Here is the current LBE, about to undergo some more fine tuning, particularly on the dome, which is mostly just conceptual to get an idea of what is going on with airflow, etc.
I haven't had much time to get this together, having to piece meal the work together over 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there over several weeks just to get it to this state. It’s definitely a “rough draft” at this point.
I think the heat deflector/flower pot is a potential major culprit in my heat issues.
1. The bottom of the grill. 12” hole on bottom and resting on top of the Bayou Classic Cajun Cooker SB-10 model propane cooker many of us LBE peeps use. 20psi high pressure cooker. 185,000 BTUs.
I drilled some screws (seen in the picture) higher than the standard top grate holders already in the grill to bring the stone closer to the top of the bottom portion of the kettle.
2. Flower pot deflector filled with sand. The terra cota disk the pot sits on is on is 8” in diameter. The initial bake cracked the pot holder in half (you can see the crack in the bottom left quadrant of the pot holder)
3. Top of grill grate clearance from top of flower pot = ¾” (approx).
I see this as a potential major problem, as there is likely not enough airspace between the top of the flower pot and the bottom of the cooking surface to allow heat to circulate under the stone. Temperature readings of the stone to the sides and front-back of center point were higher by a meaningful amount….I’m guessing for this reason.
I need a lower deflector. Perhaps a shorter pot or a cast iron skillet with the handle hack sawed off like Mmmph has in his LBE.
4. Cut out piece of galvanized sheet metal to direct airflow to the back of the grill. Already some discoloration after the first bake.
5. Clearances of sheet metal directional plate. About 2.75” at center point and about 2” as it nears the sides of the bottom portion of the kettle.
This may need to be wider perhaps? Think I will fool with the flower pot/deflector first before adjusting the size of the gap on this directional plate.
Pics 6 & 7 out of order
7. Pizza stone. Sitting directly on top of the metal deflection plate. It is an Old Stone “D-Shaped” Oven Grill stone. 20.5” x 15.5” and 5/8” thick. Says it is made of “firebrick” (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002JPJ078/?tag=pmak-20
Wondering if there needs to be a little airspace between the metal plate and the stone. May tinker with this after fooling with some other areas first.
6. Dome. This is very
rough right now. An inverted 19” pizza pan is directly against the dome. Under that is a 13” pizza pan that I just bent a little to direct heat downwards at the back of the grill (on top of the lip of the pizza) and I also bent the 13” pizza pan more gradually towards the front of the grill like Mmmph has in his LBE.
I am going to more carefully construct a new deflector piece tonight and tomorrow night to get more precise downdraft on the pizza.
8. Bottom of 19” pizza pan is about 1.5” from the top of the side vent.
9. The top of the pizza stone is about 2 3/4” from the top of the side vent. This means the 19” pizza pan creates a roof which is about 4 ¼” from the top of the pizza stone/cooking surface.
As you can also see from picture #9, the top of the pizza stone sits about ¾” below the bottom lip of the side vent. I’m thinking of raising the screws in the bottom portion of the grill to make the top of the pizza stone flush with the bottom of the side vent. This would make the distance between the pizza stone and the roof (pizza pan) closer to 3 ½”. I bet this would help with cooking and stone heat a good bit.
The final pic was taken a year ago of my beloved Rottweiler Ruby, a rescue who travelled a million miles from her abused beginning, who we had to put down nearly a year ago today (July 10th). You can see how much of a sweetheart she was just looking into those eyes. Best dog ever. That’s where the name Pizza Ruby came from.
Once I get the LBE dialed in, I have some cosmetic work I plan on doing. Using some 1/16” modeling tape and high temp spray paint to create a tile effect over the grill something like the Ferrara and Napoletano wood fired ovens we all drool over.
Back to the drawing board and thanks for any pointers anyone can point out which may improve my results. It all ultimately comes down to trial and error.