With stunning natural scenery and legendary cuisine, it’s no wonder that Italy is one of the world’s premier travel destinations. While we can’t move the Colosseum from Rome or the gondoliers from Venice, there is one easy way to bring a slice of Italian life back home. Grilling a proper pizza; with its thin, crispy crust, melted cheese and mouth-watering tomatoes, will have your garden feeling like the streets of Naples. The word ‘pizza’ might date from the 10th century, but modern pizza began as cheese-topped flatbread sold in 18th century Naples. Now it has become one of the country’s most significant culinary exports, even winning over the creators of haute cuisine: the French eat around 10 kg of pizza per capita a year, which, in 2015, totaled a mind-boggling 819 million pizzas nationwide.
A easy as a pizza
The ideal cooking time and temperature is 90s at 450ºC
Pizza only requires a few ingredients, so the quality of each is paramount. The classic Neapolitan pizza is topped with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and basil, plus olive oil and seasonings, but feel free to experiment. After all, you’re the one who’s going to eat it. Many chefs use different blends of cheese to create more nuanced tastes and textures. Ricotta will make the cheese creamier, while Asiago will add sharpness. Gruyère, Provolone and Parmesan are also popular options. Need more? Top the pizza with some meat (pepperoni, prosciutto, sausage) and veggies (onions, artichokes, kale).
For an authentic Italian crust, the Weber Gourmet BBQ System Pizza Stone is a grillmaster’s ally. The stone absorbs moisture, creating a perfectly cooked pizza that’s light and crispy without being burnt. (The stone is also great for baking bread, cookies and even potato chips.)
Our top grillmaster tips for getting the best Neapolitan pizza? In a professional restaurant the ideal cooking time for a pizza is 90 seconds at 450° C, so the higher the temperature of your grill, the better the result will be. If you use briquettes, this means a cooking time of around 8 minutes, and they'll burn for up to a couple of hours. If you use lumpwood charcoal, you can get down to 4–5 minutes for pizza, but if you're cooking lots of pizzas you may need to top up with lit briquettes to keep the temperature. If you have a gas barbecue, simply raise the burner opposite the stone to the maximum setting. Buon appetito!