If you’ve ever watched the animated show “King of the Hill,” you can’t help but know that Hank Hill is proud to be the Assistant Manager at Strickland Propane, where he sells “propane and propane accessories.” At work, he always ends his telephone greeting with “Taste the meat, not the heat!” 😉
Hubby and I enjoy grilling our meals. While charcoal grilling most definitely has its charms, for convenience and versatility, we find the propane grill is tough to beat: a larger grill surface, a bit better control over the heat, instant on and off, and you’re able to grill for long periods of time (we use a smoker box and smoke meats on ours sometimes). To ensure we always have propane, we keep two tanks: one hooked up to the grill and another spare, at the ready to serve when one tank runs out — much, much easier than having to make sure you have enough dry charcoal and lighter fluid on hand when you get a hankering 😉 to grill.
As you may have already noticed, we have a love of pizza in all its many forms. 🙂 But it has been h-o-t, h-o-t, H-O-T here (believe me, I’m as tired of saying it — and sweating through it — as you are of hearing it!), and heating up the house by baking pizza — or baking anything — is just so not gonna happen.
So what to do, what to do?
Like most of you, I’ve seen cooking shows where cooks happily slap pizza dough on the grill and grill up pizza, but our propane grill is not one of those fancy ones where we can control the heat precisely. I don’t trust it to bake dough.
But as my pizza cravings continued to grow, I decided to give grilling pizza a try with pre-baked pizza crusts!
My first experiment worked out fairly well for a first try…except that I dropped my pizza onto the deck. 😦 (Transfer from grill to serving platter was tricky.) I just made myself a pizza omelet and had half a slice of hubby’s pizza.
I applied lessons learned from the first effort to a second attempt a week later (I’d been Jonesing for pizza ever since) and came up with an even better meal — and without dropping anything onto the deck!! 🙂
So when the kids came to visit with our perfect little grand-daughter this weekend, we grilled up pizza for supper — and peoples, it was YUMMY!
Vegetarians: it is, of course, very, very easy to keep your pizza vegetarian/meatless.
I nearly always make my own pizza sauce — it’s quick, easy, fat-free (at least the way I make it), and has much more flavor than most commercial sauces.
Making yummy grilled pizza at home is easy:
- To maximize fresh veggie flavor, just lightly sauté your veggies in a non-stick skillet — remember, they’ll also cook a bit more once they’re on your pizza.
- Grate your own cheese. PLEASE! Not only is it less expensive, but it will melt better and have more flavor (commercially pre-grated cheese is coated with something to keep it from sticking together). While I will occasionally use pre-grated cheese, 99% of the time, I grate my own.
- To make the pizza making and baking itself more streamlined, just do the prep ahead of time: make the sauce; grate the cheese; and slice, dice, and/or sauté your veggies. Then, it’s all over but the making and the grilling! But since the kids were here, I had lots of fun doing the prep work alongside our dear boy, while our grand-daughter looked on and make sure we did it all the right way.
So go on, next time you’re craving some pizza, give the delivery dude a rest and try making your own!
For the sauce:
- 1 can tomato puree OR 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste and 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce (You could also use a large (12 ounce) can of tomato paste and just add in enough liquid — wine and/or water — until it is your desired consistency)
- Seasonings to taste: Worcestershire sauce (vegetarians, leave out or use a vegetarian substitute), basil, Italian seasoning, oregano, garlic/garlic powder, onion powder, and parsley — I also like to add in some fresh rosemary leaves
- Splashes of wine and/or water (to achieve desired consistency)
For the pizza:
- Prebaked pizza crust
- Pizza sauce
- Desired toppings: diced/chopped onion, sliced black olives, sliced green olives, diced green (or red or yellow or orange) bell pepper, sliced mushrooms, sliced tomato, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, crumbled or sliced sausage — honestly, anything that sounds yummy to you, sliced/diced/chop it, sauté it if need be, and put it on your pizza!
- Shredded mozzarella (I usually use part-skim)
1. Prepare the sauce: season the tomato puree/tomato paste/tomato sauce as desired. Add liquid (wine and/or water) until sauce is desired consistency — I like a thicker sauce; you may prefer a thinner sauce. That’s the joy of making it yourself — you can have it how YOU like it! (You can do this step ahead of time and keep sauce refrigerated or frozen ’til you’re ready. Keep any leftover sauce refrigerated for another use — such as a pizza omelet, to add to a soup or Italian tomato sauce, or some such — or freeze it for future use.)
2. Prepare desired toppings and grate cheese. (You can do this ahead of time.)
3. Lightly brush tops of prebaked pizza dough with olive oil. Preheat grill, with lid closed (it shouldn’t take too long — 5 or 10 minutes).
4. Top pizza crust(s) as desired: first, sprinkle on a little bit of grated Parmesan, then spread on desired amount of sauce. Put on desired veggie toppings, then desired meat (if using) toppings, and THEN top with grated cheese.
5. Reduce grill setting to low. Place pizza(s) on grill, cover, and leave for about 3 minutes. Turn off heat and continue to allow pizza(s) to bake from the residual heat for about 10 minutes.
6. Carefully remove from grill and enjoy!
7. If grilling more pizzas, preheat grill again.