July 1st, 2009

grilled pizza

grilled pizza

we’ve gone totally crazy for the grill here in our new place. you know that feeling, on the very last day of school, when you know you’re done for the year, and you’ve got a whole summer of doing whatever you want ahead of you? having a grill makes every day feel like that. there’s nothing more relaxing than lounging in the backyard and cooking up hot dogs and hamburgers, or something a bit more sophisticated, like pizza (that’s right, i’m calling pizza sophisticated).

grilled pizza

it’s a little nerve racking throwing pizza dough right on the grill for the first time. i was sure it would fall through the grate, but sure enough, it cooked right up perfectly. the charcoal gives the dough a smokiness you don’t get from a conventional oven, plus the perfect combination of a crispy crust with a soft chewy interior.

grilled pizzagrilled pizza

here’s an extremely rare shot of me actually cooking. and readers, meet the girl. ain’t she sweet? sorry, no pictures of us together – it was just the two of us, so we had to take shots of each other. she’s a amazing cook and i’m an extremely lucky dude to have her.

grilled pizza

look at those grill marks. this crust is about to be topped and tossed back on the grill to finish cooking.

grilled pizza

here’s the girl adding a bit of sauce with fresh basil.

grilled pizza

as you can see, i’m not a master at making a perfectly round pizza. we’ll just call it “rustic.” this one was topped with barbecue chicken, caramelized onions, mozzarella and more fresh basil. if you’ve never grilled pizza before, or even ever made pizza at home before, it’s actually easier than it looks. have all of your friends over, tell them to bring their favorite toppings, and just keep cooking them up until everyone is too full to move.

grilled pizza

grilled pizza

it doesn’t hurt to have a few glasses of wine to make the meal complete.

grilled pizza

here’s the grilled chicken we added to the pizzas. we’ve been in our new place for 3 weeks, and this is the second time we’ve made this chicken. the girl whipped up a really incredible bbq sauce that caramelizes perfectly and makes the chicken tangy and hot.

grilled pizza

hmmm…sausage, caramelized onions, local fresh ricotta, and swiss chard. this one got a helping of mozzarella once it hit the grill a second time. these were so much fun to make (and incredibly delicious), i might do it again this week.

grilled pizza

one last thing – the kind folks at washingtonian.com were nice enough to do a little interview with me for their “blogger beat” section, which you can read here. it was totally humbling to get to do it, so i hope you enjoy it. i think i successfully came off looking like a total dork (totally my intention all along). big thanks to washingtonian.com and thanks to all of you for continuing to read this blog and just being generally awesome.

grilled pizza

grilled pizza
same crust as the first time i made pizza. find it here.

1.day one: make dough.

2. day two: remove the dough from the fridge 2 hours before making the pizza. dust the counter with flour, place the number of dough balls down you are going to use, and sprinkle with more flour. gently press them into flat disks (about 1/2 inch thick). sprinkle with a bit more flour and cover loosely with plastic wrap. let rest.

3. about 45 minutes before making the pizza, fire up your grill. get it nice and hot. we started a bit earlier so we could grill some bbq chicken to top the pizza. when you’re ready to cook the dough, get all of your toppings ready. you’ll need a place to work quickly.

4. stretch the dough as you normally would (either by tossing or by rolling) and lay it on a cornmeal dusted pizza peel. it should be about 1/4-inch thick (the thinner the dough, the easier it is to cook fully). carefully slide the dough onto the grill. it takes a bit of practice, as working too slow causes the dough to bunch up and fall through the grate.

5. after 2-3 minutes, use a pair of tongs to lift up the dough and check to see if it’s baking. you should see some light grill marks. the top may bubble a bit as well. poke the bubbles with a fork. when it looks done on that side, pull it off the grill onto your pizza peel. flip it over so the uncooked side is down on the pizza peel.

6. quickly dress the cooked side with your toppings. slide the topped pizza back onto the grill to cook the other side. you can put the top on the grill to help melt the cheese. another 2-3 minutes later, check the underside of the pizza to make sure it’s done and remove from the grill. serve/eat immediately.



64 Comments for grilled pizza - why not leave some love?

  1. Valerie says:

    Hey Pete ever try tiramisu?

    I gave it a shake last month for my Mom’s birthday, bombed.

    I went to this little polish yes polish bakery and got some pointers… keep everything cold, beat the heck out of it, when it forms stiff peaks beat it a bit more. I’m trying again this weekend. The woman ( Mom) is eighty I better get it right; it’s not polite to make a lady wait. Oh and “the girl” very cute; be good to her.

  2. Rachel says:

    When is there going to be an Emily bakes too blog??? It could be called Pete bakes and Emily adds stinky cheese!!! (sorry pete, as soon as pics of emily get posted on the blog, her friends will start posting too :)

  3. Julia says:

    Pete,
    Your girl is beautiful! You are a lucky dude to have her. Pizza sauce is so easy to make and the dough grilled. I bet you two were in heaven eating those pizzas.

  4. Michelle says:

    Love the idea of grilling my pizza. Good thinking!

