Everyone loves pizza. But who wants to turn on an oven in the heat of summer?

The chefs at The Culinary Institute of America have a great alternative that beats calling out for delivery: use your outdoor grill to make a fresh and delicious smoky-flavored pie.

Grilled Pizza - How to make pizza on the grill

Grilled Pizza recipe

Making bread on top of coals is as old as fire and dough. Flatbreads of many types, like Indian-style naan and Mexican tortillas, have been traditionally grilled all over the world.

“The key to making a great grilled pizza is shaping the crust,” says CIA Chef Howie Velie. “Start with fresh dough, and roll or stretch it so the center is about 1/4-inch thick. I prefer to keep them small in diameter so they are easier to manage and get off the grill.”

Pizza can be made on your gas grill or any outdoor fire. For best results, make your own fresh dough, roll or stretch it to the desired size, and don’t worry if it isn’t perfectly round. Brush with oil, and place the oiled side directly onto the grill. Once it’s down, brush the other side with oil. Flip it over as soon as the dough is marked on the down side and begins to puff up slightly. You are now ready to sauce and top the pie.

Sauté or grill the onions for the pizza before you begin. If you prefer, you can use uncooked onions instead. In that case, use a sweet onion like a Walla Walla or Vidalia.

The tomato sauce that you use for the pizza should be fairly thick and not cold.

This method produces a crispy rustic pizza. By using favorite toppings, you can customize each one to everyone’s individual taste. Pizza is always a great party food, and this is especially true for outdoor parties when you make the pizzas yourself.

Grilled Pizza (video)

Culinary school instructor Howie Velie demonstrates how to prepare Grilled Pizza.

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About: Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering associate and bachelor's degrees with majors in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and culinary science, as well as certificate programs in culinary arts and wine and beverage studies. The CIA has a network of 45,000 alumni that includes industry leaders such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Roy Choi, Cat Cora, Dan Coudreaut, Steve Ells, Johnny Iuzzini, Charlie Palmer, and Roy Yamaguchi. Find out more at ciachef.edu.

Photo credit(s): CIA's grilled pizza photo credit: CIA/Ben Fink

Original publication date: July 1, 2013

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