The only thing I see would be that if you use the kettle as is (no pizza expansion) then it SHOULD work more like your oven. If you put your fire in the center of the coal grate, with a stone directly over the top of it, and are using a pid to control temp, you are not going to have a full fledged fire. With the slotted expansion you actually use rather large splits of wood to create a fire that comes up past the edge of the stone. That is what makes it needful to turn the pizza. I have never tried it the way you are talking about. I did, however, do a couple of apple dumplings (guess that's what you call them, looked more like personal apple pies to me) last week when I was cooking for the Birthday party.They were GREAT! The dough will certainly take on a lot of smoke flavor if the grill is closed up like normal cooking. By all means try it and let us know how it turns out. Like I said though, I ran across an Alton Brown article on using a pizza stone, and that is where I learned to place it in the bottom of the oven, as close to the heat source as possible, and run it at 400-500*. It works better that way.