  5. Lori says:

    You two make a sweet couple! You look like you go together.

    And the pizzas. They look fabulous. This is a must try for me this summer.

  6. colleen says:

    Pete..congrats on the grilled pizza. we make grilled pizza at least once a week (even in the winter) and I can’t make a round pizza to save my life. you must try a hawaiian or bbq pizza. so good.

  7. Shannalee says:

    Gosh, everything is better on a grill! I need to get over my fear of setting myself on fire. Or, more likely, I need to find a friend who’s light things for me. The pizza looks fantastic!

  8. Shannalee says:

    *who’ll, not who’s. Sigh.

  9. gosh they look fantastic!

  10. zainab says:

    The pizza looks perfect.

  11. Giddy says:

    “The Old Fart” and I have been making pizza together for over 40 years, so I highly recommend the activity for couples! However, in all these years, we’ve never grilled one, which surprises me as he is an avid “barbecutioner!”. Guess we’d better try it one of these days.

    Keep having fun with food – it helps you stay young.

  12. nick says:

    “we’ll just call it “rustic.”

    OK, let’s just go with that (your pies do look pretty round in the post w/the dough recipe). I always joke that mine are round-ish-like. I had some problems with that BBA recipe (kept tearing it after final proofing) but it certainly was delicious. I understand there is “neo-Neapolitan” dough in his “American Pie” that is supposed to be ridiculous.

    Also, if you are ever interested in taking a lil road trip, I have it on good authority that there is a place in Ellicott City, MD that cooks coal fired pizzas that are absolutely amazing, here is a review and some mouthwatering photos from the man that is ALL about pizza:

    http://www.pizzablogger.org/index.php/2009/06/26/reviews/coal-fire-pizza-ellicott-city-md-upping-the-ante-in-howard-county/

    Congrats on the washingtonian interview, and IMO you only come across quasi-dorky.

  13. Billie says:

    Those rustic pizza’s look totally awesome! We love to make grilled pizza and often do with grilled veggies, zuchini-bell peppers-asparagus-etc! Very good eating! Wish it was not raining out, I would make a mad dash for the grill right now!

  14. Christina says:

    Lovely pictures!

    “i was sure it would fall through the grate” — that is what I have in the back of my mind whenever I read about grilled pizza, although I know it probably isn’t true. I’ll definitely have to get around to this before summer’s out.

  15. I love grilled pizza. Yours is so rustic looking. Tasty.

  16. Laurie says:

    Can’t wait to try/taste this grilled pizza…one of your best ideas yet…maybe Bobby Flay should come do a “throwdown” with you! ha ha! hey, you just never know! By the way, now that you’ve got “a girl” watch out…things are going to really start moving for you Pete! I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying…”behind every successful man is an awesome, smart, fabulous woman”. Hope you’re ready for what’s to come now! (I’ve been watching your website for a long time now…things are about to explode…I’ve got that feeling…and I can say I knew you when!)Keep up the good work sweetie!

  17. I like the rhustic look of the pizza and grilling it sounds even better.

  18. Dana says:

    Congrats on the write-up! I love the pizza – rustic is right. I can’t get my dough into a round either. No one has ever complained. :)

  19. Nick says:

    Good lookin’ pizza sir!

    Nice to see you guys are enjoying the new place!

  20. Shaw Girl says:

    Such a cute couple and congrats on the Washingtonian.com write up! The grilled pizza looks divine (who cares if it isn’t round)! And you’ve convinced me to give grilling pizza a try!

  21. Suzana says:

    Just found your web-site while searching for grilled pizza dough and will try a variation tonight. We have a gas grill so I’ll keep a close eye on it. Looking forward to looking at your other recipes.

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  23. Joseph says:

    oooooo if it can be done on a grill it has to be good. i have to try it!!!!

    to cut some corners do you think i can use already formed off the self bread. kind of impatient person.

  24. Dee Miller says:

    Where is the bbq sauce recipe for the chicken. After that description, I really want it! Grilled pizza is such a great idea! Thanks for encouraging us to try it – I never would have considered it, but now that I’ve tried it, I’ll never be the same. Kind of like when you eat ice cream for the first time – you can’t go back . . .

  25. Kat says:

    I also found your blog when googling recipes for grilled pizza. My hubby and I made it tonight on our gas grill along with a few veggies from the garden thrown on. Thanks for your step by step instructions& illustrations…this is our new favorite!

  26. Latoya says:

    These looks so delicious! I am so inspired by your website that I may actually try to make some of this stuff.

  27. gatesumpao says:

    When is there going to be an Emily bakes too blog??? It could be called Pete bakes and Emily adds stinky cheese!!

  28. your web-site while searching for grilled pizza dough and will try a variation tonight. We have a gas grill so I’ll keep a close eye on it. Looking forward to looking at your other recipes.

  29. kindler says:

    Dude! This is the best pizza I’ve ever seen! Its like rotting bananas.

  30. Joe says:

    This pizza looks so good. Thanks for sharing!

  31. timz says:

    What a wonderful recipe. The grilled pizza will be perfect for our family weekend. Thanks, vigilon.

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