Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pizza, Calzone, and Flatbread on a Char-Broil 500X

I decided to test my new Char-Broil 500X portable cooker with some higher temp bakes to see if it would put out a product as good as I can get off of my other smaller cookers. As you will see, it did quite well.

I started by making enough dough in my bread machine for about three of these treats. I used a standard bread mix but also added some Italian herbs and spices to the dough. I then divided the dough into three equal pieces.

I chopped up some onion and bell pepper, got out some fresh basil, pepperoni, marinara sauce, mushrooms, an Italian 5 blend cheese, some Romano cheese and then sliced up a small tomato.

I got the cooker out and loaded up the charcoal rack about half full with lump charcoal. I then used a small charcoal chimney to light off my fire. Placed my 10" in diameter hearth stones right on the cooking grids. The outside temp was about 13-15 degrees during the bake.

I rolled out the dough and then brushed on some of the marinara sauce, added some onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers.

I finished the pizza with some cheeses, pepperoni, and some tomato slices. I also added some fresh basil. It is ready for the cooker.

Did the calzone next. I used the same ingredients that went into the pizza.

Next came the Italian Flatbread. I brushed some evoo on the dough, sprinkled on some Italian herbs, and then added some Romano cheese. On top of that was some tomato slices and some fresh basil. Man, we are ready to bake now.

I filled the charcoal tray about half full of lump and then loaded up a small chimney of lump for this bake. I poured this chimney over the lump in my tray and placed the cooking grates back on the cooker and added two 10" in diameter hearth stone which I stacked for a thicker hearth.

When the temp got up to about 375 degrees, I loaded the first pizza. I did have to open the service door on the front of the cooker about an inch to get enough air to keep my baking temp in the 400-425 range.

This pizza took about 17 minutes to get done and I took it off.

I loaded the calzone on the cooker and it took about 15 minutes to bake.

Next came my Italian Flatbread and this baked in about 13-14 minutes.

The pizza looked good just out of the cooker.

I couldn't wait to try the flat bread as it is one of my favorites.

I didn't get a picture of the whole calzone.

This is the results of my first bake on this fine little portable cooker.

The cooker did a fine job with a task it probably wasn't designed for and I was happy with my first bake.

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