It’s summer. It’s one hundred degrees outside. You don’t want to turn on the oven. What do you do? Light up the grill. What do you grill? Chicken? Burgers? What about pizza? Yep — you can cook pizza right on the grill, and the flavor is beyond comparison to pizza cooked in the oven. But before you light up, here are 7 do’s and don’ts I’ve learned from grilling pizza.
Do Get The Grill Temperature Extremely High
We’re talking 500 degrees high. This works best on a gas grill, however, if grilling with gas seems sacrilegious to all you die-hard charcoal fans, make sure after you dump the coals to work quickly before they lose their heat.
Don’t Use Parchment
Parchment in the oven? Fine. Parchment on the grill? Not fine. It may be easier to transfer your pizza onto the grill, but (speaking from past experience) the parchment will burn, damage the grates on your grill, and leave a carbonized aftertaste to your pizza. Yuck. The solution? Flour your surfaces and use a pizza peel.
Do Let Your Dough Rest
If your dough has an elasticity or pulls back when rolling it out, don’t fight it. Walk away for 10 or 15 minutes to allow the gluten to relax. By doing so, the dough will be easier to stretch with less resistance. More pizza crust equals more room for toppings, and more toppings equals more joy. It just makes sense.
Don’t Spread Your Dough Too Thin
That being said though, you don’t want to spread your dough too thin. The thinner your pizza’s crust is, the more difficult it will be to transfer. Holes are made for eggs and toast — not pizza.
Do Choose Your Toppings Wisely
Anything packed in oil — artichokes, anchovies, olives — should be rinsed before going on the pizza, or at least dried off with a paper towel. You don’t want your toppings swimming in a pool of oil, throwing off other flavors and textures, and making your pizza soggy. No one likes soggy pizza.
Don’t Walk Away From The Grill
Pizza cooks fast. Make sure to hover by your grill while your pizza is cooking, keeping a close eye out for any burning. It’s okay to peek under the crust or to rotate the pizza itself, making sure you’re getting a nice, even char.
Do Have Fun With It
Remember to breathe, relax. There’s no point in crying over spilled milk — or in this case, burned pizza. And if all else fails — call your nearest pizza joint and try again tomorrow.