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How to Grill a Pizza

17 January 2010 2 Comments

You eat pizza while watching the game at home…why not enjoy it while tailgating?  Grilling pizza is probably a lot easier than you think and the results are fantastic.

Making the Crust

You’ve got two options here.  You can pick up a store bought Boboli pizza crust or you can make a crust from scratch if you feel adventurous.  I’ve made this crust myself and it was surprisingly simple.  You only need a few items to make the crust dough, enough for two pizzas:

  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

Combine the water and sugar in a measuring cup.  Sprinkle the yeast over the surface (don’t stir it in) and let it be until it gets foamy.  Should take about 5-10 minutes.  This will be your starter.  Stir in the oil.

Add your flour and salt to a large bowl and slowly mix in your yeast starter.  Continue to knead the dough until it is smoothly mixed.  Roll it into a ball and cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap.  Leave it on the counter and let it rise on its own for about an hour.  It will nearly double in size.

Split the dough into two balls, place in Ziploc bags and either refrigerate or freeze.  You’ve got enough dough for two grilled pizzas.

Prepare the toppings

Depending on what you want to do here, you may need to do some grilling before putting the pizza on your tailgate grill.  For example, if you plan to make a steak pizza (which works great on the grill), salmon, or BBQ Chicken pizza, you’ll want to cook your meats before grilling the whole pizza.  Even vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and onions are good to grill first, before adding to the crust.

There are many combinations to explore with toppings.  There are tons of good recipes out there and we’ll post a few great ones here in the months ahead.

Explore the studio space.  If you went with the above dough recipe, you can easily do two pizzas.

Grill the pizza

Roll your dough ball into a nice round and flat crust, about 12 inches in diameter.  Sprinkle one side with cornmeal.  Slide the crust onto your tailgate grill over direct heat.  Cover the grill and give it about 3 minutes.  Flip the crust and slide it over to indirect heat.  Add the toppings (leaving a good half-inch border for ease of eating) and cover the grill.  At this point, you will want to let it cook until the toppings are hot – probably 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove the pizza with a pair of tongs and slide onto a cutting board.  Slice it up and enjoy!

Photos by mnapoleon, gudlyf, and thebittenword.com.

Do you have favorite pizza toppings for tailgating?


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  • Bert said:

    Grill up some chicken, chop it up into chunks, and load up the crust with a sweet BBQ sauce, chicken, sliced onions (preferably grilled also), and mozzarella.

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