How to Grill a Pizza

Last night Stuart cooked pizza on the grill. I'd had grilled pizza at a shindig in June and it was so tasty we wanted to try it here. According to Mark Bittman, grilling pizza isn't all that hard, and it turns out he's right! Cooking outside in the summertime has the added benefit of keeping the extra heat outside rather than turning your whole kitchen into a furnace, especially when your kitchen is small and poorly ventilated like ours.

So here we go.

1. Make the dough (no picture for this, sorry). Use whatever dough recipe strikes your fancy. Our favorite is the Now or Later Pizza from the King Arthur flour people. I always substitute some whole wheat flour for part of the white.

2. Once sufficient time has passed for the dough to rise and rest, divide it into two or three pieces and spread out on a baking peel or large cutting board.

For any of our college friends reading this, yes that is indeed an original "Spring Fling 2000" shirt that Stuart is wearing. 

3. While the dough is resting, get the grill going. I'm told hardwood charcoal is best, and that's what he used.

 4. When the coals are ready, move them to the side and slide the dough right on the grill over indirect heat. The first pizza we did was cooked over direct heat and it got a little charred. I didn't mind that one because I kind of like charred food...but it's probably better if you don't eat stuff that's burned to a crisp.

5. Do not worry if your crust isn't round. It probably won't be.

 6. Put the lid on and count to 100. After a minute or two, it will look like this:

Nice and bubbly!
7. Flip over the crust. If it's a big one, this may take several spatulas and an extra pair of hands.

8. Throw on your topping as fast as you can so they can warm up a little before the crust finishes cooking. It helps to have the toppings out, cheese shredded, and everything ready right next to the grill so you don't have to dash frantically back inside to grab the pesto and cheese before the crust burns. Ask me how I know.  Let the pizza cool a bit before eating!

This big ol' sliced up tree stump is handy for all sorts of things.

Our outdoor dining room could stand to be updated.
Happy chef!


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