.
–As soon as the last pie is out of the oven, remove the KettlePizza kit from the Weber grill and set it in a safe place to cool down. Place the metal lid on the Weber and close all air vents to extinguish the charcoal.
–Use gallon size plastic bags to store leftover pizza slices (in the cooler) while you watch the game. You’ll need a post-game snack in the parking lot while you wait for the traffic to let up.
To make your KettlePizza tailgate time as easy and fun as possible, here’s our prep and packing KettlePizza checklist:
KettlePizza Cooking Equipment:
Weber grill and metal lid (emptied of leftover coal and ash)
KettlePizza kit components (metal ring, grate, pizza stone)
Charcoal chimney starter
Newspaper or fire starter cubes and lighter/matches
Bag of dried hardwood chunks
Long metal tongs for handling wood and charcoal
Heavy duty work or welder’s gloves
Long handled metal spatula for scraping pizza stone
Big cutting board and pizza slicer
Plastic jug of tap water (to extinguish coals if needed)
KettlePizza Pizza Elements:
Pizza dough options:
— tubs of your own homemade dough (see Mindy’s easy make-ahead pizza dough recipe. If you’re going roll out dough, be sure to bring a small container of flour for dusting the board and your hands.
— bagged dough from store or pizzeria (see our post on tips for using dough from the store
— refrigerated canned dough (see our post on tips for using canned refrigerated dough
— ready-made pizza crust from the store (plenty to choose from).
Sauce, cheese, and other toppings:
You know what you like and what works for you, but whatever you bring, rely on plenty of small plastic storage containers with tight-fitting lids that are easy to pack in a cooler and set out on a party table. Otherwise, just keep the ingredients simple and make it easy for you and your friends to mix and match the ingredients.
Your own sauce ( scroll down this post for a good simple one) or your favorite bottled sauce
Crushed red pepper
Any anything else you like. Simple is best.
For “Tips and Tools from the United States Tailgating Association” go to:
By Mindy Merrell and R.B. Quinn of CheaterChef.Com.
It’s fall football season again and that means it’s KettlePizza tailgate time. So, let’s cut to the heart of the matter. Like many of you we love playing around with all kinds of homemade pizza dough. But, do we really want to be stretching dough at the stadium before the game? Sometimes maybe, most of the time, NO.
The goal is to maximize KettlePizza fun, feed everyone great pizza, and show off a little cooking finesse while surrounded by friends and family and plenty of busy parking lot activities.
Happily for tailgating KettlePizza fans we’ve got lots of delicious alternative pizza “carriers” ready to go at the store. Today let’s look at reliable canned biscuit dough and see how easily it transforms into stylish mini pizzas. You still get to cook pizza, but crust from canned dough is a great game day step-saver.
Ironically, one of Mindy’s mystery basket ingredients on her episode of Chopped was canned biscuit dough, so we already have a soft spot for it. If you haven’t explored the supermarket refrigerated dough section recently you’ll be amazed by the varieties now available. It’s clear to us that we’ll be continuing our test kitchen research on this subject.
For this round of alternative dough tests we experimented with two types — the big size of flaky buttermilk biscuits and a canned mini pizza dough. Both were super easy to handle and quick to roll out. but the mini pizza dough was “stretchier” and puffier. Both tasted great.
Even though you are not working with regular dough be sure to bring a little container of all-purpose flour for dusting the peel and a medium-size board to use as your work surface. A full, dry can or bottle from the cooler works great as a parking lot rolling pin. All you have to do is pop open the dough, separate the biscuits, and roll out the discs with your beer can rolling pin, add toppings, and slide them into the hot KettlePizza.
The most important packing and easy-prep tailgating tip we can offer is to get all your toppings cooked and ready-to-go in plastic containers of one consistent size that stack neatly and are easy to access on the pizza prep table.
Canned biscuit dough is forgiving on the temperature. It doesn’t require quite as hot a fire (or pizza stone) as classic yeast pizza dough. If your stone is super hot and the bottom sides brown before the top is cooked, cook the plain biscuit discs quickly on one side until browned as you would a flour tortilla. After a minute or so, remove the discs from the KettlePizza and top the browned side with pizza toppings. Return to the oven and cook until the underside is browned and the toppings are bubbly.
Doming (sliding the pizza on the metal peel and lifting it toward the top of the inside of the kettle) is always encouraged, as needed. We cooked a couple of pies at a time and had no trouble managing them. Long tongs sure helped moving them around. As always, they’re done in just a few minutes.
The sky is the limit on toppings, but somehow a classic Margherita made with petigreed San Marzano tomatoes and fresh mozzarella doesn’t seem the right match for canned biscuits. Instead, we offer a few All-American tailgate classic toppings that are perfect for beer drinking and tailgate fun.
Nacho Biscuit Pizza—This simple pie starts with a smear of refried beans and shredded cheese. Keep it pure or add cooked chicken or chorizo sausage. Once out of the KettlePizza, your friends can personalize their pizzas with a spoonful of salsa, sour cream, sliced black olives, jalapeno slices, chopped cilantro, or green onion slices.
Cheeseburger Biscuit Pizza—Our inner food scientist is in love with Velveeta. The umami flavor and creaminess just can’t be beat. All you have to do is cook up some ground meat (beef or turkey) and drain. Add a spoonful of yellow mustard and some Velveeta. Cook and stir on low to melt. Or, pile it all in the microwave oven, cover and zap until creamy.
We used a ratio of one pound of meat to ¾ pound of Velveeta plus 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard. Yes, when you tote this topping to the big game and open up the container, you will be greeted by a rubbery mass. Don’t fret! It’s just that characteristic congealing of processed cheese food. Simply do your best to spoon it on the biscuit disc. The KettlePizza will do its magic and turn it back to creamy goodness. Top the hot pizzas with dill pickle chips, sliced onion and ketchup as you like. This is R.B.’s favorite pie of this test batch. He almost sliced and ate the pizza without snapping a photo for this post.
