Thursday, June 14, 2012
The Pro's Secrets to Perfect Grilled Pizza
Few of us are lucky enough to have our own wood-fired, stone-lined oven that can reach temperatures above 500°F like commercial pizzeria ovens. But that doesn't mean that we're doomed to choose between mediocre homemade pizza and takeout or delivery from a local pizza joint.
With the right knowledge and tools, you can achieve Italian pizzeria quality results when you make pizza on your barbecue grill or in your oven. Here's how the pros do it:
1. Cook at 500°F or higher: For best results, it's imperative that you get your grill really, really hot--we're talking at least 500°F degrees. This is usually easier with a gas grill than with a charcoal grill. If you've tried and just can't get the heat that high, then just go with as high a heat as possible. The same is true for oven-baked pizza: Aim for 500°F or higher. And don't rely solely on the temperature gauge built into your grill or oven to check the temperature. For the most accurate temperature reading, the experts recommend using a grill and oven thermometer that you can place inside your grill or oven.
2. Use a Pizza Stone: A pizza stone is the ideal surface for cooking pizza in the oven as well as on the grill. Stone retains heat and produces that crispy exterior that pizza lovers want. A good-quality pizza stone is also porous, however, ensuring that a thin crust won't try out and that a thick crust will cook thoroughly, all while creating that crispness on the outside. An excellent choice is the Grill-Top PizzaQue stone, which can be used both on your grill (gas or charcoal) and in your oven. It's made of porous clay ceramic and features a removable steel base with a built-in thermometer to measure the temperature of the stone. The look is sleek and elegant, making it an attractive as well as practical gift. The generous 15" x 16" x 2 1/2" surface allows you to cook larger pizzas. Experienced as well as novice pizza makers have been thrilled with their results using the PizzaQue pizza stone, which also comes with an easy and helpful how-to-grill starter guide in case you're new to cooking pizzas on the grill. Best of all, this deluxe pizza stone is no single-tasker--it's also an excellent surface for cooking vegetables and fish on the grill as well as in the oven! Once you use the PizzaQue stone, you'll wonder how you ever managed to make pizza without it.
Use the GrillGrate for Grilled Pizza: The award-winning GrillGrate lies on top of any grill to provide a superior ridged, non-stick and anti-flareup surface that's great for grilling anything, including pizza. The raised ridges will sear for a magnificently crispy, golden-brown crust similar to that of rustic wood-fired pizza from the Old Country. GrillGrates are available in a wide variety of sizes to fit virtually any grill of any shape or size, and you can also order custom GrillGrates if you have an unusual type of grill. And GrillGrates work on both charcoal or gas grills. Of course, the GrillGrate is not merely for pizza but is a revolutionary all-purpose grilling surface that will perfectly sear and cook steaks, burgers, poultry, fish, seafood, vegetables and anything else you might want to throw on the grill. Not only do the ridges create appealing sear marks on your food, but they help seal in the juices and evenly cook your food without worrying about flare-ups or hot spots (or cold spots, either).
Whether you choose a professional-quality pizza stone like the Grill-Top PizzaQue Pizza Stone, or invest in a set of GrillGrates for your grill, you'll be on your way to making the best home-made pizza you've ever had when you cook it like the pros do, at 500°F or higher.
And if you want to try a mouthwatering, meaty and cheesy deep-dish pizza you can make in the oven or on the grill, here is a delicious recipe for Greek pizza the whole family will love.
PS: Don't forget the hot sauce! If you like to splash a little heat on your pizza, I recommend a nice cayenne pepper sauce like the original Gator Hammock Gator Sauce, or for fiery heat that's also flavorful try Ring of Fire Habanero Hot Sauce. And if you crave the flavor of bacon, you can't beat the original Bacon Hot Sauce.