I’m a huge fan of pizza of just about all types. Not necessarily toppings, but crust/cooking styles. I like New York style pizza, deep dish Chicago style pizza, even thin St. Louis style pizza. My favorite by far though is the wonderfully crispy pizza that you can get in the pizzarias all over Europe that advertise their wood fired ovens. Some of you may tell me there are pizza places in the US that have wood ovens, but I’ve never been to one that didn’t make a chewey crust pizza.
Whenever I’ve felt the need for this type of pizza I’ve always settled for grilled pizza. It’s good, but like the chewey wood oven pizzas not really what I’m craving. The solution is to use a pizza stone on the grill. We’ve got a 16″ round stone which fits perfectly in the 22″ Weber kettle.
Fill a chimney starter with charcoal and when it’s nicely started pile it centrally in the grill (or do what I do and use those charcoal trays to hold the coals). Place your pizza stone directly on your grill grate and then place over the coals. Cover the grill and allow the stone to heat thoroughly.
In between pizzas I leave the grill cover off for 3-4 minutes while I prep the next pizza to let the coals/stone get super hot again. I’m not sure how hot the stone gets, but it’s substantially hotter than the 500° that I can get in my oven.
I make the crusts as thin as possible then let them rest for 2-3 minutes before transferring them to a peel. Top lightly with your favorite toppings then transfer from a peel to the stone on the grill. Cover the grill and allow the pizza to cook to your desired level of doneness. I think 4 minutes 30 seconds is ideal, this also coincides with how long pizzas get cooked in a traditional wood oven.
This method makes a great pizza it is as close to a European wood oven pizza as I think is possible without the investment of building/buying a specialty oven.