The family, and I of course, love pizza on the grill. This love came about as almost an accidental side thought. In the summer of 2010, the family decided to do an Italian themed summer cookout. The main dishes were lasagna and chicken fettucine alfredo. Being the experimenter that I am, I decided to make grilled pizza for appetizers and tiramisu as a desert. We were not crazy about the dessert, but the pizza has moved to the main attraction for many get togethers in the past 18 months.
Making your own pizza crust from scratch may sound like a lot of work, but it really isn’t. The difference in the quality of the pizza is night and day. We tried to use a store-bought fresh dough when we were in a pinch once, and it was no where close. We have also frozen this and had good luck. By far, the best is fresh!
• 4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
• 2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 package active dry yeast
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1 teaspoon sugar
Combine water, oil, yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Let stand 5 minutes or until it bubbles. Mix flours and salt together thoroughly in a food processor or mixer. Add water mixture while blending. Let mix for 2 minutes. Knead briefly on a lightly floured surface. Place in a large oiled bowl and let stand in a warm place for 2-3 hours. It should double in size. Once the dough has raised, lightly flour two cooking sheets. On a floured surface roll out 1/4 of the dough into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. Place on cooking sheet. Spray the top of the pizza crust with a good olive oil and top it with aluminum foil. Repeat with additional crusts and make a stack.
There’s no better way to cook a pizza than on the grill. The high, dry heat of your grill makes it the perfect pizza oven. I typically spray the bottom of the crust, coat it with a little corn meal and throw it on the grill until it bubbles. I then pull it off, spray the uncooked side with olive oil, and flip it over. The cooked side will be the top of the pizza. Spread your favorite sauce, cheese and toppings on the pizza and throw it back on the grill until the cheese melts.
The crust should come off the grill looking like this:
Time to Top It
Traditionally you probably think of sauce and sausage or pepperoni on your pizza. The first time that I made this, for the appetizers, I was trying to keep this lighter so I chose a sauceless pizza. Not only did it work, it is the most requested pizza that I make. The secret is in the balsamic sauce. Use it as a drizzle right before you serve each piece and you will have transported your guests to an artisinal wood fired pizza joint. The quality of the balsamic does matter. I use a local 18 yr old balsamic that is close to fruit juice in taste. A medium cost grocery store bottle should do the trick as well.
Sausage and Pepper Pizza
- 1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausages
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut in half
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut in half
- 4 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
- Pizza Dough from above
Preheat grill. Divide pizza dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll into rounds about 8 to 9 inches in diameter. Combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and rosemary. Brush bell peppers lightly with mixture. Place sausage and bell peppers on hot grill. Grill until peppers have started to blacken and blister and sausage is sizzling and browned. Remove from grill and cut the peppers into thin strips and the sausage into thin slices. Place pizza rounds on hot grill. Allow to slight brown on both sides. Remove from grill and top with cheeses, sausage and bell peppers. Light drizzle olive oil mixture over the top and return to the grill over a low heat. Close lid and grill until cheese is melted. Remove and serve.
Here was an email of ideas from the Schmidt’s to add onto my recipe:
Pizza dough – I follow your recipe, but I use a flavored olive oil (my favorite is Tuscan Herb or Garlic) and add about a tsp of the magic pizza seasoning mix and a ½ tsp of red pepper flakes. (It may be a little more of the seasoning mix, but honestly I just dump until it looks like I have some throughout the dough) I mix that right into the dough as I have it in the food processor. Then I roll into 4 balls and put in bowl covered in saran wrap and let sit for 2-3 hours on counter, after that I put in fridge for 24 hours (or so)…
We roll out, throw on grill, add a little more flavored oil and seasoning mix on one side, grill for a couple minutes, flip grill for a minute and flip back, then add all your toppings.
I am sure you do the same, but we precook all the meat and veggies. So all you are doing is warming it on the grill.
We use ground sirloin or round and add some taco seasoning to the meat.
Monterey Jack White Cheese Sauce
Mexican Blend of Cheese
We put a thin layer of refried beans on crust, then a little taco sauce and a layer of the white cheese sauce. Add taco meat and onion and let cook for a minute, add blend of cheese. When we take it off we add lettuce, tomato and crushed Doritos. You can also sprinkle with a little salsa, sour cream or refried beans on the top..
BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza
We use either pulled pork or brisket leftovers
Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Pizza
Pepper Jack Cheese
Pizza Mix of fresh herbs (oregano, parsley, etc)
We put think layer of BBQ sauce and then pile ingredients on.
Chicken Alfredo Pizza
Chicken of any sort (we use whatever we have leftover just be careful of Weber grill chicken, sometimes it carries over weird flavor on pizza)
Garlic (only if your sauce isn’t really garlicky)
Pizza mix of fresh herbs
Bacon Bits (we cook bacon and crumble)
Italian cheese mix (or just mozzarella)
We put a thin layer of alfredo sauce and garlic cloves and pile ingredients
Schmidt Pizza Sauce (can be sold if the price is right)
Bacon Bits (we cook bacon and crumble)
And any other leftover meat you have
Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Schmidt Pizza Sauce
(and any other meats you prefer – if you want)
Mix of bell peppers