May 26, 2009

Grills Just Wanna Have Fun – Grilled Pizzas!

by IsaChandra

If you don’t have a pizza oven, the grill is the next best heat source for the kind of pizza that might get written up in New York magazine as like, the best ever and “I can’t believe you never heard of this place!” A crisp exterior with a chewy and airy bite that’s just this side of burnt – to me that is pizza perfection. I’ve learned my way around the grill over the years, after many misfires resulting in folded, ripped and otherwise no-fun pizza crusts, so here’s a couple of things I picked up. Any standard pizza crust should do, I use the one from Vegan With A Vengeance.

Lana showcases a rather toast-shaped pizza with grilled zuke, avocado and pesto

First off, forget about circles. In fact, forget about any shape you know. Instead of thinking your crust looks deformed think “rustic” and your grilled pizzas will be a different kind of perfect everytime.

Preheat the grill to medium heat. Throw some cornmeal onto a large cutting board, then press and roll the dough into a free-form shape. If you’re grilling it’s a safe bet that it’s warm outside, and so your dough is going to be floppy. It helps to keep the dough refrigerated until ready to use, that way it doesn’t flap in the breeze like so much laundry on the line when it comes time to grill it. I keep the dough kind of thick, too. It’s just easier to handle that way.

Brush some olive oil onto the top then carefully, but not too carefully, flip the crust onto the grill oiled side down. If you try to flip the dough and it immediately starts folding over or sticking, then stick it back into the fridge, cutting board and all, for just a few minutes.

Cook for about 5 minutes, rotating with a spatula once in awhile for even heating. It should be nice and dark with a few grill marks on the bottom. Flip the crust and add the toppings.

It’s important not to go too crazy with the sauce and toppings, you don’t want a soggy pizza or a droopy crust – it’s not a hammock, it’s a pizza. Shut the lid if you’re using cheeze, but if it still doesn’t melt, pop it in the oven broiler for a few.

The lovely Emiko with a pizza so bright she had to wear shades. 

For toppings I love to use whatever is seasonal, right now that’s asparagus, zucchini – we even have some early summer peaches!

Peaches, kalamata olives, garlic and herbs from my garden

Grilled asparagus, toasted pine nuts, homemade sausages, fresh tomatoes

Oh, and before I get barraged – the cheeze is a mix of Teese and Cheezly, both available at

Now get out there and you go grill!

  • May 26, 2009 at 6:55 pm: jess

    dammit Isa, now I can’t blog about my pizza today. but your funny circled pizzas still look delicious – and hip!

  • May 26, 2009 at 7:03 pm: Vegan Dad

    “It’s not a hammock, it’s a pizza.” Words to live by.

  • May 26, 2009 at 8:02 pm: Hello Veggie

    These look great! i wish I had a real grill, all I have is a grill pan. That just doesn’t cut it!

  • May 26, 2009 at 8:24 pm: Josiane

    Now, I can’t really justify buying a grill just for pizzas… or can I? Those look fabulous!

  • May 26, 2009 at 8:29 pm: Cherie

    Looks fabulous! Where’s a sexy pizza picture of you for the new PETA ads? :p

  • May 26, 2009 at 9:48 pm: Rose

    wow they look great, what a good idea!

  • May 26, 2009 at 10:00 pm: al oof

    another reason not to live in brooklyn: grilling! well, unless you are lucky and have a yard or some junk.


  • May 27, 2009 at 12:42 am: Amy

    Hooray for grilled pizzas! I just made some last week! I have found that an indoor grill pan works nicely if you are one without a yard.

  • May 27, 2009 at 1:36 am: Mo

    I love grilled pizza! I am in love with the idea of peaches and kalamatas on the same pizza. Mmm.

  • May 27, 2009 at 4:55 am: Melisser

    Dang! I need to try this.. can I come to your house & get lessons 1st?

  • May 27, 2009 at 10:03 pm: running turtle

    Hmmm,looks fantabulous. Ok ,do you mix that cornmeal with h2o or something ?

  • May 29, 2009 at 8:34 pm: debya

    Emiko is so new wave.

    When I had a grill in Brooklyn, I would cheat and cook the crust in the oven for a while before bringing it outside. Don’t tell anyone.

  • May 30, 2009 at 5:08 am: Jean

    I love pizzas, your pizzas look so yummy. What’s the difference between cooking in oven or grill as far as taste and cooking time is concerned?

  • June 4, 2009 at 4:11 pm: Joyce Evans Erb

    I tried finding the 2 cheeses at foodfightgrocery and it comes up as not found

  • July 31, 2009 at 6:07 pm: Simon

    Despite my thoughts of having to clean up a doughy BBQ, this method worked really well for me. I don’t really see the need for the corn meal though. I just rolled it out and then took it straight to the grill.

    The second time I tried it I took the crust off of the grill to dress it and then put it back on to cook the bottom side. I found this was better because the dough cooks so quickly when I first turned it over.

    Thanks for the post!

  • August 9, 2009 at 12:31 am: Island Hood

    Hey very nice! looked like an awesome bbq.

  • August 19, 2009 at 11:47 am: ?????????

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  • June 17, 2010 at 12:44 am: Samuel Hernandez

    oh i just love cooking and eating. i love to cook pasta recipes and the like.`”.

  • July 12, 2010 at 11:13 pm: Alfie Davies

    me and my mom always love to cook and eat delicious recipes:”`