With Father’s Day coming up, it’s a good time for everyone to check that indispensable cooking device that’s on the back deck: The BBQ. I’ve certainly used my BBQ in the cold winter weather, even once clearing a path to it through the snow (handy tip: once you get it lit, all the snow melts off like magic!) but really, grilling is a summer activity.
Which leads to the perpetual question of what to grill?
Now there’s nothing like grilled salmon, a pile of veggies covered with Italian dressing and wrapped in foil and BBQ corn in the husk, but what else can you cook on a BBQ? Spaghetti? Well, you could have a bowl of water and boil it, yes. An omelette? Awww, come on!
Which is why when I learned that my favorite bake-at-home pizza place Papa Murphy’s promised that you could cook one of their pizzas on a BBQ grill I had to take the challenge, and so I wrangled my 12yo daughter K- to be my sidekick on this adventure and we phoned ahead our order for a perfect pizza: half pineapple, half spinach and pepperoni (can you guess which half each of us like?)
Here’s what it looked like fresh from the local Papa Murphy outlet, ready to cook, bright and colorful:
You can see which half is which, right? The green makes it easy.
Here’s one thing you might not know about Papa Murphy’s: they make their dough from scratch daily, hand-slice their veggies and freshly-grate their 100% whole-milk mozzarella, provolone, and cheddar cheeses each morning. The company also has a commitment to animal welfare, so you can indulge on pepperoni, sausage, Canadian bacon or other meats without any guilt. Something I definitely appreciate!
The company’s been around since 1981 and its first store opened up in Hillsboro, Oregon. Under the name “Papa Aldo”, as it happens. Murphy’s sounds better, though. 🙂
But back to the pizza. The deal with grilling the pizza is to remember two key things: 1. you need to get your BBQ to between 375F and 400F and have the temp stabilize there before you start cooking, and 2. you need a “heat barrier” between the paper pizza tray and the grill. I used a big piece of foil that I triple folded (and reused after we were done to wrap up the leftovers).
Here’s how that looked on the (already pre-heated) grill after just a few minutes of the approx 360F grill:
One trick that Papa Murphy’s grilling instructions emphasize is to turn the pizza 1/4 revolution every 5 minutes during the 20-30 minute cooking time.
I did my best even though we were also watching a classic Rock Hudson / Doris Day comedy at the same time, so here’s what the pizza looked like after about 10 minutes of cooking:
Look at that crust. Beautiful and golden brown!
In fact, a quick check with the spatula showed us that the pizza was indeed done, and in just barely 20 minutes!
We carefully pulled it off the grill and here it is, ready to enjoy:
Ah, you can almost smell its pizza goodness, can’t you?
I was certainly ready to eat, so we sliced the pizza up, I had the spinach and pepperoni slices, K- had the pineapple slices, and with the addition of some crushed red pepper and herb & cheese blend, dinner was served:
I really liked the extra crispy crust, but K- admitted that she was a bit more partial to the results we get out of the oven where the crust’s a bit softer. She’s wrong, though, it was delicious! 🙂 Regardless, we certainly enthusiastically ate our slices and enjoyed the oddity of having a pizza off the BBQ grill.
And so, for Father’s Day, now my kids have another idea that they can explore: getting me pizza cooking gear. For the BBQ. Who knew that they would go so well together. Kinda like peanut butter and chocolate (those wouldn’t grill up well at all, however).
Interested in trying grilled pizza but don’t have a BBQ? Papa Murphy’s has you covered: They’re hosting a giveaway for one of the really cool (and apartment deck friendly) Big Green Egg BBQ grills. Learn more here on Facebook: Win a Big Green Egg BBQ!