I spent many nights of last summer perfecting my grilled pizza method and I think I finally have it down. This technique results in pizzas with wonderfully thin, crunchy, slightly-charred crusts.
1. Start with the dough recipe you can get by clicking here. It’s really excellent, easy to make dough. I’ve found that it’s easier to stretch when I let it rise overnight in the fridge but that’s unnecessary if you’re crunched for time. (Half of the recipe makes enough crust for four very hungry people).
2. Make your tomato sauce. I think sauce on pizza should be simple so I usually just saute some onions and garlic, add pureed tomatoes and some oregano, and let the sauce cook over low heat for a few hours to concentrate the flavors.
3. Roll out the dough. I find this step the most difficult. I, unfortunately, cannot do the throw in the air and spin thing. So I usually spread some cornmeal on a piece of parchment paper and then stretch the dough as much as I can in the air. Then I place it on the paper and use a rolling pin to get it as flat as possible. A thick crust will not do well on the grill.
4. Let the dough rest while you prepare all of your toppings and heat your grill (the hotter the better- mine is usually at 500 degrees). The pizza isn’t on the grill for long so anything that has to be cooked (chicken, eggs, sausage etc.) must be done separately. The mozzarella needs to be thinly sliced (again, not much time for it to melt). Everything should be ready to go.
5. Lightly oil the side of the dough not touching the paper.
6. This is where the parchment paper becomes essential. Use it so that you can flip the entire piece of dough onto the grill in one motion. When I first tried grilling pizza, it was a huge disaster because it was so difficult to move the entire piece of dough onto the grill without ripping the dough or burning my hands. That’s when I came up with the parchment paper method.
7. Shut the lid quickly and keep it closed for about 30 seconds. Then peek underneath it. When the parchment paper burns around the edges and starts to lift off of the dough take it off. You shouldn’t really have to pull at all, if you do close the lid for a few more seconds.
8. Shut the lid again and check the crust every 30 seconds or so. It won’t take long. The crust is done when it has nice grill marks and can easily be lifted off of the grates (stop moving it if you get any resistance at all).
9. Add your sauce and your toppings to the side of the crust that has already been grilled.
10. Now it’s time to switch from using tongs to the spatula (in fact, I use two large grill spatulas). Slip the entirely topped pizza (carefully), onto the hot grill, close the lid, and wait about a minute and half. If your grill is nice and hot, your cheese should be perfectly melted.
11. With your spatulas, carefully lift it off of the grill and onto a cutting board. Slice and enjoy!
Also, get creative with your toppings. I love prosciutto and sun dried tomatoes. My friends all kill for BBQ chicken and caramelized onions. But (I learned this the hard way) if you add too much, it’ll get soggy, heavy, and unpleasant. Grilled pizza lends itself to simple goodness. So try to pick one of two toppings for each pie to highlight (and play around with the type of sauce and cheese).