Several months ago I moved to LA, and the carriage house I'm renting doesn't have an oven. It does, however, have a Weber grill. Using the resources I have, my goal is to make oven-quality pizza (or better) with the minimum of expenditure.
I recently came up with a design that yields quite good (not perfect) results, is cheap, and easy to construct. I bought a 14" and 16" in flower pot saucer from a garden supply store. I placed the 14" (I experimented with hollow-side up and down) on the rack of my Weber on top of a layer of Saltillo tiles. I set bricks as props on either side of the saucer and then set the 16" saucer on top. I now have a nice, clam-shaped oven.
The results were, as I said, quite good. The pie is very flavorful from the smoke from the charcoal. And I get fairly even heating on the top and bottom of the pie. Plus, at $20 total (and I'm sure this could be done a lot cheaper), the cost to deliciousness ratio is excellent. That said, there are areas for improvement:
- The pie sometimes scorched on a horizontal plane. I could rotate the pie, but this means lifting some very hot and heavy pieces of ceramic.
- Even though the grill itself was very, very hot, the amount of downward radiating heat was still not as much as I might like. That is, I want a browner (leoparding???) crust but had to settle for tan and a really toasty bottom. I should note the top-bottom heating was more even when I placed the 14" saucer hollow-side down as it presumably stayed cooler.
To sum up: I'm delighted with my results, but want to improve. Anyone have any thoughts on how I can do this? More insulation on the bottom (2-3 layers of Saltillos)? Modification of the dome of my saucer-hearth? All suggestions are welcome and appreciated. Best Wishes,