When grilling, smoking or barbecuing on the Big Green Egg, meat is usually the way to go. Tasty dishes like beer can chicken, chicken thighs, ribs and steak are all great choices. But what about other options to feed a hungry crowd?
How about grilled pizza? Yes please.
This past weekend we had some friends over and I wanted to try out the new pizza stone I got for my birthday. So, the wife and I teamed up to make homemade grilled pizza on the Big Green Egg.
The plan was my wife would take care of the pizza dough and the homemade sauce and I would take care of the grilling. I was pretty excited as the one fun part of grilling pizza on the Egg is that you get to ramp the heat up to over 600 F. This helps to replicate what a brick oven would do and make it feel like you were eating at a fancy pizza joint.
Now this was the first time for us making homemade pizza dough and cooking pizza like this. So, we were hoping that it would all turn out.
The Pizza Dough
My wife used a recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cook book, My Father’s Daughter. It is the dough for wood oven pizzas and goes like this:
- 2 1/4 cups of warm water, divided.
- 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar.
- 3 packages or 2 tablespoons plus 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast.
- About 5 cups of bread flour, divided, plus more for kneading and dusting.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
- 1 tablespoon course salt.
- Whisk together 3/4 cup of the water, sugar and the yeast in a large bowl and let it stand until the surface has a few bubbles and is creamy (about 5 minutes).
- Add 1 1/2 cups water, 3 3/4 cups of flour, olive oil and salt and then stir until everything is smooth.
- While slowly stirring, add up to another cup of flour until the dough starts to pull itself from the edges of the bowl.
- Knead (wrestle) the dough on a heavily floured surface until it is elastic and smooth. This could take up to 10 minutes of hard work. Don’t give up.
- Dust the surface with flour as you go. Don’t be shy, you don’t want anything sticking.
- Form the kneaded dough into a ball, dust with more flour and place in large bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Let it rise (grow) in a warm spot until it has doubled in size (1.5-2 hours). If you are a keener, you can put it in the fridge overnight.
- Wait until it is pizza time!
Again this recipe is from Gwyneth. It is pretty simple to do.
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole.
- 1 28 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes with juice. We used the blue menu ones from SuperStore.
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt.
- Heat olive oil in a pot on medium heat.
- Add garlic.
- Add the tomatoes and their juice and salt and bring to a boil.
- Lower heat and let the sauce simmer for 1 hour.
- Cool to room temperature and puree in a blender.
Take the dough you made earlier and break into two pieces (we made two pizzas). Stretch each with your fingers until quite thin. Flour your pizza peel (the board or giant flipper you use to slide under the pizza) and place the dough on top. We actually cut out pieces of parchment paper in a circle and also put that on the peel. Way easier. Dress your pizza on the peel. Trust us, makes the process smooth and reduces the chance of a dropped pie.
Use whatever you want really. Put the sauce on first and try not to use too much. Then add your toppings and cover with mozzarella cheese.
For pizza one, we had pepperoni, sausage, basil and green peppers.
For pizza two, we had goat cheese, orange pepper, chicken, mushrooms and basil.
How to Grill on the Big Green Egg
Feel free to do your own variation, but this is how I set up my Egg.
- Fill firebox up to the top with lump charcoal. Get it going.
- Add a plate setter (feet up).
- Add your grill.
- Add your pizza stone.
- Close lid and have both vents open full.
- Wait for it to get to 600 F.
Once the Egg is at 600-650 F, it is time to grill your pizza.
Let the Egg burp so you don’t melt your face and carefully transfer your pizza onto the stone using your pizza peel. Close the lid and let the Egg go to work.
Since we used parchment paper, I was not that worried about prodding and moving the pizza around. But you can if you want so nothing sticks. It is also a good way to keep an eye on the bottom of your pizza.
Cook for 6-7 minutes and check to see if the crust is golden brown. Check the bottom as well. You can even rotate the pizza in case there are hot spots on your grill. Getting an even cook is best.
Once your pizza is done, use the peel to get it out and transfer it to a cutting board.
We let our pie sit for a good 5 minutes before cutting, just to let everything settle and cool off.
There you have it, a perfectly grilled pizza just like they do at restaurants with a brick pizza oven.
Now this was our first shot at this, so there were areas to improve on, but overall, the pizza worked out and tasted great.
When your 3-year eats something, it is considered a success in my books.
This was a fun adventure on the Big Green Egg. Any time you can cook something at almost 700 F, it is a good time.