Grilling a Pizza
My gal and I just returned from a week of RVing in hot, damp and sandy Fayetteville, N.C. The need was high to use a small table top charcoal grill that we bought during the trip to cook a few meals for a small group while on this trip. The little table top grill was a great idea (glad Kristy picked it out) and we made a visit to the Sam’s Club to buy some grilling essentials. While shopping at Sam’s Club, I also bought a pre-packaged Sam’s Club large Pepperoni Pizza. One of my guests is a special character and I have called him “Pizza Man” since he was a baby. He was sure that pizza was the proper summer munch for his dining pleasure and I was happy to oblige.
If you have ever opened and looked inside an RV oven (my RV is well packaged with a decent galley)…you will get excited to the point that you see a nice tiny oven that can roast a small chicken or even bake a loaf of bread….but not a large pizza. YES I could cut the pizza and bake some slices….and I would have ….but I was grilling outdoors and what would be better than grilling the pizza too. So I sliced the pizza into edible sized pieces and made sure the coals were evenly distributed on the inside of the grill to give a decent heat distribution for baking….and I placed the sliced pizza right on the grill and lowered the cover in place to create a nice baking oven.
The pizza crust toasted wonderfully. The cheese melted and slightly browned and the pizza had that most awesome, smoky, char-grilled flavor from the meat juices of the burgers as fatty meat juice fell and hit the coals then flared and created smoke.
So what secrets can I share that will help you achieve similar results?
- Do not get a roaring coal fire going in the grill….one layer of coals on the floor of the grill will make over temperature and will save you money in coal.
- Start your coals in a mound and spread them out on the floor of the grill after they have turned white
- Cut the pizza into slices to allow you to have room for the heat to rise around the top of the pizza, cooking the top and bottom properly
- Do not get nervous and keep opening the grill top to check on the pizza. You know that a pizza takes about 15-30 min to bake in your oven. It will grill in about 15 min. So give the grill some moments to get the air hot inside….add your sliced pizza and know that you will be grilling a large pizza in several batches. Then let the pizza bake for about 12 min before checking the first time….and then let it finish
- Thick, saucy pizzas with lots of toppings may prove a real challenge on the grill. I can see where the toppings might not offer the proper baked effect thus I suggest that you go thin at first until you get the technique better perfected.
I will grill pizza again. The results I gained was very pleasing. I have baked pizza several times before outdoors on my gas grill using my pizza stone as the baking surface but this was the first time on a coal fired baby sized grill. It is a nice change to your summer outdoor adventure to include a pizza on your menu to wow your guests. Let the grilling begin!
See my earlier recipes for Dough, Sauce and Perfect Pizza if you want to assemble 100% of everything in your home kitchen and practice grilling.