Pizza Cooked On The Big Green Egg - Epic!
With National Pizza Day being celebrated 9 February 2024, we share an awesome way to enjoy this family favourite.
The Big Green Egg produces outstanding pizzas that will rival even the best wood-fired ovens. The heat from the natural charcoal radiates in a convective flow within the thick ceramic walls of the dome, allowing your pizza to cook very evenly with even bigger flavours with the addition of charcoal and your favourite smoking wood.
How to set up the EGG for Pizza
Optimal results are achieved when making pizza using the indirect cooking method, which involves placing a barrier between the direct heat and the food, effectively transforming your EGG into a convection oven. To set the EGG for indirect grilling, add natural lump charcoal to the top of the fire box and light.
Open the top and bottom vents and let the EGG rise to the desired temperature. Place the convEGGtor in the EGG with the legs up and place the cooking grid on top. Add a pizza stone to the cooking grid, and allow it to come up to temperature with the EGG. Adjust the top and bottom vents to maintain the desired temperature.
Cooking a Pizza on the Big Green Egg
Dough: Store-bought, homemade or frozen dough all tastes better on the Big Green Egg. For easier handling, remove refrigerated dough 3 hours before cooking if it needs stretching. The EGG's cooking temperature depends on the type of dough used. For doughs with sugar, a lower cooking temperature prevents burning, while doughs without sugar can handle higher temperatures.
Sauce: Various sauces like pesto, red, white, or olive oil and herb can be used as toppings on the dough. A light coat of sauce is all you need for your pizza to avoid a soggy crust. Spread the sauce from the middle outward, leaving about ½ inch for the crust.
Pizza Stone – Having a good quality pizza stone is important to allow the heat of the grill to focus its energy on the stone. We use the XL version of the Big Green Egg stone because it is great for large or small pizzas. We choose not to use a pizza steel because on a grill it gets so hot that it tends to burn the pizza crust before the entire pizza is cooked through.
ConvEGGtor – Also known as the “plate setter.” Having the plate in place, with the legs facing up is important to deflect the high heat of the charcoal. When running just the ConvEGGtor or just a stone over the charcoal, the chances of burning the bottom of the pizza before it’s done is more likely.
Pizza Peel – A good Pizza Peel is important. It allows an easy transfer to and from the grill, and makes it easy to turn the pizza for even cooking. Spatulas just aren’t as easy to use. You can use a metal or wood peel.
Infrared Laser Thermometer for Pizza Cooking
Having an Infrared Laser Thermometer is a non negotiable for cooking pizza. It takes immediate temperature of the pizza stone and does so quickly. It is also a great tool for temping cast iron pans and other surfaces. The Maverick Laser Thermometer is a great unit that gives complete accuracy of when to launch your pizza. It works fast and is easy to use. This is a must have for cooking pizza on a Big Green Egg or any pizza stone in the future.
To obtain high-quality pizza dough, consider contacting your preferred pizza shop to inquire about their pre-made dough or purchasing it directly from a grocery store.. But for those who love to make their own dough, our pizza dough recipe is easy to make, it just requires time. Begin with a high-quality dough to achieve the best results when grilling pizza.
Preparing the Dough
- After making the dough, preparing it for the grill is important. Start with a well floured surface.
- Prepare it using the pizza peel as the surface.
- Letting it come closer to room temperature is helpful so you can work it easier. A cold dough tends to pull back on itself when you work it.
- When you reach the right shape, drop a little large grit corn meal or semolina flour to make it easier to slide the dough onto the pizza stone.
- Be careful overdoing the toppings. Every topping weighs down the dough, making it difficult to transfer to the grill. Consider a few toppings versus putting too much on.
- Start small. For pizza on the grill we like to make small (around 10-inch – 12-inch pizzas). This way you can make several and put different toppings on each.
The Egg and the stone should both be at 500 - 550 degrees F as read on the dome thermometer. This temperature is ideal for crisping up the dough, fully cooking the pizza, and avoiding any burning.
How to Cook Pizza
Start charcoal, then position ConvEGGtor (legs up), followed by the grill grate. Place the pizza stone on top. Achieve an Egg temperature between 550-600°F on the dome thermometer. The pizza stone should be between 400°F - 500°F.
Check the stone temperature: Recognize the significance of stone temperature. The thermometer will only measure the temperature of the immediate surroundings. So having the IR thermometer is beneficial. If you don’t have the IR thermometer, assume the stone is approximately 50 degrees cooler than the ambient grill temp.
Carefully transfer the prepared pizza from the peel to the center of the pizza stone using your pizza peel. Cook the pizza with the lid closed for 5-6 minutes, occasionally rotating it 180 degrees after 5 minutes to ensure even cooking. Next, close the grill and cook for another 5-6 minutes. Due to the convection oven-like functionality of the Egg, there will be variations in temperature across the grill. Rotate the pizza 180 degrees for an evenly grilled pizza.
Inspect the bottom of the pizza for its appearance, then take it out of the oven once the cheese is bubbly and the dough is firm on the underside.
Position the pizza on a cutting board, then proceed to slice it. We advise against cutting the pizza on a wooden peel. A smooth surface ensures effortless sliding. Cutting on a peel creates roughness and makes it harder to remove the pizza.