Since the weather was so nice I decided to do an experiment with a thick, 2 crust, Papa Murphy's stuffed, take and bake pizza on my Yoder Smokers YS640 pellet cooker.
The instructions for the pizza said to cook it at 350 degrees for 20 to 40 minutes. After cleaning the ash from the burn grate utilizing the optional 2 piece diffuser (mine is the first prototype made at the beginning of 2013), I removed the regular cooking grates out of the cooker, and put in a 3 Grill Grate set, attached together, with the flat side up. I then put another 3 Grill Grates set, attached together, on the top shelf with the flat side down. This creates a direct heat surface for the pizza to sit on and a radiant heat surface for the top of the pizza.
I then plugged the cooker into power (you always start a cooking session with plugging the cooker into power, as you should never leave the cooker plugged in after the cool down cycle), flipped the power switch to the ON position, and left the default temperature setting of 350 degrees. After I verified that the fire was lit I closed the lid and walked away from the cooker. Within 30 minutes (you should always let the cooker warm up and normalize for a minimum of 30 minutes before putting food on the cooker) the cooker was stabile at 350 degrees.
This was the temperature of the center of the 3 Grill Grate set (it was a little higher to the left and a little lower on the right).
To make the pizza easier to manipulate in the cooker, I used a perforated pizza pan.
I unwrapped the pizza and put the paper plate and pizza on the pizza pan.
The pizza was then placed on the cooker.
The pizza cooking instructions said to let the pizza cook for 20 minutes and then rotate every 10 minutes until it was golden brown and the cheese on top was melted, and if a crispy crust was desired, to remove the paper plate after 20 minutes. Well, I took this under consideration and did it this way; I rotated the pizza 1/4 turn every 10 minutes after putting it on the cooker. Since the temperature of the surface differed slightly from the left (hotter) to the right (cooler), I decided to use my self taught ninja culinary cooking skills and knowledge to change the cooking instructions to adapt and overcome to the cooking environment (take that Mr. Murphy!)
At the 2nd 1/4 turn rotation (20 minutes into the cook), I did check if the pizza would slide off the paper plate onto the pizza pan underneath. Nope, the dough was too sticky to release from the paper plate. At the 3rd 1/4 rotation (30 minutes into the cook) I again tried to remove the paper plate, and with just a little nudging, it came right out, and the pizza was now directly on the pizza pan (I did not oil the pan, nor did I use any flour or cornmeal - remember, this is an experiment).
My wife insists on a crispy bottom crust, so the pizza wasn't to her liking until 70 minutes into the cook.
Cooking a pizza this thick is a balancing act, as you want the pizza hot on the inside as well as having the crust finished. This is why I choose to cook it the way I did. After letting the pizza rest for a few minutes, we cut into it, and you could immediately hear the crackling of the crispy lower crust, but the crust around the pizza was like soft breadsticks. The pizza was cooked thoroughly, and was hot enough to burn your mouth even after the short rest. Our opinion is that the crust around the outside was a bit too much bread, but this is a trade off for the type of pizza it was, stuffed, take and bake.
Next time I may raise the temperature up a tad to compensate for the addition of the pizza pan, but otherwise, I will use the same process.