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Cooking & Food Talk => Pizza Forum => Topic started by: BertVentures on December 06, 2017, 03:30:09 PM

Title: Performer max temperature
Post by: BertVentures on December 06, 2017, 03:30:09 PM
Greeting, I am a new proud owner of a Weber Performer. I like some tips on how to acheive max temperature in my Performer with the lid close and both top and bottom vents fully open. And how to manage to keep the heat consistent for about an hour and half.

Thank you
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: MikeRocksTheRed on December 07, 2017, 07:48:27 AM
Greeting, I am a new proud owner of a Weber Performer. I like some tips on how to acheive max temperature in my Performer with the lid close and both top and bottom vents fully open. And how to manage to keep the heat consistent for about an hour and half.

Thank you

You pretty much answered your own question.  If lid shut and all vents wide open isn't getting hot enough for you try cracking the lid a little bit so it can get some more air.
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: kettlebb on December 07, 2017, 07:59:16 AM
I can't remember the thread or OP but I do remember someone here posting a kettle modification where they drilled additional lid vent holes and added a second lid vent to a 22" kettle.  If your performer is too nice for that, try finding a cheap CL kettle and add more lid vents. 
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: MikeRocksTheRed on December 07, 2017, 09:14:42 AM
I can't remember the thread or OP but I do remember someone here posting a kettle modification where they drilled additional lid vent holes and added a second lid vent to a 22" kettle.  If your performer is too nice for that, try finding a cheap CL kettle and add more lid vents.

I remember that.  Or how about putting a Ranch kettle lid vent on it!!!!
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: BertVentures on December 07, 2017, 09:54:34 AM
I just want to know the max temperature that I can achieve with my performer without any modification and max amount of charcoal I can use before it start chocking. That will be big help, it will take me few loads of charcoals to figure that out.
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: HoosierKettle on December 07, 2017, 10:08:07 AM
My non scientific opinion would be one weber chimney of kingsford would net 500-550 for a couple hours. If you donít have a weber chimney, get one.


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Title: Performer max temperature
Post by: HoosierKettle on December 07, 2017, 10:11:25 AM
Lots of other variables will affect temperature like coal arrangement, weather, amount of meat, cooking direct or indirect etc

Just jump in and start cooking. That will be the fastest way to learn.


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Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: Jules V. on December 07, 2017, 10:42:35 AM

Greeting, I am a new proud owner of a Weber Performer. I like some tips on how to acheive max temperature in my Performer with the lid close and both top and bottom vents fully open. And how to manage to keep the heat consistent for about an hour and half.

Thank you
What temperature are you going after?     Humidity, outside temperature and type of of coal you use will also affect the max temperature. I use royal oak lump and it can get to 525-550 for about 45 minutes using a full chimney. With 2 lid vents wide open the temperature can go up to about 700-750 but for only 30 minutes. If you want even higher temperature then add more coal and keep the lid cracked open by about 1". When I use 1 1/2 chimney of  "fully lit"lump the  lid thermometer wraps around to 200 on the thermometer dial.


JV
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: MikeRocksTheRed on December 07, 2017, 10:55:52 AM
I just want to know the max temperature that I can achieve with my performer without any modification and max amount of charcoal I can use before it start chocking. That will be big help, it will take me few loads of charcoals to figure that out.

I would say your best bet is putting your charcoal baskets (or get a vortex) in the middle and filling them with one fully lit chimney of coals, then add about a 1/2 chimney of coals on top of that and let them get going for 5-10 minutes with your lid off.  That is probably going to be about as hot as you can get the grill with vents wide open and the lid on firmly.  You should be able to hit between 550-600 at the top of the lid, probably 450-500 at the grate level around the edges, 1000+ at the grate above the coals.
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: BertVentures on December 07, 2017, 11:31:52 AM
Thank you all for your response. I do have a Weber chimney, pizza is what on the menu for my first use of the grill, mid 40's in Houston this weekend (finally), I will probably start with 2 layers of lit briquettes spread evenly all around charcoal grate (6" empty circle in the middle) for my first bake and work my way up.

I will be using my Mighty Pizza Stone, a pizza stone with an adjustable heat diffuser, (I launched on kickstarter last year), the adjustable diffuser allow me to control the stone temperature to balance pizza top and bottom cooking rate for even bake. 

My goal is to get the temperature as high as possible at the grate level (above the stone) without any mod to my grill, the higher the temperature the faster the bake time I can get.

So at 500F by the grate level, my bake time should be 8 to 10 minutes, will see how it goes.

Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: Bubblehead on December 07, 2017, 12:14:04 PM
Not completely necessary but a Kettle Pizza would be pretty handy if you're planning on cooking pizza (fairly) often.
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: Mkrause on December 07, 2017, 01:29:20 PM
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mightypizzaoven/mighty-pizza-stone-perfect-pizza-on-your-grill-eve

This and the kettlepizza might be a match made in heaven

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Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: MikeRocksTheRed on December 07, 2017, 01:45:08 PM
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mightypizzaoven/mighty-pizza-stone-perfect-pizza-on-your-grill-eve

This and the kettlepizza might be a match made in heaven

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That is really cool!!!!!
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: MikeRocksTheRed on December 07, 2017, 01:46:55 PM
@BertVentures - really cool pizza stone!  I can see your invention doing very well for people who want to cook pizzas on their grills without any of the expensive pizza attachments that are out there.  One other thing I thought about for getting high heat is putting a coal basket on the cooking great in addition to the coals on the coal grate.
Title: Performer max temperature
Post by: Jules V. on December 07, 2017, 01:47:05 PM
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mightypizzaoven/mighty-pizza-stone-perfect-pizza-on-your-grill-eve

This and the kettlepizza might be a match made in heaven

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I'll take your word on it. Just ordered one although I've never cooked a pizza on a kettle before. Not much a pizza eater but my 6 yrs old love plain cheese pizza. Hopefully it would work great with my Caliente stacker without using a pizza stacker. 


JV
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: Mkrause on December 07, 2017, 05:05:47 PM
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mightypizzaoven/mighty-pizza-stone-perfect-pizza-on-your-grill-eve

This and the kettlepizza might be a match made in heaven

Sent from my SM-G930V using Weber Kettle Club mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=91018)

I'll take your word on it. Just ordered one although I've never cooked a pizza on a kettle before. Not much a pizza eater but my 6 yrs old love plain cheese pizza. Hopefully it would work great with my Caliente stacker without using a pizza stacker. 


JV
Oh, i hope you didn't misunderstand, I said "might" be a match made in heaven. I have no experience with this product whatsoever. I just know I've burned a few pizza bottoms or undercooked toppings on my kettlepizza setup and this seems like it might address that.

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Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: BertVentures on December 07, 2017, 10:59:39 PM
This and the kettlepizza might be a match made in heaven

No one has tried yet, MPS will definetly help in cases where the stone temperature is hard to manage due to high heat.
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: BertVentures on December 07, 2017, 11:10:34 PM
@BertVentures - really cool pizza stone!  I can see your invention doing very well for people who want to cook pizzas on their grills without any of the expensive pizza attachments that are out there.

Thank you, it is very simple deivce.

One other thing I thought about for getting high heat is putting a coal basket on the cooking great in addition to the coals on the coal grate.

I don't have a charcoal basket, but I will try somethng simialr.
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: BertVentures on December 07, 2017, 11:19:57 PM
I'll take your word on it. Just ordered one although I've never cooked a pizza on a kettle before. Not much a pizza eater but my 6 yrs old love plain cheese pizza. Hopefully it would work great with my Caliente stacker without using a pizza stacker. 
JV

I am not familiar with Caliente stacker, but if you are planning to use MPS for plain pizza you just need a grill with enough heat with no other inserts.
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: northernQ on December 08, 2017, 07:43:31 AM
Simple trick to get heat UP. Run some 3 inch metal flex hose to the bottom vents. Stick a hair dryer in the other end, and blow cold air into bottom of the kettle.

And watch the temp skyrocket


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Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: BertVentures on December 08, 2017, 09:28:19 AM
Simple trick to get heat UP. Run some 3 inch metal flex hose to the bottom vents. Stick a hair dryer in the other end, and blow cold air into bottom of the kettle.

And watch the temp skyrocket

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I did try something similar on my old cheap kettle using the items below . It did help with the temperature but I didnít like having ash getting in my pizza.
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: northernQ on December 08, 2017, 09:30:39 AM
Agreed, so turn the dryer speed to low. PS ash tastes good. :)


