Mmmmm… pizza. Who doesn’t love it? But I have to tell you that it’s even better when you make it on the grill. The grill gives it that smokey grill flavor with the hot and bubbly cheese, the lighlty charred lines of the grill marks on the crust, the melding together of veggies and meat. It’s pretty easy and it’s so fun for a party to let everyone work together to build original and creative pizzas. It’s a party where the apps and dinner are the pizza. People stand around in the kitchen with a glass of wine eating pizzas and making pizzas and eating more pizza. It’s makes for such a nice casual night hanging out with friends. Kids love making these pizza’s too. But the grownups, of course handle the grill.
I think we started this as a total accident. Several years ago, our pizza stone broke and we were all set to make the pizzas. We decided to to it on the grill. It was definitely trial and error at that point. But we have done this countless times at this point and we love it!
Olive oil spray for grill (or Pam)
Brush to brush on Olive Oil
1 or 2 large metal spatulas
Flour for the board
1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese depending on how much cheese you like
Toppings such as sausage, salami, olives, mushrooms, onions, peppers… whatever you like
Turn your grill on at medium heat and let it heat up.
Make the Pizza Sauce:
1 can San Marzano Tomatos
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
Put the can of tomatoes into a bowl and squish up the tomatoes with your hands one at a time.
You can make or buy pizza dough. I bought mine from a specialty market. I floured it and cut it in half. Wrap the other half in plastic so that it doesn’t dry out.
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin. I also lightly and carefully stretch the edges to get it to stretch more. Then I roll again. My pizzas usually come out oval rather than round. Poke it with a fork so that the dough does not bubble up on the grill.
Make sure there is flour under the dough so that it will come off the cutting board. It is pretty easy to flip onto the grill with a flexible plastic cutting board. After rolling it out, stab it with a fork all over so the dough won’t bubble up.
Brush the dough on one side with olive oil.
Spray the grill with nonstick spray.
Turn the flexible cutting board with the dough, over onto the grill. If there are folds, quickly straighten out what you can (without burning yourself.) This side should be fully cooked because this is the side that you will put the toppings on.
Brush Olive Oil on top of the dough.
Use your spatula to check underneath the dough. When it is lightly browned/cooked turn the dough over using your spatulas. It will be easier because one side is stiff and cooked. This side (the second side) needs to be partially cooked because this will go back on the grill when you put it back on with toppings.
Take it off with spatulas and put it on a floured wooden or stiffer cutting board. Plastic may melt. Bring back in and put toppings on. It needs to be floured so that it can slide back onto the grill. The crust will be heavier with the toppings on it.
Our favorite pizza sauce to use is a can of San Marzano tomatoes. You just take a can of whole San Marzano tomatoes and squish them with your hands. We also add a little salt to it. We learned this little trick from Nate Appleman from his A16 cookbook. This restaurant was in our neighborhood in San Francisco when we lived there. It is a fantastic restaurant and was packed all the time. You can find this cookbook here.
Also, when building the pizza, we like to salt and pepper it at each level, just a little.
Put your sauce on and all the toppings. I usually put the cheese last. I think there may be two schools of thought on this: 1.) sauce then cheese then toppings or 2.) sauce then toppings then cheese. I’m sticking to my guns about cheese on top.
Lower the heat on the grill to “low.” Slide the pizza with all the toppings back onto the grill. This is kind of a delicate process. Use a spatula to help you. Close the grill but check every couple of minutes. Watch it and check underneath because it is easy to burn the bottom. If your grill is on too high, the bottom will burn before the cheese melts.
When the cheese is melted and bubbly, use the 2 spatulas to take it off the grill and slide it back on your cutting board. Sometimes these grill transfers takes 2 people.
Cut and serve!
Have you ever tried to cook them on the grill? Pizzas are amazing that way! You could also make small ones for individual people.
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