You Have to Make Homemade Grilled Pizza

When I think of grilled pizza, I think of the HBO show Girls. I really hate it for myself, but every time I serve, eat, or ponder a grilled pizza, I hear Allison Williams say, “We bought ingredients for a grilled pizza and we were about to make a grilled pizza.” … and on the day we were supposed to do it, he left me. “

I don’t know if it has to do with Dunham’s association or the down-to-earth gloominess of this particular line, but this silly show has overshadowed the concept of grilled pizza for years. This is obviously very silly because grilled pizza is so much fun to cook and eat. (I wish I could control my brain, but all I can do is limit its HBO intake, which I won’t.)

Grilling pizza can be a little stressful if you’ve never cooked it before. The best grilled pizza is done with a very hot grill and the pizza dough browns pretty quickly. But just as I no longer let HBO’s “Girls” keep me from enjoying a hot and fresh grilled pizza, you won’t let fear hold you back . Get some good grilled pizza-making habits and you will be rewarded with beautiful grilled pizza for years to come.

Let the dough warm up a little.

I love to take the dough out – which, frankly, is usually bought at the store – from the refrigerator about half an hour before grilling, so that it is easier to stretch and shape without tearing. (I didn’t do this the first time I grilled pizza, and that pizza was riddled with little holes.) If you’re making more than one pizza, remove the second ball of dough from the refrigerator about 15 minutes after the first. alone, otherwise it will get too hot and difficult to put on the grill.

Once the dough is slightly warmer, stretch it slowly, rotating with each stretch, and stop if it becomes translucent in places. Do not rush! Be careful with the dough! This is the basis of this whole operation.

Think carefully about each filling

With the exception of cheese and already (usually jerky) cooked meat, any filling that needs to be cooked, browned, or otherwise infused with a heat-developed flavor must be pre-cooked or browned. For example, mushrooms simply do not have time to lose moisture and brown in the process of making pizza, and garlic does not have time to become soft.

Sausage, chicken, and other raw animal proteins obviously need to be cooked, as do vegetables, mushrooms and, if you’re a freak like me, pineapple. Grilling pineapple gives it a smoky caramelized appearance and reveals a deeper flavor that goes really well with grilled pizza. Paradoxically, I do not grill meat that I combine with pineapple. Instead, I cover the hot pizza with thin slices of cold prosciutto, which is delicious while protecting the palate.

Really think about the flavors you want from each filling and try to get rid of them before sprinkling them with juicy dough. (Or, in the case of something like prosciutto, exclude it entirely from the cooking process.)

Also, be careful not to overdo it. Two toppings plus cheese are enough. If larger, the pizza will become heavy and moist.

Mise matters

I hate to bother you, but grilled pizza prefers (at least to some extent) cooked pizza. Setting up a mise-en-scène will actually make the whole process less stressful. In addition to pre-cooking any toppings, you should make sure you have sauce, cheese, olive oil, and all toppings lined up next to the grill. You will also need a scoop or large spoon (for the sauce), a baking or basting brush (for butter), a really large spatula (or pizza peel), and some tongs. I also like to put in a small bowl of cornmeal to sprinkle on the bottom of the pizza.

With everything set up, you can work quickly and efficiently, but if you’re still feeling a little worn out, grab a page from Deb Perelman ‘s blog and take them off the grate after the first side is browned:

One of the most common things I read about grilling pizza, and what I hate about it before, is that you have to be over-organized and ready to go fast. I disagree; Then I grill the first side, if I don’t have enough room to spread out on the outside, I take it back inside, put all the pizzas on top at the usual pace – set the table, toss the salad, etc. – and finish cooking them when we are ready eat.

Once you get used to the rhythm, you can grill everything or keep doing it Deb style forever. Nobody will judge you, especially if you feed them pizza.

Store bought ok

You can make your own dough with sauce – Smitten Kitchen has great recipes for both – but there’s no shame in outsourcing it, especially when you get the hang of the process. I usually get both from Trader Joe’s, but almost all major grocery stores sell fresh pizza dough (look in the freezer if you can’t find it chilled).

Get this grill hot

One of the great things about grilling pizza is that you can reach ultra-high temperatures in a short amount of time while outdoors, so you don’t have to bake your home with heat from the oven. A grill that is too cold makes the pizza runny, and nobody wants it, so turn it on. You will want to create two cooking zones – direct and indirect – with a bunch of hot coals on one side of the grill (or with burners on one side if you are using gas).

You will use the straight side to quickly fry both sides of the dough, which will start the cooking process, help some bubbles and get some charcoal on the outside. (You don’t want the entire crust to bubble, but you can prick the center of the pizza with a fork ahead of time, or just poke the bubbles as they form.)

Let’s make a pizza, baby!

To make grilled pizza you will need:

  • Pizza Dough (1 lb. ball per pizza)
  • Pizza sauce (5 ounces per pizza)
  • Cheese (I like shredded cheese, but our other suggestions can be found here. )
  • Toppings of your choice (my favorites are grilled pineapple, raw prosciutto, air-fried garlic and hot Italian sausages.)
  • Flour for rolling out or rolling out dough
  • Corn flour for dusting (optional)

About half an hour before grilling, remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a floured surface. I use the large inverted baking sheet because it is easy to carry outside and I can slide the dough right off the sheet and onto the wire rack. (You can also use a pizza peel or a lipless baking sheet.)

If you are using a charcoal grill, fill the chimney and turn it on. After the coals are partially covered with ash, pour them over one side of the grill, place the grill grate on top and open the top and bottom vents completely. A temperature of around 500 is ideal and 450 is fine, but keep in mind that the temperature will drop as the pizza cooks, so start at a higher temperature. If you are using a gas grill, adjust the burners accordingly. (Use an external thermometer to monitor the temperature, regardless of which grill you are using.)

Stretch the dough into a 10-12 inch round shape and don’t worry if the shape isn’t perfectly round. My pizzas are usually kidney or Alabama shaped and that’s part of their charm. (The pizza peel will probably help keep its shape during transfer, but I haven’t bought it yet for unknown reasons.)

Brush one side of the dough with a thin layer of olive oil, then slide and turn the dough (greased side down) onto a wire rack over a charcoal (or flame). Leave the grill open and let it simmer for about a minute, until it starts to bubble and smells scorched (which is good). While it’s cooking, brush the top (which is about to become the bottom) with olive oil and sprinkle with cornmeal.

After about a minute (at most), turn the dough over and pour one ladle of sauce over the top (more will make the pizza wet), sprinkle with the cheese and the rest of the filling, then slide the whole thing over to the indirect heat side (no charcoal side) close the lid and let the cheese cook until the cheese will not completely melt, about five minutes. (You can check this in a couple of minutes if you’re nervous, but your nose is your most reliable tool – if it smells like it’s on fire, it probably is.)

If you want a little more charcoal to remain at the bottom of the crust, just drag it over the coals for another minute. If you want the cheese to brown a little – on the one hand, the grill doesn’t do that well – light it with a kitchen burner. (You can also use your brazier, but that will bring a little warmth inside, which I’m sure you don’t need, at least not right now.)


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