Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Grill pizza

As I said in the post below, I grilled some pizzas this weekend. I had a fellow BBQ forum-er ask me for the recipe, so I complied and decided to go ahead and blog it also.

I’ve been messing around with barbecue pizza for a while the past three or four months and this last time, I had the best results. I had good recipes and good fire management. After talking over the recipe, I’ll talk some about how I grilled:

I used a very simple dough recipe that I found here, but I’ll go ahead and put it here too:

* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (may substitute whole wheat flour for 1 cup of the all-purpose)
* 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup warm water
* 1/2-1 tablespoon olive oil
* Cornmeal, for sprinkling

1 Mix a little sugar into the warm water.
2 Sprinkle yeast on top.
3 Wait for 10 minutes or until it gets all foamy.
4 Pour into a large bowl.
5 Add flour, salt, olive oil.
6 Combine.
7 Knead for 6-8 minutes until you have a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (add a bit more flour if you need to).
8 Cover and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
9 Lightly grease two 12-inch pizza pans.
10 Sprinkle with a little bit of cornmeal.
11 Divide dough in half.
12 Place each half on a pizza pan and pat it with your fingers until it stretches over the whole pan.
13 Try to make it thicker around the edge.
14 If desired, pre-bake at 425 F for 10 minutes (I don't always do this).
15 Then spread with pizza sauce and use the toppings of your choice.
16 Bake at 425 F for 10-20 minutes longer or until bubbly and hot.
17 Makes 2 12-inch pizzas.

If you go to the original website, you can change the servings and it’ll automatically update your recipe amounts. This one says it makes two pizzas. I changed the recipe to make five, but I actually made four. It was plenty of dough. I probably could have made five easy. I wound up with one thick crust, two medium thickness crusts and one thinner crust. This dough is light and kind of spongy, it doesn’t get crackery thin.

The one modification I made is that instead of putting “a little sugar into the warm water” in step one, I put about two Tablespoons of honey. This made the dough a bit sweeter. I recommend this.

I made two pepperoni, one cheese and one barbecue chicken-bacon-onion pizza. Since there are plenty of recipes out there for the standard pizzas, I’ll give you the one for the barbecue chicken pizza.

* 16” or larger pizza crust
* 5-6 Grilled chicken tenders
* 5-6 Sliced of bacon
* 1 Medium-Large sweet onion
* 1-2 Cups barbecue sauce
* 2 Cups mozzarella cheese
* 2 Cups cheddar cheese
* 1/2 TBL barbecue rub


1 You can use any kind of cooked chicken, but I find you get the best results if you grill tenders. Tenders seem to be best because they get a good smoky flavor through the entire piece – a breast might not get smoke flavor all the way through. Grill them until you get an internal temp of 160 and then dice them into 1/2-inch cube (larger or smaller depending on your preference).
2 Fry your bacon, slice it into 1/2-inch pieces
3 Slice your onion and caramelize it. This adds so much to the flavor. You can use fresh onion, but you’ll be missing out.
4 Apply the barbecue sauce to the pizza crust. I don’t like it too thick, but it’s good to get enough for the flavor to be pronounced. A sweet sauce is best here. I used a homemade Peach/Mango/Orange barbecue sauce.
5 Sprinkle half the mozzarella and half the cheddar.
6 Sprinkle the chicken and bacon on as evenly across the pizza as you can.
7 Put the caramelized onion on as evenly as you can. I find the best way to make sure you get the onion on without clumping is to be a bit meticulous in picking out the slices and laying the on the pizza. Takes time, but makes for a much better end product.
8 Sprinkle the rest of your cheese on top
9 Sprinkle the barbecue rub on top

Now the pizza is ready for cooking. You can cook in an oven as stated above in the dough recipe directions, but I’ve come to prefer grilled pizza.

The most important part of grilling pizza is temperature and fire management. I use a pizza stone to cook my pizzas and that protects the crust from getting done too quickly, but it still crisps quickly. If you’re going to cook a pizza on a grill, and I mean a pizza like above – topped and ready to bake – you have to do something to protect it from the fire. I highly suggest getting a pizza stone, but you can have some success with pizza screens. Cast iron would work very well too. If you try to cook directly on the grate or with a screen, you’ll have to use a much cooler fire and more distance than you would if when using a stone or cast iron. The following instructions are for using a stone or cast iron.

You need to get your grill between 400-425 F. You need to monitor this and make sure that A. You’re not getting any huge temperature spikes, and B. You’re not getting any flare-ups. A flare up will ruin your pizza quick!

If you’re maintaining a solid 400-425 F, slip your pizzas on the grill. I do not preheat the stones, I put pizza and stone on the grill at the same time (I make my crusts directly on the stone). At this temp, the pizzas take 10-15 minutes to cook depending on the thickness of the crust and how much you’re opening the lid, which you need to do often to make sure your crust isn’t burning. I check my crust about every two minutes to make sure it’s not getting too done. I use a spatula and pick up the edge of the crust on different sides of the pie. The crust is going to get nice and crisp, so expect that.

When it looks like the bottom of your crust is at the desired level of doneness, your cheese should be good and melty and toppings cooked. Pull the pizzas off. Be very careful – those stones are SUPER HOT!

Well, that was my recipe to success with grilled pizza. It requires a lot of hovering and close attention to get it right. It is in no way a “set and forget” kind of cook. But that wouldn’t be very fun, would it?

I would think, if you were attempting to cook without a stone, you would probably have to have temperatures in the 300 F range. You would probably also need to go very light on the toppings so everything would cook evenly. Still, not something I would try unless I was making personal pies – something naan or pita-sized, but that’s a whole different process.

Next time I’m going to experiment with some different smoke wood. I didn’t add much this time because it gets too smoky too quick in my console grill.

1 comment:

syaqoob said...

Perfect and easy homemade pizza recipes in the articles below: