Grilling pizza! You’ve probably tried it, but you haven’t perfected it like our mother has. She has a litany of supplies and tricks that are specifically for her grilled pizza habit, and has kindly acquiesced to share them with the world.
You can find general guides for grilling pizza everywhere on the internet, but here’s the basic premise:
1. You make your pizza dough 1 to infinity days in advance. Nellie and I love Jim Lahey’s No-Knead pizza dough, but that recipe makes an inordinate amount of pizza dough. So much pizza dough you might be like “I’ll invite all my friends over” but it’s not possible to have so many friends who all happen to be free on the same night, on the same weekend? No. Not even Jim Lahey can imagine such a luxury, but he likes to front for us.
If you have the freezer space, you can separate and freeze the dough for later; if you don’t, halve the recipe and you’ll still have enough for at least two pizzas.
~DAY(S) PASSING, SEASONS CHANGING, NOT TOO MUCH THOUGH BECAUSE IT NEEDS TO BE NICE ENOUGH TO GRILL STILL~
2. You roll out your dough. Now, what our mom does it choose her favorite pizza pan (a round, cookie-sheet esque thing) and trace the circle on parchment paper. She then flours it lightly and rolls out her pizza dough super thin on top of the parchment paper so it’s roughly the size of the circle. This has two purposes: 1) your pizza will fit perfectly in the pan for serving, or if you want to do a quick oven broil later on and 2) the parchment paper keeps the dough from slipping into the grill.
3. You do the first grill on your pizza dough. Preheat the grill to about 450F, then slide your parchment paper circle and dough circle onto a flat baking sheet. Once the grill is hot, you can slide the parchment and dough onto it. A lot of websites don’t use parchment, but if you like your pizza with super-thin, crackly crust it’ll slip through the grates if you omit it.
You only need a two minutes on the first side with the lid closed on the grill. If you like the cross-hatch pattern on your dough, rotate the pizza 90 degrees after it starts to cook. Once the first side is cooked, you can toss the parchment paper; the dough will hold together now. Cook the second side a little less than the first - this side gets a second grilling, so it needs to be just barely done.
4. Bring the dough back inside, put it on a cooling rack, and top top toppings on heaven’s door. Variations on this are infinite, but for the one above we brushed the cooked, cooled pizza dough with a tablespoon of garlicky, rosemaried olive oil; added half a pound of sliced fresh buffalo mozzarella and some nice prosciutto, then topped with a quickly-sauteed shallot and shards of parmesan cheese. This pizza is not for the faint of cheese.
5. Grill Part Deux: Revenge of the Grill 3D. Use your sheet pan to bring your gussied-up (oh this old prosciutto? I just found it aging around the fridge somewhere) pizza over to the grill and slide it on, closing the lid for about five minutes. This goes quickly, so don’t get distracted. Stare at your closed grill, arms crossed, without an ounce of humor dancing in your heart.
After removing it, we topped our finished pizza with baby arugula dressed up in its Sunday finest of lemon juice and olive oil, but later agreed it would have been better just plain and dry. A rare win for little baby arugula, but a fair one indeed. You, however, can afford to try it both ways! You have so much pizza dough left over.