Wednesday, June 4, 2014

How To Grill Pizza

Have you ever grilled a pizza? If  you haven't, you are totally missing out. This is the best way to get that smoky, wood-fired pizza taste that you get in a restaurant in the comfort of your own backyard. Seriously, grilling a pizza takes it up to the next level, without an expensive pizza oven. You may never make pizza any other way.

Olie and I were doing a bit of yard work yesterday afternoon, so it seemed like a perfect night to grill pizzas. This way of cooking pizzas is not as fast as cooking in your oven, mainly because everything is done outside. But it's so worth it. This was a fun Tuesday night adventure.

Now, disclaimer, I am not a pizza grilling expert. This is only my second attempt at it. I'm still working out some of the kinks (also, Olie did most of the work, I took pictures). However, you want these pizzas to be a bit rustic. If your dough folds a little, tears, or burns in spots it really doesn't matter. It still tastes amazing. Like really amazing.

So let's take a break from hamburgers and hot dogs and grill some pizzas! Get ready: you will be hooked.

First things first, you need some pizza dough. You can make some (click here for the super awesome recipe I use. Thank you Jamie Oliver. You changed my life) or you can pick some up from your local grocery store or pizzeria. Totally up to you.

There are a few things you will need for this process. We're working with a very hot grill, so I wouldn't attempt to grill pizzas without these items:

Grill (duh)
charcoal (also duh)
oven mits
tongs (a must!)
pizza pan
spatulas (just in case you have trouble removing the pizza)

So you've made your dough and it's all risen and beautiful and amazing and you are so cool. Go ahead and grease your pizza pan and add a bit of cornmeal (if you've got it) to the pan. Then press your dough into the pan.
Go ahead and get all of your toppings ready to go and bring it all outside.

Now light your coals. My husband and I use a chimney and light them that way. If you make a pile and light them in the grill, that's fine too. Once all of the coals are lit pour them into your grill, keeping them concentrated in the center. Don't let the grill cool down! We want all this crazy heat!
Place the grate onto your grill. You need to move quickly but carefully. Your grill will be very hot.

Turn your pizza pan face down onto your grill. Let it sit for about 30 seconds.

PUT ON YOUR OVEN MITS! Carefully remove the pizza pan from the grill, leaving the dough behind. You may have wrinkled your dough. That's ok. It's rustic, remember? But you can use your tongs to spread the dough out a bit. Be gentle.
Let this cook for about three minutes, until it's nice and bubbly.

Look at those air pockets! I've never been able to achieve this crust consistency until I started grilling pizzas!

Slide the dough back onto the pizza tray. Gently flip it over so that the cooked side is on the top.
Now it's time to dress your pizza. I would try to do this relatively quickly. You want the grill to stay hot.
Yes, I am the weirdo who likes peas on pizza.

Slide your pizza back onto the grill and let it cook until the cheese is melted. If you cooked more than one pizza, you may need to transfer your pizzas to the oven. The grill may not be hot enough anymore. But with one pizza, you should be fine. If you plan on cooking more than one, go ahead and have your oven nice and hot, so that you don't have to wait around.
And that's it! The process is very simple, and you won't believe the result. It's unreal. And grilling is always fun. Grab some beers, some fun pizza toppings, and make an event of it! 

What do y'all like to grill besides the usual brats, dogs, and hamburgers? Grilled tomatoes are amazing, as are grilled okra. I'd like to try some weird stuff, any ideas?

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