Efficient and divine

Posted: August 20th, 2009 | Author: adi | Filed under: Uncategorized | 5 Comments »
Char=GOOD

Char=GOOD

I love fire. I think it’s great. I love smoke and char and the smell and taste of things cooked over a flame. Being a vegetarian, you’d think my options would be limited. True, veggie dogs and burgers don’t quire pick up the grill flavor like the meat versions do, but think of this–grilled onions, peppers, pineapple. Grilled pizza. Oh yes. Summer’s best friend. I’ve made grilled pizza over a charcoal grill before, and while the taste was decent, my crust didn’t fully bake through and I ended the evening with watery eyes and a nasty cough. Therefore, I am suggesting that any who try this, try it with a gas grill.

First off, pizza dough. I haven’t found a perfect crust recipe yet, so I’ll invite you to use your favorite rather than offering one up. Every time I make pizza I use a different recipe in my search for THE crust. The crust is going to get crispy no matter what, so I wouldn’t over-think it too much. And by the way, if YOU have the perfect crust recipe, please. I’m begging you–SHARE. I like a New York style crust. Thin and chewy. I make it thicker for the grill for ease of handling, but otherwise, the thinner the better.

Once your dough is ready, make it into SMALL pizzas. Think about it–do you want to be flipping a sixteen-inch crust with nothing but a spatula and tongs? Probably not. I make mine about eight inches across and lay them out on a board so they’re ready to go once the grill is hot. And by hot, I mean HOT. I cranked our grill all the way up and got temperatures exceeding 650. This makes a very nice charred flavor.

When the crusts are ready to go, bring them out with all your toppings. I did plain cheese, a margherita, one with grilled mushrooms, peppers, and onions, one with grilled pineapple… The best thing to do is to grill the toppings first so they’re ready when you are. If they cool down, no stress. They’ll heat back up–trust me! Throw a couple crusts onĀ  the bottom rack and close the top. Depending on how hot your grill gets, these will be done in several seconds to a few minutes. It REALLY varies. Just keep peeking on them and keep track so you know for the next ones. When they’re nice and brown with a good char in spots, flip them over (I like to use tongs for this), move them to the TOP rack, and add your toppings. Don’t go crazy or nothing will cook properly–if you’re using mostly grilled toppings you’re safe, but piling on anything cold is going to give you an unsatisfactory result. Close up the grill and leave it a bit longer this time. The cheese isn’t going to bubble as well as in an oven, so don’t wait for that unless you like your crust closer to charcoal than bread, but it will get some pretty black spots and melt nicely. Use your personal taste here–my sister’s ideal pizza has barely a touch of black on it, whereas my dad will be happy with an entirely charred bottom. I’m somewhere in the middle, enjoying nice dark grill marks and charred edges on an otherwise golden crust.

As for toppings, anything goes. I think anything grilled works best because it keeps the flavors smoky, and I’m a fan of smoky, but really, anything you like on your pizza works. Just remember to keep it simple, and keep an eye on it. Your dog may thank you for the overcooked pizza, but your guests are just going to be ticked.


5 Comments on “Efficient and divine”

  1. 1 Johanna said at 10:24 pm on August 20th, 2009:

    I made grilled pizza on my indoor griddle pan the other night because we ran out of charcoal. It must be something in the air…. that whispers “go on….grill me”. YUM!!
    I like throwing Arugula, Chard, or some other leafy green on top of a pizza to wilt in the steam. Can’t beat it. YUM!

  2. 2 leah said at 9:31 am on August 21st, 2009:

    we must have been thinking alike :) if you look at my post on grilled pizza i linked to a martha stewart pizza dough that was PERFECTION. i’ve tried about three others with complaints. this one practically made itself and i love the consistancy.

  3. 3 death_by_sharpie said at 10:16 am on August 21st, 2009:

    Oh man. I may have to put that on the menu for next week. Yummmm. Of all the vegetarian meals out there, pizza is my favorite. I don’t even like meat on pizza that much.

    There’s a gourmet grocery store close to us that sells the same pizza dough that they use in their restaurant for “New York style” pizzas. So that’s my perfect recipe. ;)

  4. 4 adi said at 10:33 am on August 21st, 2009:

    Josie: wilted greens on pizza? AWESOME.
    Leah: I will definitely give that one a shot next time. Here’s hoping =)
    M: If it works, it works! I haven’t even found BOUGHT dough I love! I must be one picky bitch ;)

  5. 5 susan said at 6:05 pm on August 30th, 2009:

    Attractive AND delicious, the perfect combo! I tried a lower temp to try avoiding burning, but it got a tough dry crust. You had a good assembly line going, I also like an assistant to collect the cooked pizza, and help me out if I need it with a “flip”. I wonder how dessert pizza would be?


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