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Here's another toy in my arsenal that we have discussed here before. After reading about @ckreef's experiences with his, I decided it was a must in my efforts to learn how to make awesome pizza. This is a brief walk-around of this grill followed by a demo pizza cook that took 90 seconds at 1000°F. I bought mine on Amazon: Blackstone Patio Oven for under $300.
I finally decided to buy this beast because I think it will make fantastic pizzas based on what I have seen from others on this forum and elsewhere... So it arrived this week and I got it put together this morning and fired it up.... Oh yea! Screamin' hot in no time flat. This kind of oven has a ton of possibilities for pizza. At this point, I'm super stoked about cooking on it tonight... I have a batch of scratch sourdough ready to go! So I turned the oven off and shut off the gas to let it cool... I came back to it an hour or so later to check on it.... The stone is seriously cracked and buckled up. I sent a photo to Blackstone's customer service and got a response within an hour... they are sending me a new stone. I sorta figured I had just gotten it too hot and maybe let it cool too fast causing this to break. After some deeper investigation, I don't think that's the case... If it was just a crack from thermal shock, it shouldn't really be buckled up like this... I pulled the pieces out and was able to fit them back together.... Here is where I see a design or spec problem with the stone. The stone doesnt' fit nicely into the pan where it sits.... I try to show this in these two photos... In the first of these two photos, the stone is not sitting down as far into the pan as it is in the second photo. When this oven is fired up, the pan expands and allows the stone to sit down flush all the way around. Everything goes great until the oven and pan start to cool. When the pan cools, it compresses the stone and breaks and buckles it as shown in these photos. In order to test this idea, I heated the oven back up with the broken pieces in place as flush and flat as I could get them. I just heated it up until the stone was 650°F. At that point, I reduced the flame and let the oven cool slowly over a one hour period. I also left the rotisserie motor on to help even out the cooling process. This slow cooling process still caused the stone to buckle and rise back up in the middle again. That being said, I feel comfortable cooking on this tonight but I expect it will buckle again when it cools.... I have a new stone on the way so when it gets here I'll see how well (or not) that it fits in the pan. If it doesn't fit any better than this one I may try to sand it down a little because I truly believe that if it has a little bit of slack in that pan when the pan is cool that it won't break like this again.... This review will be ongoing... I will post photos of my pizza cook later tonight or tomorrow and I'll report back on the replacement stone when it arrives... I am happy with this so far despite the issue with the broken stone....