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Since that early look, the inventor, Al Contarino has jumped into the conversation to let us know that he's come up with a new and improved model that should address many of the problems we had with the old one. We were all too happy to give the new model another whirl.
Here's how it went down. Before we jump in, just a quick refresher course on some of the basic science of heat transfer in grilled pizzas:. That's the theory. But does it hold up? There are a couple changes that have been made. First, it's now made of a heavier gauge steel and completely unpainted the old version had a coat of black paint that would burn off at high temperatures.
It's also got a cute little "HOT" sign cut into its front, as well as a slightly modified shape to decrease the volume inside the oven. Al also pointed out that for best results, we should use charcoal briquettes as our base fire and add a few big chunks of hardwood oak to pump up the temperature right before we start cooking the pies.
It also comes with its own line of accessories now, depending on the model you get. Ours came with a nifty metal peel with a built-in beer bottle opener how thoughtful! I fired up a full, overflowing chimney of coals, spread'em out in a C-shape as recommended in the back of the grill, then put the stone and cover on to preheat. For the dough, I used my basic Neapolitan Pizza Dough —the kind of pizza dough typically used in the super-hot ovens the PizzaKettle is meant to emulate.
Just before stretching and topping the dough, I added a few planks of oak to the fire, quickly replacing the lid to trap the heat. By the time I finished stretching and topping the dough, there was a raging inferno going on back there. It buried the needle of the probe thermometer. The pie went in, and I waited After the first 90 seconds the amount of time it typically takes to cook a Neapolitan pie start-to-finish , it had shown some decent oven spring and a bit of char on the bottom surface touching the stone, but there was essentially no browning at all on the top surface.
On the PizzaKettle website, it's suggested that you can "dome" the pies to get more browning on the top; That is, put them on the peel and lift them towards the top of the oven where the air is hotter and the convection currents are faster. I did this, holding up the pie for several minutes before I finally started to see a hint of browning in the crust. The first pie took a total of nearly 7 minutes to cook through, and even then, it was still a bit anemic looking on the top surface.
Take a look at the cross-section to check out the internal structure:. Again, decent, but not spectacularly poofy, without the thin-crisp exterior and moist-airy interior you look for in a great pie. The undercarriage, on the other hand, looks pretty good to me. Nicely charred and spotty. As I got ready for round two, I noticed that the temperature had already dropped significantly. Adding a few more chunks of hardwood boosted it again, and I threw in my second pie. This time, it took even longer to bake, and no amount of doming seemed to help cook the top.
I pulled the pie when the bottom was threatening to burn—at around 10 minutes. The top of the pie was still completely pale and the crumb was quite dry after that extended baking time.
Gas Grill Pizza Oven Kits On a gas grill, the KettlePizza simply sets directly on the grill grate. Simply bring the one-piece stainless pizza oven insert and. The KettlePizza Basic is a pizza oven conversion kit for and inch charcoal kettle grills. This product installs on top of your kettle grill. If you're a pizza geek, no doubt you've seen the KettlePizza insert. It's an after-market device that you add to your weber grill which increases its volume.