If you’ve never grilled a pizza, you may be thinking “Why bother?” but you have to trust us, it’s sooooo worth it. When you taste that crispy, lightly charred crust, you’ll understand. Grilled pizza is great party food, family food and even camping food because every person can top their own pizza and grill them individually. It’s fun, delicious and gets everyone involved. Here are our best tips to grill pizza like a pro.
The Dough. We make our own pizza dough and keep our freezer stocked so we can whip up a homemade pie with whatever is on hand whenever we feel like it. If you’re so inclined to make your own dough, Serious Eats has a good primer on making pizza dough and we like the Neapolitan version. You can also buy prepared pizza dough at many markets…just skip the tube of refrigerated dough – it doesn’t do well on the grill!
The Toppings. Grilled pizza dough is so delicious and you can put almost anything on it. The key is to not put EVERYTHING on it. You want your crust to support your toppings and not get soggy from too many juicy garnishes. We typically skip traditional sauces and opt for a balance of flavors and textures. Think about dotting your pizza with tapenade or pesto and drizzling it with one of our infused olive oils. Keep in mind that any toppings that you want cooked should be cooked all or most of the way before adding them to the pizza because the cook time on the grill is pretty short. We like grilling veggies right alongside the pizza and then chopping them up and throwing them on. Cured meats, olives, and pickled peppers are all tasty toppings. Also consider cheeses like fresh mozzarella, goat cheese and ricotta in place of bagged shredded mozzarella. The possibilities are endless!
Preparation. Portion your dough into individual servings. We find it’s easier to maneuver a smaller pie on the grill than a big one. We typically divide one ball of dough into two personal pizzas (or four for littler appetites). Roll the dough out on a floured surface to your desired thickness. We think 1/3 inch thickness works well – it’s hearty enough to stand up to flipping and toppings but not so thick that it turns into a loaf of bread. The dough should be rustic and shaped however it rolls out. Assemble all of your toppings and fire up the grill.
Cooking. Brush one side of the rolled out dough with olive oil to keep it from sticking and lay it on the grill oiled side down. The goal is to get the dough cooked on that side evenly with a nice bit of char. This should take just a minute or two and you’ll want to rotate the dough a few times to make sure it cooks evenly. Brush the exposed side with olive oil and when the first side is cooked, flip the dough over. Arrange your toppings on the cooked side and grill until dough is cooked, toppings are hot and cheese is melted.
Serving. Take you pizza off the grill and finish it with good EVOO or Aged Balsamic Vinegar. Cut into wedges and eat!