Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Grilled Pizza with a little help from my Winco!

One of my favorite things about summer is the Barbecue.  I think anything made on it is 100% better.  For real.  I have this awesome Char-Griller 3001 Grillin' Pro. Yes, I know it's the propane one, and only the best grills are Charcoal.  But, I AM trying to grow when it comes to my BBQ skills so we have a side fire box attached to it for charcoal.  (I hardly ever use it.  Lets face it nothing beats charcoal but it takes TIME and planning to use it, and the fact that I need to learn to cook on it....)

One of the other favorite things I love and my boys as well, is pizza!  What we can't agree on is the toppings.  Believe it or not it's the first disagreement my husband and I had.  It was over pizza toppings, and just like Joey Tribbiani from friends says, "Joey Hubby doesn't share food!", and he wont compromise on toppings.  Our answer? 2 pizzas. Then we have lots of yummy left overs.  Well enter the picky child who "only likes cheese".  Pizza to make everyone happy can be expensive.  Well my friends, do you know about Winco Foods?  If you do not I have 3 words for you:  I am sorry.  And 3 more: Go. There. Now! 

Many of them have  Leonardi’s Pizza Co. inside them.  They will make pizza for you, I think there is a take & bake too. I have had their pizza at parties but never bought it myself because.... they also SELL THE DOUGH!  Hello?!?! How awesome is that?  Fresh pizza dough for $1.98!!??! That is cheaper than you can get the canned stuff and it is fresh and tastes better! You find it in the refrigerated section where you get lunch meats and pepperoni.  It can also can be found in the deli section. (How ever here is my secret, you can go to the bakery and ask for it frozen, that's where they have it, and you throw it in your freezer and have dough any time you want.   You can use it for bread sticks on spaghetti night, or cinnamon rolls... endless possibilities!  Also I am not required to bake it before the use by date because we all know stuff comes up during the week right?)  

With Winco's awesome prices we can afford to have healthy homemade pizza just how we like it.  All of my ingredients were found at Winco except for meatballs. (and you -can- find those there, we just like the Trader Joe's ones better.. sorry Winco)

Pizza Dough: $1.98 each
2 Lb bag Cheese: $4.99
8 oz Bag Cheddar Jack: $1.78
6 oz Bag Parmesan Cheese: $1.78 or 1.98
Pepperoni: $? I can't remember but less than 3 dollars maybe less than $2.00
Farmland Bacon: $?  Less than $4.00 some times it goes on sale for about $2.98 not often any more though
Tomato: $.98 a lb
Fresh Basil: $3.98 for the WHOLE BUNCH! (Its fresh and lasts a long time, some of that living stuff) 
Both the Ranch, and Red sauce were less than $2.00 each they sell it by the pound from the deli so it will vary in cost.
Now of course if you added all those up you might say it's still expensive but I can usually have three or four different meals with all this cheese, Pepperoni, basil, and Bacon.  And I know you could also make your dough cheaper, I simply do not have the time.  (Full time working mom here)  During the summer months I gather it all up, some times we take it in all in the back yard for a whole outdoor activity on the picnic table.  It depends on how hot it is.  :)

Here is my Grill:

I have found placing the pizza right on the grill cooks the bottom too fast.  I took the legs from my side firebox that I didn't use because its not a table top and saved them to make a riser. Then I put the pizza stone right on top of them.  It works GREAT!  I LOVE this grill.  It has 3 burners in it and a thermometer this really allows me to keep the heat just right.  When your grilling pizza it is so easy to under cook it, or burn it.  I also unscrew my top rack because there isn't enough clearance and it usually hits the pizza.

We are big fans of bread sticks at our house as well.  I always use one bag of dough for bread sticks. SO yummy!  I cook those on the grill as well and here is how I get them browned on the top.  I start off baking them on the top of the grill, then I move them to the inside through the side firebox. So the gas grates are above them.  I LOVE that I can do this! They get all golden brown and perfectly toasted that way.  ** Note you probably wouldn't want to do this if you were using your side fire box but I don't use it that much charcoal takes time. :)
While the bread sticks bites are baking, (this time I made bread bites it depends on my mood)  I get started on my pizzas.  We like to eat the breadsticks while waiting on the pizzas to bake.  I do not roll the dough,  I used to try to toss it (lots of practice!)

Just stretch it out on these pizza pans.  The holes help the dough stick to the pan and they keep it stretched out nicely and the dough goes on evenly.  I really like them.  ( Because we always make at least two pizzas I have two of them so I can make a 2nd pizza while the 1st one is baking)

My helper; dough presser, sauce spreader -  he may or my not have worn PJ's all day... 

We love the garlic ranch sauce we buy at Winco.  It makes THE. BEST. Chicken Garlic Pizza!

We also LOVE bacon at our house.  Have you ever baked it?  I have tried to do it on the grill but I end up burning it. Therefore I always bake my bacon.  It comes out so perfectly crispy and yummy this way.  To bake it just lay it on a cooling rack over a foil lined pan at 325 for about 30 min.  On nights I grill the pizza, I use my toaster oven to bake it so I don't heat the whole kitchen up.  The chicken pictured is from a left over chicken I cooked a couple nights before.  I love to cook a whole chicken and then shred it for several different things. :)  

The lower right photo above is a shot of cooking pizza on the grill. Here is what I have found works best:
1. The pan on top of a pizza stone.  The crust browns perfectly.  Pizza doesn't stick to it or the stone.  
2. If you have wood chips just toss them on grill. You get this amazing Smokey flavor. MMMM. I always forget to soak them so I often skip the wood.
3.Keep the heat around 400 - 425 it is going to change of course when you open the lid so I am constantly adjusting the heat.  You can't really walk away from it.
4.  Every 3 - 4 min turn the pan.  That way you don't have heat just in one spot.  I have found it has worked best if I start with all 3 burners on low, turn off the center for the second set of 4 min, then in the third set of 4 min I turn it back on.  Total cook time is between 12 - 15 min. 
5. The second pizza always cooks faster on the bottom.  I think this is because the stone is already super hot at this point.  I wish I could rotate them out but I only have one.

It has taken me about a year to find the perfect technique.  In the beginning I was using just the stone and it would stick and burn.

Here is Hubby's Pizza ready for the Grill:

Baking on the Grill:

Slice of goodness, the finished Product:

Have you made pizza at home? Do you have Any Grilling Secrets to share?  What are your favorite toping combos?

This is not a sponsored post.  Winco Foods did not ask me to write this.  I just share my Winco love because they awesome, and everyone should know and shop there if they have one in their town. :)

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