Kettle Pizza - Learning Curve
My wife got me the Kettle Pizza cooker for my BD (discussed in this thread here). This is the 18.5" model, MSRP $129.95. This is my first try. Not bad, but need to tweak techniques: the timing - how long to heat the stone for ideal crust; how to spin it around; when to yank parchment paper; ideal temp to start cooking, etc. The trick is to balance cooking the crust with the top. I missed it by that much on this go-round.
I used parchment paper to ease the transfer off the peel. Hardwood added was maple - in abundant supply in my woodpile. (Tried it subsequently with cherry, and it was slower to burn, but reached a much higher temp. In fact, I left the top on after cooking batch #2, and 2 hours later the temp was 400F with the cherry wood.)
The crust was underdone. You can see the thing heats the Weber to 700 easily - took about 12 minutes once the hardwood started burning. Total cooking time was about 6 minutes. Using it again tonight and will report back. Very happy with this, and don't see why this can't be used for loaves of bread.
And call me parochial, but I like it that this is made by a guy about 15 miles from me (in MA).
Crust was sourdough from KAF's website, minus the yeast. I also did not use the starter straight from the fridge; instead I refreshed it to make a cup, let it ferment 8 hours, made the recipe, and it rose just fine in about 2 hours.