Grilled Pizza on the grill
we make pizza on the grill all the time, right on the grill grate. I roll out the dough on the back of a greased cookie sheet and let it rest for a few while I get the toppings ready. The trick is to have all your hardware ready because it goes FAST. Start with a spotless, smokin hot grill, lightly oiled. Slide the crust on and shut the lid. DONT PEEK for at least 2 minutes. Turn the grill down to medium. Peek and check for char and bubbles (yea!!) when you get that nice goldeny bottom, pull the crust toward you and use tongs and a spatula to slide it right back onto the cookie sheet. Flip the sheet over onto the grill, doughy side down and get to work on toppings. FAST!!! Close the grill and dont peek for 4-5 minutes. Watch for more char and bubbles and melted cheese. Back to the cookie sheet and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut and serve!
I loved grilled pizza. Short of having a pizza oven, I think cooking it on the grill is the best way to do it.
We use the pizza dough from Trader Joe's, and it works really well. It also makes for really good grilled flatbread.
Here's our favorite recipe. You can see pics here:
Prosciutto and Arugula Grilled Pizza
The ingredient list is enough for 1/2 a batch of prepared dough.
1 (8 ounce) red onion, halved and cut into 1/4-inch half-moons
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing the dough
2 ounces mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
2-3 thin prosciutto slices, torn into rough pieces
1 handful baby arugula
1/2 ounce shaved Parmigiano Reggiano
1-2 pinches Kosher salt
On a lightly floured surface, shape the dough into a ball and let rest 20 minutes.
Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Add the 2 tablespoons olive oil, onion and a pinch or two of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is soft and lightly browned, about 30 minutes.
After the dough has rested, shape it into a thick disk, about 4 or 5 inches across. Let rest another 10-15 minutes.
Make sure the barbeque grill is very hot. When ready to grill, turn the heat off on one side. Stretch the dough gently and evenly into a rough round about 8 or 9 inches across, then brush with olive oil. Carefully lay the dough on the grill, oil side down, away from the flame. Bake covered for 5 minutes, then using tongs, rotate dough a quarter-turn and cover again.
After another 5 minutes, turn on all burners again. Brush the dough with olive oil and pat down any large bubbles. Flip the dough over onto the hotter side of the grill, then turn off the heat under the crust. Spread the onions and mozzarella around the crust and bake, covered for 5-8 minutes. Scatter the proscuitto, arugula and parmigiano over the pizza, then close the lid for another 2 minutes.
Slide the finished pizza onto a small cutting board. Let rest 3-5 minutes, then cut into wedges with a sharp knife. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Preparing the grill:
When the bbq is hot and just before it's time to cook, make sure the grill grates are quite clean (scrub with a metal brush if necessary) and oiled. I normally grab a wadded-up paper towel with metal tongs, dip the paper into a small dish of canola oil and quickly rub it over the grates. Rotate the towel and dip again as needed. Work quickly to keep the paper from igniting.
You need a grill that is big enough to have a fire on half, and no fire on the other. Here's what I do:
Cut a one pound dough into three pieces. Roll each piece out to a thickness that you like. We like ours pretty thin, but it's totally up to your taste. Put one pizza on the grates directly over the fire and close the lid. After about a minute, lift the lid and look at the bottom of the pizza. It should have light grill marks and some char. If not, let it cook a little longer. It's okay if it puffs up like a pita. After I turn it using tongs, I move it off the fire and brush it with oil in which I've sauteed lots of garlic. I dollop tomato sauce (not covering the whole pizza, just dollops here and there), sprinkle small amounts fontina (it's a beautiful melting cheese, romano and parmesan, add some fresh basil, and move the pizza partially over the fire so that only part if getting cooked. I close the lid, and wait a minute. Open, move a different part over the fire, and continue until the cheese is melted and the bottom is cooked.
The key to getting it right is to go easy on the toppings, or they won't get heated through. You can put whatever you like on it...white bean puree, cooked shrimp, fresh tomatoes, grilled chicken and broccoli with parmesan, garlic and lemon white sauce, you name it. We love it, and I cook it often in the summer. My personal preference is hardwood charcoal, but my sister has good luck on her gas grill, using pretty much the same technique.
The dough doesn't stick to the grill, but feel free to oil it first if you feel better. Also, it doesn't fall through the holes in the grates.
It takes a little practice, but it's not really difficult once you get the hang of it. Good luck! Let me know if I can clarify.
I buy 12 inch clay tiles (sometimes called Saltilo) from Home Depot and liberally coat with olive oil, than cook pizza in them directly in my grill. After oiling a few times, you won't need to coat. The tiles are cheap, and they will probably crack into two or three pieces, which I push back together. I usually stack 'em two high. I think this works well, with just a little practice.
I bake bread this way too, which you wouldn't do directly on the grate.
Below is Mark Bittman's Pan Fried Pizza from the NY Times
This was an extremely easy dough to work with and will work great on the grill. I would film the dough with a little olive oil and lightly grill on one side, flip and add toppings, close grill to allow the toppings to cook a little and cheese to melt and serve immediately
Recipe: Pan-Fried Pizza
2 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more as needed
3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon coarse salt
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for cooking
1. Combine flour, yeast and salt in a food processor. Turn machine on and add 1/2 cup water and 2 tablespoons oil through feed tube. Process for about 30 seconds, adding more water, a tablespoon or so at a time, until mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. (If mixture becomes too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time.)
2. Put one tablespoon olive oil in a bowl and turn dough ball in it. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until dough doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours. When dough is ready, re-form into a ball and divide it into 4 pieces; roll each piece into a ball. Place each piece on a lightly floured surface, sprinkle with a little flour, and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rest until each puffs slightly, about 20 minutes.
3. When ready to cook, press one ball into about a 10-inch round. Use a little flour, if needed, to prevent sticking and a rolling pin, if desired. Film a 10-inch skillet with olive oil and turn heat to medium. When oil shimmers, put dough in pan and adjust heat so it browns evenly without burning. (If dough puffs up unevenly in spots, push bubbles down.)
4. Turn dough, then top browned side with tomato sauce, cheese, a bit of salt and pepper, and, if you like, prosciutto and/or basil leaves. If top is now heavily laden, cover pan and continue cooking, or run it under broiler, just until toppings become hot. With only a couple of toppings, just cook until bottom browns. Repeat with remaining dough; serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
Yield: At least 4 servings.