about three minutes, you can serve about
40 grilled pies in an hour from one 36”
grill. Tabletop gas char-broilers come
with legs and are easy to install, but,
again, they’ll need to be placed in an area
beneath your ventilation system.
A flat-top grill provides another option
for grilling pizzas. Mario Batali offers
grilled pizzas at Otto Enoteca Pizzeria,
although Batali calls them “griddled
pizzas.” He makes these pies by grilling
pizza dough in olive oil on a flat-top grill.
The griddle is a great tool for creating a
crisp, thin crust, and it produces various
textures in a single crust as the dough
receives slightly varying degrees of heat
1 grilled pizza crust
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ c. chunky tomato sauce
1 ball ( 8 oz./225 g) fresh mozzarella
2 tbsp. basil leaves
Brush the grilled side of the pizza
crust with olive oil. Dust with the
Parmesan and sprinkle with the mozzarella. Drop spoonfuls of the tomato
sauce onto the pizza. Tear the fresh
mozzarella into chunks and distribute
throughout. The flat-top grill, which also
should be placed under an exhaust fan,
has other uses in a kitchen. When you’re
not grilling a pizza on it, you can sear
meats, grill vegetables and heat liquids in
pans. It’s worth a place on the line and
produces great grilled pizza quickly as
long as you have a powerful unit that puts
out at least 54,000 BTU.
If these tools don’t fit within your
budget and you’d still like to serve a deliciously crisp grilled pie, here’s another
option: Take a 12” to 16” cast-iron skillet
and heat it on high until it gets smoking-hot. Paint a little extra-virgin olive oil
on a raw crust and plop it down into the
pan. The high heat of cast iron chars the
dough quickly and gives a great, smoky
grilled flavor. Then, turn the crust over
and top the pizza while it finishes grilling in the pan. This bare-bones method
yields a very impressive result.
Grilled pizza will grab anyone’s attention right away, especially if you choose
the right combinations of toppings.
Once your guest takes that first bite, the
crust will seduce his senses, and he’ll be
hooked. Building grilled pizzas is also a
lot of fun, and the creative possibilities
are virtually limitless.
Craig Priebe is the former owner of C.K.’s Grilled
Pizza, an award-winning chef and author of Grilled
Pizzas Piadinas. He is presently the executive chef
for Henry Crown & Company in Chicago. Visit his
website at grilledpizzasandpiadinas.com.
across the pizza, filling in the holes
between the sauce.
Grill the pizza according to instructions
on page 62. Garnish with basil leaves
(Recipe provided by Grilled Pizzas Piadinas
by Craig Priebe)