Friday, May 25, 2012

Pizza on the BBQ – living the outdoor lifestyle

The sun is shining, the birds a humming… and… the tummy’s a rumbling.  Who reaaaaally wants to turn on the oven on when there’s so much to do outside?  When the house feels like it’s a 100F?! NOT ME. During the warmer months (okok, maybe even during the not so warm ones as well), my BBQ is my cooking appliance of choice.  I believe I take after my dad in that respect.  He could BBQ anything…and it always came out mouthwatering delicious.  Well, Dad... how about this… Homemade Pizza cooked.. in a third of the time (compared to a regular old oven)… on the BBQ.  YEEEEEEUUUUP.  It’s going to be hard to look back now! Can you tell I'm super-duper EXCITED about this new-to-me-knowledge?!  The crust was nice and crisp on the outside…soft and doughy on the inside… as close as I’ve been able to come in mimicking the “fast food- greasy-pricey variety” - BUT without all the grease and price tag!  While the dough was rising, I even had a chance to take advantage of a beautiful spring evening and play a little bit with my point and shoot camera, it’s amazing how our yard has just come alive in what seems to be just a few weeks!
Now, I will not claim to have re-invented the wheel on the pizza dough.  I’m sure that everyone has their own style… own recipe…and own ways to make the dough restaurant quality.  I’ll share what worked for me…  as with all yeasted dough, a warm, draft free place along with a little time… works in your favor.  Of course, submitting this to Yeastspotting, without sites like this.. I wouldn’t even have a clue. 

Pizza on the BBQ
Pizza Dough
·         ¾ cup warm water
·         1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
·         1 tbsp olive oil (plus a bit more for coating bowl)
·         1 tsp sea salt (I love the bacon flavored version, but any sea salt will do)
·         1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
- Put the warm water in your stand mixer bowl and sprinkle the surface with the yeast. Let stand for 2 minutes to soften, then whisk with a fork to blend. Let stand until bubbly, about 10 minutes.
- Whisk in the olive oil and salt.
- Using your dough hook, then begin adding the flour gradually, until fully incorporated. The dough will be very moist and sticky.
- The dough should be moist and a little tacky. Shape into a ball.  
- Generously oil  a bowl, place dough in bowl  and turn the dough to coat it in the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm draft free place until doubled in size.  (mine took about an hour)
- Punch dough, cover, and let rise until doubled again.
While dough is rising prepare your toppings.  What I’ve learned with this whole “BBQ Pizza thing”, is that less is more.  The pizza cooks in under 8 minutes, and requires you not only to be ready with the toppings, however, that to ensure you have a perfectly cooked topping at the same time as your crust is golden brown and crisp, you need to make sure the heat of the BBQ can melt and cook your topping as desired.  For a reference, I’ve been using a small side plate as my guide.  1 for the toppings, and 1 for the cheese. 
- When you are ready to go, generously oil a pizza pan, and carefully shaping the dough, spread out onto the pan, cover and let stand for 10 mins.
- In meantime, turn your BBQ on, my grill has 4 burners, and to start I keep all 4 on high to heat it up as hot as it will get (above 600F)
-Turn burners to low, and place the Pizza pan, with the plain dough on the grill, lid down, for about 2 – 3 mins, or until the bottom is just starting to turn golden.
-Working quickly, remove from BBQ, generously oil top of crust, and flip the crust over.
-Top pizza as desired and return to the BBQ until cheese is bubbling, and crust is golden brown. (5 mins)
-Remove from grill, and let stand for 5 mins, slice and enjoy! YUM YUM!
Hints and Tips:
-          If the top of your crust isn’t browning as desired, brushing or spraying oil (or melted butter) along the crust will help brown it up quickly.
-          For the Pizza shown, I used spinach, red pepper, chorizo, black forest ham with a mixture of feta cheese and marbled cheese
-          Having everything ready, and outside next to the grill is absolutely necessary to ensure a fast cook
-          Pre-cook all meat toppings to ensure they are fully done when the rest of the pizza is cooked
Below are the pictures taken – with an old point and shoot camera – during the time the pizza dough was rising! 
This time of year is when Mother Nature seriously shines, all the new life, vibrant colors.  I’m lucky enough to have these all growing in our front and back yard!

Whatever you choose to do this weekend..try and take a moment or two  to get outside... For those on the West Coast... It's supposed to be a beauty!  Cheers!


  1. Yum! I've never made a pizza on the grill before! Great idea!

    1. Thanks - it is awesome - easy... and has easily become a top fav in our circle of friends and family! Fun too!!