Backyard Pizza Oven

With the growing interest in expanding the indoors outside with added living space, it is no wonder why cooking outdoors has become even more popular.  I recently used a wonderful product called the Pizza Que pizza kit for Kettle grills. Most kettle grills can accommodate this expansion which turns the grill into an amazing pizza oven.  The temperature of my oven reached over 700 degrees in less than 30 minutes and kept that temperature for one hour, without any other assistance.  At that point, we wanted the oven to cool down, so it could have stayed hotter even longer!

Since our pizza cooked in less than eight minutes, we could have made at least 7 more pizzas in rapid succession during that time period.  The result was an excellent tasting pizza which was equal to any wood fired pizza I have sampled at any restaurant.  And, all of this in my own backyard for a fraction of the cost.

This was a really fun time as well, and could be turned into a super fun pizza party for friends and other guests.  I used my favorite frozen pizza crust, with my technique of using corn meal on the pizza paddle for ease in transfer into the oven and out. A mix of flour and corn meal could also be used.  Too much corn meal will start to smoke or burn if left in the hot oven for too long.

 

Midway through the cooking time, I rotated the pizza as recommended with the included stainless steel paddle with ease.  The crust was already almost done at that point, so the pizza easily moved on the ceramic pizza stone.

The kit assembled in less than 30 minutes and also comes with a thermometer which determines when the pizza should begin cooking. The oven must be up to temperature to achieve the best and fastest results. I followed the directions that came with the kit and had outstanding success. Thanks to the Charcoal Companion again for another great product.

The kit is sold on amazon.com, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and online at pizzacraft.com

 

Summer biscuit grilled pizzas

For those last-minute meal ideas, have you ever thought of using biscuit dough for a flatbread pizza crust? Inspired by the Deen Brothers, I put together this recipe for a fun grilled individual-sized pizza.  So tasty, so quick, and everyone seems to love to make their own flatbread.

It is so easy to roll out the biscuits in advance and have them chilled in the refrigerator before the grilling even starts.  Cut up your selection of toppings and have them ready for the guests.  I used one 16.3 ounce can of refrigerated biscuits and rolled them in cornmeal to decrease sticking on the grill.  The cornmeal also gives the dough a bit of crunch.

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Preheat the grill to medium 350-375 degrees and brush lightly with olive or grapeseed oil. Cook the biscuits on one side for 2-3 minutes with the lid closed. Flip them over and add the toppings very quickly, as the biscuits will only need another 3 minutes to be finished.

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Close the lid and allow the cheese to melt.  All toppings will need to be pre-cooked as the cooking time is very short on these flatbreads.

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Topping choices could be:  shredded cheese, sliced black or green olives, green onions, white chopped onion, chopped peppers, chopped mushrooms, small cooked bacon pieces, small pieces of pepperoni, cooked ham, chopped hot peppers, pizza seasoning, and many more.

This is a super easy recipe and one that really works. Everyone seems to love these little pizzas.  Also, mini pizzas could be cut into 4 pieces and served as appetizers for a summer party.  Make them in advance and keep them warm on low heat in the oven until ready to serve, or make them as needed for your guests.

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pizza bread appetizer

Many variations of this recipe are featured in the online cookbooks including Pinterest.  These round appetizer breads remind me of the 1970’s spinach dip in a bread round era. Those dips, served with the surrounding bread cubes, were popular for more than ten years, and this pizza bread recipe seems very similar to those popular dishes. In fact, I have already shared a recipe for an appetizer herb and cheese bread called cheesy herb bread during the month of December, 2012.

If you have an upcoming football or other sports party where an easy quick appetizer is needed, try this one.  I promise you that your guests will enjoy it as much as those seventies bread dips.

This recipe is for pepperoni pizza bread, but the pepperoni could very easily be omitted and other sautéed vegetables added instead, or even bacon could be used for another meat-lover option.   I purchased regular sized turkey pepperoni and chopped them in small stacks which took very little time and is a cost saver.

To make the appetizer:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Using a medium-sized round loaf of bread, slice the bread into cubes without slicing through to the bottom crust.  Place the bread loaf on a silicone mat or a foil lined baking sheet.  This is an important step, as some of the cheese will ooze out of the bread during baking.

Insert one package of small-sized or chopped turkey pepperoni into the cubes.  Follow with 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese.  Make certain all of the openings/cubes are filled.  Next, melt 3 tablespoons of margarine and add 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon oregano.  Pour these ingredients over the loaf into the slices.  If desired, sprinkle the loaf with sesame seeds or Parmesan cheese.  Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

Remove and unwrap and return to the oven for 10 more minutes until the cheese is completely melted and the loaf is golden brown color.  Serve with your favorite pizza sauce for dipping.

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Searching for more ideas? Check out Baking with Blondie on blogspot.com