I love pizza as much as the next guy.
But I don’t love keeping my oven on in the summer for three straight hours! It makes my house hot. It makes me hot. If I have guests over, they will also inevitably be hot.
Luckily, there’s another way to cook pizza which I think produces very good results. In fact, you can make some of the best pizza around by cooking it straight on your grill!
While I have done it, cooking a large pie on the grill is tricky. But cooking personal pizzas (6-7 inches in diameter) is very easy.
Anybody can make these mini grilled pizzas
– and everybody should.
While you can make this pizza with store-bought dough, I really recommend trying to make it yourself
. It’s not very hard and the end results will be a lot better. But in a pinch, store-bought dough works okay too.
To start, just mix your flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Then stir in your olive oil and water. Use a big spoon and stir it until the dough forms a large ball.
Once it forms a ball, dip your hand in water to wet it a bit and then vigorously work the dough in the bowl. You want to kind of knead it in the bowl. Do this for a few minutes until the dough softens a bit. If the dough is really sticky, work in more flour, by the tablespoon. If the dough is cracking and dry, add more water.
Next, let the dough rest for about 15 minutes. This will give it time to relax and make it easier to knead.
Once it has rested a bit, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it vigorously for about five more minutes.
The dough should pass “The windowpane test”. Don’t know what that is? Well, if you gently pull the dough apart, you should be able to get it thin enough to see light through it before it rips.
The dough should be really soft and smooth, but not sticky at all.
When it’s done, immediately form it into 10 even-sized balls. You can eyeball the size of them, but if you want to make them perfect, they should be about 4 ounces each.
Coat each ball lightly with olive oil, cover them with plastic wrap, and let them rise in room temperature for 30 minutes. Then move them all to the fridge to chill for at least three hours – or overnight if you have the time.
Remove the dough from the fridge 90 minutes before you want to make the pizzas. If you aren’t planning on making 10 personal pizzas, you can store extra dough in the fridge for a few days or freeze it.
After 90 minutes at room temperature, the dough balls should be nice and puffy.
Now it’s time to get serious about making pizza!
The key thing to grilling pizzas is to make sure you have everything ready before you put anything on the grill. It goes really fast once that dough hits the hot grill!
This means rolling out all your dough that you plan to use before making any pizzas. I roll my dough out and set them on a baking sheet coated with a bit of oil. If you were making a lot of pizzas you could separate layers of rolled dough with plastic wrap or parchment paper.
Also, make sure to prepare all your toppings. So mix your sauce up, grate your cheese, and chop all your veggies. If you’re using any meat, pre-cook it. Also, if you’re using large veggies (like my mushrooms), pre-cook them by lightly sautéing them for a few minutes in a bit of olive oil.
Once everything is ready it’s time to make pizza!
Heat your grill as hot as you can get it and let it pre-heat for at least 10 minutes. You want to make sure the grates on your grill are as hot as can be.
Then toss on all your dough! Let them cook on the first side for 90 seconds.
They will get nice and puffy. Once 90 seconds has passed, flip the pizzas (use a large spatula).
Then add your sauce to the side that was cooking. This technique ensures that your dough is cooked all the way through.
Once the pizzas are flipped, turn your heat down to low on the grill. Add the cheese and any toppings you want to your pizzas.
Then cover the grill and let the pizzas continue cooking for another 5-6 minutes. They are done when the veggies are soft and the cheese is melted!
Like I said, if you are feeling ambitious, I really recommend trying to make your own crust
, but store-bought should work okay also.
It’s great to have awesome crispy pizza crust and not even have to turn on the oven. Give these a shot the next time you are in a pizza mood. I think you’ll be really happy with them!Nick believes that crust is the most important element of any pizza. The toppings are secondary. Don’t forget to check out his blog, Macheesmo, and his Tablespoon profile.