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Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: JordanW on December 08, 2017, 09:34:17 AM
2 full chimneys of lit KBB spread evenly will get you 550+ for a sustained amount of time... I've done a pizza party this way and was able to get about 8 pizzas done on my performer.
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: BertVentures on December 08, 2017, 09:48:47 AM
Agreed, so turn the dryer speed to low. PS ash tastes good. :)
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I donít mind a bit of added mineral to my pizza, but my tow young Pizza snobs snobs don'tí like it.
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: BertVentures on December 08, 2017, 10:45:58 AM
@JordanW Did you have to crack the lid open or you only had both vents open?
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: JordanW on December 08, 2017, 10:48:40 AM
@BertVentures both bottom and top vent 100% open. I did NOT crack the lid.
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: BertVentures on December 08, 2017, 10:51:47 AM
I came across Weber vortex, it looks like it will bump up the temperature in the grill, I made my own version of it using left over chicken wire from another experiment and aluminum foil, I am not sure if it will works, but itís worth trying. Check it out...
Title: Performer max temperature
Post by: HoosierKettle on December 08, 2017, 12:23:21 PM
The vortex is just another type of charcoal holder.  The shape does not make it hotter. Concentrated charcoal makes it hotter but no hotter than any round or square holder that holds the same amount of fuel. It holds one full weber chimney. One full weber chimney with vents wide open reaches a certain temperature whether itís in a vortex or any other charcoal holder.

You need more AIRFLOW to achieve any substantial higher temperatures. Just crack the lid. No mods needed or use a pizza accessory but no magical fairy dust or gadget is going to raise the temperature without more air.


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Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: Jules V. on December 08, 2017, 12:43:21 PM
Here's my plan to use the MPS.  Never cooked pizza on the kettle before so any advice is appreciated.
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171208/2a803aea4e2a115e467c83b2b916c00f.jpg)
Use a 16g ss dimpled charcoal holder. 12"x5" can hold up to 1 3/4 of coal.
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171208/f7dc97836ca75fcdef19077b3e0970fc.jpg)
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171208/34ff35cc388e29c11bedae2d835e49f4.jpg)
This is the first option.  Stone sits atop the secondary grate. All vents open and lid cracked  by 1/2".
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171208/9882bd168a3f44fbc31d568c977e479d.jpg)
Second option is to use the same charcoal holder in the stacker. This setup allows  the distance of the coal to the MPS to be easily adjusted between 3" to 9". Not sure of the exact temperature at the thermometer but sometimes it wraps around past the 200 mark.



JV
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: HoosierKettle on December 08, 2017, 01:13:20 PM

Here's my plan to use the MPS.  Never cooked pizza on the kettle before so any advice is appreciated.
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171208/2a803aea4e2a115e467c83b2b916c00f.jpg)
Use a 16g ss dimpled charcoal holder. 12"x5" can hold up to 1 3/4 of coal.
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171208/f7dc97836ca75fcdef19077b3e0970fc.jpg)
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171208/34ff35cc388e29c11bedae2d835e49f4.jpg)
This is the first option.  Stone sits atop the secondary grate. All vents open and lid cracked  by 1/2".
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171208/9882bd168a3f44fbc31d568c977e479d.jpg)
Second option is to use the same charcoal holder in the stacker. This setup allows  the distance of the coal to the MPS to be easily adjusted between 3" to 9". Not sure of the exact temperature at the thermometer but sometimes it wraps around past the 200 mark.



JV

Now that set up will bring the heat!  Love your stuff Jv. Post a pic of one of your high heat cooks sometime.


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Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: BertVentures on December 09, 2017, 03:21:57 AM
The vortex is just another type of charcoal holder.  The shape does not make it hotter. Concentrated charcoal makes it hotter but no hotter than any round or square holder that holds the same amount of fuel. It holds one full weber chimney. One full weber chimney with vents wide open reaches a certain temperature whether itís in a vortex or any other charcoal holder.

You need more AIRFLOW to achieve any substantial higher temperatures. Just crack the lid. No mods needed or use a pizza accessory but no magical fairy dust or gadget is going to raise the temperature without more air.

Charcoal holders create natural draft, I belief cone shape type create better draft, it might be negligible with just few inches high, but every bit help especially if you donít have any magical fairy dust  :).

On my old cheap grill, I increased the lid vent size and added a stack to increase air movement, that is not an option for my performer. I do see two main advantages the performer has over my old grill that will help with needed heat, it is thicker, it will retain heat better, and it has bigger bottom vents.
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: BertVentures on December 09, 2017, 03:27:46 AM
@Jules V.  How high is your second rack?
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: Jules V. on December 09, 2017, 10:31:19 AM

@Jules V.  How high is your second rack?
It can  be set at 1 or 3 1/2 inches.



JV
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: BertVentures on December 09, 2017, 05:54:17 PM
@Jules V. I recommend your first setup, hereís why:

The most ideal way to cook a pizza is to balance cooking rate of pizza top and bottom by balancing the heat below and above the pizza stone.

With the high intense heat being located below the stone, the goal is to limit that bottom heat to the stone so it will be hot enough to cook pizza bottom at the same rate as the heat above the stone will cook pizza top.
 
