Grilled BBQ Pizza

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During the 2018 Instructable BBQ Challenge, our Kansas City Brisket and Burnt Ends reigned supreme. I'm not one to ride on the meaty coattails of victory, but... it's a year later, and of course we now need to talk about what to do with those leftovers.( ...Not the 2018 leftovers; that would be weird. But the leftovers from a recent smoke out.)

Recently in Kansas City, one of the top BBQ restaurants and top pizza restaurants joined forces to create the ultimate BBQ pizza, crafted with burnt ends, brisket, mozzarella, red onion, and french fry seasoning on a delicious crust and BBQ sauce base (pickles optional). This Instructable is our take on the famous KC pizza and BBQ mashup using an outdoor grill (or conventional oven if desired) and a pizza stone.

Additionally, we have included 2 separate pizza crust techniques and 2 more of our favorite pizza toppings: taco and margherita pizzas.

Supplies:

Tools

  • Grill
  • Pizza stone
  • Pizza peel
  • Pizza cutter
  • Knives
  • Rolling pin
  • Immersion blender
  • Optional: mixer or bread machine

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Sugar
  • Active dry yeast
  • Salt
  • Warm water
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Corn meal for dusting

BBQ Pizza:

  • BBQ sauce
  • Pizza sauce
  • Brisket
  • Burnt ends
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Red onion
  • Optional: french fry seasoning

Taco Pizza:

  • Refried beans
  • Salsa
  • Mexican or sharp cheddar cheese
  • Prepared (or leftover) taco meat
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Taco sauce
  • Optional: nacho cheese chips (Doritos)
  • Optional: sour cream

Margherita Pizza

  • Pureed or crushed canned tomatoes
  • Minced garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Fresh basil
  • Optional: red pepper flakes

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Step 1: Dough - Part 1

Mixer Dough - 2.5 hours:

The first recipe I have for you utilizes my Kitchenaid Mixer (or any stand mixer)! For all my fellow Kitchenaid fans, this recipe makes a fabulous dough that isn't sticky and and turns a lovely golden brown on the pizza stone! While it has the longest rise time of my recipes, its definitely a winner when it comes to taste.

  • 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 7 ounces warm water (105 degrees F – 115 degrees F)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Corn meal, for the pizza peel

Add the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt into the mixing bowl and mix until combined. Add the warm water and olive oil and set the mixer to medium. Knead/mix for about 3 minutes. The dough shouldn't stick to the bowl or counter, so add extra flour if needed. The dough ball should be smooth and elastic. Lightly grease the mixing bowl with olive oil, top with plastic wrap, and place in a warm location. It was about 95 degrees outside, so I set the bowl outdoors. Otherwise, you can heat a large microwave-safe bowl of water in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and then place the dough bowl in the microwave. Let it rise for 2 hours. Yes, this one takes a while.

*Pro tip: Use exact measurements and level off the flour with a knife. I once used Pioneer Woman measuring cups that have a tiny extra lip on the rim. The slight extra flour per 1/2 cup ended up making a huge difference and the dough was very dry.

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Bread Machine Dough - 1.5 hours:

My next recipe is for all my bread machine fans! This dough is equally luscious as the Kitchenaid version, but a whole hour quicker, with even less hands on work! This recipe is great for those who can't/don't want to babysit their mixer and bowl.

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cup bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast/1 tsp quick rise yeast/ 1 tsp bread machine yeast

Add the wet ingredients to the bread mixing bow and then add the dry ingredients. (This seems counterintuitive.) Set your machine to the Dough Cycle. This will take about 1.5 hours, dependent on machine.

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Pre-made Pizza Dough - 0 hours:

I wanted to create an easy method for the people who don't want to handmake their own crust, so I used a pre-made Pillsbury Pizza Crust... No. Don't do it. These are great for oven pizzas; just roll them out, add toppings, and bake. However, these are NOT good for stone-grilled pizza; they are way too sticky. If you build these on the peel, even with cornmeal, they are very difficult to get onto the pizza stone. Your toppings might spill everywhere. If you try this method, make the pizzas small and use a lot of cornmeal, but don't say I didn't warn you.

