Grilling Guide

How to Cook Pizza on a Grill

Courtesy of BBQ Guys, bbqguys.com

Have you ever had pizza on a grill? Now is the time to try! There are 2 ways to grill pizza: on a pizza stone and directly on your cooking grates. Both methods require a closed lid to take advantage of a grill’s convection heat, which will produce slightly charred, golden-brown crusted covered in the bubbly toppings of your choice. If large veggies like peppers are among those toppings, we recommend you pre-cook them because the water they release when grilled will make your dough soggy. We can think of few things sadder than soggy dough.

Grilling Pizza with a Pizza Stone

Start by placing your stone on the cooking grates and preheating the grill as normal. It’s extremely important to preheat the pizza stone along with the grill because putting a cold stone on hot grates may cause it to crack. As the grill preheats to around 500–550 degrees Fahrenheit, take time to roll out your dough and assemble your pizza. A tip for outdoor entertainers: After your dough is ready, set up different topping stations and let guests create their own pizzas.

To ensure your stone is at the correct temperature, sprinkle corn grits or cornmeal on its surface. The cornmeal will smolder if the stone is around the target temperature of 550 degrees. If it immediately catches fire, however, you know the stone is too hot to cook the dough properly. In that case, just drop the temperature, clear the corn grits from the stone, and re-test with another sprinkling. In addition to indicating temperature, this coating of cornmeal on the pizza stone prevents the dough from sticking and helps draw out moisture for crispy crust.

Once your pizza is assembled and the stone is at the proper temperature, simply place your pie on the stone (topping side up) and close the lid. Neapolitan pizzas and other thin crusts need only 3–5 minutes to cook on a stone, while thick dough can take up twice as long. You should always use a pizza peel to move your pie, and we recommend first-timers invest in a metal peel because it’s thinner and easier to use than the wooden alternative.

It’s also possible to bake pizza on a gas grill, which is done on a stone and at lower temperatures around 350–425 degrees. Just place your pizza on the stone as usual, then step back and let the convection heat of your grill work its magic for about 10–12 minutes.

Grilling Pizza on the Grill Grates

This method calls for moderate temperatures of about 425–450 degrees to account for the direct heat your dough will be exposed to. It’s the preferred way to grill frozen pizzas, but it works just as well for the homemade stuff. Preheat your grill, lightly brush olive oil one side of the fully formed dough, then place the oiled side on your grill grates. Allow thin-crust pizzas to cook for about 1½ minutes and let thick-crust pizzas sit for around 3–5 minutes.

From there, use a spatula and tongs to bring the dough back to your prep counter, placing the cooked side down. Apply oil to the raw side before flipping over the pizza and arranging your toppings on the cooked dough. Put your pizza back on the grates, raw side down, so it can cook for the same amount of time as the first side. Now all that’s left to do is take your pizza off the grill and serve!

Pepperoni 4 Cheese Pizza

Prep Time: 1 hour Cook Time: 30 minutes Serves 4-6

 

1 package of pepperoni

honey (optional)

 

Dough:

1/2 cup mineral water

1 1/2 tsp yeast

2 tsp honey

2 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 cups bread flour

2 tsp coarse salt

 

Cheese Blend Topping:

3 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 1/4 cups shredded provolone cheese

2/3 cup shredded colby jack cheese

2/3 cup shredded greuyere cheese

 

Sauce:

1/4 each yellow onion

1 clove garlic paste

2 tbsp parsley

1 tbsp fresh basil

1 tsp fresh oregano

1/4 tsp dry thyme

Coarse salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

1/2 tsp white pepper

1 tbsp lite brown sugar

1 can of tomato puree (28 oz can)

Begin the sauce by heating a pot over medium heat. Coat the pot in olive oil and saute chopped onions until caramelized.

Stir in garlic paste and follow that by stirring in tomato puree. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add in dry thyme, white pepper, and brown sugar. Simmer together for a couple minutes.

Add in chopped parsley, basil, and oregano. Blend the sauce so that it is a smooth consistency and set aside while preparing the dough.

For the dough: whisk mineral water and yeast together in a mixing bowl and follow that by mixing in the honey and olive oil. Allow yeast mixture to rest for 10 minutes so that the yeast activates.

In a separate mixing bowl:  blend flour and salt together and form a well in the center of the mixture. After yeast mixture has rested 10 minutes, pour into the well in the center of the flour mixture. Gradually spin in the flour mixture so that it combines with the yeast mixture to form dough. If the mixture is too dry, add a splash of mineral water so that it forms a dough consistency.

Spread some flour on your work surface, and begin to knead the dough for 8-10 minutes, or until it becomes elastic. Once kneaded, coat with olive oil and place in a bowl to rest. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and allow the dough to double in size, this should take about 30 minutes.

Once risen, place the dough ball on your floured work surface and cut it into two smaller dough balls. Press each dough ball out into a pizza crust by working it from the center, outwards. Place the crust over a sprinkled layer of corn meal so that it does not stick while you top the pizza. Spread an even layer of pizza sauce over the crust with a spoon.

Mix up all of the grated cheeses in a bowl and coat the pizza with cheese. Add the pepperoni on top of the cheese.

Sprinkle corn meal on your pizza peel, and carefully slide the pizza on the peel. Place pizza in an oven preheated to 550° F and cook until crust is golden brown, and cheese is bubbling.

For a hint of sweet, drizzle a little honey on top, right after it comes off the grill. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Tailgater Magazine