Grilled pizza can be delicious and fun to make. It’s quick and simple enough to do for a weekday dinner after work. You can also serve pizza at casual dinner parties — getting the guests involved in making their own creation with toppings. And, they are fun to fix when the kids have their friends over. What kid doesn’t love pizza?
We’ve been grilling pizza for years and we’re getting closer to perfection. Here are a few key tips:
- It’s important to roll the dough thin and even — for a crispy crust.
- You need to remove the moisture from toppings (e.g., tomatoes, Buffalo Mozzarella, pineapple) so your crust doesn’t get soggy.
- As the grill chef, you must watch the pizzas very closely when they are on the grill.
- When adding toppings to your pizza, ALWAYS put toppings on the grilled side of the pizza. (You will return the pizza to the grill to brown the bottom side.)
There are so many variations with making your own pizza.
Have fun, be creative and enjoy!
Serves 2 – 4 (depending on serving size)
16 oz. Pizza Dough (Trader Joe’s has great pizza dough in a bag. They have regular, whole wheat and herb flavors)
14.5 oz. can of Diced Tomatoes with Herbs (or Pizza Sauce, Pesto, Olive Oil, Crushed Garlic – your preference)
Choice of Cheese, grated (Fontina, Mozarella, Buffalo Mozzarella, Feta, Parmesean)
Toppings of Choice: Chopped fresh Basil, Sliced Tomatoes, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Sliced Mushrooms, Sliced Bell Peppers, Sliced Onions, Pepperoni, Sliced Canadian Bacon, Pineapple, and more
1. Follow the directions on pizza dough. (With the Trader Joe’s dough, you need to remove the pizza dough from the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature. This takes 20 to 30 minutes before you are able to work with the dough.)
2. Turn all grill burners to high and heat grill with lid down until hot (about 15 minutes). Scrape grate clean with grill brush. If you have a center burner, turn it to low.
3. Form pizza dough into two or four round balls (depending on size desired.) Dust pastry board with flour. Press dough ball with hands to flatten. With rolling pin, roll each dough ball to a thin crust (1/8 inch thickness). Don’t be afraid to continue dusting with flour. Stack dough rounds, separating with parchment on a rimless cookie sheet or cutting board.
4. If using a base of diced tomatoes instead of pesto or pizza sauce, drain chopped tomatoes well in colander for at least 30 minutes.
5. Prepare toppings. If using tomatoes or Buffalo Mozzarella as a pizza topping, slice very thinly. Place sliced tomatoes or mozzarella on paper towels to absorb excess moisture.
- Prepare grill by either spraying grill grates with Cooking Spray or using tongs with a wad of paper towel dipped in vegetable oil.
- Carefully slide pizza dough rounds onto the grill. You may have to unravel edges of dough if they bunch up on the grill.
- Cook until tops are covered with bubbles and bottoms are grill-marked (1 to 2 minutes), checking bottoms often.
- If you have a center burner, turn it down to low. This will allow you to rotate pizzas if you have “hot spots” on your grill.
- Remove the crusts to cutting board or cookie sheet with browned sides up.
7. The FUN part: Topping your pizzas.
- MAKE SURE YOU PLACE TOPPINGS ON BROWN, GRILLED SIDE OF PIZZA.
- Cover pizza crust with your base (pizza sauce, chopped tomatoes, pesto, olive oil, crushed garlic)
- Top pizza with cheese and other desired toppings.
8. Return pizzas to the grill and cover with grill lid. Cook until the bottoms are well browned and cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes. Check the bottoms frequently to prevent burning.
9. Transfer pizzas to cutting board or cookie sheet. Cut pizzas into wedges and serve immediately.
NOTE: The nice thing about grilled pizza for parties is that you can roll and grill the first side of the pizza earlier in the day. When pizza crusts cool, store in a zip lock bag (at room temperature).
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