How to Make Fabulous Pizza on a Gas Grill

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Crispy crust, fresh mozzarella cheese and endless toppings piled high have attracted us to pizza ever since Gennaro Lombardi opened the first American pizzeria in the early 1900s. Since its beginnings in the Little Italy section of New York City, American pizza has become a common staple for dinner, sporting events and late-night indulgences. Occasionally making homemade pizza can be especially delightful because it allows you to add whatever toppings you like, all baked to perfection. The next time you make your own pizza, add a new rustic flavor by tossing the pie onto your grill.

Roll out homemade or premade pizza dough onto a floured counter space. Avoid rolling the dough out too thinly or it will tear. On the other hand, avoid rolling the dough too thickly as it might not cook all the way through as you grill. Rather, roll out the entire piece of dough to a smooth thickness of about 1/4 inch so that it cooks evenly. Also, try smoothing out air bubbles with the rolling pin so that your dough stays as flat as possible as it bakes on your grill. Shape the dough into a circle or square as large as your grill will handle. Or you can shape the dough into personal-sized portions.

Turn on your gas grill to high heat. Using a basting brush, apply olive or vegetable oil to the grill plates. This will help the pizza from sticking to the grill plates as you cook it. Alternately, use cooking spray to spray the underside of the pizza itself before placing on the grill.

Place the pizza onto the grill either by gently and carefully placing it with your hands or sliding it from a greased cookie sheet or pizza stone. Because your grill is on high, this side of the pizza should cook relatively quickly. Grill until the underside is lightly toasted. Use a spatula to flip up the edges of the pizza so you do not burn it.

Take the pizza off of the grill using a spatula or by sliding a cookie sheet underneath once the one side is browned to your liking. Wear oven mitts to avoid burning your hands. Flip the pizza over so the grilled side is facing up at you. Add all of your toppings to this grilled side of the pizza dough. Start with sauce and layer cheese, pepperoni, sausage, peppers, onions, tomatoes and any other toppings you like. If you have all your toppings readily available, flip the dough over on the grill, reduce heat and immediately place all the toppings on the pizza.

Place pizza back onto the grill and close the lid of your gas grill. Doing so will help bake all the toppings. You should turn down the heat of the gas grill at this point so that you do not burn the toppings without giving them a chance to heat through.

Cook for about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how quickly the toppings cook on your pizza.

Turn off the gas grill and remove pizza either by sliding a cookie sheet or large spatula underneath the pie and transferring to a cutting board or large plate.

Let the pizza cool for a few minutes and enjoy your homemade, rustic creation.