Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Artful Life: Summertime Grilled Pizza

Grilled BBQ Chicken pizza
Grilled BBQ Chicken, Red Pepper and Onion Pizza (left), Grilled 4-Cheese Pizza (right)

Have you ever tried grilling your pizza?  

I'm a pizza nut.  Like you can't get a better slice of pizza on this planet than a slice from Naples, Italy itself kind of nut.  I am also a self-proclaimed crust snob. It has to be perfect: not too thick, not too thin, have some flavor, be a bit bubbly, and high on the chewy factor. See? I'm picky.  (Though I will share a secret: Domino's now has a really nice crust on their pizza.  But that's for later when the weather isn't so nice!)

After reading the June issue of Rachel Ray Everyday, where multiple mouth-watering grilled pizzas were featured, I decided I had to give grilling a try. Because the "Best-Ever Pizza Dough" was included in the feature, I jumped into making homemade dough as well.  It was surprisingly easy, and very delicious- the closest you can get to an authentic wood-fired flavor at home!

Making "The Best-Ever Pizza Dough"
Making "The Best-Ever Pizza Dough"

I actually tried two recipes for dough.  One was from an older Taste of Home Italian Recipes magazine.  The "Best-Ever Pizza Dough" calls for at least 10 hours of rise time, and I wasn't prepared to wait that long.  I made both recipes, grilling the first round of pizzas that night, then grilling the pizzas from the "Best-Ever" recipe two nights later.

There was a big difference!  The honey in the "Best-Ever" recipe lent a subtle sweetness to the dough, and I believe that extra rise time contributed to a chewier crust.  I will be using this recipe again, and experimenting with how I can tweak it a bit (adding herbs and spices to kick up the flavor- maybe even a bit of cinnamon for a sweet pizza!)

Grilled Pizza Crust
Visible Grill Marks on Pizza Dough

Once the dough has finished rising, flour a work surface, and keep stretching and flipping the dough until it is about 9 inches in diameter.  The crust will thicken a bit as it cooks, so try to get it a bit thin.  I also folded up a bit of a crust all the way around the edges of my pizzas.  It's OK if the pizza is misshapen, this is "rustica" style!

Preheat your grill to high.  Once it's hot, turn it down to low,   scrape off any burned bits on the grates, and oil the grates with a paper towel coated in a bit of oil (your choice- Canola, Olive, etc.)  Put the dough on a cooking sheet or cutting board to transport to the grill.  Lightly brush the top with olive oil.  Once at the grill, flip your dough (top side down) onto the grill. Now lightly brush the bottom of the dough with a little olive oil. Return the cover and cook for about 3-5 minutes until you start to get some visible grill marks (see above photo).

Grilled Prosciutto And Zucchini Pizza
Grilled Prosciutto, Zucchini, and Mushroom Pizza

Now its time for topping!!  The sky's the limit here.  Go fancy, or go plain cheese.  I have all kinds of crazy pizzas in mind to try (breakfast pizza on the grill, anyone?).  Once the first side of your dough has cooked, flip it back over, remove to the cookie sheet/cutting board and bring it inside to add your toppings.  Spread your pizza sauce of choice, and top away.  Return to the grill for another 5 minutes or so.  Because we like a bit of brown, bubbly cheese, we removed the pizzas and finished them off in the broiler for a minute or two just to get the tops of the pizzas the way we like them.

Voila!  I hope you try it, and let me know if you do!
Have questions?  Leave a comment below!  

Happy Summer!

*follow links above, or click here for the recipe for the "Best-Ever Pizza Dough" Recipe


  1. Thank you for the link to the dough recipe and especially for reminding me that we love pizza made on the grill! I get so busy i forget stuff sometimes. Very glad for the reminder.

    Your images are beautiful BTW.

  2. Thank you, Pam! I hope you enjoy making the pizzas- let me know how they turn out!


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