28 May 2015

Grilled pizza

 I've done a few blog posts about pizza over the years here on latent chestnut.  In fact, one of my very first posts was about pizza.  Ah, memories.  I've posted about my deep dish pizza, brick oven pizza, and Nonna's pizza.  I even took to Family Tree-Eats to talk about pizza once or twice.
Needless to say, I like pizza, and even though I love the classics, I like to change it up a bit every now and then.  Hence, my foray into the world of grilled pizza.  I got the idea from Alton Brown when he did a Good Eats episode on grilled pizza.  He gives instructions on how to make the dough and what toppings to use, but since I already have a 'go to' pizza crust recipe, I was really just more interested in technique.
Here's how I did it, based on AB's cooking instructions.  First, ignite all heating elements and pre-heat your gas grill to high, making sure the grill grates are clean and free of debris. Then, oil the grill grates and decrease all heating elements to medium. Brush one side of the dough with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil and flip onto the hot grill. I can do two crusts at a time on mine.  Close the grill lid and cook until the bottom of the crust is golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Brush the raw side of the dough with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil, then flip using a peel. Top with your desired sauce and toppings, then sprinkle with cheese. Close the lid again and cook until the bottom of crust is golden brown and the cheese has melted, another 1 to 2 minutes. Using the peel, remove the pizza to a cooling rack and let it rest a couple minutes before slicing.

Things happen really fast when grilling pizza.  The crust can begin to burn very quickly, so I stage my sauce, toppings, and cheese at the grill prior to putting the dough on the grates.  The oil is really the key because you don't want the crust to stick to the grates; so make sure to brush the crust and grates with enough oil to fully coat each. 

Even though it's a frenetic pace, the results are well worth it.  The grill gives the dough a wonderful crunch and crispiness I have not experienced with any other cooking method, and you can almost taste the fire and smokiness from the grill.  The inside of the dough still has the soft chewiness that we all know and love, too, so there is that element of the pizza that's familiar. 

I've enjoyed experimenting with this new cooking technique for my pizza and I have tried some toppings I may not have reached for if I was just cooking it in the oven.  Not that pizza could ever be boring, but it is nice to shake things up a bit every now and then.

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