A confession: Although “Fire!” was my first thought, “I should take a picture,” was a close second, just slightly preceding, “Put it out!”
But don’t let that scare you.
There are still a few weeks left of grilling season, in my opinion, and if you’ve never grilled a pizza – let me tell you – it’s marvelous. Not only do you get to avoid roasting your house with the oven on a hot day, but if you love the brick oven style pizza that you can only get at a restaurant, this is as close as you can get at home…without a brick oven in your backyard.
I learned to grill pizza last year from The Happy Housewife, who also had some lovely burnt pizza crust photos on the grill. Take it from us; essential pizza grilling tips:
- Thin-ish crusts, but not too thin
- Keep a close eye on it and follow timing directions
- Small pizzas for flipability
- A thin coat of oil
I have had great success following her directions for pizza on the grill exactly, along with the recipe. The only note I made on the recipe card was “Not too thin!!” after this year’s fiasco dinner.
Sourdough Pizza on the Grill
This year I tried Sarah’s sourdough pizza recipe on the grill, and I can only imagine it would work wonderfully if I didn’t roll it out too thinly. Happy Housewife’s recipe makes six smallish pizzas, so I stretched the sourdough recipe to make four instead of its usual two.
I rolled them out like I do homemade crackers. Crackers! Who rolls pizza dough out as thinly as crackers?! Pshaw. That was not smart. Do not do that.
I like to roll onto something flat, like a cutting board, pizza stone, or silicone baking mat.
We fit two on our grill, side by side. There’s not really an easy way to get them on. Just commit, grab, and flop. Two hands is a good idea. (Although I see someone brilliant commented at the Happy Housewife that you can freeze the rolled out dough 10 minutes and then simply place it on the grill. If only I had room in my freezer for a game like that!)
Grill about 3 minutes on medium with the lid closed. Sometimes you might have to sing the ABCs two or three times if you don’t have a clock nearby. Just stay near the grill!
Brush oil on the top side, then flip. We like to use two spatulas and a prayer to flip the things.
Yes, fast is helpful!
Top the pizzas after another 1-3 minutes on the grill. It’s important to have your toppings ready to go before you put the dough on to pre-cook.
No need to load it down too much. You may have to work around holes in the dough approximately the size of a small goat, especially if you roll the dough out like crackers. (Don’t do that!) If you plan to take pictures of your meal, the chances of it looking aesthetically pleasing plummet. Just so you know.
If the crust has more holes than crust, it’s also possible to finish it up right on a baking stone on the grill. Whether you are able to put your pizza directly on the grate or need to use the stone, simply grill on low until melted. It will take longer on the baking stone, but the chances of your dinner falling through the grate dramatically decrease.
Mexican variation: If you have some leftover refried beans around, you can use them instead of sauce, top with peppers, onions, tomatoes (or just salsa) and Mexican cheese, and you’ve got yourself a gourmet pizza to drool over.
This photo is last year’s version. Notice the marked lack of burnt holes? That’s because I didn’t roll out the dough like crackers.
You can also knock off the black parts from the hottest part of your grill that always flares up a bit, and the rest still tastes like summertime in an Italian neighborhood.
I know you want to see this picture (below), don’t you? Just imagine it on the top left of the grill with flames shooting up and Katie shrieking and wondering if she could grab the camera in time…
If you’re up for a culinary adventure, and it’s hot where you live, you’ll love this challenge meal. Pinky swear.
No sourdough starter? I’ve demonstrated my method: How to Make a Sourdough Starter, and you also might be interested in the sourdough eCourse I work with, especially if you are the type of person who likes to see a demonstration and have some hand holding. “Pay What You Can” makes it possible to pick and choose your classes!
Is pizza a healthy food? Figure out using The List: What to Eat, What to Avoid, How to Compromise, one of the summer’s popular posts.
See my full disclosure statement here.