Apologies to the ones I have disappointed by the time it took before the oven came to a quick test yesterday.
The 100 (Heat Beads) briquettes, as the manual states should be used, were started in a Weber chimney starter, and distributed evenly in the kettle on the lower rack, and after 15 minutes preheat, my IR thermometer registered respectively 280 deg. C (535 F) and 220 deg. C (430 F) at the back and front end of the Cordierite stone.
The first pies were made from a dough of an Italian pizza flour, water, salt, IDY and virgin olive oil, hydration about 63%, maturation for 24h in the fridge. This flour gives a quite tacky and soft dough (even at this relatively low hydration), which performs well in my electric oven, when baked around 325 deg. C. The crust browns well and not excessively, as I find ordinary bread flours tend to do......
I use semolina as bench flour.
The first (white) pizza was easily placed on the stone, as the lid lifts and provides for generous access.
The manual underlines, that the pizza should be turned during the bake, and I could also see a tendency for the crust to brown quicker at the back end, where the hot flue from the briquettes enter.
On the 1. picture, after about 2 minutes bake time, you see the oven spring is OK, but no browning has taken place yet.
After a couple of turns and about 5 minutes bake time, the white pizza was sliced, the underside just faintly browned, the cheese well melted, but the potato topping was still raw...
The third pizza, with tomato sauce, mozz and cherry tomatoes (after the bake, dressed with parma ham and ruccola), as shown on the second picture, responded as if the temperature had now increased to the better, the stone temperatures about the same as before, and a measurement of the lid/gas temperature over the pizza show a bout 330 deg. C. (625 F) This measurement is probably not correct, as an IR measurement on a shiny surface creates a lot of error due to reflection and emission coefficient being different to the IR-gun setpoint.
However, I still needed about 6 minutes bake time, but this time the base was nicely browned and crispy, but far from any charring.
The picture is taken after about 5 minutes in the oven.
My conclusion was to switch on my electric oven for the next bakes, as I consider the temperatures on the Weber too low.
Contradicting the Weber manual, a test next time with charcoal instead of briquettes is logical, to try increase the temperatures.
My aim is a bake time of no more than a couple of minutes and better browning, while the cheese remains mostly unbrowned.
The result of my first test is, that if you come from baking pizza in a domestic oven at low temperatures, the Weber is a step forward.
Also, the Weber provides the joy of baking pizza on your patio, and the good access to the bakinge stone is a plus over my two-stone setup.
Thank you for reading this far, and sorry for the lack of finished pizza pictures, but the birthday crowd were hungry and put a limit to my photograpy...