Friday night was pizza night (boy, is this ever a simple sentence for how much work it was! LOL)
OK, I’ve been mentioning pizza cooked on the bbq grill. Heresy? You bet! 🙂 And I’m PROUD of it!
Home made pizza at our place takes a bit of time and pre-preparation work. I started Wednesday night, making the crusts. I made both a 65% hydration crust and a Neapolitan crust. What’s the difference? I’ll post the recipes for both in my recipe section in a bit so you can see or you can exercise your Google-fu to find out if you can’t wait. I refrigerate the dough for a few days, then lay it out on the cabinet to warm up. Details later. 🙂
While the dough was warming, I went outside to get the bbq ready. First I got the Kettle Pizza accessory. and added a top grill that I wrapped in foil The foil helps reflect the heat that would usually go all the way up to the top of the dome of the Weber Silver (WS) down to the top of the pizza. This makes the toppings brown at the same time the bottom crust cooks.
I fired up the coals for the WS, let them get covered with ash and fire coming out of the chimney, then dumped them into the WS on the coal grate. I moved the coals to the back side and put on the Kettle Pizza and the WS top. While that was heating up, I started working with the dough.
Like I said earlier, I started the dough Wednesday night. After letting the dough rise per the recipe, I rolled them around and made discs out or them then oiled them up good, put each into a gallon ziplock bag and stuck them in the ice box. They sat in there until about 3 PM Saturday, fermenting away and getting all gooey and poofy from the yeast doing it’s thing (this always makes me think of Alton Brown’s burping yeast sock puppets from his show Good Eats….which also has been cancelled by Food Network…another BUMMER!).
I took the 2 dough discs out and divided them up. The Neapolitan I divvied into 4 8 ounce balls (total of around 30–32 oz dough) and the 65% I divvied into 3 10 oz balls (same amount of dough). I squeezed and kneaded each one for about 1 minute, then set it onto a floured piece of foil. After doing all 7 dough balls, I covered them with a dish towel and let them sit for another 1 1/2 hours.
When the dough balls were up to room temp and had done a final rise, I took one and pressed and rolled it into a pizza skin. Here’s the initial ball of dough (teaspoon for size comparison) and the skin. Next was putting the sauce on the skin. I used a bottle of commercial sauce with a can of diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic that I drained well. This is standard for all the pizzas. I’ve found that putting the skin on the pizza peel which has had cornmeal spread lightly over it works best. Then top, shake gently to loosen so it slides off onto the stone. The peel is 12″ wide, so you get an idea of how much you get from one dough ball.
From here on out, the sky is the limit! Cheese of your choice, toppings of your choice, it all works good! Only thing, don’t put on too thick a layer of sauce and toppings or it won’t cook right. For the Bunny, I made a simple pepperoni pizza with fresh grated mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Ended up looking like this
Once the pizza was ready, it was time to check the cooker. It was up to normal temp which is 450 degrees. Now it’s time for the really hot part! I have some small chunks of pecan wood set aside in a wagon I take a few chunks (teaspoon for size comparison) and put them directly on the coals (gotta lift off the entire Kettle Pizza setup and replace it) and add the pizza stone to the cooker After just a few minutes, the thermometer on the Kettle Pizza has pegged at over 700 Degrees!! Now that’s approaching the temps the pizza parlors use for their pizzas…..or a bit more than some of them. I’ve got a handheld laser/infrared thermometer I use to check the pizza stone temp. When it’s about 650 degrees F or better, it’s time to put on the pizzas.
The pizza can either go in directly on the pizza stone or it can be in a pizza pan that goes onto the stone; Directly on the stone, the crust cooks quickest and tends to get those lovely bubbles in them. On the pan, they both cook about the same and the crust doesn’t bubble as much.
At these screaming hot temps, I put the pizza in, give it about 1 1/2 minutes, turn it 180 degrees, another 1 1/2 minutes, turn 90 degrees, thirty seconds, turn 180 degrees for thirty seconds and that’s it! By then the crust has wonderful browning marks on the bottom, the cheese is bubbling and the top of the crust sometimes has bubbles in it. Incredible in only 4 minutes!! Hmm, wonder why it takes most pizza parlors the better part of 30 minutes to get a pizza ready?? If the heat is really REALLY up there, like over 700 degrees, It only takes about 3 minutes for them to cook!
I wanted to take a pic of Bunny’s pizza when it was done, but I turned my back for about one minute and he and his buddy scarfed it all down! OK, they didn’t eat it all in one minute, but they grabbed the pieces and put em on plates and left an empty pizza peel! LOL
Next I fixed Sweetie her favorite, Hawaiian with pepperoni, Canadian bacon, pineapple chunks and very light cheese. Here’s what it looked like before and after: Note: I have to add more hardwood after each pizza. It really burns up fast at these temperatures!
Yep, we feasted! The boys even got a second pizza! LOL
Remember, if it works for you, it’s bbq!!