Firedome: a newer version, not a complete failure, just some notes

The Firedome project is my pride and joy. Although I can rely on it for pushing out a nice pie for friends, I still play around with ideas for changes. Here's a newer version that didn't quite work as I wanted, but the final cut shown in the last image reveals what may be a slightly better design than the current one.

The unsuspecting lid generously dropped off by @CMHGourmand, you will be rewarded!

The lid secured to the chopping block. I use duct tape in order to visualize where to cut.

I cut it with an angle grinder and the edges smoothed with a dremel/mini grinder wheel.

Assembled, ignition time. I use a few Matchlight briquettes and then toss in logs. Voosh!  Warmup of the stone inside takes about 30 minutes.

The other, and still functional, lid (thanks @ToKateFromKate) sitting beside the newer design. Notice the closer crop/smaller section removed.  I  also did away with the door, I've never cooked with it closed.  The intent was to see what the convection would be like with a closer-cropped opening. I got lots of smoke - bad! Very surprising given the size of the opening.

 A sample pizza (ok four) were run through for a test (and light lunch). They were uniformly cooked, but the opening made it a pain to get them in and out and feeding wood was also tougher.

Here's another shot where the thermocouple probe wire is visible (on the left). I placed the probe in the side away from the fire (the "cool" side) hooked up to a datalogger. I maintained ca 800-850°F with an occasional spike. The surface of the stone stayed about 800°F at the center.

The temperature profile on the cool side, the probe was placed just below the cooking stone.  It was a short cooking session, this is the hour after a 30 min warm-up.

Given the amount of smoke I saw during the burn, I ripped it open to look more like the previous design opening - only larger. I've opened about a full third of the perimeter. I'll give it a shot tomorrow night.  I'm essentially back to where I started (which wasn't a bad place), but I may have slightly more convenient access.  Incidentally, I get about an hour and a half of high temps from a $5 bundle of grocery store wood.


Biscuits, a fun addition to Frankie's lunch

My most recent prep of biscuits

unbleached white flour, 2C
salt, 1t
baking powder, 2t
butter, 1 stick
milk, 3/4C

Preheat oven to 450F. Mix (or sift together) flour, salt and baking powder. Cut butter in to the flour mix until finely blended in small lumps. Add milk and mix into a stiff ball, but don't knead too much. Squash ball into a rectangle about 12" x 6" and cut out circular biscuits with a cutter. My cutter gives me about 8 rounds. I glazed the tops with a scrambled egg and sprinkle sugar on the egg glaze. Bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet about 15 minutes.


Pizza with the grill master

It's not a great image, but there's a good reason for that - I was enjoying my visitors immensely.  Fellow high temperature enthusiast Mike from Another Pint Please, the site I instinctively send people for good solid authoritative grilling and 'q basics (and advanced), came for a visit!  For Mike and his friend Brian, I broke from my usual barely-topped pie to make a bacon, ham and sausage pizza, some oil, basil and fresh mozz from Clintonville Community Market and bam.  A new favorite pie.  Hope you enjoyed yourselves sirs!  I look forward to future food festivities.
A pic --> http://instagram.com/p/PdQKIlCT3k/