Friday is usually pizza night in my house, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. Sometimes we order in, but most of the time, we make them from scratch, rolling out the dough, loading up the toppings, and popping them in the oven. After some research, I’m determined to turn my Char-Griller Akorn Jr. into an outdoor pizza oven, with the help of a cast iron pizza pan, and some hot charcoal. You can use traditional toppings, or switch things up and make a green pie with me, with pesto, some greens like arugula or spinach, and melty burrata. Burrata is a type of fresh mozzarella that’s filled with heavy cream and shreds of cheese, making it so delicious and very gooey. It melts quickly and is perfect for fast cooking pizza.
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This pizza uses some pre-made ingredients like pizza dough, and your favorite pesto. If you feel like making them from scratch, then by all means, please do! Sometimes when I don’t feel like making the dough, or my store is out, I’ll call up my favorite pizza joint and ask to purchase a few balls of dough. I then wrap them in plastic wrap and put them in a bag and freeze for future use, just pulling them out to thaw in the fridge the night before I plan on using them, or putting them in an oiled bowl the day of on the counter to proof and thaw.
Next, I’m talking Akorn Jr. I love this little grill of mine. We take it to the beach often, and love to cook wings, burgers, meatballs in sauce even- on the surprisingly well surfaced area, even though it’s so portable! I thought it would make the perfect makeshift pizza oven, as it has a dome shape to circulate hot air, and the perfect surface area to hold a pizza stone or cast iron for getting that superior crispy crust. This grill takes charcoal, and I highly recommend using a Charcoal Chimney to light it. I place mine over the extra burner on my Texas Trio, pour the charcoal in, and turn the burner flame to high, letting everything catch light for about 5 minutes. Then I kill the heat, and let the charcoal finish catching for another 15 minutes. It seems a little intimidating at first, but once it catches, you know you’ve got it perfected!
I know you’re going to love this recipe, and I cannot wait to see you try it at home! Let’s dig in!
- 1 pizza dough ball, you can make your own recipe or purchase a store bought ball
- 1 cup pesto
- 1 cup fresh greens, arugula or spinach
- 2 burrata balls
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 4 T olive oil
- Fill chimney with charcoal. Place over side burner and turn flame to high, allowing charcoal to catch fire. If you do not have the side burner on your Texas Trio, you can light paper under the chimney so that it catches. We are cooking on the Akorn Jr. today, so prep the base for charcoal, scrape the grates to make sure they’re clean, and grab your stone or cast iron for the pizza.
- Once coals have heated through, about 20minutes, add them to the base of the Akorn Jr. and place grates over the coals, add cast iron, and close lid to allow grill to heat up.
- Let’s prep the pizza. Cut dough ball into four equal pieces and roll each piece out to a thin circle.
- I like to plate up all my toppings and take them out to the grill so I can make the pizzas quickly. When it’s time- add a drizzle of the olive oil to the stone or cast iron and lay the dough out. Flip after about 60seconds, once the sides start to golden and you see some bubbles forming. On the now cooked side that is up- spread ¼ cup of the pesto, add half a ball of burrata and close the lid for an additional 1-2 minutes, until the pie is cooked through. Remove from heat and top with arugula, fresh basil leaves, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper. Repeat three more times until all the pies are done. Serve hot, and enjoy!
Hope you love this grilled pizza idea, and you try it at home soon! Please tag me on instagram, @thatswhatsheeats, when you recreate this at home, so I can follow along with your foodie journey!
Thanks for reading!