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 Interview with Willard Gustavsen  
from 2stonepg.com by Albert Grande, The Pizza Promoter

Willard Explains how he can turn a simple grill into a
 Pizza Making Oven Machine that will get up to
1000°+ F.
(That's right One Thousand Degrees Fahrenheit.)

This interview is a Pizza Therapy exclusive.

Albert: Have you been making pizza long?

Willard: I started baking my own pizza 5-6 years ago, but I didn’t start making my own dough until a couple of years ago.  I would buy the unbaked pizzas from the local pizzeria and bake it myself in a make shift wood-fired oven, and finally took the plunge a couple of years ago and started making my own dough and sauce.

 

 

Albert: How did you come about to develop your pizza grill?
Tell me about the process...


Willard: As a kid growing up my dad would bring home pizza from an Italian pizzeria that had a wood-fired oven. It had that special taste that I came to associate with wood fired, hearth ovens. That’s what got me started. Early on I had some very ill-fated grill baking attempts. I quickly moved on to building myself a more traditional wood-fired oven.

The pizza I was able to bake was great. Nice puffed up edges and a little of the charred taste. At first I would fire up the oven more for special occasions. But gradually I would make one or two pizzas during the week also. With just the right wood (dry hardwood split thin) I could get the oven pre-heated in about 1-1/2 hr. Eventually I cut things down to the bare minimum so that finally with a dual chamber oven I was able to cut the heating time down to about 45 min.

I remember one time my dad was here visiting from Norway. He remarked that it was kind of a big process for a few pizzas, and I told him it had nothing to do with efficiency. I was making real pizza and was willing to go through what ever it took.

I scaled down the wood fired oven to improve heating efficiency, and soon it became small enough that I could see it working with a grill as the heat source.

So I kind of came back around full circle…..back to the grill again.

Albert: Did you have to make a couple of proto types or did it work immediately?

Willard: I made many prototypes. There were several of the wood burning ovens, and even more of the grill-inserts. When I first went back to the grill, I was able to hit 600-700F. Then there was the issue of the stone temperature verses the air temperature.

Finally I came up with a method of rotating the pizza while it was still in the oven, along with an open door design so the pizza could be tended the whole time just like a real wood-fired oven. Eventually we (some of the earliest adopters) were able to hit
1000
°+ F on the grill.

The 2 Stone Product Line


The Pizza Grill

The Pizza Oven

The Pizza Skirt


Albert: How does it work? How hot does it get? How long does it take to heat up?

Willard: To replicate a wood fired hearth oven you need four types of heat:

  1. deck /hearth heat

  2. dome heat/ radiant heat

  3. hot air flow/convection heat

  4. with close proximity to an open flame.

The 2stone pizza grill and oven achieves all four of these.

The 2stone takes the (open flame) hot air up through the bottom and expels it through the front. The pizza is sandwiched between two stones in a type of draft chamber. The bottom stone becomes the hearth while the top stone is the dome or radiant heat. The air flows over the pizza and out the front so you get especially good convection heat. On some of the 2stone models the flames literally licks up the back side of the pizza.

We are able to achieve 1000+F air temperatures and 850+F hearth temperatures.

The 2stone Pizza Grill pre-heats in 25 min with a good grill and the 2stone Oven pre-heats in 15 min with the Bayou burner.


Albert: I understand you make two versions of the same product? What are they?

Willard: We actually just introduced two more versions, so with the economy version there are five models to choose from now

The 13-5/8” “2stone Pizza Grill” for use with propane or charcoal grill and the 13-5/8 “2stone Oven” for use with a Bayou  SQ-14 burner as its heat source. Both versions are also available with larger 15-1/2” hearth stones

With the 2stone oven (which uses a Bayou burner mod SQ-14 for its heat source) we are able to reach 1000+F in 15 min. This version is great for making Neapolitan type pizza which bakes in less than 2 min. The 2stone grill version takes about 25 min to hit 800+F and is great for New York style pizza at around 4 min. We recommend the Weber Genesis grill if you don’t have a good grill and are looking for one that really performs well with the 2stone pizza grill. We actually make a grill skirt for Weber Genesis which increases the airflow through the 2stone and makes it even hotter and more efficient.

But any good gas grill will work if you set it up right.

 

Albert: How do you make them? Are they made by hand?

I own a small metal fabricating shop so most of the production is done in-house.
We use the standard equipment needed to do this type of production.


Albert: How much does it cost? Do you ship to Hawaii?

Willard: The economy model we have a special on now is less than $200.00 and the large 15-1/2” 2stone Oven is $450.00 and we do ship to Hawaii.
 

Albert:  Please give me a couple of tips for the home pizza griller?
Any pizza tips would be great.

Willard: I know someone who went to the Weber Grilling School and learned the tricks of grilling pizza on a Weber kettle grill. He uses lump coal and swears he makes unbelievable pizza. I am not much help with that since I have pursued more traditional oven baked pizza on a grill.

I have tried out several grills and can highly recommend the Weber Genesis or comparable if you are using propane. I hear some people do pretty well with a good grill and a quality stone. But if you want to take your pizza making on the grill to the next level, there really is nothing else on the market that performs like the 2stone. I

f you set yourself up with a 2stone and a good grill or go for the 2stone Oven you will be making pizza like a pro. You will be amazed at what 800+F does for your pizza making.

Wood fired ovens are great, and have become popular, but they are out of reach for a lot of people. They take a long time to heat up, and also have a fairly steep learning curve. For a fraction of the cost you can be making authentic high quality pizza right on your patio.

Albert: Anything else you want to add?

There is so much information out there on the internet and in bookstores about quality pizza making. Join a good forum, ask questions and read up on it. There are many good sites with lots of information. Just jump inn, and practice, practice, practice. Pretty soon you will be amazed at the quality of pizza you will be making. Pizza making is a great hobby, and you will never stop learning.

If you want to learn more about the 2stone go to www.2stonepg.com

By the way I ran across your dough making video on you tube “nice job” many good tips for making your own pizza dough.

(Albert's side bar: You can see my dough making video>>> right here.)

 Albert:  Thank you Willard. And thanks for the plug!

Here is the video of the 2 Stone Pizza Grill in action.

(Note this is real time, not time elapsed photography!)

 

You can find out more about this incredible grill at The Pizza and Pasta Forum Click> here.

 

 

 

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