I have to admit that I grill all year long. Even in the snow I’m usually pulling out my grill for hamburgers and chicken. But there’s just something about the summer months that really make me appreciate the wonders of grilling. Perhaps it’s just that I don’t want to heat up my house with the stove or oven running. One of my favorite things to make on the grill is pizza. If I could build a pizza oven in my backyard I totally would. Perhaps that’s a project for another summer. Grilling a fresh, homemade pizza offers a similar result that you would receive from a brick pizza oven. It’s really quick and easy to do too! Here is my step-by-step guide to grilling the perfect pizza:
1.Get your grill really hot: You should aim for at least 550°F, maybe a little hotter when the lid is on. 2.Have your ingredients and toppings close by: Since this is going to be a quick process you don’t want to be running in and out of your house for the ingredients in the middle of the cooking process. Have everything you need ready to go next to your grill. 3.Prepare your dough: Your dough should already be stretched out into the thickness and shape of your choosing. Using thicker dough gives you a focaccia effect and thinner dough will give you a cracker-thin crust. Have the dough on a cutting board that you can easily slide off of and onto the grill. 4.Brush the dough with olive oil: Brush one side of the dough with oil; this is the side you'll lay down on the grill.
5.Grill one side of the pizza: Take the lid off the grill and slide the dough off of the cutting board and onto the grill, olive oil side down. Brush the top of the dough with a thin layer of olive oil too. Let the dough cook for about 3 minutes, with the lid off, or 1 to 2 minutes with the lid on. Use tongs or a large metal spatula to lift up the dough from time to time, checking on how it is doing. You want grill marks on it, but you don't want the dough to get too burnt. 6.Top the pizza: Flip the dough over with the tongs or spatula. The dough should come up easily and flip without tearing. You will need to top the pizza quickly. Spread on a thin layer of sauce or olive oil, some cheese, and toppings. But don’t overdo it on the toppings because the pizza won't cook well. 7.Finish cooking the pizza: Put the lid on and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Keep an eye on the pizza to avoid a burnt crust and reduce the heat of the grill if needed. 8.Remove the finished pizza: Remove the lid and check the pizza to see if it’s done. The edges should be crispy and well done, and your cheese should all be melted. Use a spatula or tongs to pull the pizza onto a cutting board. Allow it to cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving. It might take you a few times to get the process right but you’ll be satisfied with the results when you do. Try your hand at a grilled pizza this weekend by trying out this recipe for Mediterranean Chicken Pizza. You might even want to save the chicken marinade recipe for a meal of its own!