Well I am getting frustrated, make that effing pissed....I'm sure my neighbors heard a few curse words emanating from my backyard tonight.
This makes me even more determined however.
I unhooked the regulator end from the burner and reconnected it per Jet Deck's helpful recommendation.
I made an emergency type dough as I was not expecting to make pizza today, but took advantage of being home early. Only 3 hours bulk and 3.5 hours balled (25% starter....mon dieu that's a lot!). Not the best dough, but I'm shooting for test pizzas for baking properties anyways at this point. I know, who cares, get on with it....
Fired up the LBE, turned the regulator just a tad to what would be considered a low setting. 30 minutes later, center of stone only 430°F. So I turned the regulator a full half rotation. 15 minutes later the stone is only at 530°F and I need to eat 'cause of time constraints. Launch the first pizza, lid on, immediately crank heat balls to the wall. Full on Rocket to Venus sound erupts from the Cajun Cooker....louder than previously.
Pulled the first pizza at 5:03 on the stopwatch.
Stone had crept up to 630°F when I pulled the pie. That's a huge variability in stone temperature during a 5 minute baking cycle....and a hint that I may need more mass than just a single stone to lower temp volatility on the floor, but that's another story.
I turned the burner back down to a half turn, went inside and ate a few slices, made the second and last test pizza and launched at a stone temp of 650°F, lid on, immediately jacked heat. 45 seconds into the bake comes that smell that you just know means the floor is too hot and the bottom is already approaching being ready and the top is still as bare as a vanilla coated arse. Ended up slipping the grill spatula through the side vent while wearing an oven mitt to keep the bottom off the floor in an attempt to cook the top without scorching the bottom. Still a 4:09 cook time to get the top "satisfactory". The bottom was overcooked.
I need to lower my ceiling more for quicker top heat time to completion. There is a kiln shop 10 minutes from my house. I may just get a 20" kiln shelf (3/4" thick!) even though it weighs a good bit and then affix a 10" cast iron skillet to that in the center so there is only about 1.50" of clearance above the bottom stone and see where that gets me. I also think it is time to give up on the 100% Caputo on my LBE and cut in some HG and shoot for a 3:00 bake or so.
Pictures from my cell phone. Two crumb shots and an upskirt. You can clearly see the leathery texture of the outer crust, as well as the bottom pushing being to burnt in places. I sometimes tend to push how thin my pizzas get towards the center and these long cooking times with Caputo 00 makes these areas of the pizzas far too brittle. BooOOooo!
Back to the drawing board. I feel like a newbie all over again.....although we are all ultimately beginners when a new day starts, one of the great things about life. --K