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The Charcoal Grill Method

Extract from Pizza on the Grill • By Bob Blumer and Elizabeth Karmel • Published by GMC Publications


$ $ $ $ $
• • • • •
35 mins

Pizza on the Grill

Posted by GMC Group Published See GMC Group's 303 projects » © 2020 Bob Blumer / GMC Publications · Reproduced with permission. · Pizza on the Grill Expanded by Elizabeth Karmel & Bob Blumer, published by Taunton (£12.99, available from

You Will Need

  • Step 1

    Build a fire by lighting 50 to 60 charcoal briquettes in either a chimney starter or in a pyramid-shaped mound on the bottom grate of your grill. Once the briquettes have become gray-ashed (20 to 30 minutes), move them all to one side of the grill.

  • Step 2

    While the grill preheats, sprinkle your work surface—we find that a cutting board, a sheet pan, or a pizza peel works best—generously with grits or polenta. Place the dough in the middle of the surface and roll in the grits until the ball is evenly dusted. Drizzle the dough generously with oil (it’s the oil that helps generate the crispy crust). Then roll out the dough with a rolling pin, stretch it out with your hands, or press it out from the center against the work surface. Your ultimate goal is to get the dough 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 inch thick. Stretch your dough into a rectangular or oblong shape. Don’t worry about making it perfect—organically shaped crusts are part of the charm of grilled pizza.

  • Step 3

    Transfer your dough to the grilling area—a pizza peel does this job the best—and pick it up by the two corners closest to you. In one motion, lay it down flat—over the side of the grill without briquettes—on the cooking grate from back to front (as you would set a tablecloth down on a table). Close the lid and grill for 4 minutes (no peeking!), then rotate the crust 180 degrees and continue grilling until the bottom is well marked and golden brown, another 2 to 3 minutes. You may need to finesse the bottom by rotating the crust again, and/or shifting its position slightly. Once you become comfortable making pizza on the grill, this part of the process will become second nature to you and will contribute to a perfectly cooked, crispy pizza.

  • Step 4

    Once the bottom is well browned, use tongs to transfer the crust from the grill to your pizza peel or rimless baking sheet, then immediately close the lid of the grill; this will keep the grill at the ideal temperature. Flip the crust to reveal the grilled side. Follow the specific recipe directions for adding sauce, toppings, and/or cheese.

  • Step 5

    Transfer the pizza back onto the grate over the side without briquettes and grill, with the lid on, for 4 to 5 minutes. Rotate the pizza 180 degrees and continue to grill with the lid on until the bottom is golden brown and crispy, and the cheese is melted, another 4 to 5 minutes.

  • Step 6

    Remove the finished pizza from the grill, garnish, and season as directed. Slice and serve immediately.

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