Here at Food Republic we are obsessed with pizza. And passionate about grilling. So we were psyched to meet up with pizza grilling chef Nick Seabergh at the recent Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. Seabergh, of the historic Italian restaurant Giardina’s in Greenwood, Mississippi, made us a grilled pizza topped with his housemade merguez sausage. While we scoffed it down, he gave us some tips on how to grill our own:
- Get your grill good and hot.
- Get your toppings ready — grilling pizza is partially about speed, so get everything chopped and ready before you start cooking. Seabergh used diced tomatoes, roasted garlic, shredded cheese, piquillo peppers, and slices of merguez sausage for his Moroccan-inspired pizza, but you can use your favorite toppings. Seabergh grilled the sausage separately to insure that it was cooked through, and then sliced it and put it on the pizza.
- Start with a basic pizza dough — we suggest our best basic pizza dough recipe.
- Using a pastry brush, coat one side of the pizza crust with lots of olive oil. This will keep the crust from sticking to the grill grate.
- Put the dough on the grill, olive-oiled side down. Brush the top side with olive oil. Cook the crust for about 1 1/2 minutes and then flip it over. When it’s ready to flip the top will be a little bubbly, like a pancake that’s ready to flip. Seabergh used his fingers to flip ours but we recommend a set of tongs.
- Add your toppings. The beauty of the grilled pizza is that the crust is super crispy and that it cooks quickly, so use less sauce and a less dense layer of toppings than you would for a traditionally cooked pizza. Also keep your cheese away from the very edges to avoid dripping and flare-ups.
- Close the top of the grill so that the heat can reflect down on the top. Cook for about another 1 1/2 minutes and check for doneness.
- Remove the pizza from the grill with a pizza peel if you have one, or just quickly drag off the grill onto a plate with your tongs.