Best Pizza Ever

Hot on the heels of all the press about the imminent opening of Mozza, and the related chatter about the virtues of a "real" pizza oven (meaning wood or charcoal fired brick or stone ovens), I've perfected my favorite way to make pizza, and it trumps all other home methods (and most pizzerias) in both speed and taste.

I started well over a year ago with an experiment that turned out rather well, but I didn't pursue it further until last week when I decided that it was too nice of a summer day to try to bake a pizza inside. My pizza protocol is usually to use the hottest oven temperature I can get plus a pizza stone. I've made some tasty pizzas, but I've never been satisfied with the crust (occasionally home made, but more often a Trader Joes $0.99 purchase. Warning on the TJs dough - use it quickly as it loses its elasticity in matter of days).

It turns out that you can make a pizza crust (and therefore a pizza) 10 times better than most other pizzas right on your Weber Kettle, or presumably any other charcoal or wood fired BBQ. It sounds odd, but it is hands down the best pizza I've ever made, and it's all due to the BBQ.

Simply lay the pizza dough on the heated grill, directly over red hot coals which you've spread out underneath half of the grill. Wait for the dough to bubble and singe a bit (only a few minutes). Flip the dough over and move it off the coals to the other side of the grill. Decorate with your favorite toppings (as a philosphy less is more and if they are warmed to room temp it helps). Use your judgment about whether to heat directly over coals or bake with the coal's indirect heat. Either way, put the cover on the grill, since you need to heat the topping. I usually crisp the crust briefy over coals by rotating the Weber's circular grill until the coals are underneath. I then rotate away from the coals and finish with indirect heating. Topping the pizzas can be a somewhat frenzied process, since you are often working against overcooking the dough so it's best to have all toppings immediately at hand. In your frenzy it's possible to forget to flip the pizza. This isn't fatal - just use more indirect cooking after adding toppings. It'll still be fine.

Pizza is done quickly with this method. If using TJ's dough, you should split the ball of dough and make two thin crust pizzas, one after the other. This will still be less elapsed time than one oven-baked pizza. The BBQ pizza method tends to make rustic-looking thin crust pizzas best, but they are fantastic.

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