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All Up In Your Grill

20040708-pizzagrill.jpgThe New York Daily News yesterday printed a simple recipe for grilled pizza. Those of you with grills might want to give it a go. The dough looks easy enough to make, if you have a food processor. Don't have a Cuisinart? Find a dough-by-hand recipe and adapt it. Seems like any pizza dough would work, as long as it's the right thickness—no thinner than one-eighth of an inch, to avoid making a giant cracker.

Don't have grill access or don't want to bother? Try the following grilled-pizza pizzerias recommended by New York Metro: Gonzo, Fresco by Scotto, Scopo, and Crispo. (Seems like you have to have a name ending in o to run a grilled-pizzeria in Gotham.)

Update: Our Step-by-Step Grilled-Pizza Guide!

Editor's note (5/27/2010): OK, I know I said I wasn't going to hold your hand through this, but so many people have asked for detailed instrux during the summer grilling season that we have put together The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Grilling Pizza. And though I still think the tips below are good, this all-new updated guide is even better — especially for beginning pizza-grillers!
Check it out here! »

Grilled pizza, which was invented in Providence, Rhode Island, by George Germon of Al Forno, seems so easy, in fact, that Slice just may try it for ourselves this weekend. (Our grill, right, has been woefully neglected the last couple of weeks and could stand the use.) We have a recipe from the May issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine that we've been meaning to try. Or, we could go straight to the horse's mouth, and use this recipe from Germon and partner Johanne Killeen.

Armed with this handful of recipes, some good-quality ingredients, and this nice step-by-step guide we found on the web, we have no doubt we'll be enjoying smoky delicious grilled pizzas by mid-evening on Saturday.

Grilled Pizza Margarita


6 ounces Pizza Dough, recipe follows
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing and drizzling
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/2 cup loosely packed shredded fontina cheese
2 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano
6 tablespoons chopped canned tomatoes in heavy puree
8 basil leaves


1. Prepare a hot charcoal fire, setting the grill rack 3 to 4 inches above the coals. On a large, oiled, inverted baking sheet, spread and flatten the pizza dough with your hands into a 10 to 12-inch free form circle, 1/8-inch thick. Do not make a lip. You may end up with a rectangle rather than a circle; the shape is unimportant, but do take care to maintain an even thickness.

2. When the fire is hot (when you can hold your hand over the coals for 3 to 4 seconds at a distance of 5 inches), use your fingertips to lift the dough gently by the two corners closest to you, and drape in onto the grill. Catch the loose edge on the grill first and slide the remaining dough into place over the fire. Within a minute the dough will puff slightly, the underside will stiffen, and grill marks will appear.

3. Using tongs, immediately flip the crust over, onto the coolest part of the grill. Quickly brush the grilled surface with olive oil. Scatter the garlic and cheeses over the dough, and spoon dollops of tomato over the cheese. Do not cover the entire surface of the pizza with tomatoes. Finally, drizzle the pizza with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

4. Slide the pizza back toward the hot coals, but not directly over them. Using tongs, rotate the pizza frequently so that different sections receive high heat; check the underside often to see that it is not burning. The pizza is done when the top is bubbly and the cheese melted, about 6 to 8 minutes. Serve at once, topped with the basil leaves and additional olive oil, if desired.

Pizza Dough

- makes 2 large or 4 small pizzas -


1 tablespoon active dry yeast
6 cups high-gluten flour
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil


1. Sprinkle the yeast over 1/2 cup warm (105 to 110°F) water and allow it to dissolve and activate, about 5 minutes.

2. Combine the flour and salt and mound it onto a cool work surface, creating a high walled well in the center. Combine the yeast mixture with 1 1/2 cups of cool water and pour into the well. Slowly begin to mix the water and flour, a little at a time, moving your fingers in short, counter clockwise circles around the border of the water. When the dough is firm enough to hold its shape, scrape the remaining flour over it and knead until the mass is smooth and shiny, approximately 7 minutes.

3. Transfer the dough to a bowl that has been brushed with olive oil. Brush the top of the dough with olive oil to prevent a skin from forming, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place away from drafts until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

4. Punch down the dough and knead once more. Let the dough rise again for about 40 minutes, punch down again and form into dough balls.

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