Current Prototype - we have come a long way


  This is an account (from memory) about the first prototype.

As I mentioned elsewhere, Ben (my now Pizza adviser extraordinaire) purchased a dedicated pizza oven for his backyard.  I was intrigued to say the least.  It burned really hot (your home oven is really only good to about 450° F). and it kept a very consistent hot temperature.  I had recently made huge skewers to put into the top of my Char-Griller® Akorn grill for Tandoori, so I knew that a kamado style grill was versatile.  I tried making some pizza's in the Akorn at a high temperature, and they turned out pretty well, but the process just wasn't right. I was leaning over a 700° fire trying to slip a pizza peel out from under the pizza.   It is like tailgating with a disposable aluminum grill.  You can do it, the food is hot, but it does not respect the authentic ritual.

So, I set our to bring the right ritual into pizza making on a kamado style grill.  At the time I did not know why the rituals existed, but more on that in a future blog.

I began by propping open the lid of the Akorn with some success.  I could slip a pizza onto the oven and it protected me from that blast of heat, but I lost any way to control the temperature.  I added some side baffles to keep the heat in, but with an open window I had difficulty getting the temperature that I wanted consistently.  I started tinkering in the shop with some sheet metal to create a device that would insert but also control the airflow.  After 47 cut fingers and a few nights of work, I came up with the design below. It is made of galvanized metal, but we focused on temperature testing, not cooking. I understand that cooking and galvanized metal do not mix.

Proto 1