Like a big pizza pie, that’s amore!
Last night I decided to test out the new pizza stone. For my first trial I just wanted to take a look at the cooking technique itself so I bought a pre-made pizza dough. I didn’t want to put in all the effort of making dough and sauce and then end up burning it. For the sauce I just used a good quality passata. Add some mozerella and some chorizo and there you have it.
As I said, I’ve been wanting to do this for a while so I have been reading up on the different ways to do pizza on the grill. The keys I picked up were that you want a scorching hot grill and you need to try to get the temperature above the pizza high enough that the toppings will cook before the bottom of the crust burns. There are some pretty interesting setups I have seen posted on forums like TVWB and Pizzamaking.com. What I decided to do (and had seen from others) was to try the get the pizza as high up into the dome of the lid as possible, since that is where the air is the hottest. This should help the toppings cook well. To do that I took the charcoal ring out of my WSM and placed that on top of the cooking grate with the pizza stone on top of that. With a full chimney of briquettes lined around the perimeter of the kettle the air should be pretty hot up there. I assumed the stone would still heat up pretty well in this configuration. Please excuse the poor quality photos. Mrs. Smoking Bottle was away with the camera and all I had was my iPhone.
I kept checking the color of the crust by looking through the vent holes with a flashlight. I took the pizza off when the crust looked like it was going to start getting too dark. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite long enough for the toppings. They definitely weren’t underdone but I was hoping for a touch more browning of the cheese. Total cook time was about 9 minutes. From what I’ve been reading a lot of people say that ideally it should be around 4 or 5 minutes. Sounds like I’d really need to crank up the temp more with more charcoal. I don’t really care about the time though. It seems that the faster you cook the pizza the less influence the grill would have on flavor. I want to pick up some of that fire-kissed flavor and aroma. Just a guess but 10 minutes sounds like it would accomplish that better than 4 minutes. I think the setup worked out really well. Now I just need to get some more heat on top of the pizza. Perhaps I need to stack up the coals closer to the outside than I did. Suggestions are welcome.