Pizza on the Grill: A Fun Feast

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Grilled Pizza: You will need a good gas grill with a top that closes.

Get the dough: You can make your own but I buy it frozen from the grocery store

Assemble Your Toppings: This is the fun part, I’ll assume you can lay out a pizza with toppings and will focus on the technique of grilling pizza.

With grilled pizza, the crust is the star. Choose a few simple ingredients that can showcase the smoky flavor and crispy crust. Or go for minimalism: top the grilled bread with a brushing of good olive oil, a sprinkling of coarse salt, and bit of chopped fresh herbs.

Suggested bases: marinara, pesto, flavored olive oil, barbeque sauce, guacamole, salsa verde

Suggested cheeses: mozzarella, fresh mozzarella, ricotta, goat cheese, Parmesan, Gorgonzola

Ideas for toppings: grilled vegetables, prosciutto and fresh figs, salami, chicken, fresh herbs, fresh arugula, toasted pine nuts, olives or capers, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, sausage, prosciutto

How to Grill the Crust
Prepare the grill for medium to high heat. A little adjustment during cooking may be requred. You’ll be fine as long as you don’t burn the crust
Dust a baking sheet, a peel, or a plate with flour or cornmeal so the dough won’t stick.
Shape the dough into rounds, either stretching it by hand or using a rolling pin. Each round should be no more than ¼ inch thick. You can stack the rounds by layering waxed paper, parchment, or a clean well-floured kitchen towel in between the individual crusts. I make grilled pizzas a little smaller than standard pizza. Figure 2 or 3 pizzas from a 1 package of frozen dough (about 1 lb)

When the grill is hot, have all of your toppings ready nearby
The easiest method for grilling pizza is to par-bake the crust: grill one side just long enough to firm up the crust so you can move it easily. By taking it off the heat, you can take your time arranging the toppings and are less likely to burn the bottom of the pizza.

Begin by placing one dough round on the grill.
You can oil the grill’s grate, but it’s not necessary; once the crust has set, after about three minutes, it should be easy to pull off the heat with         tongs, a spatula, or your fingers.
Don’t worry if it droops a little through the grate–it’ll firm up fast.
After two to three minutes, give it a little tug–it should move easily. If it sticks, give it another minute or so.
When the crust is set, remove it from the heat and transfer it to a plate or peel; flip it over so the “done” side is up, and add the toppings.
Repeat the process with the rest of the dough rounds.
If this is a group effort, friends and family can start topping the pizzas while you grill the crusts.

Grill Your Pizzas
Grill the topped pizzas with the lid closed until the cheese melts and the toppings are heated through. Depending upon the heat of the grill and the size of your pies, this can take two to 10 minutes. Check the bottoms periodically so the crust doesn’t burn. If the crust is done but the toppings need more time on a grill with two or more burners, you can turn off one of the burners under the crust so the cooking finishes with indirect heat.

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