Making pizza with a grill is nothing new. In fact, it may even be one of the best ways to cook this very famous and well-loved food. As you may well know, the heat needed to bake pizza in an oven is very high. So if you can do it outdoors, why not? But have you thought of how to grill pizza dough without charring or burning it?
Dough, generally, can be tricky to handle. It is either you get it right or you don’t. You would have to know the number of minutes to treat dough for different purposes before it is fit for use. And if you get it wrong, you may ruin your cooking.
Video: Making Grilled Pizza from Scratch
Nothing like seeing what you’ve been reading in a video, right? Watch as this book shows you what it is like making grilled pizza…
Now dough for pizza is a different kettle of fish. You have to decide the kind of crust you want – thick, medium or thin. This will inform how to treat the dough from the word go, whether it is store-bought or homemade.
Choosing The Right Dough to Grill
If you have never tried making pizza using a grill, you may feel overwhelmed about where to start and getting the right ingredients. And we all know how important the ingredients are, especially the dough.
Most types of dough will work beautifully on the grill. However, some may turn out better than others.
What Are The Important Things To Consider When Choosing The Right Dough?
The important things to consider when choosing the right dough are:
1. You will need a dough that is ‘tough’, not delicate. When we say tough, we don’t mean to the touch. We mean dough that can withstand the intense heat of the grill without disintegrating.
2. A thin crust will not hold up but will burn or char easily. A very thick crust may end up not getting cooked thoroughly. What you may end up having is a partly cooked and partly burnt dough. Balance is very essential here.
3. The dough must be able to handle any cooking oil well. Oil is an essential part of the preparation and of the dough doesn’t absorb it well, it could mar your pizza in the end.
4. Its flexibility is also important. The dough should work well whether you are ready to use it now for pizza or much later in the week. Not all dough types can do this well and not all refrigerate well.
5. How well it works with yeast is another factor. When you want to use it will determine the amount of yeast you use. And how well it accepts yeast will tell you if this is a good dough for the grill or not. Some dough types rise beautifully with yeast, giving you the result you want in the time you want.
6. Furthermore, its freezing ability. Most types of pizza dough sit well in the fridge for days without going bad. But not all can be frozen and remain good. Have a good thought about how well that pizza dough choice will hold under intense cold
You are going to be grilling. That means using a grate and a higher level of heat than the average oven. Will your everyday store-bought dough suffice or will it crack under the heat?
Grilling Your Pizza Dough
What Are The Steps to Getting Your Pizza Dough Grilled Right?
The steps involved in getting your pizza dough grilled right are:
1. Get the dough ready
2. Rub some oil on it
3. Place the dough on the grill
4. Spread the toppings
5. Let it Cook
Get the Dough Ready
How do you make your dough ready for grilling?
To make your dough ready for grilling do the following:
1. Thoroughly knead the dough to make it malleable to the touch. Then roll it out on a surface where you have already sprinkled some flour so it does not stick to it.
2. Roll the pin over it till it is flattened. This is where you decide if you want to keep it thick or thin. Whatever you decide, always keep in mind that you are laying it out over very intense heat. If you leave it too thick, the heat may cook some parts and leave others not well done. And if you leave it too thin, it may get burnt or at least, charred.
3. Additionally, you could play with the shape; make it into one you desire. It doesn’t have to be the traditional round shape with boring edges.
Rub Some Oil on It
When do you rub oil on your pizza dough?
Rub oil on your pizza dough when you are sure you have gotten the dough to the consistency you want – thick or thin – and sufficiently rolled it, rub some oil on one side of it. The oil will be on that side you put face-down on the grill. It is to keep the dough from sticking to the grill and from getting burnt easily. The oil also enables it to cook properly.
Remember the dough is dry, naturally. The oil will act as some sort of lubricant and flavor. You could opt for any cooking oil but olive oil is popular.
Place the Dough on the Grill
If you are sure you have oiled one side of the flattened dough properly, then it is time to place it on the grill to cook. The oiled side is where you will place face down, facing the heat of the grill.
You can opt to cook the dough with the grill’s lid on or off. If you choose to leave it on, then don’t let the cooking time exceed two minutes. But if you take the lid off, then you may leave the dough on the grill for about three minutes.
