I decided to try something new the other night. It had been stinking hot during the day, so I was reluctant to do anything in the kitchen that would further heat up the house. My children, who were not deterred by the heat, insisted that I make them pizza.
Feeling backed into a corner, I decided to finally try cooking pizza on the barbeque. I figured it would be the best of both worlds. My kids would get their pizza and I would be able to maintain the balmy but bearable temperature in my house.
I was not quite sure how to proceed, so I decided to crank one side of the grill to high and cook the pizza indirectly. I covered the other side with some foil and closed the cover until the barbeque was about 500 degrees (I think it was pretty close to that before I even turned it on).
I also decided to keep the pizzas small and the toppings simple so that it would be easier to get them on and off the grill. I chose San Marzano tomatoes crushed and mixed with a little fresh basil from my garden, olive oil, salt and pepper for the sauce with a little fresh mozzarella on the top.
The pizza turned out great. It was crisp and golden with a thin crust. It had a slight barbeque flavour that added a bit of smokiness to the cheese and tomato sauce. All in all it was relatively easy and worth doing especially if you are surrounded by small demanding people who will accept nothing less than pizza.
Pizza on the barbeque
fresh pizza dough of your choice
mozzarella cheese, grated
4-5 San Marzano tomatoes, canned or fresh
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
10 basil leaves or to taste
Light barbeque and turn burner on one side to high. Line the unlit side with a couple of layers of aluminum foil. Close the cover and let grill preheat to about 500 degrees F. The exact temperature is not that important it should just be very hot, in the 425 to 500 degree range.
While the grill is preheating roll the dough out in personal pizza size portions. A standard dough recipe should make enough for at least 4 small pizzas, rolled thin. Place the rolled dough on a pizza peel dusted with cornmeal as this is how you will be moving the dressed dough to the barbeque. If you do not have a pizza peel you can use a flat cookie sheet (without sides).
In a small bowl crush the tomatoes, using your hands or a knife. It should be broken up but still chunky. Stir in the olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread 2-3 tablespoons of the sauce on your prepared dough. Tear 2 or 3 of the basil leaves and scatter them over the sauce. Add the cheese.
Transfer the pizza to the foil covered side of the grill using a quick, but controlled back and forth shaking action to remove it from your peel or cookie sheet. Close the cover and let it cook 15-20 minutes. Check after 15 minutes. The pizza is done when the crust is golden and the cheese is melted and brown. Remove the pizza from the grill with your peel or cookie sheet and enjoy.