Grilled pizza with mushrooms and pepperoni is a terrific outdoor dinner. Chewy crust, melted cheese, pepperoni slices, mushrooms, and red peppers all get a good dose of smokiness and a touch of char. Prep one pizza as another is grilling because they’ll get eaten as fast as you can make them.
Your grill always needs to be clean before you toss something on it, but it needs to be especially clean to make pizza. The extra fussing is definitely worth it.
If you’ve never tasted a pizza fresh off the grill, you are in for an incredible surprise. If it were easier to do, grilled pizza would be the standard. Not that it’s wickedly complicated, just more so than sliding a pie into the oven.
I advise preparing a double batch of pizza dough for your maiden pizza-grilling voyage. That way you can take a little batting practice to get your stroke and timing down. Grill a few pizzas with just sauce and cheese to get the hang of it and then, when you feel ready, knock one out of the park with all the toppings.–Bob Sloan
Grilled Pizza FAQs
What’s the easiest way to clean my grill?
Heed Bob Sloan’s advice and get that grill clean before you slide your first pie onto it. We loathe cleaning too, but we love a perfectly tasty crust so we do what we have to do.
Our cheat that makes for easy peasy grill scrubbing? Scrunch a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil and rub it forcibly against the grill rack, preferably as the grill cools after cooking so it doesn’t have the chance to adhere permanently, but if you’re as lazy as us following a leisurely dinner, you can also do this next time you fire up your barbie. Just catch it early on as it preheats, for your eyebrows’ sake.
Can I freeze this pizza dough?
If you want to save some of the dough for future baking, you can freeze it. Dip each dough ball to be frozen into a bowl that has a few tablespoons of oil in it, rolling the dough in the oil to coat it, and then put each ball into a separate resealable freezer bag. You can place the bags into the freezer for up to 3 months. Transfer them to the refrigerator the day before you plan to make pizza.
Grilled Pizza with Pepperoni and Mushrooms
For the pizza dough
- 4 1/2 cups unbleached high-gluten, bread, or all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 3/4 cups water
- Semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting
- Spray cooking oil
For the pizza
- Pizza dough
- Flour for dusting
- Spray cooking oil
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces white or cremini mushrooms cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) slices
- One (4-ounce) jar roasted red peppers drained well and cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) slices
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups pizza sauce
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella grated
- 6 ounces pepperoni thinly sliced
- Cornmeal for dusting
Make the pizza dough
- Measure the flour, salt, and yeast into a large bowl. With a large wooden spoon, stir in the oil and the cold water until all of the flour is absorbed. Continue stirring the dough vigorously into a smooth mass. If the dough is too wet and doesn't come off the sides of the bowl, sprinkle in some more flour just until the dough clears the sides.
- Sprinkle flour on the counter and knead the dough for 5 to 7 minutes until it is springy, elastic, and slightly sticky.
- Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with baking parchment and misting the parchment with spray oil (or lightly oil the parchment).
- Using a serrated knife, cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. Make sure your hands are dry, and then flour them. Lift each piece and gently round it into a ball. If the dough sticks to your hands, dip your hands into the flour again.
- Lay the dough balls on the sheet pan, mist the dough generously with spray oil and slip the pan into a clean plastic bag. Put the pan into the refrigerator overnight to rest the dough. It will keep there for up to 3 days. (See Note)
Make the pizza
- Remove the balls of pizza dough from the refrigerator. Clear a 2-foot-square area on the counter that you can use later for rolling out the dough.
- Place a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan gets hot, add the oil, spreading it so it evenly coats the bottom of the pan. Add the mushrooms and cook them, stirring regularly, until they soften, about 7 minutes. Add the roasted peppers and garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to a medium bowl. Set aside or let cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
- Set the mushroom mixture, the pizza sauce, the grated cheese, and the pepperoni on a table near the grill. Prepare enough coals for a hot charcoal fire, or preheat your gas grill on high for 10 minutes with the lid closed.
- While the grill is getting hot, generously dust a metal pizza tray or the back of a sheet pan with cornmeal. Also generously dust your clear counter area with flour. Using a rolling pin and working from the center, roll out one ball of dough into a 12-inch circle.
- Transfer the dough to a pizza tray or the back of the sheet pan, making sure there is enough cornmeal to allow it to slide easily. Repeat with the other 3 pieces of dough, placing each one on a separate tray. When the coals are ready or the gas grill is hot, bring one of the pizza trays to the grill and slide the dough onto the center of the grill grate. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn over and immediately spoon a layer of sauce over the crust. Add some of the cheese, then some of the mushroom mixture, then some of the pepperoni.
- Continue grilling for 2 to 3 more minutes, until the pizza crust is cooked through (this may happen before the cheese melts completely—but that's okay).
- Bring the pizza tray close to the grill and slide the pizza on it. Slide it onto a large cutting board. Use a pizza wheel to cut it into 6 pieces, and then arrange the slices on a large plate while you start working on the next pizza.
Originally published July 1, 2009