Looking to make the best pizza ever ? Then you’ll probably want to put it on the grill.
There’s a difference between grilled pizza and oven baked pizza, and this is what we’ll focus on in this article.
So does grilled pizza taste better than in the oven ?
Yes, grilled pizza tastes better than oven pizza. There’s a couple of reasons for this, so let me explain.
First, the smoky taste of grilled anything is great, and grilled pizza turns out even better.
Second, your grill can reach much higher temperatures than your kitchen oven. Think a maximum of about 700 F for the grill, and 500 F for the oven.
Which means that your grilled pizza is going to mop the floor with any baked pizza, any day of the week. But you can’t always grill, since in some places the colder season really gets cold.
Let’s take a closer look at why grilled pizza is better.
Why your grill is better for pizza
When you’re making pizza, you’re meant to subject it to high heat for just a few minutes. But the heat is meant to be so strong that the ingredients cook almost instantaneously.
As you know, ovens can be sometimes slow. Ridiculously so, as any Thanksgiving roast turkey can attest.
But a grill works much faster, and there are times when you need the low, slow heat of an oven.
A baked pizza will need about 800 F to cook properly, and no kitchen oven can get that high. Which means you’re going to have to cook your pizza for longer, and with a thinner crust if you make it in an oven.
But on a grill, especially if you can cover it and let it reach maximum heat, your pizza will be able to bake just like it should.
This is very close to the brick ovens using firewood that pizza places use. There’s a reason that’s been the best method for making pizza for centuries now.
So in short, your grill can get you the most authentic pizza roasting experience, without the brick oven.
And there really is no denying the appeal of the smoky flavor of a grill.
How to make home-made grilled pizza
Alright let’s get to grilling ! This recipe will show you how to make grilled pizza at home, and relies on you already knowing how to make pizza dough.
Or getting store bought pizza dough. Whichever works for you.
For grilled pizza, you’ll need:
- pizza dough
- olive oil
- pizza sauce, either as tomato sauce or white sauce
- any toppings you like
Now, when stretching out the pizza dough you should leave it a little on the thicker side. This is so the dough won’t fall through the grates, and also to give it some reasonable time to bake.
Your grill will need to be very hot for this. As hot as it goes. Turn it on, and close the lid. The internal temp should read above 500 F, as close to 700 as you can.
If your grill can’t go that far, no worries. Just leave the pizza in for a little longer.
So, while your grill is heating up, prepare the dough. It should end up half inch thick, and should rest for a few minutes before going onto the grill.
After resting the dough, and if your grill is screaming hot, open the lid and place the plain dough on. No sauces or toppings just yet.
Close the lid and let the dough sit there for a few minutes, about 3-4. We’re trying to let it get a nice brown crust underneath, and high heat is essential for this.
After the first 3-4 minutes, open the lid and peak under the pizza dough, to see if it’s got its marks. If it’s done on that side, you’ll also notice some bubbling on the top side.
Take the pizza off the grill, but close the lid. We need to preserve very high heat.
Place the hot pizza dough onto a pizza peeler, a metal sheet, or even a wooden plank.
Brush it with a bit of olive oil. It doesn’t have to be much, just a hint.
Then add a bit of pizza sauce. This time you need to keep the sauce at a minimum, or our pizza will get soggy.
Add just enough sauce to cover the pizza, leaving the edges clean. And only use a thin layer. A soggy pizza will become too soft and begin to break when you try to get them off.
If you’re adding toppings, make sure you add the cheese second to last, and the meat last. If using mushrooms, make sure they’re thinly sliced otherwise you’ll use too much and end up with too much water.
Once you’re done arranging your pizza, you can place it back on the grill. Leave it for another 6 minutes, covered, or until the cheese is bubbly and everything looks cooked.
If you’re using frozen pizza
Alright, how about those of you using frozen pizza from the supermarket ?
You can put that on the grill as well, though I recommend you use something like a cookie sheet, turned upside down.
This is because you can’t put already frozen pizza on the grill. It has to defrost.
If you let it defrost on the grill you’ll get a poorly cooked mess.
And if you don’t use a baking sheet you risk ending up with fallen pizza on your grill.
So let your pizza defrost before placing it on the grill. Get your grill as hot as possible, with the lid closed.
Once it’s hot enough, place the cookie sheet with the room-temp pizza on it, and let it bake for about 10 minutes, with the lid closed.
You’re going to open the lid after the first 10 minutes, and check how the pizza looks. The cookie sheet will remove some of the heat and obstruct cooking, so it might take a bit more than usual.
You’ll know the pizza is done when it’s underside of starting to get color, and the cheese is bubbly.
If it’s not there yet, give it another minute and keep checking.
Tips for grilling pizza
If it’s your first time grilling pizza, you’re going to want a couple of tips to help you along. So here they are:
- Roll your pizza dough to half an inch, to make sure you get a thick enough dough so it will grill nicely
- The dough won’t slip through the grates if you grill it for a few minutes before adding the sauce and toppings
- Add just enough sauce to color the pizza, but not as much as you would for an oven baked pizza
- Do not add any overly wet ingredients (raw mushrooms, pineapple, zucchini, tomato slices)
- Always keep the lid closed, to ensure the highest heat possible
Grilling pizza at home is a nice way to remove the heat from the kitchen, and bring it outside. It’ll be more manageable.
This also means that you’ll be exercising your grilling prowess, since grilled pizza requires some planning and knowing ‘the right time’.
Try it though, if you’ve never had grilled pizza I guarantee you’ll love it.