RECIPE: Outdoor Grilled Pizza

September 30, 2015, 12:35 PM HST
* Updated September 8, 11:50 AM
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For a “fun in the sun” grill party, these tasty, thin, crisp Italian style pizzas are hard to beat!

Have the sauce and toppings ready to go in little dishes on a tray by the grill for your guests to customize their own pizza.

Makes 4 (9-inch) pizzas






Pizza Ingredients:

  • Oven roasted tomato sauce or Bail Pesto
  • Various toppings (salami, sausage, prosciutto, cooked sliced potato, sliced onions, roasted red pepper, crumbled feta cheese, sauteed mushrooms, olives)
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing
  • 12 ounces mozzarella, coarsely grated (3 cups)
  • Homemade pizza dough (recipe follows) or 2 pounds thawed frozen pizza dough, divided and formed into 4 balls
  • Flour for dusting

Suggested Grill equipment:  a 22 1/2-inch charcoal kettle grill and a charcoal chimney or a gas grill.


Homemade Pizza Dough

1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)

4 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading and dredging

1 1/2 cups warm water (105-115F)

2 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons olive oil

  1. Stir together yeast, 1 tablespoon flour, and 1/4 cup warm water in a measuring cup and let stand until the mixture appears creamy on surface, about 5 minutes. (If it doesn’t, discard and start over with new yeast.)
  2. Stir together 3 1/4 cups flour and salt in a large bowl, then add yeast mixture, oil, and remaining 1/2 cup warm water and stir until smooth.
  3. Stir in enough of remaining flour (1/4 cup at a time) for dough to come away from side of bowl.
  4. Knead dough on a work surface with floured hands, reflouring work surface and hands when dough becomes too sticky, until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 8 minutes.
  5. Divide dough into quarters, then form 4 balls.
  6. Generously dust balls all over with flour and put each in a medium oiled bowl.
  7. Cover bowls with plastic wrap and let dough rise until doubled in bulk for about 1 1/4 hours.

The dough can be allowed to rise and then be refrigerated. Store in plastic Ziploc bags if you choose to make the dough ahead of time. Bring to room temperature before using.

Pizza toppings. Photo credit: Kristin Frost Albrecht.

Pizza toppings. Photo credit: Kristin Frost Albrecht.

Form pizza rounds or oblongs:

  1. Punch down dough.
  2. Gently dredge 1 ball of dough in a dusting of flour to coat, then transfer to a lightly floured work surface.
  3. Holding one edge of floured dough in the air with both hands and letting bottom touch work surface, carefully move hands around edge of dough, allowing weight of dough to stretch round to roughly 7 inches in diameter.
  4. Lay dough round flat on floured surface and continue to stretch by pressing the dough with your fingertips, working from center outward to the edge, stretching it into an approximate 9-inch round or oblong shape.
  5. Transfer to a large tray covered with parchment paper and make another shape in same manner, separating finished dough with more parchment paper.
  6. Let rolled pizza dough sit to puff slightly while preparing grill, about 10 to 20 minutes.

To prepare charcoal grill:

Open vents on bottom of grill and on lid. Light a heaping pile of charcoal and pour it evenly over 2 opposite sides of bottom rack (you will have a double or triple layer of charcoal), leaving clear a 9-inch-wide strip in middle (for grilling over indirect heat).

Charcoal fire is at medium-hot when you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack for 3 to 4 seconds.

To prepare gas grill:

Preheat burners on high, covered for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to moderate.

To grill pizzas by either method:

  1. Lightly brush first rolled dough with oil.
  2. Carefully flip rolled dough, oiled side down, from parchment paper onto middle of grill rack and brush top of each with oil. (note:  if you end up needing to use your hands to get the dough on the grill, don’t worry if the shape changes — it will just add to its rustic charm and be delicious regardless of the shape).
  3. Grill crust, uncovered, until underside is golden brown (rotate if 1 side of grill is hotter than the other), 2 to 3 minutes on gas grill or 4 to 6 minutes on charcoal grill.
  4. Flip crust over with tongs and a spatula and brush with oil.
  5. Top each crust with tomato or pesto sauce, spreading evenly over dough and leaving a 1/2-inch border around edge.
  6. Sprinkle ingredients over sauce, being careful not to overload the pizza.
  7. Grill pizzas, covered with grill lid, until undersides are golden brown and cheese is melted, about 3 minutes on gas grill or 5 minutes on charcoal grill.

This post has been a contribution by Kristin Frost Albrecht on behalf of The Food Basket, Hawai’i Island’s Food Bank.

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