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BBQ pizza. Make easy backyard grilled pizzas for a fun summer meal!

Updated on September 2, 2009
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BBQ Pizza

Backyard grilled pizzas are a great solution to a casual BBQ party, or fun summer meal.

I was so surprised at how easy it was to do! I envisioned a gloopy mess of pizza dough dripping through the bars of the grill, and was delighted when the dough firmed up almost instantly, and was easy to pick up and turn over.

These pizzas are great fun, and they're easier to do as individual pizzas, so everyone can enjoy their own personalized pizza, and everyone can take part in the meal.

The secret to a great grilled pizza is to keep it pretty simple. A grilled pizza should highlight one or two ingredients, and should be relatively thin; otherwise the toppings are unlikely to fully cook before the bottom of the crust begins to burn. Think Italian thin crust simplicity over a hearty deep dish Chicago style pizza.

These smoky grilled crisped and browned pizza crusts are a great change from the standard oven pizza.

Any dough and sauce combination will work well, although for best taste, a light and simple tomato sauce is preferred.

Grilled Pizza Steps

  1. Preheat you BBQ over medium high heat, with the lid closed.
  2. Make your pizza dough, and allow to proof until ready to be used. Roll (or spin over your head!) out the number of desired pizzas. Don't worry about a perfectly circular shape, but do try to make the dough relatively thin. About ¼ inch thick will be perfect.
  3. Prepare all the toppings, sauce, and grated cheese to be readily accessible at the grill.
  4. Take everything outside.
  5. Make sure that the grill is very clean and ready for the dough. You don't want yesterday's burnt burgers on the base of your pizza!
  6. Take one of the dough rounds, and place it laid out on the hot grill. Wait for about 1 minute, and flip it over. It should be easily movable; but if the dough is stuck to the bars, that means it needs a little more time before flipping. When the dough is ready, it will release from the grill.
  7. Working quickly, arrange your sauce, toppings and cheese onto the flipped and cooked side of the pizza base. You are going to cook these pizzas for another minute or so, so you really want to keep the toppings pretty thin.
  8. Close the lid, and allow the cheese on to to melt. When it is melted, the pizza is done.

These are really easy to make, and will cook in about 4 minutes. To guarantee success, keep the pizzas small until you really get the hang of the technique, and keep the toppings relatively light.

Basic pizza dough recipe, adapted from a recipe from "The Bread Baker's Apprentice"

  • 4/12 cups of bread flour
  • 11/2 tsps pf salt
  • 2 tbls of olive oil
  • 1 ¾ cups of water
  • 1 tsp yeast
  1. Mix together all of the ingredients, and knead for 10-15 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.
  2. Let rise for an hour or so, or until it has doubled in size, and it is ready to use.
  3. The dough will benefit from as many as 3 or 4 rises, if you have the time; the longer the rising time, the better the eventual dough.

You can also pre-make the dough a couple of days before the party, and keep refrigerated until ready to use; and any extra dough can be kept in the freezer for an easy start to your next pizza party.

A good basic tomato sauce

I like a very simple tomato sauce for these grilled pizzas.

  1. Roast about 2 lbs of tomatoes in the oven over high heat, until they have spit, and are starting to blacken.
  2. Peel the skin off, squeeze the seeds out, and pop in a blender.
  3. Add extra virgin olive oil and salt to taste, and you are done.


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