Serious Eats: Recipes

Grilling: Pizza

On Fridays, Joshua Bousel drops by with a recipe for you to grill over the weekend. Fire it up, Joshua!

Before you run out and grab all those burgers and hot dogs for tomorrow's great Fourth of July cookout, let me tempt you with another great American tradition that's great for the grill and revelers alike: pizza. Although the high heat of the grill produces a truly excellent pizza, it's a challenge to get a perfectly cooked crisp crust at the same time the toppings are ready, but after years of trial and error, I've developed a fairly foolproof way to get perfect pizzas every time.

This requires a two-zone fire, with all the coals piled on one side of the charcoal grate, and a process of cooking the crust in stages.

First you stretch the dough out to a personal-size pizza and place it directly over the coals, cooking it until it browns and crisps nicely. Then remove the crust to a plate, arrange the toppings on the cooked side, place it over the cool side of the grill, and cover. When the cheese is melted and the toppings are done to your liking, check the bottom of the crust; if it needs to cook a little longer, just move it over to the hot side again until it's perfect.

What comes off the grill is a real beauty of a pie. A wonderfully cooked crust, with that balance of crisp and chewiness that makes a great pizza--something to truly celebrate alongside our independence.

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