Wood-Fired Ingenuity

A man, a grill, a pizza. It’s a classic American story of obsession, invention, and the search for a crispy crust. Willard Gustavsen is a builder and tool designer who lives in southwest Michigan. He also happens to be a big pizza-lover. A few years ago, Gustavsen began tinkering around on his backyard barbecue in an attempt to assemble the dream of every avid home pizza-maker: a simple gadget for cooking a consistent wood-fired pie. Judging by the excitement over at the Pizza Making boards, he may have created just the thing.

Gustavsen’s invention is a metal-and-stone oven that fits on top of a gas or charcoal grill (it’s modeled on a 22-1/2-inch Weber kettle) and makes 10- to 11-inch pizzas. The secret seems to be a rotating cooking stone incorporated into the bottom of the design. He’s marketing the contraption as the 2stone Pizza Grill.

In an interview with Adam Kuban at the blog Slice, Gustavsen recounts his various hits and misses, the slew of discarded models, and his efforts to keep the final result reasonably priced. I’m not so sure he succeeded on the last count: The 2stone Pizza Grill retails for $257.65, plus shipping and handling, and there are similar items on the market for much less money. Personally, I’ll wait for the reviews. In the meantime, vive l’ingenuity!