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whoa, that is huge

Recipe: grilled pizza

I love those holiday weekends where you get three days off! Jeremy and I actually worked for most of the weekend, but I quite enjoy his company – even when we’re working. Of course, it feels like Monday today even though it is Tuesday and I’m starting to freak out that I am missing a day where I thought there should be more time. September is FRENZY time, but in a very very good way (as long as I don’t lose it, then yes, ’tis good). Last Thursday, my lovely Manisha and I met with Marc and his good friend, Brian for a quick happy hour nosh in Boulder. The guys were on a road trip across (and around) the country. Marc is the husband of dear, sweet Bri (Figs with Bri), one of our own – a fellow food blogger who passed away last November from breast cancer. It was a delight to finally meet Marc. He is as gentle and warm as anyone you could ever find. We all had a wonderful time before the fellas had to hit the road.

marc and brian on their way to carbondale

Phase 3 of my upgrade is complete (now on to phases 4 and 5). Phase 3 is the reason for all of the other upgrades because this bad boy is a pretty demanding little brat (but he’s MY demanding little brat now). Don’t think for a second that the price tag on the camera body is your only cost, because it isn’t. *sob*

i call it (on the left) the big one

Okay, before people start emailing and asking if they need a D3x to take pictures for their food blog, the answer is an unequivocal “NO. Are you insane?!” You’d have to be smoking crack to think you need 24.5 megapixels to shoot a cookie to post on a blog, because… YOU DON’T. I continue to shoot with my old camera in the kitchen which is more than adequate. The new camera is intended for outdoor use, under adult supervision only…

the color is coming

It wasn’t until I began food blogging that Jeremy and I finally got homemade oven pizza right. I don’t even want to think about the pizzas we made BB – before blogging. These days we don’t even have to think twice when we crank out several thin crust pizzas from our crappy oven. (It’s okay, I can live with a crappy oven as it still ovens, I mean bakes…) But there has been a lot of talk and tweeting about grilled pizzas and despite having a crappy grill (seeing a pattern here…) I wanted to give it a try. I like grilling.

kaweah is all about the toppings

More than anything, I think the biggest hurdle to overcome is how to get the pizza dough onto the grill without destroying it. We had a rehearsal that went very very badly. That’s all I’m going to say about that. We learned on the second time around that it is a good idea to remove the upper grill rack and that a little extra olive oil on the baking sheet helps to release the dough and avoid a lot of swearing and burnt fingers. We don’t own a pizza peel and considering what we just spent on the camera, we’re not going to own one for a long time.

there is a reason i don’t post the disasters (too busy cussing to take a picture)

have the toppings at the ready

The pizza dough took very little time to begin puffing and crisping. If there is one thing our grill can do it is run on high (sort of). Only a couple of minutes and the grill marks had developed – unevenly of course, but that’s because our grill is lame. We flipped the dough over and onto the other half of the grill where the burner was off – otherwise you’d get a carbonized pizza. Working quickly, we spread the sauce and added toppings before shutting the lid on the grill to let it get hot. Oh, and just a bit of very good advice that comes from everyone who does this: less is better. Avoid the temptation to load your pizza with too many toppings.

some cheese

a little prosciutto

Our grill just doesn’t get hot enough with the one burner trick, and when I asked Jeremy if the pizza was ready he said, “It needs more -” and I told him to take the damn pizza off the grill because I was hungry and the sun was setting. We sat there contemplating the pizza while Kaweah watched attentively for anything to drop on the deck. Our verdict – our crappy oven works better than our crappy grill. While I can see the appeal of grilled pizza, I can’t see the appeal of grilling pizza on our grill. But don’t let that keep you from giving it a try if you have a hankering for grilled pizza.

not bad considering it wasn’t as melty as i prefer

Grilled Pizza
[print recipe]
with guidance from 101 Cookbooks

you favorite pizza dough (here’s one from the daring bakers, or this easy one from the KitchenAid Mixer book)
pizza sauce, tomato, pesto, white/garlic – whatever floats your boat
toppings: prosciutto, arugula, mozzarella, parmesan, pepperoni, broccoli, mushrooms, olives, feta – you choose

Clean the grate on the grill. We like to oil the grate after cleaning with a little non-flavored vegetable oil. Turn the heat on high and close the lid (we have a gas grill, if you have a charcoal – do the equivalent). Have all of your toppings and sauces at the ready and near the grill. When your dough is ready, pull it to your desired thickness. Obviously, you will want to make the pizzas small enough to fit on/in your grill or else perhaps you shouldn’t be cooking… just saying. Drop the dough onto the grill over the hot flame or coals. We did this by placing our dough on the back of a lightly oiled unrimmed baking sheet and then turning the baking sheet upside down over the grill and releasing the dough with as little distortion as possible. It will only take a few minutes for the dough to bubble and puff. When grill marks have developed on the bottom, flip the dough over and onto the other side of the grill where the burner is turned off. Spread a light layer of sauce and toppings (remember, don’t overload with toppings!) quickly and close the lid of the grill. Check every few minutes and turn the pizza 90 degrees until it is done. Serve hot.

