Grate Grilled Pizza
I’ll bet I’ve made at least 500 grilled pizzas since I started working at Weber. What’s not to love about pizza? Carbs + tomatoes + cheese = heaven. I used to say, “I could eat pizza every day and not get tired of it.” Well, I’ve pretty much tested that theory over the last several months and it’s true. I’m still not sick of pizza. Especially grilled pizza. If you haven’t tried pizza on the grill, I highly recommend it. It’s so delicious! You can use a pizza stone or place the dough directly on the grates of the grill. I prefer to do it on the grates. It takes a little finesse to make sure the crust doesn’t burn, but it’s easy once you get the hang of it and the flavor and texture are so worth it.
I enjoy making pizza dough from scratch, but rarely have time to do so. Usually I buy fresh, pre-made dough from the grocery store and it works just as well. The toppings are determined by what I have on hand. For this pizza I used pesto, Roma tomatoes, mozzarella, Parmesan, pine nuts and kalamata olives. Use whatever toppings you like, but this is one of my all-time faves.
*Make sure the grates of your grill are very clean. Preheat the grill for 10-15 minutes, then use a grill brush to scrape the grates clean.
*Poke holes in the dough to prevent bubbles from forming.
*The quantity of toppings here are just suggestions – use as much or as little as you prefer. Note that too much cheese will make the pizza soggy and prevents the dough from cooking all the way through.
**Be sure to put your toppings on the cooked side of the dough so that you can put it back on the grill raw side down. If you put it back on cooked side down, it will burn. I promise.
*Have your toppings ready to go and nearby while you’re grilling.
Mediterranean-Style Grilled Pizza
by Jennie Lussow
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 35 mins
1 store-bought pizza dough
¼ cup prepared pesto sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick
¼ cup sliced kalamata olives
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
½ cup shredded Parmesan
1. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Once the dough has come to room temperature, lightly flour a countertop and flatten the dough into a circle using your hands.
2. Lightly flour the top of the dough and use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a circle, stretching and rotating as you go. If your dough doesn’t form a perfect circle, call it “rustic” and don’t worry about it.
3. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured cookie sheet or pizza peel. Using a fork or a knife, poke holes in the dough to help prevent bubbles while it cooks.
4. Meanwhile, place the sliced tomatoes on paper towels and lightly sprinkle with salt.
5. Preheat the grill on medium heat, about 350-400 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.
If using a charcoal grill, prepare the grill for direct and indirect cooking by arranging the charcoal over ⅔ of the fuel grate. Leave ⅓ of the grate empty so you have a safety zone in case the pizza starts to burn.
If using a gas grill, preheat on medium heat, about 350-400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Keep all of the burners set to medium.
* Note: I don’t use indirect heat on gas because if the pizza is starting to burn I can just turn the burner off. You can’t do that on a charcoal grill so I always keep that indirect zone available on charcoal.
6. Carefully place the dough directly on the grates of the grill and cook until the bottom of the dough begins to set and develops grills marks, about 1-2 minutes.
7. Using a spatula, remove dough from the grill and place grilled side up on a cookie sheet or pizza paddle.
8. Spread the pesto sauce in a thin, even layer across the cooked side of the pizza dough. Put sliced tomatoes, cheese, olives and pine nuts on pizza.
9. Carefully return the pizza to the grill, cover the grill and cook for 3 or 4 minutes to melt the cheese and cook the dough all the way through. If the crust starts to burn before the pizza has cooked all the way through, move the pizza over the indirect heat to finish cooking.
10. Using a spatula or tongs, remove pizza from the grill. Slice and serve immediately.