Back when I did construction inspection, I used a seismograph to monitor some blasting. This big gruff guy with a scraggly beard was in charge of placing and setting off the explosives. Before a blast, he used an air horn to signal every one on the site. One long honk from the horn meant a blast was about 5 minutes away. Two long honks meant get out of the way, I'm setting these charges off in a minute. Three long honks meant you better start running and screaming because if I don't see you in the next few seconds, you are going to have a very bad day. After the set of 3 honks, he'd look around once more and with the kind of grin you'd see on a kid's face he'd quietly say, "Fire in the hole." And then the ground would shake from the explosion.
Well, this fire in the hole was slightly less dramatic than setting off explosives and making people think there was an earthquake. But I was looking forward to it all day and couldn't wait to get going once I got home from work. Here's how I set up the space I was using. Two tables with toppings and space to prep the dough and the Firedome.
I started two chimney's of lump charcoal on top of the support bricks. I hoped they would heat up with the charcoal.
Then I spread the coals around and started to heat the cooking bricks.
I added more charcoal and a few branched of apple tree to the fire. Felt like 20 to 30 minutes later (I should have timed it), I wanted to get going on the pizzas. The kids weren't going to wait forever. I check the temperature of the cooking bricks with my new super awesome hand held thermometer. Most of the surface was around 600degrees F. Some spots were a little hotter. 700 or 750 degrees would have bee nice, maybe next firing with a little more time and coal.
The first pizza in was a margarita. It came out nicely. Next was a prosciutto with chopped kalamata olives and cheese pie. Both were very good. I think both would be improved with a little more pizza making experience.
Next was a sausage and cheese pizza which got devoured by the kids. The piece I had was tasty too. That was leftover sausage I made. It is always a nice ego boost when the kids go for something like that. My wife isn't the biggest fresh basil fan, so I left it off the last pizza.
Lessons learned: the dome needed more fuel and more time to heat. More wood making flames on the side might help cook the top of the pizza. And the fresh mozz needs to be a little drier. I also need to learn how to shape dough.
Definitely worth it. Not a bad pizza oven for under $50. I am looking forward to Round 2.