I already tried my first batch...not so good. I think it was my fault; I let the dough over ferment and die. The first pizza burned to a crisp. The second one charred perfectly on the bottom, but the top didn't brown as much as I would have liked. I think the dead dough was the main culprit. I'll be trying again on Saturday and I'm sure it will turn out much better. Everything is identical to yours except for the dough formulation. Any insights on that? I'll be using KA bread flour and IDY. Don't know if I should add sugar and oil for a 650+ temp.
My first few batches of pizza on the LBE were not something worthy of mention but if you are persistant and willing to experiment, you'll soon earn the title of...."Egg Master".
Preheat and cook with the vent wide open. The LBE requires lots of air to support the high heat needed to cook pizza at 600+ degrees. Ensure the foil in the lid is not obstucting the vent. I'm going to enlarge the vent on my egg to get more airflow. Maybe this weekend.
If you could post the recipe for your dough, that would be a good starting point. If I use sugar and oil I limit both of them to 2% of the flour weight. Too much sugar will burn at high temps and too little or no sugar will take longer to cook or not brown very well at low temps. Sorry for stating the obvious.
I noticed a big difference in my last batch where I used no sugar or oil. I had to bump the temp up about 100 degrees to get the same level of browning and sub 3 minute pies but the flavor was extraordinary and the spring was much more than I expected.
I would suggest starting with a dough recipe with 66% hydration and 2% sugar, salt and oil. When you feel comfortable with that level, you can progress to higher temps and no sugar and oil. I don't use high gluten flour and have found that you can make great pizza even with just AP flour from the supermarket. My next batch is going to be 25% whole grains (10% rye, 15% WW), AP flour, water (66%), salt and starter. You can add a pinch of vitamin C to the dough to strengthen low gluten flour.
I don't like store bought yeast and only use starter for pizza. It is much more predictable and forgivable and is really easy to make and maintain. I made mine with just rye flour and pineapple juice. You can use regular white flour also. The pineapple juice creates a slightly acidic environment which prohibits the growth of bacteria until the yeast gets a chance to take hold. It takes about 4 days to get going and then you just feed it once a week and keep it in the fridge. You can search the web for more on this. A good place to start is: Breadtopia.com. Eric has some great videos there. A good alternative to starter is to make a preferment the night before with 100 grams each flour and water with a small pinch of yeast. Subtract the amount of flour and water from the recipe and press on.
Since your first pizza burned at 680 degrees I would lower the temp to about 600-625 and then when you put your first pizza on, turn the gas up a little. This will allow the bottom to brown nicely and also supply the added heat to cook the top of the pizza. Turn the gas down if you're not going to put another pizza on right away or the stone may get too hot. Again your going to have to experiment to find out what temps work best with the type of dough you're using. Take measurements with an IR thermometer before and after the pizza is cooked and you'll get a good idea of what temps you need to maintain.
Like any vented outdoor grill, the LBE does not like a breezy environment as this will scavenge the heat from the oven and result in an unevenly cooked pizza. I like to cook my pizza in the garage with the door open. I cook my pizza here on the back balcony and avoid cooking pizza on windy days.
Hope this helps and good luck.....Villa Roma