Hooray for the red, white and green—pizza on the grill

Consumer Reports News: July 03, 2013 03:08 PM

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Maybe it's time to change up the traditional cookout menu of burgers, steak and hot dogs. Today's grills come with a bounty of new features and accessories that make it easier than ever to do more than flip burgers. One good option that's surprisingly easy is pizza on the grill. You can put your pie right on the grates or use a pizza stone made especially for gas grills. Here's how, including recipes for both the pie and the sauce.

Consumer Reports recently tested two pizza stones. The Weber Style 6430 pizza stone, $50, is good for cooking one large pizza or several personal-sized ones. A handle allows you to easily move the stone from the grill or rotate it during cooking to adapt to hotter spots. But they get very hot. The Brinkmann 13-inch pizza stone, $13, sold at Home Depot, is best for cooking pizza or flatbread with a crispy crust. But, like like other pizza stones, it's fragile and can break if exposed to extreme temperature changes (from the grill to a cold or wet counter, for example). And it's hard to move because it gets blazing hot and has no handles.

Some recipes for pizza on the grill recommend putting the crust right on clean, well-oiled grates so that's an option. Below are recipes for sauce and the crust. You can add cheese and some thinly sliced veggies or meat but too many toppings can make your pizza soggy.

Rustic pizza sauce

  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • Salt, pepper, red pepper flake to taste

In a large skillet over medium-low heat, saute garlic in the olive oil until it softens, but doesn't burn. Add tomatoes and seasonings and simmer for about 20 minutes. Yields about 1 ½ cups sauce.

Pizza dough

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 packet active-dry yeast
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup + 1 tsp warm water (approx. 120 degrees F)
  • Extra flour for dusting
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chiffonade

Using a whisk, combine flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Add olive oil and water; stir to combine switching to a wooden spoon. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for about 60 to 90 minutes, or until dough has doubled in size.

Preheat grill and pizza stone to approximately 500 degrees F. Using floured hands, gently shape dough into a ball. Let sit covered in bowl for 30 minutes. When grill has reached temperature, quickly stretch dough into a circle of even thickness and place on stone.

Add sauce and cheese to dough and other toppings if you are using, close grill lid. Grill for approximately 10 minutes, or until crust is browned and cheese is melted and bubbly. Using a large spatula, remove pizza from grill. Sprinkle basil over top and using a pastry brush, brush crust with olive oil. Keep in mind that it can be difficult to control the cooking temperature with pizza stones, so watch the pizza carefully.

Top grills
We've added new brands, new tests and lots of lower-priced models to our tests of more than 100 gas grills. We found 31 winners in our recent gas grill tests including the small Weber Spirit E-220 4631000, the mid-sized Weber Spirit SP-320 46700401 and the large Jenn-Air 720-0709 sold at Sam's Club.

Mary H.J. Farrell

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