At intervals, you can use the grill’s tongs to raise it and see if the cooking is coming along fine. Yes, you oiled the dough and you are standing right there. But it can get tricky and with the intense heat, you may have an unpleasantly burnt dough in your hands. Even if it doesn’t get burnt, you don’t want it crispy just yet. Just having it cooked will suffice for now.
When you first put it on the grill, you can choose to rub a little coat of oil on the side of the dough facing up. This will equally help with thoroughly cooking the dough.
When this is done, you could choose to take the dough in and finish the preparation with your oven. The part about grilling the dough is practically done here. But why bother doing that when you can just get the rest finished out there?
In the event you opt to continue making your pizza with the grill, here is how to continue…
Spread the Toppings
How do you spread toppings over pizza dough while grilling?
You can spread your toppings over your pizza dough with your grill’s tongs or whatever other cooking utensils you are using. Turn the dough over to get the grilled side facing upwards. This will be easy to do because it was well-oiled before being placed on the grill.
Now, the side with the thin layer of oil is facing the heat so you have to be pretty fast. Of course, before now, you must have prepared every sauce and topping of your preference. So just spread a thin sauce layer, add some cheese if you like it, and scatter the toppings.
Whew, this is the tricky part. While you are looking for how to grill the dough, it is also important to get the full job done at once. That is if you are going to spend that time outside and so close to the heat, you might as well finish making your pizza, right?
In your hurry, remember not to make this mélange thick. Keep it moderate so that the heat will cook the pizza properly without having to burn the delicate dough. If you layer on the toppings too thick, you will have an undercooked pizza on your hands, with the possibility of a charred crust.
Let It Cook
Having done this properly, it is time to let the pizza cook. You can put the grill lid back on it and allow it to cook for about five or six minutes. But don’t leave the side of the grill so that you can tell if something starts going wrong.
You don’t have to open the lid every second to see how the pizza is doing. You could go with your nose. If there is a chance it is burning, you could shift the pizza away to another area atop the grill, a cooler one, so it doesn’t get burnt entirely. You could do this or simply turn the intense heat of the grill down.
The aroma will tell you when the pizza is well-cooked so you can remove it from the grill and not overcook it. By now, both sides of the dough are well done, with the edges looking crisp and good and the melted cheese, if you added any, spreading nicely.
Give the pizza a few minutes to cool before slicing it into triangles, or whatever shape you choose and you are good to go. Remember you can play with it; it doesn’t have to be the everyday shape and cut you get from the average pizzeria.
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Important to Note
Grills differ. What you get with one grill may differ from the next. Some grills may offer the option of indirect or direct heat. If you have a grill like this, use the direct heat and place your pizza over it directly.
And if your grill does not, go for 500 degrees, at least. You could turn up the heat if you are not a first-timer to using grills for pizza making. In all, it is important to know what type of grill you have and work according to what it offers.
Why Is Grilling Better For Your Pizza?
Grilling is better because your pizza will have a better chance of turning out fine with higher heat, which your grill offers. The crisper the crust, the better your pizza tastes.
Now, this may not mar anything for you but if you have a better option for cooking it, you will take it. You will be out in the open if you use a grill for making pizza so the heat is easily dissipated.
You already know the level of heat required to properly cook pizza. But if you are not so sure, you need to heat your oven to between 450 degrees to 500 degrees. If you have to do this inside your home, that would be a lot of heat for the whole house, let alone your kitchen. And if pizza is a meal you like preparing, imagine the discomfort.
In Concluding How to Grill Pizza Dough…
If you are a great pizza lover, then you may get to the point where you may want to learn how to make your own pizza with your special blend of spices and other toppings.
Choosing which cooking method to use for your pizza cooking adventure is important to note early. And picking the right kind of pizza dough is equally important.
Going the route of grilling for the first time may seem daunting, with the fear of making a mess of everything. And you may make a mess but there is nothing wrong with it. If you have someone more experienced to help out, especially in the grilling of the dough, that will go a long way for you. But if not, you go it on your own and after the first time, you will not make the same mistakes again.
Bottom line: cooking pizza on a grill is superb. And grilling pizza dough is usually better because it is faster and gives it a flavour that the oven can’t.