Pizza Al Fresco
“It’s too hot to cook” becomes a regularly uttered phrase in my household once the summer heat peaks. Grilling becomes a way of life; we throw something on the grate, dip in the pool, flip, dip, eat… and so it goes. Pizza holds a regular spot in rotation with burgers and barbecue on our grill. Cooked right on the rack, grilled pizza boasts a charred and crispy crust, the requisite gooey cheese, and a unique smoky flavor that smacks of summer. For the best pizza, you need the hottest oven possible, which makes the grill ideal as it generates way more heat than most ovens can. And remember, you have the added bonus of the kitchen staying cool! So next time you fire up the grill, skip the hot dogs and try your hand at a char-marked pizza instead. Read on for the homemade dough and sauce recipes, and three sizzling-hot flavor combos to get you started.
On-the-Rack How to Grill Pizza
The methods for grilling pizzas on charcoal and gas grills are a little different, but both result in a fire-kissed flavor you’re going to love! Here’s your guide to a perfectly grilled pie:
1. Prepare the grill for medium-high, indirect heat. For gas, leave one or two burners off. For charcoal, bank the coals on one side of the grill to create areas of direct and indirect heat.
2. Once the grill is hot (at least 500°), remove the lid. Brush the dough with olive oil and lay it, oil-side down, on the direct heat for about 1 minute, or until it shows char marks and releases cleanly. Flip the dough and cook it for another minute over the direct heat, then move it to the indirect heat.
3. Brush the top of the dough with olive oil and add your toppings. Cover the grill and cook, rotating once or as needed, until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is browned, about 7–9 minutes.
4. Use a pizza peel or a large spatula to transfer your pizza to a board. Let cool for 3 minutes, and then cut into pieces.
Note: Cooking times will vary depending upon how hot the grill gets, areas of direct and indirect heat and how thin the dough is stretched. Watch the heat and adjust accordingly!