Dagnabbit! While I was waiting for Kenji Lopez-Alt to get back to town and help test the Kettle Pizza insert I bought last week, Slice'r Mmmph received his and beat us to the punch. No biggie — we'll still be grilling with ours. In the meantime, here's Mmmph's take. —The Mgmt.
I thought I'd pass on my first experience with the Original Pizza Kettle Oven insert that I bought on eBay, after reading about it on Slice. I received mine a couple of days after the Slice "Unboxing" post. It was a snap to put together and I simply had to wait until I could entertain a couple of friends in order to fire it up. Sunday was the day.
I invited a few people who had regularly attended my pizza parties while using my Ferrari G3 pizza oven. That device gets to 710 on the stone and 770 in the top. (Pics to come soon for pies from this device.)
The Pizza Kettle Oven achieved temps of 600-850 on the stone and 700-950 in the top. The higher end temps required regular additions of oak splits. I went through 95% of the wood I split to make eight pies.
Sorry I didn't take more pics, but I was having fun eating and entertaining. Actually, I was too concerned about burning a pie and looking like I was a rookie...which I was. Most of the best pies weren't photographed, as they were served up and eaten quickly! My favorite part of the afternoon was my guests spontaneously talking about how much they would pay for these pies. Quite flattering.
While this was a fun afternoon, I have issues with the Pizza Kettle Oven. There's just too much heat lost through the metal and the gap between the top and the sides to make the temps I desire. I charred the handles after only eight pizzas. I had already planned to build my own version of the Pizza Forge à la Pizzhacker when I bought the Pizza Kettle Oven, and I'm going to attempt that build post haste.
Here are some pics:
Weber Charcoal Holder to concentrate the heat
Box of oak wood splits and a bucket of water (just in case)
Charcoal Chimney starter
Man...That stuff can get hot!
Firing it up. 700°?? Hahhaahha. No problem here.
Oak fire...A thing of beauty.
One of the first pies to come out. The Spanish Pie - Manchego cheese, Chorizo Soria and red onion. A big hit and quite tasty. I made a couple of these. I should have gone another 30-35 seconds, but I was more worried about burning this one.
Whole milk Mozzarella with Abruzzese sausage.
Baking a pie.
Me delivering the baked pie. My GI.Metal perforated pizza peel is the star here.
The baked pie - Fresh Mozzarella, Julienned Hot Sopressata, Fresh Basil. Quite tasty.
I told you I'd boil the paint off half of it!
Note the charred handle...Muwhahahhahhaa!!
Mmmph: YOU RULE! This is great. Thank you for the photos and insight into the insert. Looks like the pies came out pretty well despite the fact that the thing isn't standing up to the temps you operate at. I wonder if it's still not possible to hack this thing a little more, as folks were mentioning in the original posts about it.
Let us all know how your Pizza Forge build goes. And I can't wait to see pics of the Ferrari G3 oven pies.
Hasta la pizza, Adam