Grilled pizzas are endlessly versatile, endlessly customizable, making it easy to accommodate everyone’s likes and needs. The cheese melts evenly and quickly, and the crust gets mottled with those dark bits everyone fights over. What’s more, there’s that characteristic smoky taste from the grill.
Of course, some people are still troubled by the whole process. “Won’t it fall through the slats?” they ask. Have no fear. The whole-wheat dough we’ve developed is easy to work with—light and tender but also surprisingly sturdy—and in the following pictures we’ll show you an easy technique that will have you grilling like a pro in no time.
Because the pie gets topped right on the grill after the crust has been flipped, the ingredients must be prepped in advance. We suggest taking the ingredients out to the grill in little bowls on a cutting board or tray. A bonus: Preparing different toppings in advance means you can make different pies for different tastes. Or make a host of personal pies: one to suit each person.
Before you get to the grill, shape dough into the right size. Simply put the dough on a lightly floured surface and dust the top with a little more flour. Dimple it with your fingertips to shape it into a thick, flattened disk. After that, it’s just a quick job with a rolling pin to shape it into a rustic circle.
One secret discovered through trial and error: always sprinkle more cornmeal on the pizza peel or baking sheet than you think is necessary before transferring the dough to it. Give the dough a shake to make sure it will come free when it’s time to slide it onto the grill—and sneak a little more cornmeal underneath any spots that stick. Once at the grill, slide the dough onto the grill grates.
Close the lid and let the crust get brown on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Use a metal spatula to gently lift the dough and check for brown grill marks on the underside.
Use a pizza peel or large metal spatula to flip the dough.
Working quickly, top the dough with the prepared ingredients, leaving a 1-inch border. Close the lid and cook until the toppings are heated through, any cheese is melted and the crust is brown, about 8 minutes.
Remove the pizza from the grill and enjoy!
Inspired? Check out some of our favorite pizza combinations on the following pages, fire up the grill and get that dough ready. Delicious grilled pizzas are just minutes away.
Break out the napkins! This pie is an over-the-top, vegetarian concoction with black-bean spread, Jack cheese, tomatoes, scallions, olives and pickled jalapenos; it's part nacho, part pizza. For an even more decadent treat, serve with low-fat sour cream. Beer pairing: Spicy foods need spicy beers—go for an India Pale Ale (IPA). If you're not a hop-head, the malty sweetness of brown ales work well with the sweeter elements on the pizza.
Eggplant Parm is spun into a pizza with grilled eggplant, marinara, fresh basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Beer pairing: Sweet and bitter elements on this pizza need a similarly balanced beer. A pale ale or amber ale fills the bill beautifully.
Here sweet ripe nectarines and salty prosciutto ham are arranged on a crust slathered with basil pesto and sprinkled with assertive blue and provolone cheeses. If you haven't tried pizza on the grill, you're missing one of the joys of outdoor cooking. Once you've mastered this technique, use it with any selection of toppings that float your boat.
Bell pepper, zucchini and a fresh tomato sauce give this vegetarian pizza a taste of summer. Beer pairing: Look for a brew without overpowering flavors, such as a lager or a less yeasty witbier, so the pizza's fresh, subtle flavors can shine.
Spiced ground lamb, feta and pine nuts top this Armenian-flavored pizza. Beer pairing: Break out the stout—the rich, sweet flavors from the lamb and pomegranate molasses yearn for an equally rich, sweet beer.