What is Grilled Pizza?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 February 2018
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Grilled pizza is pizza which is prepared on a barbecue grill, rather than in an oven. The result, when cooked well, is a light, flavorful dish with a rich flavor and smoky aroma. Several pizza restaurants offer grilled pizza in addition to their more conventional offerings, and it is also possible to make it at home. If you do decide to make grilled pizza at home, be prepared for some trial and error, and don't give up if your first few attempts are less than stellar.

The best pizzas are produced in a high temperature environment, which is usually achieved in a brick oven fired by wood or charcoal. In addition to crisping the pizza quickly, wood fired ovens also impart some subtle flavors of their own, depending on the woods which are burned. Pizza experimenters who did not have access to such ovens played around with grills, ultimately developing the grilled pizza as an alternative to oven-fired pizza.

Several things set grilled pizza aside from other pizzas. The first is the cooking technique, which typically requires cooks to grill one side and then the other, ensuring that the dough is cooked through. The toppings tend to be sliced very thin and not heavily layered, so that they will cook before the pizza burns. Grilled pizza tends to be thin and crispy with a very smoky flavor.

To make grilled pizza, the grill must be set to a high setting and allowed to warm. Ideally, the grill should have a lid, so that it can be closed to more closely mimic the conditions in an oven. For direct grilling, a sheet of pizza dough is rolled out and then carefully transferred to the grill for a few minutes before it is flipped and covered in toppings. Some cooks prefer to use a thin cookie sheet for their grilled pizza, to avoid the risk of dough sliding through the grate.

You can also produce a more traditional pizza with the use of a pizza stone, a stone which is designed to withstand the high temperatures of ovens, creating a characteristic crispy crust. In all cases, barbecued pizza comes out like other grilled flatbreads when well prepared, with complex, hearty flavors. Barbecuing pizza is relatively easy, once the skill is perfected, and it can be a great deal of fun as well, since it is a bit more unusual than throwing hamburgers or kebabs on the grill.



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