For a long time I have been experimenting with various grills, the oven, using a pizza stone, etc. always trying to replicate authentic neapolitan style pizza. The biggest problem is I don't have a 4 thousand dollar clay oven! Well, today I tried something new and I believe I've probably come as close as I can so I wanted to share the technique.
Recently my father has been firing up my offset firebox smoker, and he's been using seasoned oak that he split last year. I was out there for one of these events when the smoker temp went over 500 degrees and a lightbulb went off. Today, using a combination of charcoal and oak I tried it out for pizza. Using an industrial style pizza screen such as this:
I formed the near room temperature dough out. For a classic margherita style pizza I used sauce I cooked the night before and fresh mozzarella. Then with the fire going good I placed the screen as close to the fire box as I could. This is not something you can really walk away from, by peeking at the edge closest to the firebox you can rotate the screen to get an even cook.
I was very happy with how this turned out, it is much closer than any of my other attempts. The flavor really is different when you are able to cook the pizza in a matter of minutes with natural wood fire, there's just a hint of the smoke and char in it and the crust is extremely crisp outside while perfectly cooked on the inside.