Saturday, August 23, 2008

Pizza on the Grill

If you are the first person on your block to make pizza on the grill you will impress the heck out of your friends and neighbors. Everyone gathers around your grill to see your display of audacity and showmanship. How does this work? Are you sure this will work? Oh, the improbability of it all. Only you will know that it only looks like rocket science. It's actually not that hard. That being said, I have only made this on a Weber grill. The recipe was written for a Weber. The second recipe was written for a Weber charcoal grill. I think charcoal grills are more standardized. So, any charcoal grill should work. Many gas grills, however, have the burners much closer to the grates then Webers. So, I'm not sure exactly how well making a pizza on another gas grill would work, it might be too hot.

You must decide on three or four toppings. If you try to load grilled pizza with everything, it gets soggy and won't work. Sorry, you are going to have to choose.


Originally all white flour. I substituted some whole wheat flour for the white flour. It takes a little bit more water to make the dough now. I'll measure the water next time I make dough. The amount of water you need for whole wheat dough will vary with humidity and the attitude of particular wheat flour you are using.


1 ½ cups lukewarm water

1 package active dry yeast

3 c unbleached all purpose flour, plus extra as needed

1 c whole wheat flour

¼ tsp salt

2 T olive oil, plus extra for oiling bowl

Place lukewarm water in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast on top and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Combine flours and salt. Add water, 1/2 cup at a time until well incorporated. If very sticky, add extra flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until slightly sticky. Add two tablespoons of oil and mix well until dough feels elastic. Turn the dough onto a well floured surface. Knead, adding extra flour to your work surface as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking, for 10 minutes, or until smooth and easy to work with. Clean and oil the bowl and place the dough in it. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until it more than doubles in volume, about 1 hour. Punch dough down and knead on a lightly floured surface for several minutes or until smooth.

Divide dough into four 4 inch balls and proceed with pizza-making instructions. Dough may be made ahead, frozen until needed. Just wrap the dough balls in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. Thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Roll the dough on a work surface sprinkled with flour or cornmeal. I always use cornmeal for a more rustic texture. I'm also not concerned with roundness. Amorphous blogs are good enough in my book. Looks more hand made that way.

  1. Brush one side of the pizza dough with olive oil. I crush a few cloves of garlic through the garlic press. I add the garlic to the oil before brushing the dough.

  2. Pick up the dough by two edges like a wet T-shirt and gently place on grill, oiled side down. The dough won’t fall through the grates. But it really does seems like it will. Brush the top of the pizza with oil.

  3. Cook dough over Direct heat for 2-4 minutes, or until bottom side is well marked and as brown as a medium slice of toast. If dough bubbles, poke it with a tongs or whack with a spatula (my method) to release air and flatten crust. Make sure your grill is not too hot or it will burn immediately.

  4. When bottom is brown, flip dough over.

  5. Immediately cover cooked side with toppings and cheese, move to indirect heat, close lid and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until bottom is browned , cheese is melted and toppings are warmed through. Choosing fewer toppings is better. Lots of toppings will make your pizza soggy. I know you want some of everything. But, you must pick and choose.

Pizza on a charcoal grill

1. Ignite 6 quarts (one large chimney) hardwood charcoal or briquettes in the chimney starter and burn until fully ignited, 15 to 20 minutes. Empty coals into grill and spread into even layer over three-quarters of the grill, leaving one quadrant free of coals. Position cooking grate over coals and heat until grill is medium hot, about 5 minutes (you can hold your hand 5 inches above grill grate for 4 seconds); scrape grate clean with grill brush.

2. Pick up the dough by two edges like a wet T-shirt and gently place onto the hot side of the grill. Immediately repeat with another dough round. Cook until tops are covered with bubbles (pierce larger bubbles with paring knife) and bottoms are grill marked and charred in spots, 1 to 2 minutes; while dough rounds cook, check undersides and slide to cool area of grill if browning too quickly. Transfer crusts to cutting board browned sides up. Repeat with 2 remaining dough rounds.

3. Add pizza toppings. Return pizzas to the grill and cover grill with lid; cook until bottoms are well browned and cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes, checking bottoms frequently to prevent burning. Transfer pizzas to cutting board; repeat with remaining 2 crusts. Sprinkle pizzas with basil and coarse salt to taste; cut into wedges and serve immediately.

See also my post on Barbecued Chicken (or pork) pizza on the grill.


upstateLisa said...

thanks! I have wanted to try this!

Alisa said...

Thanks for the recipe!

I found you through the CRAFT Magazine blog.

Anonymous said...

We made our first pizza on the grill during out 11 day power outage after Hurricane Ike. We had a Boboli crust that had thawed from the freezer and on it put 1/2 can of tomato sauce, some spices and mozzerella cheese. On that we put 1/2 can chopped spam, chopped pineapple and chopped tomatoes. We grilled it on a pizza pan on a very hot grill for about 15 minutes. It was GREAT to have HOT food!