OK so I did some mods today and made the first eat-able (edible) pizza. I turned my bottom grate upside down and covered it with firebricks. I then wanted to add some thermal mass to the lid and I couldn't find any terra cotta tiles large enough today, Sunday, then I was cruising around the home depot website and notice they sold a 16" terra cotta planter saucer, freakin' perfect. So I went to Home Depot and picked it up. I was hoping I was going to be able to mount it right on top of the inside of the lid, on top of the SS dome I made. This would have been ideal as the high lips on the terra cotta saucer would direct heat down. But it made the ceiling way too low, couldn't get a pizza in there. I decided to take the dome out and trim the insulation and then work the saucer in. It went back together, looks exactly like before with the SS dome, but there is now the thermal mass of the terra cotta in there.
I fired it up and waited about 20 minutes until the stone read about 650 with my IR thermometer and the thermocouple on the inside of the lid (air space) read 560 or so. Then I lowered the amount of gas out of the propane burner as I did before with the test run; as it made a significant heat difference when cooking the first time. I let it rest for a few minutes to equalize. It kind of did.
I cooked one pizza and it cooked pretty slow about 3-4 minutes, hard to tell as many of you know, you want to time it but are concentrating on the pizza itself.
The pizza came out pretty good, ate it all. It could have been cooked a little longer, but not by much at all. The cheese was melted and browned a little. The bottom wasn't browned hardly at all you can see in the pics below.
Observations. I used bag shredded cheese, Pizza Blend, from Smart and Final, big mistake, not bad but very Corporate Pizza tasting. I also used Contadina Tomato Sauce. I noticed when I opened it up there were herbs in it. I bought the "italian herb" blend of tomato sauce by accident, DOH! I just used the sauce as it.
I thought using the firebricks that would help keep the oven stable, but I covered up the hole in the grate as well and that didn't allow the heat to really heat up the oven same as before.
So I think the lid worked as it should, next time, maybe later this evening (can you tell I'm addicted), I'll remove the firebricks that are covering the hole so direct heat can get to my pizza stone.
I've been reading the LBE original thread and I've come to the conclusion that I don't' need a vent in the top or that partial blockage of the heat as you, Jet, mentioned. Here's why, since i have a vent in the front the heat will rise and it naturally comes out the front, I don't think it needs directing. Also most propane burners has an adjustment for air where the hose comes out so I don't think it's starved for air as mentioned in the original LBE thread. When I didn't have the firebricks in there I had no problem getting up to 900+, now it was hard to get 700.
The best part is I'm learning.
The hardest freakin' thing so far is forming the dough into a nice round even thickness shape. Are there any videos you guys have bookmarked on youtube. I searched and can't find anything specifically on make the pizza skin.
P.S. In real life the black parts on the top of the pizza didn't look that bad, here it looks burnt, but wasn't really.