What a bummer! I'm so sorry you had such a disappointing experience opening up that huge box. I'd done a lot of research before ordering it myself, as I'm sure you did, and when I was unpacking I had my heart in my throat expecting a broken or bent piece. I was incredibly lucky. But you'll be in heaven once you get it up and running.
A few suggestions based on my very recent experience, which I've not had a chance to share with Blackstone, but I will. You will need a AA battery for the igniter (insert bottom end first - which the directions don't tell you), and you will need two D batteries for the motor. My suggestion is to take advantage of the opportunity and insert the D batteries in the motor before you connect it to the oven. Of course, you'll have to eventually replace the batteries while the motor is on the oven, but at least you'll have a chance to see what's what without getting way down and looking up into the battery compartment later on!
If you've not bought a thrust bearing to help with the rotation of the tray, please consider it. I read about it here and in the reviews of the oven on Amazon. It apparently makes a huge difference and it costs under $12. Look at 51205 Thrust Bearing 25x47x15 Thrust Bearings, http://www.amazon.com/51205-Thrust-Bearing-25x47x15-Bearings/dp/B002BBGW3K/?tag=pizzamaking-20
. You place it on the horizontal cross member that the stem of the rotating tray goes through (obviously around the hole for the stem) and just thread the stem through the thrust bearing and the cross member, and it rotates so smoothly on those bearings!
After buying one thermometer that only went up to 715'F, I exchanged it for this model-the least expensive model that measures over 1,000'F (to give some latitude) this is the one I got from Amazon and am using:http://www.amazon.com/TG8550-Instant-read-Thermometer-Non-contact-Temperature/dp/B00ICSYFSA/?tag=pizzamaking-20
There are several models on the same page. I got the royal blue one.
The pizza took three minutes and ten seconds to bake. The laser temperature of the stone was about 700' and the air temp shown on the built in oven thermometer was about 400'. The pizza had only been in the oven for under 10 seconds when I got the filming going.
I made a different pizza dough from Reinhart's American Pie pizza book last night for the next baking trial. I can't wait to try more!
BTW, it was suggested to me to have both a wooden peel and a metal one. Assemble unbanked pizzas on the wooden one, remove them from the oven with the metal one. There are a lot of wooden peels out there. I did splurge on the J.K. Adams handmade alder wood one, made in the US. It was about $37, but it is beautiful and has a lifetime warranty. I've read posts in various places of wooden or bamboo peels cracking or splitting. This may be a case of you get what you pay for. I find using semolina flour on the peel to be a wonderful way to keep them from sticking and to have them slide nicely onto the baking stone as it is more granular than regular flour.
Jump in with both feet, Mike. You'll have a ball. I'm curious-do you plan on baking pizzas during NH winters? Living in San Francisco I will use it all year long, as I do my gas grill.
This forum has been very helpful to me and I'm sure it will be for you too.