It’s that time of year again spring days are turning warmer. Memorial Day weekend is almost here to kick off the summer. And everyone knows the long May weekend means one thing, BBQ. So let’s spend Memorial Day grilling pizzas!
It’s time to clean up the grill and get ready to fire it up for the first BBQ of the season. While grilling season usually means hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken legs, you can always add more food to the fire. Grilling pizzas adds more variety to your grill menu.
We love to mix it up and use the grill for more than just the staples. If you have never tried making pizzas on the grill you will be pleasantly surprised at just how easy it is to get a great pizza. Grilling pizzas is an excellent way to quickly cook a pizza and perfectly char a crust.
So when you are firing up the grill go ahead and get ready to try something new. We lay it out, plain and simple, the best way to get your grill on and make some pizza pies.
So gather your supplies and get ready to learn everything there is to know about grilling pizzas.
What You Need for Grilling Pizza
- Grill (gas or charcoal)
- Baking sheet or pizza peel
- Cutting board
- Pastry brush
- Pizza cutter
- Grilling tongs
- Heat resistant gloves (optional)
For the Pizza
You can make any type of pizza on the grill here are some of our suggestions.
- Dough (homemade, store-bought, yeast free dough)
- Sauce (marinara, white sauce, Alfredo, pesto)
- Cheese (mozzarella, Parmesano Reggiano, Fontina, Manchego)
Your Favorite Toppings
Here are a few of our favorites.
If you are using wet ingredients like pineapple or artichokes, you will need to remove some moisture. Just wrap them in paper towels and give them a little squeeze to dry them off. This helps keep your pizza from getting too soggy.
If you are using mushrooms instead of washing them in water it’s better to take a damp paper towel and wipe them. Surprisingly mushrooms have a high water content so its best not to add to that by washing them under water.
How to Grill Pizza
Grilling pizzas is a fun way to use your grill and it is the closest thing to having a wood-fired pizza oven. The pizzas get that charred crust that makes wood-fired pizzas so perfect.
The first step is to get your grill started. If you are using a charcoal grill, they generally needs around 15-20 minutes to get started and heated. If you are using a gas grill, it’s much faster. Ideally, you want your grill to be about 400° to 500° Fahrenheit.
Most grills have a thermometer, but if you are using a more primitive one like at a campsite or park then you can use this simple test to see if it’s ready. Hold your hand over the grill about five inches above the grates.
When you can only tolerate two seconds then the grill should be ready. Of course, be careful and never let a child near the grill unsupervised.
Ok, so while the grill is heating up, prepare the dough. You can use any kind of dough you like, if you are using dough that has been in the fridge or freezer, then remove it from the cold about one hour before you plan to use it.
While the grill is heating up brush some olive oil on the grill. This will help keep the dough from sticking to the grill grate.
Next, sprinkle flour on a pizza peel or a baking sheet and stretch out the dough. Brush one side of the dough with olive oil and slide it on the grill with the olive oil side on the grates.
Many home pizza chefs worry that the dough will fall through the grates. As long as the grill is hot enough that won’t happen. So take the time to make sure the grill is properly preheated.
Let the dough cook on one side for about two to three minutes. Then, slide the dough off and add your sauce, toppings, and cheese to the grilled side of the dough. Then, slide the pizza back onto the grill so that it can cook for another three minutes.
That’s it. Easy peasy.
Pro Tips For Memorial Day Grilling Pizzas
- Prep ingredients beforehand. Grilling pizzas happens very quickly, and you will want to have all of your ingredients prepped. In cooking, this is called mise en place. This is a French cooking term that means everything in its place. So grate your cheese, slice your veggies, and have all of your tools at hand.
- Cook uncured meats and hard veggies before putting them on pizza. Grilling pizzas at a high temperatures speeds up the entire cooking process, so certain veggies like onions, mushrooms, and peppers don’t have much time to cook.
- Any uncooked meats like chorizo and fresh Italian sausage must be thoroughly cooked beforehand. Pepperoni, prosciutto salami are all cured, so they are fine. Any salmon, tuna, shrimp, or other kinds of seafood must be smoked or precooked.
- Don’t overload the pizza with too many toppings. You don’t want to have the pizza too heavy or soggy.
- Do get creative with your grill. Try grilling thinly sliced eggplants or zucchini for a smoky topping. Grilled pineapple and stone fruits make great deserts for a family BBQ. Red onions and whole jalapeños are great to throw on the fire too.
Serve Some Sauce
Grilling pizzas gives the crust the perfect chewy texture making it great for dipping. We like to make a Chimichurri sauce to dip our grilled slices into. But you can use your favorite dipping sauces for homemade pizza. Trust us you will want to eat every last bite of that grilled crust.
How do you celebrate Memorial Day? Are you planning on grilling pizza?