Pizza for a Rainy Sunday

This last Sunday in New Jersey was not what I would call optimal weather for outdoor cooking. For most of the day it was gloomy, with dark overcast skies, and we got hit with a decent amount of rain. This was a nice respite from several weekends of brutally hot July and August temperature, but if you’re the grilling type, it’s not particularly motivational.

But lousy weather doesn’t apply to hardcore foodies. Not when they are really committed.

So when my friend Doug Keiles hit me on Instant Messenger and asked me if I wanted to drive down to his house in Central Jersey and help him come up with some “practice pizzas” to throw on his Big Green Egg, I said… OF COURSE!

Grilled “Monkball” Pizza, Sicilian pan style. This is topped with grilled bacon wrapped meatballs that have been simmered in a marinara sauce, with fresh Mozzarella.

Rainy days are for… Pizza Grilling! Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

A traditional thin crust New York-style pizza, made with dried hot and sweet Italian sausage from Mike’s Deli in the Arthur Avenue Retail Market in the Bronx. For this pie, we used a low moisture mozzarella-type cheese from Italy called a Caciocavallo.

The New York-style pizza, fully cooked.

Here’s a pie with a combination of Asiago and Fontina cheese with a Pink Vodka sauce base and crumbled bacon.

With the summer growing season in full swing, we had access to some really nice heirloom tomatoes.

Grillmaster Doug assembles an Heirloom Pie.

Ready to hit the grill.


Pizza, artwork, or both?

Now that’s a pizza.

Pizza on Foodista

11 Responses to Pizza for a Rainy Sunday

  1. Yuri says:

    Those all look absurdly delicious! Grilling pizza is definitely something I want to try now!

  2. Brandon says:

    Can you tell me where you got those pans for cooking the pizza?. Pizza looks great!!

  3. Bart says:

    Somehow, the grill doesn’t seem to be the right cooking medium for a pizza. I think the pizza should be saved for an extremely hot brick or coal oven, and the grill should have been used for some in-season veggies, like zucchini, eggplant, asparagus, onions, and …. maybe a burger or 2!!

    • A Big Green Egg is definitely hot enough to make a pizza. It can get to temperatures of around 800 degrees. In our baking we had it around 500, which is what most Pizza restaurants use.

  4. Vince says:

    Good stuff Jason, I’ve been doing Lavash pizzas lately and they’re great (and so simple to make). Here’s my pizza dough recipe, just in case you’re looking for one:


  5. Bart says:

    For the naive, can you please tell us exactly what a “big green egg” is? So I assume it really has nothing to do with conventional grilling, so Yuri is also confused.

    • A Big Green Egg is a specialized ceramic vessel for high temperature cooking as well as for low and slow smoking also known as a Kamado.

      It is capable of reaching extremely high temperatures (800 degrees F) and is fueled by lump charcoal. Being made of ceramic it maintains temperature steadily and evenly and is similar to what you would see in an Indian tandoor or a bread oven. So from a pure performance characteristic it’s not that much different from a traditional pizza oven you’d find in Italy.

      You can see some of the other photos I’ve taken with it here:

      Ribs Within Practice Sessions March/April 2010
  6. christine says:

    The images looks good, I bet the pizza taste even better. If you wont mind I’d love to guide Foodista readers to your post. Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post so it will appear in the Foodista pages and it’s all set, Thanks!

  7. TongoRad says:

    Looks like a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I did something similar on Saturday, making good use of some great tomatoes. I ‘marinated’ my tomato slices in a bit of garlic-infused olive oil, salt and fresh marjoram before constructing the pizza; it gave them a bit of ‘zip’ but still let the quality shine through. My latest technique is to use a super heated cast skillet finished under the broiler. You get some serious spring and char that way, and nice leopard spotting on the bottom.

  8. Bart says:

    Well, for guys like Yuri and myself that just have a lowly Weber, here’s a link that may prove useful to him and others like us:

  9. Vien says:

    I saw your blog in foodista and followed it here. This is a nice blog. You can also put other foodista widget in your past and future blog so that other foodista reader like me can view your other blog. Until next time. Cheers!

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