I am going to add that synaesthesia seems to have mastered the skills required to use a kettle pizza way better than I ever did (high flame on one side, nice system to quickly turn etc.). But it does not change my opinion on the kettle grill. I can't think of what synaesthesia would do we a BS!
It depends on what you want to get out of it, and what else you want to have in your backyard. The Blackstone is designed to cook pizza, (or it adopted a design...depending on your view). The Weber kettle is an outdoor grill. It smokes meat with my smokenator (http://www.smokenator.com
), it grills seafood on our fish Fridays, it cooks our large Sunday 'fry ups' of sausages, pancakes, bacon..... and it cooks pizza with the kettle pizza attachment. It is a grill principally that is adapted for other forms of cooking. My secretary's husband uses his to make curries.
It might seem simple enough to grill chicken wings, but 80% of people will burn or undercook their chicken wings on a simple grill, even if it seems a simple process. You can grill steak on it, and until we moved to Australia we never had such good beef steak (good meat, properly grilled), and when we move back to the UK in Jan 2014 we won't (horse meat masquerading as beef, and no one seems to know how to grill meat like the Aussies do).
The KP has no thermal mass but neither do most of the other mechanised imitations of a wood fired oven pizza cooking process. All KP +Weber does is it present a limited set of temporal conditions to cook a pizza and you can get it to cook to VPN standards. The manufacturer's suggested technique is at odds with what I do with it, which is to simulate a WFO in a limited timeframe.
I use a full SS steel cover (6mm 304), they have one with holes. I don't think you need holes as you lose heat into the upper chamber if you have the lid on. You need to force the heat to exit through the mouth of the KP, it is that simple. You have to wait the flame is stable on its own before placing the SS disc on. I put the lid on on top of it.
I raise the basket at the rear, and the coal level is almost flush with stone. I feed firewood from the front mouth, and manipulate it with tools like you would with a WFO. I now use a SS 8" diameter circular paddle peel and got my technique down like the pizzaioli, a couple of spins and the pizza is cooked.
I think the manufacturer now mentions this but they never did before : I use a basket of coal UNDER the stone, the wood fire is not enough to get the stone to the high enough temp, as there is too much heat loss. Sometimes I add some kindling to that. Without this you don't have enough of a stone temp to get to VPN baking standards.
See my rough iPad/wobbly stylus sketch.
With other contraptions, you have less variables and you get a more consistent product, as you might have with a device that would cook chicken wings guaranteed with little attendance.
The KP is a lot of work, but also a lot of eccentric fun. If I didn't want to faff about outdoors making fires, I'd get a Effeuno P134H and be done with it. Cooks great idiot proof pizza but not a social thing, no fire about, and a lot less 'fun'. It's a difference between hand washing you own car and driving through a mechanised car wash. When we get back home (UK) we'd have access to a proper WFO again. We're shipping the Webers back though (actually have two Webers - a coal one and a gas one - the gas one's no good for pizza but great for quick grills)