35 nibbles at “whoa, that is huge”

  1. Tartelette says:

    It looks great! Even for what you call a miss, I’d still eat it! We love grilling pizzas and I know the only reason it works is because my dad got us a decent grill when we moved nad finally had a decent deck. Our neighbors use their Green Egg for grilled pizzas and they’re pretty awesome that way.
    Love your topping. Fresh and to the point!

  2. Tony says:

    congrats on your new baby!
    one of the best purchases I’ve made is a pizza stone that I keep in my oven at all times. you don’t even need to buy it at a restaurant supply store, a porous $2-3 tile from a hardware store works perfectly (make sure it’s pure and has not been treated witch chemicals though).
    the pizza looks great – and prosciutto on anything makes me happy :D

  3. TheKitchenWitch says:

    That is one damn fine Mr. Big of a camera there, baby!

    And the things you call a “fail,” girlfriend! Looks dee-lish.

    Can’t wait to see all of the fall foliage pics this year.

  4. Phoo-D says:

    This looks pretty darn tasty to me! And those cameras – holy hunka love. Wow. Can’t wait to see your fall pics!

    (If you are in pursuit of pizza you really should consider spending the $14 and get a peel. I cursed at baking sheets for a while before getting one and they just don’t work the same! One way to keep the grill hot is to just take the pizza off with the peel, flip, load with toppings, and then use the peel to return it to the heat.)

  5. charlane says:

    yum pizza

    and a new camera? congrats

  6. Rosa says:

    Those pizzas look incredibly scrumptious! They must have a wonderful flavor…

    I’m jealous, I’d also love to have such a big camera ;-p!



  7. Anh says:

    I so want to have a BBQ so I can do grill pizza. Love your photos as always.

  8. barbara says:

    I’ve never tried grilled pizza. Actually i’d never heard of cookuing a pizza on a grill. I now use a pizza stone in the oven after getting it for my birthday. I’ve read you can recreate a wood fired oven by placing a second pizza stone on the top shelf so the pizza cooks between the two stones.

  9. Fiona says:

    Ok, well I sympathize. And since I want you to be happy, you can just let me eat all your failures. I’m willing to sacrifice myself like that. No, really. It’s selfless, entirely so.

    Meanwhile, I agree with the Kitchen Witch – fall’s coming and your new Big Boy should make the blog even more delicious.

  10. Abby says:

    I know nothing about photography or cameras, but I know that baby is a real treat! I take my first photography course this weekend; I’m trying to find out if this is something I want to pursue For Real.

    Ditto on the pizza thing and food blogging. I use Smitten’s dough recipe, and it’s fab.

  11. Judy says:

    My son-in-law made grilled pizzas for us last September when we visited. They were so delicious we couldn’t stop eating them. Someday, when my back deck is fixed up, I will anoint it with a bbq. I wish I could reach out and grab one of your pizzas right now!

  12. ladyironchef says:

    Hello there, drop by from foodgawker because of yr tempting pizza shot. hee! congrats on the new toy! :)

  13. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy says:

    Now, THAT is a pizza! It’s just soooo much better when you make your own. Domino’s has nothing on you, girl!

    And, that camera is very impressive! I don’t think I’d even know what to do with that big boy! ;)

  14. Diana Banana says:

    Initially when you mentioned needing to be careful to get the pizza on the grill, I thought “Wow, how does she prevent all the toppings from falling off during the transfer?” Duhhh…I’m sure there’d be a whole lot more cursing if I was attempting this!

    The “more expensive camera = better pictures” theory is just as annoying as the “more expensive pots = better tasting food” theory. You can’t buy skill, people!

  15. Lynn @ human, being says:

    the cameras?


  16. emhuze says:

    Have you thought about a wood-fired oven? Love wood-fired pizza… ooh la la.

  17. Meeta says:

    *sob* i still want that to take pictures of my cookies – and out doors – hec i just want one.

    can’t believe you call this a disaster! then it must be the camera making it look so good – *sob*

    hugs to you!

  18. Ronine says:

    Grilled pizzas is a whole new phenomenon to me so thanks for attempting it – and of course I must comment on the Kaweah photo: she is adorable and attentive as always :)

  19. Hilda says:

    That pizza looks pretty damn good to me. And I totally laughed when I saw your title. I handled a D3x in the store a few weeks ago and thought about doing a runner with it, but it was SO big, and also my hubby was handling my “actual” baby and that would probably have been bad if I’d run away with the camera instead.
    Incidentally, at the risk of sounding stalker-ish, can you see my occasional tweets to you? I seem to be having a problem w/ some other people receiving tweets ever since I protected my updates.

