Why throw pizza on the grill? Well, because 1) it just tastes good and, 2) you’ll be a hero. How’s that you ask? When the barbecue grill gets fired up there will inevitably be someone who shies away from hamburgers, those who pass on the hot dogs and that girl who thinks ribs are “too messy.” Pizza’s the common denominator. Everybody loves it. With its seemingly endless combinations of toppings, it’s the most versatile food there is and caters to the most discerning of palates. It’s a crowd-pleaser -- and when you’re entertaining, that’s your main job: keeping your guests happy.
What else makes pizza on the grill ideal? You can do it anywhere: Tailgating before the game, camping with your boys or just unwinding in your backyard. Also, grilled pizzas are thinner, crispier and not as overwhelmingly filling as their doughy, oven-baked brethren, which leaves you more room to do the one thing you love doing when you’re waiting for the game to start, out in the woods or relaxing in your yard: Drinking booze.
The recipe that follows is tried-and-true. It’s the one I’ve used countless times on my own home grill and the one we use at my restaurant, Fornino Park Slope. The dough can be made well ahead of time, and you can top your pie with anything you can imagine.
Some key tips:
Keep your crust moving on the grill so it doesn’t char;
Be sure your cheese (besides mozzarella, I love using soft cheeses like taleggio and bel paese) is grated, as slices don’t melt well;
Your toppings should be sliced on the thinner side; and
If you’re doing something like mushrooms or peppers that require more cooking time, it’s best to have those cooked beforehand. Buon appetito
Grilled pizza dough recipe
Chef Michael Ayoub
Fornino Park Slope and Fornino Williamsburg
Makes 6 pieces*
1 package of active yeast
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups high-gluten flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsps sea salt
2 tsps honey
2 tsps olive oil
1 ½ cups lukewarm water
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir the yeast, honey and oil into the warm water until it dissolves. Add the flour, give it a few seconds, then let it sit for five minutes.
Add the salt, mix well for one minute, and let rest a few minutes. Knead for approximately 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic. For first rising, shape dough into ball in a mixing bowl and cover with damp cloth. Let rise until it has doubled (at least) in size.
Punch dough down and cut into six pieces. Form each piece into a ball and let rise for two to four hours.
Roll dough onto an oiled sheet pan into an approximate 12-inch circle. (Dough will be thin and nearly see-through.)
Heat grill to 400 F. Grill one side of the crust until desired crispness, about two and half minutes. Flip.
Add desired toppings to the now-cooked side of the crust. (You can take the pie off the grill to do this if you don’t like working over the heat.)
Continue cooking until cheese melts and toppings set, about two and half minutes.**
* You can grill one side of your pizza crusts, wrap them well and freeze them for up to two weeks.
**To help melt cheese and set toppings, you can close the lid to your grill or place a large metal mixing bowl over the pie.