Some grilling lessons from a vegetarian using a gas grill

Margarita Pizza made on a gas grill

Margarita Pizza made on a gas grill

As I had mentioned a few posts back, I did buy a grill, much to the amusement of my meat eating buddies. The first time I used it, it was a disaster. I was making veggie burgers on it, that I had made from scratch, and they essentially, disintegrated (the recipe was good though, see here). I was smarter the next time. I cooked the burgers on a stove top and finished them on the grill. They were perfect. Next up was pizza.

While I had made pizza with some success (see here), on a stone in an oven (our oven goes up to 550F, which is nice), I always wanted to try a grill. I did and the pizza was fabulous. However, along the way I did learn a thing or two about using the grill so I thought I’d pass those lessons on.

1. Don’t cook veggie burgers on a grill but be sure to finish them on it – Veggie burgers tend to disintegrate because the binding that is used (egg, as is often the case in homemade burgers) has not set in. A better option is to cook the burgers on a stovetop and then finish them in the grill. If you think about it, even the veggie burgers that you get in grocery stores are semi-cooked and hence can be safely put on a grill without fear of dismemberment.

2. Do melt cheese on the patty in the grill – Nothing like melted cheese on a burger patty. I used to use a frying pan with a lid to get a nice melt going, but the grill takes it to a whole new, more fabulous level.

3. Do make pizza on a grill but make sure the stone is super hot – I used a pizza stone on a grill for the first time and I made the classic mistake of not letting the stone heat long enough on the grill. As a result my pizzas started getting better and better as the evening went on. So, the lesson learned is that you need to put the pizza stone on the grill at least for an hour with the gas going at max. While super high temperatures (600F+) will likely not be achieved, the pizza does turn out much crispier than the oven. For me, the grill is the go to place to make pizza going forward.

Nice crispy bottom on a gas grill pizza

Nice crispy bottom on a gas grill pizza

4. Do watch the pizza like a hawk – With the high, direct heat in the grill, it is easy to burn the pizza. So watch it like a hawk till you get a sense for how long it takes to cook pizza on your grill.

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