Off the Wall

Who Needs a Pizza Oven When You Have a Grill?

I love pizza of all varieties: Chicago-style, New York slices, mass-market chains and local Houston joints. But my favorite pizza is homemade, because it's fun to do. Baking a pizza in the oven intimidates me, probably because my oven sucks and my air conditioner sucks. (Anyone wanna buy my house?) Enter the grilled pizza.

My cousin, Dottie, taught me the technique that she learned from her friend Yvette; both Louisianians in Denver. (They're so progressive up there). The recipe below lists ingredients for the path of least resistance, such as ready-to-bake dough and sauce. However, feel free to make it all from scratch.

Grilled Pizza

  • ready to bake pizza dough (probably in the refrigerated deli case)
  • sauce (or not)
  • assorted toppings

Fire up the grill with one side on medium

Split the dough into pieces equaling the number of pizzas you'd like to make; three is the magic number for the 16-ounce box o'dough from Whole Foods.

Place the lump of dough on a cookie sheet, tray or countertop and douse with a modest amount of olive oil (not flour) before spreading it into a pizza shape. Gently smush and stretch the dough using the palms of your hands while doing your best to avoid forming holes in the dough.

Lay out the dough on the medium side of the grill. Cook until the top is bubbling and the bottom is stiff-ish. Then flip it over to the low side of the grill.

Garnish it immediately with sauce, toppings, cheeses and whatnot. Cook until the crust is brown, but do not expect that cheese, or other toppings, will brown.

Crispify the top of the pizza by placing it in a broiler set to low for about 5 to 10 minutes.

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Jason Bargas
Contact: Jason Bargas