Step 2: Dough - Part 2

If you have already prepped your topping ingredients while your dough was rising, I suggest you start your oven or grill by preheating to 500-600 degrees Fahrenheit with your pizza stone inside. It's important to start with your stone in the grill before it preheats so you don't crack the stone due to thermal shock.

After your dough of choice is made and has had time to rise, it's time to shape it. First, start by halving the dough from the mixer or bread machine. Next, form each dough lump into separate spheres. Working with one ball at a time, while the other half stays covered, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. Use your pizza peel or pizza stone (whichever is smaller) as a guide to determine how big your crust should be. We found this handy pastry mat for $2 at a garage sale that shows our 12" desired pizza crust goal. I recommend making your crust wider than your peel or stone as the dough tends to shrink while adding ingredients. The mixer dough is pretty durable, so I often pull and stretch the dough in the air.

Next apply a liberal coating of corn starch to the pizza peel and place your dough on top! Don't press or stretch the dough once it's on the peel or you'll grind your corn meal into the dough, which won't allow the pizza to slide around easily. The last step before adding toppings is to poke the crust with a fork. The more holes, the less likely your crust will bubble. If you forget this step, it's not the end of the world. A bubbling crust's only downfall is it tends to push all of its toppings somewhere else, like a mini cheese and sauce avalanche.

Now it's time for my favorite part: toppings! We have included our favorite pizza toppings that will make you feel like a craft artisan pizza maker, but feel free to use good ol' pepperoni and pineapple. (Yes, pineapple belongs on pizza.)

Step 3: Recipe 1: BBQ Brisket and Burnt End Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup Pizza sauce
  • Brisket, chopped
  • Burnt Ends, chopped
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • French fry seasoning
  • Olive oil

For this first pizza we are going BBQ. Yep, that's right. Brisket Burnt-ends Queen. If you want to blow minds, add pulled pork too. Now, the trick to great BBQ is low and slow, so it's best to prep your brisket and burnt ends in advance, using our Instructable here. Like I said previously, this pizza is a great way to stretch out the last of those leftovers.

After you poke holes, you'll want to give the crust a nice coating with olive oil. I pour about a tablespoon or two on the uncooked pizza crust and then use a spoon or brush to evenly distribute the oil, focusing on the edges. If you have french fry seasoning you can sprinkle some over the oiled crust now.

Next, it's time for the sauce. You might think a BBQ pizza uses 100% BBQ sauce as the base, but the sauce for this pizza is a 50/50 mix of regular pizza sauce and BBQ sauce. I recommend using a molasses based sauce instead of a vinegar based sauce, and we used the pizza sauce from the margherita pizza (two steps down) but any pizza sauce will do. You can try adding more BBQ, but the sweet, richness of most BBQ sauces tend to drown out even the boldest of toppings. Additionally, the BBQ sauce is thick and can evaporate too quickly, leaving behind just the dry memory of a sauce.

The 1/2 cup of BBQ pizza sauce base will be enough for 2 - 12" pizzas. Start by add 1/4 cup of sauce to the crust and spread around with a spoon. Always use less sauce than you think you'd need; you don't want a soggy, droopy pizza. Sprinkle a good handful of mozzarella over the sauce and top with the smoked meat. I probably added 1/2 cup of each brisket and burnt ends. Is that too much? Who's to say?

Lastly, sprinkle the red onion on top, and you're ready for the grill.

Step 4: Recipe 2: Taco Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 can refried beans
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • Mexican or sharp cheddar cheese
  • Prepared (or leftover) taco meat
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Taco sauce
  • Optional: Nacho Doritos
  • Optional: sour cream

This next pizza is also a personal favorite: TACO pizza, or The Amazing Crunchy Option pizza, also uses a sauce base variant made from beans and salsa. For this pizza I recommend cooking your taco meat while your dough is rising or using leftovers.

