Making pizza on the grill may seem like making soufflé in the rice cooker, but it actually makes a lot of sense. The key to pizza is high heat, something your grill specializes in. All you need is a robust pile of charcoal (don’t skimp on the coals) or a gas grill and a pizza stone that’s smaller than the surface of your grill.
Build a fire, and when it’s hot enough that you can’t hold your hand over it for more than about three seconds, put the stone on the grill and close the lid. Once the stone has heated for at least 10 minutes, you proceed just as you would indoors. Place the crusts on the stone and cook about 5 minutes (until the bottom is browned). Now you have two choices: You can remove the crusts to a platter, cooked side up, build your pizzas and return them to the grill or flip the crusts and construct the pizzas while they’re still on the grill.
Once all your toppings are in place, close the lid and cook until the crust is brown and the toppings are thoroughly heated. That’s usually 6 to 8 minutes, but time can vary significantly; you’ll get a feel for it after a pie or two.
Because the heat source is from the bottom, use toppings that are precooked, and don’t overload your pie. Try it, and you’ll be convinced that the grill is an excellent pizza-maker. And, who knows, you may even rethink your rice cooker.
Grilled Vegetable and Sausage Pizza
You’ll need 1 to 2 pounds of fresh pizza dough, depending on the thickness of your crusts, for this recipe.
3 small yellow squash
2 medium red onions
2 medium tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 small (6-inch) rounds pizza dough
1 pound bulk Italian sausage, cooked and drained
2 cups grated Romano cheese
1 tablespoon each fresh parsley, thyme and rosemary
1. Cut squash into diagonal slices. Cut onions and tomatoes into thick slices. Brush with olive oil.
2. Heat grill to medium-high.
3. Place vegetables on grill grate over a medium-high heat (use a grill basket if you like); cook about 5 minutes, until vegetables are lightly browned and tender. Remove from grill.
4. Place pizza stone on grill. When hot, place dough rounds on stone. Cook about 5 minutes, until bottom is golden. Flip crusts over.
5. Place sausage on top of each crust. Top with grilled vegetables and cheese. Sprinkle fresh herbs on top. Cover grill. Cook 6 to 8 minutes, until bottoms are browned and toppings are thoroughly heated. Makes 6 pizzas. Serves 12.
Per serving: 370 calories, 15g fat, 22mg chol., 15g prot., 42g carbs., 2.5g fiber, 880mg sodium.
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Photo credit: Mark Boughton Photography; styling by Teresa Blackburn