Chili Dog Biscuit Pizza—You cannot go wrong with this tailgate pizza. Use your own chili or your favorite canned brand. Thinly slice up the hot dogs (a la pepperoni) and lay them in the plastic container. Just spoon on the chili “gravy” and arrange a few hot dog bites on top. Sprinkle with a little cheese and feed the KettlePizza. We like this one with a squirt of yellow mustard and chopped raw onions.
Sausage Gravy Biscuit Pizza—This may seem weird if you don’t live in the sausage gravy zone like we do, but why not? Sausage gravy is the classic Southern biscuit topper, so here it is in a new fun format. If you’ve got the KettlePizza fired up early for a noon game, this is the one to pair with those morning Bloody Marys.
You can find prepared sausage gravy in most supermarkets; however, it’s super-easy to make at home and yours will have a more generous ratio of sausage to gravy. It’s just basic white sauce made with sausage grease. Fry up and crumble ½ pound of bulk pork sausage in a skillet. When fully cooked, remove all but about two tablespoons of the drippings. Sprinkle two tablespoons of all-purpose flour over the mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat about one minute. Stir in one cup of milk. Cook and stir until bubbly and thickened. Add plenty of black pepper and taste for salt.
And now, for some KettlePizza dessert….
Apple Biscuit Pizza Pie—Here’s your All-American dessert (or another great KettlePizza for morning tailgating with Bloodies). Have the sweetened cooked apples ready to go in a container like your other toppings.
Cook a couple of peeled, cored and diced green apples (use Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, or your favorite cooking apple) in ¼ cup of butter in a skillet over medium heat until slightly softened. Add a ¼ cup of sugar and a squirt of fresh lemon juice and cook a few minutes longer until soft and syrupy. Add a dusting of cinnamon to taste. Spread the apple mixture on the biscuit disc and slide into the KettlePizza.
You can also make cute little apple turnovers by filling and folding the dough in half and pressing the edges together with a fork. Flip the turnovers in the KettlePizza so both sides brown evenly. This pizza would take nicely to a sprinkling of cheddar cheese, too.
A stroll through the prepared foods at the supermarket with biscuit pizza in mind will give you a power surge of recipe creativity. Pretty much anything that tastes good, tastes good on a biscuit, a pizza. and a biscuit pizza—prepared pimiento cheese, barbecue, hummus and olives, macaroni and cheese, precooked sausage gravy, apples, pie filling. No need cook any toppings if you don’t want to.
By Mindy Merrell and R.B. Quinn of CheaterChef.Com
Ask any seasoned barbecue guy for his thoughts on smoking woods and more than likely you’ll be treated to tales of “epic” moments in barbecue history. Behind all great barbecue is, among other things, great hardwood which was no doubt specially selected for the job at hand. Heat and smoke management are critical to good barbecue, and the same can be said for good KettlePizza except in the opposite direction.
Barbecue requires a steady, low heat and a delicate flow of fragrant smoke from clean, dry wood. KettlePizza requires a steady, high heat and the clean, unsmoky flames from clean, dry wood. Different approaches with different results.
Cooking with charcoal and wood is one of the many reasons why barbecue fanatics are perfectly suited to be KettlePizza fanatics. Not only are they already equipped and experienced for KettlePizza, they always need something fantastic (and not smoked) to munch on during the long barbecue process.
What makes a great blistered and charred pizza in the KettlePizza is the fiery combination of quality charcoal and dry, seasoned hardwood chunks that together create the high wood oven pizza temperatures that the dough needs to cook fast and properly.
And once the charcoal and hardwood are burning in unison and the KettlePizza oven is running at high pizza temperatures, it’s just a simple matter of maintaining that heat by managing the flow of hardwood chunks onto the coals.
What Woods Work Best in Kettle Pizza?
KettlePizza works best with hardwoods. Oak is hands down the best because it burns the hottest and cleanest. Other choices that will work include hickory, pecan, maple, and mesquite. We’ve also had fine success with fruitwoods like apple and cherry popular in low and slow barbecue-style cooking as long as you can get nice size chunks.
You do not want to use softwoods in your KettlePizza or any fire unless it’s just a backyard bonfire. These include evergreen conifers like cedar, fir, pine, or spruce (trees with needles and cones). Evergreen woods contain a resinous sap that can be highly flammable and gives off an unpleasant odor and not good for cooking.
What Size of Wood to Use?
Size does matter. For steady, longer burning times, you must use wood chunks, not wood chips, in your KettlePizza. Fist-sized chunks burn long and steady and create the hot oven you are looking for. Chips are just for quick smoky flavor that you might use to flavor a steak or chicken.
These days most supermarkets, big box stores, and camping/sporting stores carry various brands of hardwood chunks. Be sure to look for brands of wood chunks packaged in clear plastic bags that allow you to see what you are buying. Some brands feature a fancy photo on the non-transparent bag showcasing nice big chunks, but inside among the few big chunks you’ll find a pile of small chips and slices that are not useful in KettlePizza because they burn up too quickly.
Supermarkets tend to limit the bagged hardwood selection when the weather turns cold, so a late-summer stock-up is a good idea.
One more thing, remember you are cooking with wood so whatever is in that wood will be in the smoke and on your food. If it smells bad when it starts to burn, it will taste bad. And lastly, never use pressure treated wood scraps or anything that’s been treated with a preservative, paint or stain. That old ax handle or chair leg won’t do. Nor will rotting yard twigs. P.S.: any wood cooking guy or gal will throw a fit if you toss a cigarette but into their cooking fire! Don’t do it!