Prep your crust with poked holes and olive oil then mix the refried beans and salsa to create the pizza base. If it's too thick, thin with a little more salsa. Spread about half the mixture evenly over the pizza. Add cheese and taco meat to taste, and you're ready for the grill or oven. You'll want to top with the fresh ingredients after grilling the pizza, but trust me, the Nacho Doritos are not optional!

Step 5: Recipe 3 - Margherita Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of basil and garlic canned diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 - 3 fresh garlic cloves, minced, or garlic powder to taste (omit altogether if using garlic pizza sauce)
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 - 3 large pinches salt
  • 6 - 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 5 - 6 large fresh basil leaves, sliced
  • Optional: red pepper flakes

And now we have the OG. The Original Garlic (I'm running out of acronyms...). This pizza is straight from the old country itself. A cleaner, fresher pizza you will not find.

This pizza base sauce is made by combining the tomatoes, garlic/garlic powder, olive oil, black pepper, and salt in a tall jar and mixing with an immersion blender (or use a processor or blender). The sauce is uncooked which gives it an even fresher taste. (You are welcome to use a canned pizza sauce). After your sauce is made, prep the crust with poked holes and olive oil. Then, add a 1/4 cup of sauce to the crust. Next add the cubes of mozzarella cheese. I recommend cubes rather than slices because slices are harder to eat.

(For an authentic look, leave a thick band of red sauce visible. and when the pizza is cooked add a single sprig of basil to the center. The colors from inside to out (Green, White, Red) make up the Italic flag! For flavor in every bite, evenly distribute cheese throughout the pizza. Basil is added after the pizza is cooked, otherwise, it gets burnt and unappetizing. Benissimo!_

Step 6: Cooking the 'Za

Did you do your prep work? Is your grill or oven preheated? If not, what are you waiting for?! The secret to brick-oven-esque pizza is a hot grill/oven and a hot pizza stone. Check your temperature if you can. Too hot of an oven and you'll blacken the bottom and potentially the top before the middle gets to cook. Too cold, and you'll burn the top before the bottom cooks. Once you've reached that delicate balance of hot but not too hot, which can take about 30 minutes, don't cool off your grill or oven by opening the doors for too long.

Now that you've prepped your cooking device it's time to grab that 'za. Pick up your peel with pizza and toppings and head out to the grill or to your oven. Quickly open the grill or oven, slide the pizza off on to the stone, and shut the door as quickly and safely as you can. If you have someone to help, they operate the door while you focus on sliding pizza off without dropping it or burning yourself.

Once your pizza is in the grill/oven now comes the longest five, eight, or ten minutes of your life! Depending on your actual cooking temp, how long you left the door open, or how dark you like your crust, your cook time may vary. I recommend you check at all three marks and pull it out with the pizza peel when the crust is golden brown and when the cheese starts to acquire lovely dark spots. Feel free to go longer for a crunchier crust, beware that the top color of your crust may not match the bottom color of your crust. One of the first times we had our grill waaaaaaay too hot (like 750 degrees F) (thanks rusty regulator) and completely blackened the bottom, while the top looked perfect. The moral of that story is to inspect your grill for proper function before cooking. The other moral is using a butter knife to scrape the worst of the burn off goes a long way in salvaging a toasted pizza.

Step 7: Fresh Toppings

After you pull your pizzas out of the grill, top them with the final toppings!

  • BBQ Pizza - drizzle with BBQ sauce
  • Taco Pizza - broken nacho chips, tomatoes, lettuce, taco sauce or salsa, sour cream
  • Margherita Pizza - basil
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    Penolopy Bulnick

    6 weeks ago

    These sound great! I really want to try the taco one :)