  20. vt says:

    if you don’t want to fire up the grill, i’ve also figured out a way to cook a great pizza in the broiler with a preheated cast iron skillet. see

  21. Lindsey says:

    I make pizza in the oven all the time, we have the pizza stone and a pizza peel, but I have never tried on the grill…it kind of scares me a bit, and I can see where getting the dough onto the grill could be a big issue…

  22. Lori says:

    Carbondale? As in PA? My parents are from there.

    I have been searching high and low for a Nikon- wanted the d40 but have not found it to be in my price range yet. I have a Nikon macro lens that I bought many moons ago. It is one amazing lens and I would love to use it on a Nikon digital body. Its on my Christmas list though.

    The pizza looks amazing- I keep wanting to do grilled pizza.

  23. Kate says:

    Yum! I’ve done grilled pizza with my stone, but not straight on the grill yet. I wonder if a gluten free crust would hold up on the grill? Any thoughts?

  24. Lisa says:

    We used to have grilled vegetable pizza (gilled vegetales first and put them on as toppings) in the Regatta Resturant here and we loved it very much. However, two months ago we ordered the vegie pizza and it turned out terrible. I guess that they have different pizza chef now.

  25. Valérie says:

    Cool! We love making pizza at our place, but for lack of a grill, we have to use the oven. We make due, though. Still, grilling must give it a wonderful texture and aroma!

  26. Ruth says:

    I love it!! I looks beautiful, I grilled pizzas all last Summer unto the Fall, even use the pizza stone on the grill and it works great to, I love your blog, you are one incredibly talented lady!!!

  27. Melissa says:

    Really awesome that you got to meet Marc. Definitely.

    And Kaweah’s eyes? They melt me, they do.

  28. Asianmommy says:

    Never thought to put pizza on the grill. Yours looks delicious!

  29. Dragana says:

    Jen – I think your pizza looks delicious! I agree with you – keep the toppings simple.
    To help with releasing the dough onto the grill: I put a lot of ground cornmeal on the unrimmed baking sheet under the dough and the dough slides right off with no problem.

  30. christina says:

    I like the pic of the cameras!

    I’ve always wanted to grill pizzas, but I haven’t in case something happens. I envision flames shooting up and dough falling between the grills.

  31. Eesh says:

    The picture of Kaweah with the toppings is just fantastic. What incredible eyes.

  32. Karen says:

    I’ve been making some fantastic grilled pizza for the last several months. A couple of tricks I’ve picked up:

    1. After rolling out the dough, spray with some olive oil or canola (or really any cooking oil of choice) on the side to go down on the grill grates.

    2.) Slap oil-side down on HOT grill for 3-5 mins.

    3.) I then pull it off (usually using tongs and maybe the aid of a spatula–usually comes right off since I’ve sprayed with a light coating of oil) and place grilled side down on cookie sheet or tray.

    4.) Spray uncooked side with oil and flip.

    5.) Load toppings onto grilled side.

    6.) Place back on grill until done.

    I agree, less is more with the toppings. I also like to brush some garlic oil on the grilled side before adding sauce and other toppings. This is one of my favorite things!

  33. jenyu says:

    Thanks everyone, but you give me way too much credit. This pizza was the second attempt, it wasn’t the miss. The first attempt didn’t fare well at all. AT ALL ;) Also appreciate all of the tips and pointers from you pizza experts. Maybe our next pizzas won’t induce so much cussing.

    Barbara – brilliant. Thanks!

    Fiona – well, I need you to move in next door so I can unload all of my extra food on you! :)

    Diana Banana – AMEN to that, hon!! :)

    emhuze – I’m lucky to just have a crappy oven and crappy grill right now! ha ha!

    Hilda – no I don’t see your tweets to me although that happens with many other tweets too. Tweetdeck AND twitter have been really messed up lately. Makes me crazy!

    Lori – nope, Carbondale, Colorado.

    Kate – I wouldn’t know about a gluten free crust (I have issues enough with a gluten-full crust). I would check with glutenfreegirl – she is amazing and knowledgeable in all things GF!

  34. Lisa is Bossy says:

    Um so… only 1 question. What did you use to TAKE the picture of Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear? That would mean you actually own FOUR bodies?… *ponder*

  35. jenyu says:

    Lisa – Canon Elph (5 years old) – it’s great! :) That’s “Jeremy’s” camera, but I use it when I have to take family portraits like these :)

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