Dishing Sisters

Who needs take out for America’s favorite food? Not us baby!

{Posted on June 13, 2011}

Last year I started playing around with pizza on the grill at the urging of my friend Annemarie in NY. A fellow foodie, she mastered it and knew that it would become a true favorite at our house as well. Can I say that not only has it become a fav, it’s become a staple each and every Friday night (or Sat night, or Sun night…)! Not only is it QUICK, and I mean minutes quick people, but it’s easy, fun and versatile!! My kind of meal…oh yeah, there’s no kitchen to heat up and almost NO dishes!

Grilled Pizza

There are so many ways to make this just starting with the crust.

Crust Options:

  • Premade crust (such as Boboli) – This is a good starting point if you’re a bit leery of the whole process. These are already cooked and just need to be warmed on the grill (med/lo heat). Just brush both sides with a little olive oil to create a little crunch, flip to warm both sides, add favorite toppings and remove when cheese melted and toppings are warmed through. (This works well but isn’t my fav…I prefer a more rustic, homemade pie!)
  • Tube pizza crust dough (such as Pillsbury in the dairy section) – Now this is a very good method. Not only is it easy, it’s still quick, you can choose between thick or thin crust and it gives the more homemade artisan look and taste to your creation. (Follow directions below)
  • Use your own homemade dough/buy dough from your local pizza joint-Here’s how to do dough: lightly coat a flat baking sheet with olive oil. Sprinkle the sheet with cornmeal…this adds an amazing texture and crunch! Lay the flattened dough out on the prepared sheet and stretch to desired size/shape, remember, it’s not supposed to look perfect…we’re looking for rustic here. I like mine thin and crispy so I pull it until I can almost see through it. Leaving it thicker will create a chewier, thicker crust if that’s your thing. Brush top side with olive oil as well.
  • You can cut the dough in quarters and make personal pizzas too, great for the kiddos!!

Selecting your toppings

Here’s your cue…go simple, go creative or go crazy – sky’s the limit my friends! (I will give you some of my favorite combos, just in case you don’t feel like thinking though.) But just make sure that all the ingredients are pre-cooked and will melt/warm quick. Saute and carmelize onions, peppers and other veggies first and have them ready to go!

Here is where you need to be organized. I get a tray filled with all my prepped toppings, cheese and sauce to bring out to the grill. (Sometimes, if I’m doing a “Deluxe” pizza, I just throw all the ingredients into one big bowl and mix it together so I can spread it all on quickly in handfuls.


Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Oil grill grates to ensure dough does not stick. Reduce heat to med/med-lo and lay the dough, cornmeal side up, on the grill. (I know, it seems like the dough will sag through the grates and be one nasty mess, but amazingly it doesn’t! It’ll starting cooking/rising immediately.) Don’t go too far, this doesn’t take long at all, especially if you’re doing a thin crust. In a couple of minutes, check the bottom of the pizza to make sure it isn’t burning. Once it’s nice and crisp (or baked to your liking), flip it over so the cornmeal side will start cooking and reduce heat to low. Immediately put your sauce then toppings on (I do sauce, a thin layer of mozzarella then the rest of my goodies, then another layer of mozz on top.) and close the lid and let the melting begin!

Within a few minutes the pizza should be a smoky, melty pie of deliciousness!

Remove from grill with 2 large spatulas onto the baking sheet for transport onto your cutting surface. Cut it in big squares or in long sticks for more of an appetizer type food.

Here are a few of my picks:

- Margarita Pizza: No pizza sauce, just olive oil, sliced tomatoes, fresh sliced mozzarella and fresh basil. This one is a terrific appetizer!

-BBQ Chicken Pizza: BBQ sauce, sauteed red onion, shredded chicken (from a rotisserie chicken, grilled leftovers or I’ve even used canned chicken breast in a pinch!), chopped cilantro and mozzarella cheese, or smoked gouda.

-Bacon, Chicken Ranch Pizza: Ranch dressing for the sauce, pre-cooked bacon bits, grilled or rotisserie chicken and cheese.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 Responses to Who needs take out for America’s favorite food? Not us baby!

  1. I tried your grilled pizza. I was hearing your words of wisdom and encouragement in my mind as I began. My one and only problem was I did not appreciate how quickly the crust cooks. I know you told me that it goes fast and your blog even states the same. I put the dough on the hot grill and went inside, grabbed the toppings, spatulas and hot pads to return to a nearly burned crust. I was only inside for what seemed like 30 seconds, but was probably 2 minutes at the most. We made two pizzas. One was salvaged and the other was not. The one we kept was a hit.

    I will try it again and I am sure I will have better results. I am going to do four things different the next time. I would also encourage anyone else who tries this to consider these too.
    1. Follow all of the preheating instructions
    2. Assemble all of the toppings and everything else that is needed BEFORE placing dough on the grill.
    3. Turn the heat way down to Low when placing the dough on the grill to minimize the risk of burning your hands and overcooking the dough.
    4. DO NOT leave the grill while cooking.

    Thank you for your creative ideas. It provides great new things to try and for me, interesting stories to tell.

    • I love it when all you DS peeps send me a line now and again! Suggestions, props, contributions, a little love (or even some hate), I’m happy to hear your voices.

      This recent comment came from another DS Bro (way to be vocal amigos!) and with it some great advice regarding the Grilled Pizza post. I can’t stress enough how delicious and easy these pizzas are but be forewarned – these baby’s are quick cookers so preparedness is a MUST! I usually put all my toppings in one big bowl, premix them together so I can just “dump and spread” as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence!

      And just so you don’t feel bad Matt, I too have had a few charred pies that have met the fate of the dumpster. Never fear, get back on that horse and try again…practice makes perfect!!