How can you satisfy a pizza craving at the cabin when delivery is not an option and takeout is too far away? Make pizza on the grill!
Even if you don’t have a wood-burning pizza oven on your patio, an ordinary gas or charcoal grill will closely replicate the high heat needed to make artisan-style pizzas at home. It’s easy, fun and best of all – delicious.
Pizza can be cooked on the grill in one of two ways – directly on the hot grilling grid (it won’t weep through – promise!), or on a pizza stone placed on the grid. Either way, use a pizza peel dusted with cornmeal to transfer dough.
Choose a pizza stone specially designed for the grill. Indoor pizza stones can crack in the grill’s intense heat.
For a crispier crust, grill the rolled-out dough for a minute or two on one or both sides before adding toppings. For a chewier crust, add toppings to the raw dough and then cook.
Don’t want to deal with fresh dough? Change it up with store-bought pita, tortillas, focaccia, French bread or pre-baked pizza shells, all of which work well on the grill.
For toppings, bypass boring pepperoni! Grill or smoke sliced eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, onions, sausage, chicken, shrimp or even figs, to make more interesting embellishments. Just remember to go light on toppings and cheese or you’ll have soggy pizza.
Grill pizza with the lid down to reflect heat so toppings warm and cheese melts before the crust burns.
Pizza cooks usually in less than five minutes on a hot grill. Be prepared to rotate it to a cooler spot if necessary.
For an inexpensive alternative to a full-size pizza oven, consider grill-conversion kits like KettlePizza (www.kettlepizza.com
) and Italia Artisan Pizza Oven (www.campchef.com
), or a tabletop unit like Pizzeria Pronto (www.pizzacraft.com
Karen Adler, co-author of the book “Patio Pizzeria” (Running Press), suggests grilling panuozzi – rustic Italian sandwiches made with pizza dough. To make, form the dough into a 6-inch by 9-inch rectangle, then grill on a pizza stone for 2–3 minutes until browned and cooked through. Remove, slice once horizontally, and top bread halves with salami, cheese, roasted peppers or whatever you like. Return the open-faced halves to the pizza stone just long enough until cheese melts; form the sandwich, and enjoy!
No need for a pricey appliance to make hot, crispy panini sandwiches either! Place desired fixings on ciabatta rolls, sourdough or other hearty breads, and lightly brush the exterior with oil. Then, set a brick wrapped in foil on top of each sandwich to weigh it down while toasting on the grilling grid over medium heat.