The FrankenWeber

Other Recipes, Research

For the last few years, I have been fascinated in finding a way to construct some sort of pizza cooking “apparatus”(?) for myself to use at home.  My dream is that one day I will be able to make my own dough, sauce, cheese blend, and whatever else I feel like adding.  No more ordering Dominos, as great as their on-line ordering system may be.  I guess you could say that I long for pizza freedom.  Unfortunately, I live in the third floor of an apartment complex so not very many options are available to me that don’t involve the possibility of burning down my apartment complex.  I guess I could go the easy route and just purchase a pizza stone, but that’s just too easy.

This dream really began when I found that Dan from Thefoodinmybeard had constructed a brick pizza oven in his back yard, which just happened to be in Bermuda.  This would be ideal, but once again I live in an apartment complex, and I’m sure McKinley Management wouldn’t be too happy to find an enormous brick pizza oven constructed in the middle of their property, even if I was feeding the residents delicious DIY style pizza.  Seriously though, check this thing out.  Who wouldn’t want one of these things in their back yard?

And the result, things like curry pizza.  Amazing.  Check out the entire brick oven pizza series on Great stuff.

Realizing that building my own pizza oven would not be possible for another year or so, I decided to search for other options.  I had a gas stove, shouldn’t that count for something?  I came across a couple guys who decided to line their oven with fire bricks to simulate the brick oven.  Kind of a pain in the ass, but it sounded like a good idea.  Unfortunately my roommates declared this a horrible idea and that was the end of it.  It never happened but if I get stuck in an apartment complex for another year, my roommates might just come home to delicious brick oven style pizza.  How could they be mad?  eHow also has pretty detailed instructions on how to complete this.

The solution that probably makes the most sense to me currently is constructing a FrankenWeber, which may or may not have been first developed by street vendor in San Francisco called The Pizza Hacker.  The basic concept is to contruct the Weber charcoal grill into a mini wood burning pizza oven.  With the heat covered by the hood, it is easy for the grill to reach temparatures of up to 1000F, which is perfect for Neapolitan style pizzas.  Oh, and did I mention it’s portable?

Watch the Pizza Hacker work.  He simply has a table with jars of his sauce, buffalo mozzarella and a basil plant.  After he has constructed the pizza, it goes into the oven for only about two minutes, and then is topped with olive oil and additional cheese.  This is cool stuff:

If the video didn’t do enough for you, or you simply ignored my request, here’s a great picture of probably the best pizza will you will ever see offered by a street vendor.

After learning about the Pizza Hacker, I took my quest to Google to find out if the man was the only one doing this.  I found a few people that have been constructing their own FrankenWebers out of throwaway Weber grills and making delicious wood oven style pizza at home in minutes.  I think this is the solution for my brick/wood oven style pizza dream.

From the forums

To summarize, I leave you with quite possibly the most delicious looking, and sounding, pizza I have ever seen/heard of in my life.  On top of this pizza is Cured Wild Boar Belly, pickled hot peppers, Calabrian chilies, Dry Farmed Early Girl Tomato Sauce, Buff Mozz, Grana Padano, Angelo Garro’s Homemade Olive Oil, parsley, and smoked salt.  Baked for only 75 seconds by the Pizza Hacker in his FrankenWeber.