Thursday, 1 March 2012

024 - Pizza on the BBQ

For Christmas my lovely girlfriend gave me a Weber pizza stone. If you haven't seen these before, it's a flat round tile that can be used on a barbecue's cooking grate and used to bake bread and pizzas. The stone distributes the heat more evenly, giving your dough an even bake and most importantly... a crispier base! :-)
The stone is also supplied with a metal baking sheet, which is useful for moving your raw pizzas to the grill.

However, mine seemed to warp slightly when I placed the 2nd pizza on to the stone so that not all parts of it were touching the stone. It didn't seem to affect the end result, but I'm wondering if using a pizza paddle to place the pizza directly onto the stone might give even better results.

Apologies for the quality of the photos in this post - as much as I enjoy winter night-time BBQs, my camera phone doesn't cope well with the light levels :-)

First things first, the dough. For a previous Christmas, my girlfriend bought me a bread-maker... can you see a theme starting to appear with our present choices? (...we both love food!) It has a pizza dough setting, so it was as simple as adding the ingredients into the mixing bowl and waiting a couple of hours for it to start beeping.

For the sauce, I combined a tin of chopped tomatoes, chopped garlic and oregano with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt. Then reduced it on the hob until it was the desired consistency. I would say a minimum of 30 minutes on a low rolling simmer, but the longer you leave it, the tastier it will be. And I chose to use mozzarella  as my cheese of choice, tearing it up into small chunks after draining.

The stone is placed directly over the charcoal, and needs to be pre-heated for at least 10 minutes before cooking on it. Weber advised that I should use a whole chimney of briquettes. I made a couple of pizzas on the night. One BBQ chicken, and another Veggie supreme... our favourites from the local Dominos! As you'll see from the photos... my dough rolling skills need a lot of work!

Overall I was really pleased with the results - the bases were nice and crisp, with a fluffy crust and gooey topping.

I did find though that I'd had to leave the pizzas in for longer than expected, mainly because the top of the dough appeared a little pale. So maybe I need to experiment with the position of the coals, and place a few around the outside of the charcoal grate to increase temperature on top of the grill (rather than focussing it all under the stone. Or maybe I hadn't rolled the bases out thin enough... I guess I'll just have to keep eating pizzas until I get it right! :-)


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