This week, this “Grill-More” Girl is serving up Grilled Pizza. Yes, you read that right – pizza on the grill.
I’ll be honest, the first time I heard about this from a mom friend all I could think of was “how on earth can you cook that on the grill!” To me it would seem to come out as such a mess, the dough would fall into the grates of the grill and would never be cooked all the way through before turning into a half-charred, half-raw mess. I was certainly skeptical, but I have to tell you that it is so super easy and the results will have you tossing your take-out pizza menus into the trash! Grilled pizza is a great go-to dish for either casual dining or entertaining with friends.
Pizza is one of those foods that benefits from cooking over a real fire. Grilling pizza is one of the few homemade methods that can deliver a crisp, blistering crust that the best pizzerias, especially coal-burning oven ones, serve. Another benefit – and it doesn’t matter whether you use a charcoal or gas grill, the smoke from the grill will give your pizza some added flavor.
For this recipe I used a pre-made pizza dough from Trader Joe’s and just followed the instructions on the bag on how to prepare the dough, but you could certainly make your own dough from scratch (I think I’ll try next time so I can really claim it’s “homemade”!). I rolled the dough out to about ¼ inch round thickness, poked it all over with a fork and made sure I used just enough flour and olive oil so the dough wouldn’t stick to my sheet. Well, it didn’t stick to my sheet, but trying to pick up a round doughy disc and place it on a searing hot grill was a bit difficult to navigate. When I placed it, or more aptly tossed it, on the grill it took on sort of a rustic rectangular shape, which actually was a plus. The shape helped when I needed to flip the dough over and remove the entire pizza when it was ready to come off the grill.
My nicely rolled out, round pizza dough & how it wound up on the grill, “rustica” style
You have to let your grill get really hot, about 450 degrees. Once it reaches the temperature, spray or coat your grill with some olive oil before grilling the pizza crust, again so it won’t stick. I cooked the dough on each side for about three minutes. The key to a crispy crust is to keep the lid closed to allow the maxim heat. Your crust should have some nice grill marks (meaning a light char) and dough bubbles on it – those will settle down when you flip the crust and add your sauce & toppings.
For sauce, I used plain crushed tomatoes from a jar that I doctored up myself with some fresh herbs – basil, cilantro, flat leaf parsley & oregano – from my garden. You could use a pre-made pizza sauce or even thinly slice heirloom, beefsteak or Campari tomatoes for your sauce.
We didn’t have any fresh or hand-pulled mozzarella in the house, but the Kraft shredded cheese that was in the fridge worked just fine. I also used some grated Parmigiano Reggiano for a contrast and deeper cheese flavor.
I placed all my toppings on the crust, right there on the grill. Once my toppings were on, I let it cook over the flames for another two minutes. Then I turned off the flames and let it stay on the grill with the cover closed for another five minutes. The remaining heat helped to cook the sauce and melt the cheese. I After it came off the grill I let it sit for another few minutes before slicing it up.
Both the hubs & I were surprised how good it turned out. The crust had just the right amount of crunch to it and the cheese & tomato sauce cooked nicely. If I had been more creative, I could have cut up some artichokes and pre-cooked meatballs or placed some thinly sliced prosciutto or even some arugula on top – the best thing about making grilled pizza yourself is that you can customize it to you or your family’s specific tastes.
Pizza De Resistance
Prep Time: 25 minutes (mostly due to dough resting)
Cook Time: 8-10 minutes
Serves: 2-4 people
lb pre-made pizza dough
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups tomato sauce
Fresh herbs (any kind, I used cilantro, basil, oregano – what was abundant in my garden)
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella
¾ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
¼ cup green olives, chopped
Some flour for dusting the pizza sheet when rolling out
- Turn on grill to high, allowing temperature to get to 500 degrees.
- Roll out your pizza dough according to its directions, to about ¼ inch thickness (either in a round or rectangular shape for a more rustic look) and prick holes throughout dough with a fork. Make sure to generously flour and oil both sides of your dough so it doesn’t stick to the pizza sheet or grill.
- Prepare your sauce and thinly slice any toppings you will be adding to your pizza.
- Spray or wipe grill grates with olive oil before placing pizza dough over direct high heat. Close the grill lid and cook 2 minutes. After 2 minutes open grill and check crust. It should have some air pockets bubbling up. Using a spatula, life up dough to see if it is getting lightly browned/charred on the bottom, then rotate the dough 90 degrees, close lid and let it cook for another minute or so. Using two spatulas, flip the crust and repeat.
- Place your sauce, herbs and toppings on pizza (you can either remove pizza from grill or do it right on there like I did)
- Close lid and let pizza cook undisturbed for 2 minutes. Then turn heat off, but let pizza stay on grill for five minutes or longer.
- Remove from grill onto pizza sheet and let rest for 2 minutes before slicing and serving.
With just a little bit of planning and preparation there’s always time for a home cooked meal! Make sure that you check out my “Grill-More Girl” Cristina over at centraljerseyworkingmoms.com to see what she cooked up this week as well.
But before you hop on over there, don’t forget to link up your yummy grilling recipe below! If there is a type of specific kind of grilling recipe you’d like for me to try, leave a comment below and I’ll do it!
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