Pizza-Porta visits Fireside


I think it is pretty fair to say that everyone LOVES pizza.

I mean really, look at this beauty. Tasty and a work of art, pizza class at Fireside is always a good time, you learn new tips and tricks and there is always tasty pizza!
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And like the sign says, while YOU can’t make everyone happy, it seems to be that pizza is one of those things that MAKES EVERYONE HAPPY. And at Fireside, we definitely know that is true if you just look at how often pizza class is requested and the crowd of folks the night always draws, too. 

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This past week we had a great turn out and we were excited for our friends from Pizza-Porta to join us. 


Cortlandt Minnich and Ben Wilcox made the trip from Atlanta to Augusta to share their product, Pizza-Porta. 

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This class covered it all. Cortlandt and Ben did a great job of taking us through all the steps and sequence of events that you should know when you are grilling a pizza. So whether you are an old pro, a novice or you fit somewhere in-between and just want to make great pizza’s, they did a great job of answering questions and inspiring us all to take our pizza cooks up a notch. 

Making doughStarting with the basics, Cortlandt took us through the process of how to make dough from scratch. And even shared the history of dough and helped tackle some of the pit falls many seem to have when they make dough at home. He and Ben talked about the differences between homemade dough, store bought dough and even the dough that pizzeria’s use. Who knew there were so many differences? But clearly it is important to know and they really explained well how useful it is to know your dough well!

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And we talked about how using the right flour and other ingredients makes a HUGE difference in how your finished product comes out. Do you know about ‘OO’ pizza flour? You should really try it if you have not before. 

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Cortland also shared a few of his favorite books with us and encouraged us to do a little research and read about dough as a way of understanding the process more. There are so many different types of pizza dough out there and it can be a fun process to explore what type of pizza and dough your family likes and hey, it just means you will all get to eat pizza more, right? 😉

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They also brought a GREAT handout that really shared so many valuable tips and helps walk you through the process of getting some of the most important steps right so you can avoid common errors and pitfalls that can be frustrating when you are trying to make pizza on the grill. 

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Cortlandt then tackled the subject of stretching dough and shared some great tips on not breaking “the skin” and how to go from a ball to a flat circle. 

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After spreading the dough they shared about the process of prepping your peel and dusting with semolina, corn meal or using parchment paper. And while they prefer semolina, they encouraged us to try them all at home and find the best fit for you and your family. 

Watching class

We then got down to the my favorite topic, the toppings. And let’s be honest, this is where the magic happens… I mean fun! They talked about traditional Margherita pizza’s, they talked about sauce, how LESS is MORE. We discussed red sauce, white sauce, EVOO as sauce… and then it was time to get creative.

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Cortlandt and Ben brought us homemade dough that they prepared ahead so it had the perfect “skin” on it and was some of the best dough I have ever tasted. 

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Then it was time to go outside and get down to business. We discussed the kamado grill set up, what tools you will need and how to get the right temperature to get a great wood-fired pizza on your kamado grill. 

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This was also the fun part for them because they finally got to show us the Pizza-Porta in action!

And we also heard the history about why and how they created the Pizza-Porta. Like many of us, they were aggravated with the cooking process on their BGE when they wanted to cook pizza. Many times the crust would be GREAT and then other times it would be burned and just eh. They struggled with temperature management and when having pizza night with lots of friends, the process of grilling pizza was stressful and the results were not consistent. So they wanted something better and hence, the Pizza-Porta was born. 

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The first thing the Pizza-Porta does is keep the dome temperature consistent so there is no loss of heat when checking your pizza or when you retrieve it. When you use the Pizza-Porta the heat is contained so it is more efficient and less fuel is used. Because less heat is lost, you are able to predict the temperature and control the temperature better so this means that you have consistent cooks and you are then able to be more confident in your process. This makes for a much less stressful environment when you are cooking for friends and family and let’s face it, everyone just has more fun!

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And it was pretty exciting as we were the first group to get to use the new Pizza-Porta for the Kamado Joe grills that will be released soon. 

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After doing a few demonstrations, it was time for everyone to try their hand at cooking their own pizza. It was fun to see everyone trying new tips and advice!

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And I think there were lots of successes! I know I tasted and saw some great pizzas!

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I think this was one of the best pizza classes we have had at Fireside. Lots of tips and tricks were shared that I know inspired us all to try new things next time we grill pizza! 

The grills were busy and it was obvious everyone was having a good time! 

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Thank you so much to Pizza-Porta, Cortlandt Minnich, and Ben Wilcox for spending their Tuesday night with us. They shared a ton of information and their knowledge on all things pizza with us, as well as a really exciting product, Pizza-Porta. I know many are excited to give it a try in their own homes. Thank you so much for joining us. For those that missed out make sure you check out our upcoming list of classes on our calendar! 

Did you learn anything new? Have questions? Want to purchase a Pizza-Porta? We can help you with any of your questions and would love to hear from you. Leave a comment or stop by anytime!

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