This weekend is the New York City Wine & Food Festival, and one of the events that we are most looking forward to checking out is La Sagra Sunday Slices. Because what could be better than a walk around pizza party? Hosted by Food Network stars Anne Burrell and Adam Richman, and founded by renowned pizzaiolo and restaurateur, Michele Iuliano of Luzzo's Group, La Sagra brings together the best pizza from New York City for one walk-around tasting. Since we are a little pizza focused at the moment and it a sort of three day weekend, and hopefully you haven't put your grills away yet for the season, let's talk about how to grill a pizza.
A grilled pizza comes about as close as most pizza made-at-home pies can get to true pizzeria or restaurant quality pies. The intense heat of an open fire replicates the power of a commercial-grade oven, producing a beautifully crisp, soft and airy, well-charred and lightly smoky crust.
Some tips on how to grill pizza:
1. Get your grill nice and hot.
2. Get your toppings ready — grilling pizza is much about speed, about a minute per side. This is no time to be chopping or grating as you go, so get your mise in order before you start cooking. Also, since the cooking time is brief, pre-grill or cook any longer-cooking ingredients like sausage to insure they are cooked through.
3. Start with your favorite pizza dough.
4. With a pastry brush, coat one side of the pizza crust with a good amount of olive oil. This will keep the crust from sticking to your grill and allows it to brown more evenly.
5. Put the dough on the grill, olive-oiled side down. Brush the top side with olive oil. Moving or rotataing it slightly every 15 seconds or so, cook the crust for about 1 minute and before flipping it over. When it’s ready to flip the top will bubble, like a pancake. You can pop any particularly huge bubbles, but the smaller ones will take care of themselves in the flip.
6. Flip. When you flip, try to get the pizza to the cooler part of your grill.
7. Working quickly, add your toppings. Because the beauty of the grilled pizza is a quickly cooking and a super crispy crust, use less sauce and a lighter layer of toppings than you would for a traditionally oven-cooked pizza.
8. Slide the topped pizza over to the hot side of the grill. Cook for another minute, again sliding it and rotating it every 15 seconds or so.
9. Remove the pizza from the grill (with a pizza peel or drag off the grill onto a plate with your tongs) and serve.