Before we snuck a grill onto our balcony one glorious day last May, I would regularly show up at friends-with-grills homes with prepared pizza dough and a few toppings in the summer; I love grilled pizza so much that I’d feed a crowd just to get my fix. It was one of the first things I made when we bought our own. The benefits of cooking pizza outside are manifold. With heat circulating all around the pizza and the dough resting on open grates instead of a flat tray, I find that you can get more texture — crisp on the outside but staying stretchy within — and flavor — charred spots that will immediately remind you of your favorite brick-oven pizzeria, without heating up your apartment, pretty much the last thing any of us want to do in the summer. Plus, it’s really quick. Once your dough is purchased or prepared, you could be eating your pizza in 10 minutes; not bad for a homemade dinner after a long day.
I’ve already discussed at length my favorite homemade margherita — my preference is for mozzarella that is packed dry, not the fancy stuff in water (despite what you see in the early pictures; promise you’ll save the fancy, ultra-tender stuff for serving cold and fresh with appetizers and salads, please) and for “raw” sauces, blended from canned or fresh tomatoes with some liquid poured off and then doctored up and seasoned well, for the best flavor — and I follow the same rules here. In the oven but especially on the grill, you must keep your toppings thin, light, and pre-sautéed or they simply will not cook before the crust is done; it also leads to puddled and wet pizza tops, something I’m sure we’ve all experienced.