Pizza On The Grill - Something To Get Fired Up About
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The BB test kitchens got involved in baking outdoors one crazy hot summer when our first Weber grill arrived. The grill did terrific things for bread, and it truly excelled with pizza. The style of pizza a grill produces will depend on the grill design and on the recipe. The high heat of the grill is perfect to give (relatively lean) pizza dough a good, quick bake. My favorite fuel approach is to create a base of charcoal and briquette ‘salad’ so to speak, topped with big chunks of hardwood, and chips of maple wood. Once it is all at a medium high blaze, we bank the fire a bit to each side and begin grilling.
More often than not, we prepare dough in the bread machine, and we have a few batches reserved in the refrigerator (packed in lightly oiled, zip-type bags). If you have toppings prepped (or purchase pre-grated cheese and vegetables, meats, etc.), pizza can be prepared in less than 30 minutes (as it were).
Preheat your grill to medium-high (400 F. to 450 F.). You can set up pizzas in cast iron pans and place these directly on the grill. If you use conventional pizza pans, place the pan on the grill, and once the pizza has baked for a few minutes, you may slide it off and finish it directly on the grill (on "low"). If you're using a pizza stone, you may set up your pizza on a piece of parchment, and start baking it on the paper (the edges of the paper may scorch, but that's OK). Once the pizza is "set" remove the paper and finish baking directly on the stone.
With practice, you will identify your grill's "sweet spot" for baking. Initial efforts will require a lot of lifting and checking, and you may scorch a piece here and there, but once you learn the ropes, you'll be hooked.
Our best advice is to have a few aluminum pans around. We double these up and line the top one with oiled parchment paper founds. We grill on the doubled up pizza pans, and once the pizza is almost all done, it is slid off the parchment paper and gets a 20 second finish directly over the fire.
For parties, we pre-bake (lightly grill) a ton of pizza rounds. Then they are garnished and re-grilled before serving.
Pizza Combo Suggestions
All of our pizza doughs can be dressed with any of these combinations or your own personal preferences.
We recommend our Neo Classic Pizza Dough, Ready-When-You-Are Pizza dough as good traditional pizza bottoms but any recipe for dough will be fine.
No one says pizza has to be hot and dressed in tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. You can serve pizza cold, in small squares, in miniature rounds as an appetizer, as an individual first course, or in the traditional rectangular Italian shape. Sauce is optional. You may lightly brush the bottom with olive oil then garnish with preferred toppings. Here are some favorite combinations.
Crushed garlic and olive oil
Béchamel sauce - homemade or packaged
Mix of colby and Swiss cheeses
Dusting of parmesan or asiago cheese
Crushed garlic and olive oil
Drained, cooked, chopped spinach
Crumbled feta cheese
Swiss cheese and onion
Garlic and olive oil
Touch of Dijon mustard
Sautéed onions (lots)
Gruyere and raclette cheese
Sprinkle of caraway seeds
Canadiana Smoke Salmon Brunch Pizza:
Canadian chevre cheese
Strips of roasted red pepper
Sun dried tomatoes, chopped
Sliced calamata olives
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