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Tom Douglas: How to cook pizza on the grill

Seattle chef Tom Douglas says the home grill can be a great stand-in for a wood-fired pizza oven. (AP Photo/file)

Summer evenings were made for grilling, but don’t be limited to what you can find in the meat and veggie aisles. Seattle Kitchen host Tom Douglas says the old grill can cook a mean pizza, too.

Douglas, who himself owns one of Seattle’s favorite pizzerias, Serious Pie, says home grills can be a great stand-in for traditional wood-fired pizza ovens.

“What I like about it is it lets people cook a pizza over fire when they don’t have a pizza oven,” says Douglas. “This is a great way to get some smoky charcoal flavors onto your crust.”

To start, Douglas says to set the grill to medium heat and oil up the grate. For charcoal grills, he says wait until the coals have a thin layer of ash, give them a stir and you’re ready to go.

“Now you just take that very same pizza dough, and you know how you flick your wrist and you drop it into your home oven? You do the same thing onto your grill.”

He says don’t touch it for at least a minute or two because you have to let it set. After a minute or two, you can take a peek with tongs or a spatula to see how things are going.

“Once it’s set, you’re going to be able to flip that thing,” says Douglas. “On a grilled pizza, you want to cook the dough essentially first before any toppings go on.”

After the dough is pretty well cooked, Douglas says it’s time for the toppings.

“You can put tomato sauce and cheese and pepperoni on there and close the lid and let that thing bake like it’s in an oven.”

Tom’s favorite pizzas on the grill are salad pizzas. He’ll even grill some of the veggie and fruit toppings for additional layers of flavor.

“You could just go ahead and finish your dough on both sides and then (take) it off and hit it with garlic, olive oil, and some red chillies and just take fresh sliced figs or pre-grilled figs and arugula and make a little salad for the top of your pizza dough.”

Grilling pizzas is “much simpler than you think,” says Tom, “what better way to spend your summer day?”

Seattle Kitchen with Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau can be heard on KIRO Radio on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. Available anytime at


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