Introduction: Wood-fired Pizza on a Gas Grill

Pizza is dead easy to make and are sure fire hit with any crowd!

This method will have you cooking pizza on your basic Gas Grill that is as good as any traditional wood fired oven.

Step 1: First Make the Pizza

Use a packet of “Crusty” bread dough mix for bread machines, these packets have everything you need.

Most bread machines have a dough cycle or use a mixer with a dough hook - just follow the instructions on the bread mix packet for "Hand Kneaded" or Bread Rolls, this dough has a little less water and will produce a stiffer dough.

A 3’ish cup mix will give 4 medium pizzas (thin crust) or 2-3 thick spongy ones

Once the dough has formed, coat the inside of a large container with oil, place the dough in it and set it aside to prove.

Step 2: Roll Out the Dough and Prepare the Base

Once the dough has proved, divide it into portions.

Roll a portion out into a circle, the same size as your pizza tray

Flour the pizza tray and transfer the dough to it

Step 3: Dress the Pizza

I've never got time to make my own sauce because I'm an impulsive bastard so when I want pizza, I want it now!

Choose a good Passata, and add some crushed garlic to it. If you can remember, do this at the same time as you mix the dough, the little bit of time the garlic has to infuse the passata will greatly improve the flavour.

Spread the Passata evenly over the pizza base.

Step 4: Add the Toppings

Now the fun part!

The choice of toppings is up to you, just remember a couple of rules:

  • Cut everything as thin as you can, this will help the toppings cook quickly
  • Avoid Moisture, Wet toppings or toppings that release moisture as they cook will make your pizza soggy, squeeze the moisture out of things like olives, pineapple etc
  • Don't put too much on! The thicker the layers of toppings the longer it will take to cook and the soggier your pizza will be.

Start with a layer of cheese, this helps stick the ingredients to the base, I like to finish with a little cheese as well, this will stop bits from falling off.

Step 5: Set Up Your Gas Grill

If you have a four burner gas BBQ with a hood, remove the solid plate and move the grill bar plate to the centre of the barbecue, get the barbecue nice and hot by using all burners on high then turn the centre ones back to low before cooking.

Eliminating the solid plate helps the air flow around your pizza and will give a nice crisp crust.

Place three empty cans on the grill, the pizza tray will sit on top of them, this places the pizza up into the hottest part of the BBQ Grill where all the hot air is circulating and it creates some distance between the base and the direct heat from the flames. Setting it up like this will ensure your toppings will be cooked when the base is.

Devise a method to ensure nobody throws your cans out, I have found that small children and visiting mother-in-laws universally understand simple symbols which spouses apparently do not

Step 6: The Wood-fired Cheat

To get that "wood-fired" taste on your pizza, you don't need a lot of smoke, just a thin wisp.

One of those stainless steel trays full of wood-chips will do the trick set down on the burners, but more often than not, I just sit a small wooden block directly on the back of an exposed burner

Step 7: Cook That Pizza!

Light the burners and get the Gas Grill as hot as you can.

Place the Pizza tray on top of the cans, close the lid and set a timer for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes check your pizza, look at the toppings and lift a corner of the base to see if it is cooked. You might need to keep cooking for a minute longer.

Step 8: Serve Your Pizza

Remove the pizza from the Gas Grill.

Slide onto a heatproof surface and cut into portions.

While you are stuffing your face, roll out and prepare another Pizza!

Step 9: For a Bit of Fun

Need a good laugh?

Here is a video I did on the technique many years ago!

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