And since the heat above the stone increases as we get closer to the lid, it is best to position the stone as close as possible to the lid top to take advantage of the highest possible heat available above the stone. But, at the same time we donít want to be too far from the charcoal flames where the stone is not getting enough bottom heat.

MPS comes with feet that will raise MPS by ĹĒ and extension legs for additional 3Ē to bring pizza top closer to lid top heat.

I would use MPS with the ĹĒ tall feet and place it on your secondary rack set at 3 ĹĒ high, that will position the stone about 2 ĹĒ form the lid and about 4Ē from the charcoal concentrator flames.
 
I am not sure if cracking the lid open is more helpful than harmful.  I think cracking the lid will allow for lots of heat to escape from the bottom where we want all the heat to flow over the pizza on its way out through the lid ventís. Any way try both and see what works best for you.

Also, you may want to cover open area around your heat concentrator with aluminum foil to maximize amount of air flowing through it.
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: BertVentures on December 10, 2017, 03:48:42 PM
First bake on Performer went well, I used two loads of charcoal, positioned MPS under the vent, MPS diffuser gap set at the lowest setting + ĹĒ high feet on, and moved the charcoal to opposite side after the 1st pizza. 

Bake time: 1st pizza 4.5 minutes, 2nd pizza 8minutes, 3rd pizza 9minutes.

Kept the lid closed and kept top lid vent wide open most of the time.

There is room for improvement, I think I can do better managing the heat.
Title: Performer max temperature
Post by: HoosierKettle on December 10, 2017, 05:55:10 PM
Those are nice looking pies. The crust looks perfect while the top looks like it could have cooked a little longer. I have been getting the best results using a regular gas oven. I have a pizza que accessory that works well but still lacks browning the toppings before the crust is done. I assume the kettle pizza with the baking steel addresses this issue but I donít have one to know. This is how I prefer the cheese which has been difficult to achieve in the grill. Maybe to too done for some?

Either way, your results look on par with a pizza accessory or just a cracked lid.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171211/7cf775c2c03937eb82bc95dea886df05.jpg)




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Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: BertVentures on December 11, 2017, 01:37:29 AM
@HoosierKettle, Thank you and nice pie too.

The top will be better next time, all I need is to increase the gap on MPS. Still, this is the best what I can achieve with this basic straight forward setup, 6 to 9 minutes bake time.   

Next step will be to try different setup with no modification to the grill, to get more top heat.

Using MPS on charcoal has been the most challenging to figure out the simplest way to make pizza on that match my results on my 5 burners gas grill or electric home oven.

Hereís few pics off my last bake on 5 burners gas grill:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BcYbu39jPn-/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BcXIhfMjqyz/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BcXH0fRDLOi/

And pics from my electric home oven:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BSmKqR2DiMd/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BSZc1DLjBVk
https://www.instagram.com/p/BSZcyMgjjun/
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: Jules V. on December 11, 2017, 01:57:09 AM

@HoosierKettle, Thank you and nice pie too.

The top will be better next time, all I need is to increase the gap on MPS. Still, this is the best what I can achieve with this basic straight forward setup, 6 to 9 minutes bake time.   

Next step will be to try different setup with no modification to the grill, to get more top heat.

Using MPS on charcoal has been the most challenging to figure out the simplest way to make pizza on that match my results on my 5 burners gas grill or electric home oven.

Hereís few pics off my last bake on 5 burners gas grill:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BcYbu39jPn-/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BcXIhfMjqyz/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BcXH0fRDLOi/

And pics from my electric home oven:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BSmKqR2DiMd/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BSZc1DLjBVk
https://www.instagram.com/p/BSZcyMgjjun/
I've never cooked a pizza before so here are some of my concerns.  What is the optimal temperature at the pie level? All I know is that it should be very hot. My setup should have no problem reaching 600-750F. Also, what is the maximum temperature that the stone can handle before it cracks or break? 


JV
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: BertVentures on December 11, 2017, 02:59:26 AM

I've never cooked a pizza before so here are some of my concerns.  What is the optimal temperature at the pie level? All I know is that it should be very hot. My setup should have no problem reaching 600-750F. Also, what is the maximum temperature that the stone can handle before it cracks or break? 

JV

The stone can take the heat over 1000 deg F. Ideally we want the air temperature above the stone at the pie level to be 50 to 100 deg. F more than the stone temperature. The higher the temperature the faster the bake
.
If you never made pizza before, start with the basic setup like I did. There is nothing wrong with the pies that I made yesterday tasted great. The crust was nicely cooked and the cheese was melted nicely, except, I prefer to have the rim darker.
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: HoosierKettle on December 11, 2017, 03:30:17 AM
Hey Bert your pies did look great and I think this pizza stone idea is a good one. There have been more than a few times Iíve burnt the crust before the top was done.

