Nothing says summer like a barbecue. And nothing invites easy, communal eating like pizza. So throw the two together! A match made in heaven, smoky and crisp and messy and wonderful. It takes a little fancy footwork to grill pizza on the bbq, but the results are worth the extra effort.
This recipe is presented in 4 parts; Dough, Sauce, Toppings, and Grilling The Pizza Itself.
It’s worth your time to make them all from scratch; pre-made dough from the store will tend to be too thick to cook through properly on a grill, and the sauce is thick; somewhere between a classic tomato sauce and paste. Although pizza cooked in the oven is generally cooked at higher temperatures, around 475°F, it can be difficult to create and maintain that kind of temperature on a wood-fired barbecue; gas grills are easier to keep super hot. But never fear! Cooking a thin dough on one side before topping the pizza allows for cooking at a slightly lower temperature. Try holding your hand over the grill before cooking the dough; you should just be able to count to three before having to pull your hand aside. Who needs a thermometer?! (The target temps are around 400°F , but even lower is all right; it just means you’ll have to cook for longer.)
These pies are great for parties; make a double batch of dough and a smorgasboard of potential toppings, and invite guests to create their own variations. So much fun!
Pro tip--If you’re cookin' for just one or two, and don’t want to make all 4 pizzas, you can also shape any remaining dough into a loaf and let it proof for an additional half hour. Bake it in the oven at 375°F , until a thump on the bottom makes a hollow sound. (exact times will vary based on the size of the dough.)
The Dough: takes about 2 1/2 hours from start to finish; allow time for the dough to rise (2 hours).
While your dough is rising, make the sauce.
Pat and stretch each of the quartered dough rounds out, thinning it gradually and evenly as you rotate it in your hands.
For the final shaping, lay the round dough on top of the oiled pizza pan. Pat and push and press the dough out over the surface of the pan, taking care to keep the thickness as uniform and thin as possible. You’re aiming for a thin, cracker-like crust that will cook quickly, thinner than you usually think of pizza crust as being. To put it in perspective, this recipe is adapted from one that is intended to make 4 pies; it’s half as thick as “normal" crust.
Place the pan with the shaped crust directly on the grill and cook it until it is a golden, toasty color.
Remove the pan from the heat and flip the crust over, so that the cooked side is exposed.
Pick and choose from some of these combinations, or create your own! Try to limit your choices to no more than 5 per pizza; too many toppings makes the dough soggy, or unable to support the weight of cheese and toppings.
Slice and dice these as you see fit; strip the corn from the cob, slice vegetables thinly, and quarter the pepperoni. Cook the bacon and drain it before adding it to pizza.
Arrange all ingredients on a large cutting board, for easy access when dressing the pizza.
Classic: Pepperoni, Sausage, Onions, Olives, Red Peppers
Greekish: Feta, Tomatoes, Artichoke Hearts, Garlic
Farm Fresh: Corn, Curly Kale, Basil, Jalapenos (fermented or fresh) (Kale is awesome on pizza! It crisps up and adds an awesome savory note.)
Sweet and Salty: Bacon, Nectarine, Onion (A more local riff on the classic ham and pineapple. Trust us.)
Pesto Plus: Omit the marinara, and spread pesto on the dough instead. Top with mozzarella and Artichoke Hearts. Onion and Bacon is good, too…
After toasting one side of the crust, remove the dough from the grill and flip the pizza over so that the cooked side is facing upwards.
Keeping the crust on the pan, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over the pie, and top with thinly sliced or grated mozzarella cheese. A quarter pound of mozzarella per pie is more than enough, and less is fine, too.
Spread the chosen ingredients over the sauce and cheese, and return the pie, on the pan, to the grill.
Cover the grill and cook the pizzas one at a time for 10 minutes, or until the pizza is crisp, toasty and browned and the cheese is melted.
If you are using a wood-fired or charcoal grill, this can get tricky; the lid of the bbq traps heat, but can choke out the fire. Make sure the vents on top of the lid are open, and monitor the coals closely between pies. If the temperature drops too low, allow the coals some air between pies, so that they are hotter when you put the lid on again. You may want to leave the lid just slightly askew, if the vent does not let enough air in. If the coals die down, you may want to add more, or cook each pie for longer.
Pro tip! People love to gather around a fire. Prepare a campfire nearby the grill, and feed it with oak wood. If your barbecue runs out of heat before all the pizzas are cooked, scoop some finished coals out of the fire to continue cooking!
It’s part of our mission here at Mountain Feed to help you make delicious, sustainable, homemade food more often. Stop by and say hello on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Or, as always, you can do it the old fashioned way and come by the store to speak with one of our in-house experts.