How about a rustic wood-fired pizza grilled to crisp, yet tender, perfection? A rather appetizing thought, whether it be date night for two, a meal for a hungry crowd at the tailgate party or camping out with copious amounts of craft brew and tall tales to tell around the bonfire.
No matter your loyalties to Chicago-style, New York-style or that pub-style pie from your local pizza joint, the best pizzas in the world remain prepared today as they were hundreds of years ago — in hand-crafted brick ovens. These ovens emit intense degrees of enveloping radiant heat from an infrared source which crusts the exterior of the soft, tender dough while melting and caramelizing one topping into another. Queue salivating.
On the other hand, for those of us not living within a reasonable commute to Chicago or the Big Apple, our kitchen ovens tend to the be appliance most often used when attempting to recreate our favorite pies at home. But because our ovens will never get hot enough or emit the degree of necessary infrared heat as those old world brick ovens, the consistency in texture and taste will never match up.
This is exactly the reason I turn to an outdoor grill, specifically my Char-Broil Patio Bistro®. One of my favorite grilled pizza recipes is a new, smoky twist on an Old World Italian classic — Grilled Pizza Margherita. This pizza is not only incredibly simple to prepare, but absolutely gorgeous to look at. It uses fresh herbs, spices, cheeses and dough, a hint of smoky hardwood and the intense radiant heat of Char-Broil’s patented TRU-Infrared™ system to grill the perfect pizza.
Follow the instructions below to a tee. Crack a beverage. Have fun. Be creative. Grill on. And stay hungry!
- 1 ball pizza dough, about 16 ounces, store bought or homemade
- Olive Oil
- Marinara sauce, store bought or homemade
- Heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
- Fresh mozzarella cheese, torn
- Prosciutto, finely sliced and pulled into strands
- Fresh leaves of thyme, oregano and basil
- Parmesan cheese, shaved, to garnish
- Salt and freshly ground peppercorn, to taste
- Preheat the Patio Bistro to high 20 minutes before grilling. Toss a large handful of hickory wood chips directly over the grates or apply 1 pre-packaged wood chip pack to integrate rustic smoky flavors into the dough.
- Meanwhile, roll out the room-temperature dough on a floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Brush dough with oil and dust with cornmeal.
- Lay dough directly over grates, searing the first side for 3-5 minutes with lid open or until dough rises and edges begin to brown. Flip dough over and immediately dress with sauce, tomatoes, cheese and prosciutto. Turn down the temperature of the grill to medium. Close the grill lid and allow the pizza to bake until cheese bubbles and dough is cooked through.
- Remove pizza from grill and place on cooling rack to rest for 3-5 minutes.
- Season with salt and fresh ground peppercorn, to taste. Garnish with fresh leaves of basil, thyme and oregano. Finish with a sprinkling of shaved Parmesan. Slice and serve.