For the longest time I have avoided doing a blog post on grilled pizza. Simply because there’s is a ton of them out there, and I felt as if I had nothing new to add. Then I started looking at some of the post, and they were pretty run of the mill. Grab some toppings, toss them on a crust, place on the grill and VIOLA you have yourself a grilled pizza. And I guess in a sense you do. But by doing so you’re really short changing yourself on all the wonderful flavors your grill has to offer.
What to expect: The grilled taste of the veggies will play nicely with the deep smoky taste of the meat. The final hit of a light smoke as the pizza “bakes” will give you that brick oven flavor that all good pizzas should have.
What you will need:
30-45 minutes for smoking the sausage (this can be done up 2 days in advance, just be sure to leave the sausage whole, wrap tight and refrigerate)
20-30 minutes for grilling the vegetables
1 lb bulk Italian sausage
1 large white onion
1 each red, yellow, and green bell pepper
6 or so small portabello mushrooms
2 12 inch pizza crusts (I reall like the texture I get from Boboli, and it holds up well on the grill)
1 jar or recipe of your favorite pizza sauce
2 fresh jalapeños if you’re a bit of a chili head
How we did it:
Begin by setting your grill up for INDIRECT grilling.
Remove sausage from it’s package being careful not to destroy its form.
Add a nice chunk of your favorite smoking wood to the coals. I recommend hickory. It will stand up well to the stronger flavors of the sausage, and it will be able to compete with the other flavors of the pizza.
Place the sausage between the void in the coals.
Place the lid on the grill and let the smoke and heat work their magic.
Check the internal temperature after 20 minutes. We’re looking for 165°f. Continue to check every 10-15 minutes until you reach your target temperature.
When done remove from grill and let rest while you prepare your grill to cook your vegetables. (If you are making the sausage ahead, let cool, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate.)
If cooking the vegetables immediately after the sausage, spread your coals for DIRECT grilling, add more coals if necessary.
Wait for the smoke from the fresh coals to subside.
Place vegetables on grill and cook until done, turning about every 10 minutes until lightly charred on all sides.
*Note: The mushrooms will take about 5 minutes per side.
Once done, slice the mushrooms, and large dice the rest.
Either chop the sausage or give it a quick spin in the food processor. I personally prefer the texture I get from the food processor.
Build your pizzas.Get the grill HOT.
If using a pizza stone, add a light wood chunk, like oak, place pizza on stone directly over the coals, and cook until the cheese is melted and the crust is done.
If you’re NOT using a pizza stone, set grill up for indirect cooking, add a light wood chunk, like oak, rotate the pizza once 90 degrees 1/2 way through cooking.
Now you have yourself a true grilled pizza that you can be proud to serve to guest.
Remember what you cook isn’t nearly as important as who you cook it with.