I was only nitpicking for constructive criticismís sake but Iím sure I would have eaten every bit of that pizza


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Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: BertVentures on December 11, 2017, 03:57:34 AM
@HoosierKettle, criticism or nitpicking is welcome, I can take it  :).  I was just clarifying to JV since he is new to pizza making, handling pizza at lower temperature is much easier, at least for me.
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: BertVentures on December 11, 2017, 07:00:07 AM
Short 10 second video - https://instagram.com/p/BckQdXDjmnf/
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: BertVentures on December 12, 2017, 06:03:50 AM
For my next pizza making attempt on my Performer, I want to do a similar setup as shown below except without the chimney mod that I did on my old grill where I increased the vent size. The bake time on this setup for the pies shown below was 3.7 and 2.5 minutes.

Do you see any issues with placing the charcoal on the cooking grates?
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: mhiszem on December 12, 2017, 06:32:20 AM
It will burn off the protective coating that charcoal grates donít have. If you have an old grate you could try it out.


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Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: BertVentures on December 12, 2017, 06:59:05 AM
@mhiszem good point, I do have old grate that I bought from Academy for about $20.
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: MikeRocksTheRed on December 12, 2017, 09:05:52 AM
@BertVentures - My initial reaction to a lot of your coal setup pics is too many coals under the stone instead of around the outside, but it looks like your stone with the deflector is doing a pretty good job.  That last pizza looks like the toppings could have used another minute or more, but the bottom and sides of the crust look good.  You might just need the pizza a little bit higher in the lid.  You are getting really darn close!  I'm very impressed by how good your invention is working!  I'd keep trying to dial it in without a modified lid so that you can give instructions with your stone that everyone can use without having to modify their lid.  I'm wondering if you need some sort of deflector to put over the pizza so it catches the heat coming up from the coals and keeps it closer to the top of the pizza.
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: BertVentures on December 12, 2017, 10:54:06 AM
@MikeRocksTheRed A bit of background, I designed MPS as an improvement to a pizza oven insert (Mighty Pizza Oven) that I also designed and manufactured limited run of it few years back - it is not currently available. One of the MPO main feature is high convection / top heat.

For now, my goal is to figure out the best charcoal setup without any modification to the grill and have close results to MPS on a gas grill or home oven.



Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: BertVentures on December 12, 2017, 11:37:24 AM
@MikeRocksTheRed configuring charcoal arrangement has been a challenge. I need to try more coal around the outside as you mentioned. I am trying to keep it simple, and rely only on MPS extension legs to get close to the grill lid..
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: MikeRocksTheRed on December 12, 2017, 12:28:12 PM
@MikeRocksTheRed A bit of background, I designed MPS as an improvement to a pizza oven insert (Mighty Pizza Oven) that I also designed and manufactured limited run of it few years back - it is not currently available. One of the MPO main feature is high convection / top heat.

For now, my goal is to figure out the best charcoal setup without any modification to the grill and have close results to MPS on a gas grill or home oven.

and you are getting really close!  I love that you have been actively seeking advice here and are staying engaged.  The tricky thing is going to be buyers reproducing the setup once you get it figured out.  I see lots of people giving the Kettlepizza bad reviews and I love mine.  It did take me a few cooks to get the coals and wood figured out, but once I got it figured out I was good to go.  The biggest thing you will be up against is people not quite getting the coals right and the inability to see the pizza while the lid is on and it's cooking.  With my kettle pizza if I see the bottom is cooking faster than the top I can always just scoop up the pizza on my peel and hold it up in the dome to finish the top without burning the bottom.   With that said, I think you are working your butt off to get it figured out and are going to end up with a reproducible procedure.
Title: Re: Performer max temperature
Post by: BertVentures on December 13, 2017, 04:18:59 AM
@MikeRocksTheRed Thank you, Itís nice to get advice and feedback, this is the best place for that on my MPS charcoal journey. Sticking to basics will help getting similar results, hopefully.

My designs are based on making pizza on as simple as grilling. Place pizza on the stone, close the lid and few minutes later, itís done. I do rely on timer to minimize lid opening. No doming allowed. The other factor in my design is to use the minimum energy possible regardless what temperature I am trying to bake at 400 to 900F.

I think I achieved that with the MPS/MPO combination; I just havenít time to test this combo.