big green egg pizzas

pizza made on a big green egg

{We are off to Italy right now, but I wanted to leave at least something to be read while we’re away.  If you want to follow along on the trip, I’m trying my best to post on instagram when we have data/internet connections available.}

A couple of weeks ago my dad’s Father’s Day present to himself (that’s kind of how it works in our family sometimes) was a Big Green Egg.  He’s been talking about getting one for years, and since it’s christening weeks ago we have enjoyed so much good food–beer butt chicken, slow cooked pork, salmon with a smoky flavor and a sweet glaze, etc.

But what we have had the most of (and have been most determined to get right) have been pizzas.  The first time my dad heated up the green egg (and by the way, I do not recommend this–apparently you aren’t supposed to heat the green egg to high temperatures the first couple of times you use it, although it caused us no problems) my mom spread out pizza dough and my dad went to the store to get toppings (so many toppings–3 kinds of sauces, 4 kinds of cheese, bacon, mushrooms, chicken, olives, artichokes, and more) and we each made our own pizzas and argued over whose had to be the experimental first pizza.

homemade pizza on a big green egg

Well, it turns out, all the pizzas that first day were experimental.  My brother’s pizza didn’t cook enough.  Mine cooked too much and had a crust that was hardly edible.  My mom’s pizza was pretty good, but still wasn’t perfect.

Since then my parents have invited Gerrit and I over on numerous occasions to make pizzas.  And we’ve learned a few things.

1. Make your crust thin, but not too thin.  I know this is vaguely unhelpful (and is a bit obvious), but our crusts that have been too thick have under-cooked, and our crusts that have been too thin have not only over-cooked but have also torn and been difficult to transfer from pizza peel to pizza stone.

2. Use cornmeal on your pizza peel.  This will help your pizza roll off easily.  But again, not too much.  You don’t want the bottom of your dough completely crusted in cornmeal.

3. Heat up your pizza stone in the green egg before you start your pizzas.  We previously put the pizza stone and the pizza on at the same time, which resulted in my brother’s first pizza being underdone.  It needs that heat from the bottom for the dough to cook right.

4. Don’t set your pizza next to the green egg while you wait for the green egg to heat up.  We made this mistake with one of my pizzas.  The dough got too hot, and, even with cornmeal, stuck to the bottom of the pizza peel and tore as we tried to get it onto the stone.

big green egg pizza

My favorite pizza combination: alfredo sauce mixed with a bit of tomato sauce, mozarella cheese, provolone cheese, feta cheese, a bit of cheddar cheese (this heavenly combination resulted from us almost running out of cheese and scrounging for whatever we could find in the fridge) and chicken sauteed with basil.

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