My IR thermometer has a max of 1100 and it is regularly over that (how much I have no way of knowing) when the fire is really going.
I usually don't even consider starting pies until it gets at least there.
I then will move the coals to the edges and clear the deck. By the time a few pies are ready, the deck is perfect.
By popular request, I have a thread going on the entire build for more details.
-Brick vert smoker, Tuscan wood grill
ECB-sent to the curb!
"When it comes right down to it, you just want to be surrounded by good people and good food."