Summer is here and it’s a great time to fire up your gas grill and grill pizza. Also having a few friends over for a barbecue is a safer way to get together and practice social distancing while still being social.
Most of us are familiar with grilling chicken, steak, and burgers on a gas grill or barbecue, but you can do so much more. Think of creating your ow grilled pizzas! You can turn your regular gas grill into a pizza oven without a large investment.
There are techniques and a learning curve involved with grilling pizza, but it is so worth it! The taste of grilled pizza alone will make you a convert! You can plop some dough on a grill and take your chances, but below we have given you some tips for perfecting your first grilled pizza.
Before inviting guests to come over for a pizza party we would suggest giving it a few practices runs first. Everyone loves homemade pizza. Your kids can help in prep and it’s a wonderful way to clean out the refrigerator or use up what you have just harvested from your backyard vegetable garden.
Two outdoor pizza grilling accessories we would recommend would be a pizza peel, so you can easily flip your pizza and not burn your fingers and a pizza stone meant for outdoor grills. The addition of these two accessories will make the process so much easier. Both pizza peel and pizza stone shouldn’t set you back more than $75.
Uncooked dough is a pizza disaster, but if you want to just go native and plop your dough on the grill and take your chances, it can work. You can flip the dough with tongs if the pizza is not too large. The downside of this method is most gas grills only reach about 500F maximum, not true pizza cooking temperatures. You also run the risk of the dough sticking to the grill and let me tell you that is a mess you don’t want to clean up!
A pizza stone meant for outdoor grills is really important because it helps distribute the heat from your backyard gas grill evenly so both sides of your pizza are done to perfection with no gooey, undone insides! A pizza peel will ensure that your hands don’t get burnt in the process of flipping your pizza dough.
Place your pizza stone on your grill and preheat your gas grill to 400-500 degrees. You can test whether your pizza stone is ready for grilling your pizza by flicking a little water onto the pizza stone if the water rolls around in beads the grill is ready for your pizza and let the baking begin!
Your next step is using a pizza peel to transfer your pizza to your pizza stone. A pizza peel is one of the best ways of moving your pizza from a cookie sheet to your pizza stone because it will help ensure that your pizza won’t tear. Cook your pizza anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on your recipe instructions. Of course, there will be a longer cooking time for deep dish pizzas and you will need the proper deep-dish to cook your pizza in. You would still use a pizza stone for even distribution of heat.
You can make grilling pizza as complicated or easy as you wish. Most supermarkets or neighborhood pizzerias sell pre-made dough. Or is you wish you can make your own dough in a large batch, freeze in 8-ounce ball proportions and have lots of pizza dough ready in a moment’s notice.
An 8-ounce ball of dough will make a 12-14″ round pizza or the equivalent in a rectangle pizza. Let your dough sit at room temperature until it is pliable, it takes approximately a half-hour depending on your kitchen temperature before you want to attempt stretching on a well-floured surface.
You can use everything from canned tomatoes with just adding salt and your favorite spices, mashing with a potato masher, or putting the mixture through your blender. We tend to like the potato masher process since it leaves some pieces of tomato in your sauce.
You can also harvest tomatoes from your garden for the sauce. A quick and easy method is purchasing your favorite spaghetti sauce, it’s usually enough for at eat 2 pizzas and brushing it on the dough. Oneof our favorites is pesto sauce for pizza and you can find this in jars, tubes, and fresh in the vegetable section of most markets.
Go easy on cheese so the middle of your pizza doesn’t become a swamp of gooey cheese.
Some of our favorites are mozzarella, Fontina, parmesan, aged provolone, blue cheese, gorgonzola, or feta cheese. Mixing a soft cheese with a harder cheese give your pizza topping more variety.
Less is more when it comes to pizza toppings. But let your imagination run wild and try different combinations; thinly sliced meats, vegetables, fruits and don’t forget greens to top your pizza.
One of our favorite pizzas is light and so yummy and it’s topped with sliced pears, caramelized onions, crushed bacon, and gorgonzola cheese. My mouth was watering as I typed the ingredients!
To finish off our pizza thing herbs, chilies, some of our flavored salt, and of course Tastealotta olive oil. Trying different combinations will deter cooking boredom and help you empty out your refrigerator or use up what you have in surplus from your backyard vegetable garden.