Wow, very interesting discussion. OK, the newbie has been taught some good lessons
. I definitely understand better the nature of this forum and the incredible knowledge of the people that are contributing here. Maybe what I can contribute in the near-term is a better understanding of the actual qualities and limitations of the Millar's oven that I have. It's pretty clear, however, that it will not meet the exacting standards of pizza napoletana purists. That has been established. What CAN you do with it, how does it really perform? I'll try and shed some light on that in the future.
Let me address some of the questions about the picture that I did post. It was a mistake to post it, in retrospect. It was, literally, the VERY first pizza that came out of the oven, but it's the only picture I have. That picture is NOT typical of the pizzas that are coming out of my oven now. So I'll take some more pictures and post some. I also haven't (... and I can hear the gasps now!!) closely timed the cook time. To be honest, every time I make pizza, I have a house full of hungry people and so it's been more about cranking out pizzas than rigorously testing the oven. Also, I will say that these ovens don't hold the heat like larger, masonry ovens, and virtually every time I've made pizza so far, it's been extremely cold outside, in the teens or 20s. I think (don't know for sure, but will find out), that I'll be better able to maintain a consistent temperature when the weather warms up. I try to keep the oven floor temp from dropping below 800, but sometimes it does, and when it does, the cook time is longer. All of that said, the cook time is probably rarely less than 2 minutes and never more than 3 minutes.
I always make my own sauce from scratch using crushed San Marzano tomatoes most of the time (Costco sells these beautiful, huge cans of whole San Marzano tomatoes), but generic crushed plum tomatoes when that's all I have ... with some garlic, basil, oregano. Very simple. I have used all kinds of different cheeses (remember, I'm usually trying to feed 20-30 people), from mozzarella di bufala that I've managed to get a little bit of in the Pittsburgh strip district, to 2-3 kinds of fresh cows milk mozzarella you can get in the super market, to ... gulp ... good old shredded part skim "mozzarella" pizza cheese. When I make Pizza Margherita at one of my pizza parties, I virtually always use some kind of fresh mozzarella, but if I'm just making pepperoni pizzas for the kids, I'll use the stuff in the bag. Chicago Bob ... I'm pretty sure the cheese on that test pizza picture is shredded from a drier type of fresh mozzarella that is available in our local grocery stores. It's drier than better quality cow's milk mozzarella, but cheaper. All of the cows milk mozzarella that I can get around here is drier and firmer than mozzarella di bufala, and obviously tastes different. But such is life.
Thanks for the information. Look forward to learning.