Last week was National Pizza Week and we thought we’d combine two of our passions to celebrate: cooking with beer, and grilling. To help us with the finer points of making pizza on the grill, we called in some expert advice from our friend Kevin Kolman. Kevin is the Grill Master at Weber Grills, making him the go-to guy for all grilling techniques, products, and questions.
In the fall he helped us out with some tailgating tips and he was excited to share his advice on grilling pizzas, and a recipe infusing Samuel Adams, as we find ourselves in the throes of football playoff season.
Q: How does grilling a pizza affect the flavor profile?
A: When grilling a pizza the grates provide carmelization (those beautiful restaurant quality marks) which brings out the flavor of the dough and enhances the taste. Also, grilling the tomatoes, veggies and other favorite toppings provides extra flavor and takes a basic pizza to a whole new level.
Q: Do you need to do anything special to prepare your grill for a pizza? Are there any special tools you might need?
A: You do not need anything specific for grilling a pizza besides a 400-425 degree grill. 3-4 minutes per side and that’s about it. Now for those who love the traditional pizza crust, a pizza stone provides an awesome experience on a grill. Besides that, time, some patience and some good BEER to drink. Preferably a Sam Adams!
Q: Do some toppings work better than others when grilling a pizza?
A: Actually all your traditional favorite toppings work excellent on the grill. What excites me about doing a pizza is adding something new to it. For instance, adding beer to the sauce or pairing the pizza with a certain type of beer. I think what makes grilling more exciting is incorporating new ingredients we might not have thought about before to make the pizza specialized and truly your own creation.
Q: What’s the best advice you have for someone who is grilling a pizza for the first time?
A: Make sure the grill is not too hot! 400-425 degrees is the ideal temperature. You can also check out this video for 10 easy tips for cooking a homemade pizza on a grill.
Ready to grill up a pizza? Here’s a recipe from Kevin for you to try out:
Buffalo Chicken Pizza with Samuel Adams Boston Lager Infused Crust
Serves: 4 - 6
½ cup of favorite buffalo wing sauce
3 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
4 boneless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of paprika
2 ounces of olive oil
In a saucepan, combine franks red-hot, butter, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
Stir occasionally till butter is melted. Turn off and let stand.
Take chicken breast in a plastic bag. Combine salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and paprika. Stir and add to bag along with the olive oil. Marinade the chicken breasts for 1 hour is possible or coat evenly if time does not permit.
Place chicken breast on the grill making sure the temperatures of the grill is 425-450. We are looking for a medium direct heat. Grill 4-5 minutes per side depending on size and take off at 165 and let rest.
Preparing pizzas for grill:
Let dough rise a few hours before use (cold dough will not stretch thin).
Stretch from the middle.
Use parchment paper or tin foil with olive oil to move dough to grill
The grill needs to be set up for direct medium heat: 425-450 degrees.
Grill the pizza dough 3-4 minutes on one side.
Clean and hot grates let dough release from the grates when it’s cooked.
Remove dough from grill to prepare pizza
The grill marks should be facing up at you and begin to cover the dough with the buffalo chicken sauce. Add diced chicken breast to the pizza and any addition sauce that is left over and cover with cheese
Grill pizza 4 minutes per side making sure you keep the lid closed which will help melt the cheese.
And finally, slice pizza and enjoy a Samuel Adams Boston Lager!
Planning on trying out the recipe? Don’t let the cold hold you back! Fight the chill with the grill and grab a Samuel Adams Boston Lager and share your grilling photos on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #GrillingWithSam for a chance to win a Weber Grill and Samuel Adams prize pack! We’ll be accepting entries through the end of January.