Making homemade pizza is fun and tasty, but baking the pie in a 550°F home oven can heat up the kitchen pretty quickly, especially during the hot summer months. If you want to simulate a wood-fired oven without turning up the heat in your kitchen, try grilling the pizza instead. A variety of pizzas can be made on the grill, from simple cheese pizzas to more creative versions using the toppings of your choice.
A friend of mine came over for dinner the other night. He loves to grill, and I love to bake bread so we put our collective talents together and created our own method for making BBQ Chicken Pizza on the Grill. This pizza is made with NY-style pizza dough and topped with BBQ sauce, grilled chicken, a variety of cheeses, sliced green peppers and red onion. It’s very tasty!
BBQ Chicken Pizza
The dough is made with Peter Reinhart’s NY Style Pizza Dough and the grilling method is adapted from Pizza on the Grill by Elizabeth Karmel and Bob Blumer.
- Grilled chicken *
- 1 prepared pizza dough ball
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (I used a KC-type sauce.)
- 1 cup grated smoked mozzarella (I couldn’t find this, so I used Fontina cheese.)
- 1 cup grated Colby Jack cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
- 1/3 medium red onion, cut into thin rings
- Small bell pepper (any color), halved, seeded, and cut into very thin strips
- BBQ rub, red pepper flakes, or herbs (optional)
*The recipe suggested grilling a 12 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast and cutting it into 1/4-inch strips. We wanted to make more than one pizza so we grilled more chicken. We used bone-in chicken breasts and drumsticks and pulled off (rather than cut) the meat after it had cooled.
Prepare the dough. Then place it in the refrigerator overnight for at least 12 hours. About two hours before you plan to make the pizza(s), remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide it into three equal pieces. Form the pieces into tight balls, mist them with spray oil, and cover them loosely with plastic wrap. If it’s hot, it won’t take 2 hours for the dough to be ready for the grill.
Grill the chicken. You can grill the chicken using any method you like or use leftover chicken if you prefer. We let the chicken breasts and drumsticks soak in a salt and sugar water bath for a few hours before we grilled the meat so the chicken was really moist.
Roll out and shape the dough. Instead of trying to fight with the pizza peel (and end up dropping the pizza on the grill), I decided to spread the dough out on a rectangular-shaped piece of aluminum foil that I prepared with an olive oil spray. This was the right size to fit on my 3-burner electric grill. (Thanks to my grill buddy for reminding me about this method.)
Prepare the Grill. Preheat the grill by setting all of the burners on high. After you light the grill, close the lid and leave it on high for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat of all the burners to medium. My grill was about 550°F at this point and went down to 450°F when I reduced the heat to medium.
Grill the first side of the crust. I spread olive oil on the top of the dough. Then, we sprayed the grill with olive oil spray. Then I transferred the dough (on the aluminum foil) to the grill, flipped in onto the grill and peeled off the back from the aluminum foil. The olive oil made the crust really crispy. Close the lid and grill for 3 minutes, then check it.
Add the Toppings. It should be nicely browned and well-marked. Use tongs to transfer the pizza from the grill to a baking peel or rimless baking sheet; or just place it back on the aluminum foil as I did. I sprayed the aluminum with olive oil spray first so the uncooked side wouldn’t stick to it.
Brush the entire surface with the BBQ sauce. Sprinkle the chicken over the top. For the first pizza, I used too much cheese and not enough chicken or BBQ sauce so for the second pizza, I increased the BBQ sauce and the chicken. I also added more BBQ sauce on top of the chicken for flavor.
Sprinkle with the cheeses. Arrange the onion rings and the bell pepper over the cheese.
Grill the other side. Switch the grill to indirect heat by turning off the center burner. Transfer the pizza back to the grill and place it gently on the grates. Grill, with the lid down, for about 7 to 10 minutes, or until the bottom is well browned and the cheese is melted. I rotated the pizza a couple of times to keep it from burning. It still burned in a couple of places but that added to the texture and with the smoky BBQ sauce, it also added to the flavor.
Enjoy the Pizza. Remove from the grill and sprinkle with the BBQ rub and season with salt and pepper if desired. We didn’t add any salt since the chicken had been in a salt bath before we grilled it.
Pictured below is the second pizza.
It was awesome! It was crispy and full of flavor.
Now that warm weather is here, it’s time to get out of the hot kitchen and enjoy the outdoors. Go grill some pizza.
Happy baking and grilling!