People don't realize that the most important pizza ingredient is heat. SUPER-HOT HEAT.
And if you have a grill — gas or charcoal — it can probably get a lot hotter than your oven. (The side benefit is that your grill won't heat up your home.) Charcoal specifically is the closest you can get to a traditional wood-burning oven, because it adds a similarly delicious smoky flavor to the dough and toppings. So unless you want to crank your oven to 550ºF, — too hot; don't do it — the only way to get that crispy, crackly crust at home is on a hot grill.
And best of all: Once that grill is fired up, actually making the pizza takes all of five minutes.
Here's all you need for a simple margherita pizza:
1. First, light a gas or charcoal grill.
Here's how to light a charcoal grill. If you have a gas grill, turn the burners to medium-high.
2. Prep your ingredients so they're ready to go. This is crucial since the dough will cook very quickly once you put it on the grill.
3. Stretch the dough until it's round.
4. Once your grill is as hot as possible, place the dough on the grill, carefully using your hands to stretch into as large of a round as you can.
5. Cover (with the vent partially open) and cook until the pizza starts to bubble all over, about 30 seconds.
6. Don't worry if it gets really bubbly like this. That just means it's cooking inside. Use tongs to gently lift the dough to make sure the bottom is charred.
7. Flip the dough so the cooked side is face up.
8. Top the pizza with the cheese first.
9. Pour the sauce on top of the cheese, making sure to spread it as evenly as possible.
10. Cover and cook for about two more minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Use tongs to transfer the pizza onto a baking sheet.
11. Transfer the pizza to a cutting board and top it with a glug of olive oil, basil leaves, and a hefty sprinkle of flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
12. Then, slice and eat!
13. Cheese bridge, wuuuuut!
14. Keep the grill cranking for a few more pies, crack open some beers, and invite your friends...
Grilled Margherita Pizza
Serves 2 to 4
Recipe by Lindsay Hunt
1 pound pizza dough
8 ounces salted mozzarella, roughly torn
1/2 to 3/4 cup marinara sauce
Olive oil, fresh basil leaves, flaky sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper, to garnish
1. Heat a grill so it's evenly hot. On a charcoal grill: Spread hot coals on the bottom of the grill; On a gas grill: turn the burners to medium-high.
2. Stretch the pizza dough into a 1/2-inch thick round. Place on the hot grill, cover, and cook until the dough bubbles all over and the bottom is charred, about 30 seconds. Flip using tongs.
3. Top the dough with the cheese, then the sauce. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted and the bottom of the dough is charred, about two minutes more. Remove from the grill on a baking sheet.
4. Transfer the pizza to a cutting board and top with a glug of olive oil, fresh basil leaves, and a hefty sprinkle of flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve hot.