Pizza Baked on the Barbie

bbq pizza photo

A few years back I was remodeling my kitchen and I wanted to install a pizza oven. I thought it would be fun to make homemade pizzas for family and for parties.

At the time, there were very few options that didn’t cost a ton of money. All the so-called “designer” pizza ovens were not only thousands of dollars, but the cost to install them was also a bit outrageous. We are talking about pizza, not truffles and caviar (although those might be interesting toppings).

So, I resigned myself to the fact that I would not enjoy crafting my own pizza recipes after all. Sigh.¦

Suddenly, I realized I already had a pizza oven. It was called a barbecue grill! Mine happens to be gas-powered with a thermometer on the outside of the heavy lid. (It is very important that the barbecue grill unit be heavy duty because these pizzas bake at around 650ºF-700ºF, much hotter than your regular kitchen range oven.)

After a few tries (well, maybe 10), I got a result that I liked. Every pizza takes some patience, but like all things worth doing, cooking pizza on the barbecue grill takes practice and perseverance. (My perfect barbecue-grilled pizza has bubbling cheese on top with a slightly brown crust).

Here are 8 quick tips:

  1. Use a pizza stone placed directly on the grill. Heat it up at 550ºF for about 45 minutes. (I tried using a pizza pan at first, but the stone helps regulate an even temperature and helps prevent burning).
  2. Turn up the grill to a thermometer reading of approximately 700ºF after the stone is hot.
  3. Have your favorite dough ready, and all the toppings (for pizza recipes and other ideas, see www.pizzatherapy.com )
  4. Work quickly when placing any sauce and toppings on the dough.
  5. Slide decorated uncooked pizza onto the heated pizza stone.
  6. Bake pizza for approximately 7-10 minutes with lid closed. Watch it carefully to prevent burning.
  7. Invest in a pizza peel (the wooden paddle used by pizza pros).
  8. Have guests make their own pizzas. Have an assortment of toppings (including ones that can be used for dessert pizzas). This is a fun and creative activity for a group and is a lot less work for you. Maybe one of these will end up in your family cookbook!

P.S. If you have the new-fangled infrared type of barbecue grill, you can actually sear the top and make it crispy. Yum!

Happy cookbooking,

Erin

About Erin Miller

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