Wood-fired, or even coal-fired pizza is the more elite way of cooking pizzas. It is also a more expensive cooking technique and technology, but they are quite popular indeed. Many of the top pizza restaurants in many cities are establishments that make pizza using this cooking method. Let’s look at some of the top restaurants in the US that serve up wood fired pizza.
One of the best right now is Champion Pizza in New York City. You can check them out on Foursquare, but they also deliver and make a great take away slice. Check them out if you are in the big apple.
Embers Wood Fired Pizza is one of those establishments, and it is located in Illinois. Specifically on Mattes Avenue in Vandalia IL, Embers Wood Fired Pizza is also known for its wings. One person talked about the prosciutto balls as a favorite. Another reviewer talked about the Meatza Pizza, which sounds really delicious.
The next wood fired pizza place is in Asheville NC. It is called Fresh Wood Fired Pizza, and it is on Depot Street. The pictures for the restaurant on a top travel site feature not only the pizza but a type of chocolate cheesecake. Both look absolutely scrumptious, and the pizza looks like it is completely covered with toppings. Fresh Wood Fired Pizza also serves up paninis and Tuscan salads.
Stoked Wood Fired Pizza Company is another top pizza place in the US that serves this type of pizza. This establishment is located in Massachusetts, on Beacon Street in Brookline. Not only is Stoked Wood Fired Pizza Company known for great pizza but also Greek salads, wings and even rice crispy treats.
Washington DC has the next restaurant that is in the spotlight, and it is Ella’s Wood Fired Pizza. This pizza place is located on 9th Street NW, and the reviews mention fresh sangria. Of course, people talk highly of the pizza, and another favorite menu item is the tiramisu. Salads, chocolate cake and more are all mentioned, too.
The last wood fired pizza for this article brings us back to New York. Harvest and Hearth Wood Fired Artisan Pizza is in Saratoga Springs NY on County Route 67. One of the extras for this establishment is that they serve up a brownie sundae that made the menu highlights on a travel site. That is like the icing on the cake or the cherry on the sundae. Okay, no more word games, as its time for you to enjoy one of these top wood-fired pizza restaurants. Are any of them near you?
Just because you don’t own a fancy and expensive brick pizza oven doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the delicious taste, smell, and mouth-feel of home-made pizza. Making pizza at home takes little time and tools you likely already own.
In order to make pizza, you will need a few things. First, you will need a barbecue. For first-timers, a gas-fired barbecue is suggested as this will give you better control over the temperature. Charcoal and wood-fired grills work as well and will impart a smokiness in the pizza. The second thing you will want to have is a pizza stone or large cast-iron pan. Both of these items serve to evenly distribute the heat onto the pizza without allowing the fire to directly touch the dough. Last but not least you will need your components which are dough, sauce, cheese, and toppings.
A good dough is the heart of the pizza. The dough is easy to make but takes practice to perfect. To help you get a feel for making pizza, it is suggested you purchase dough from a local pizzeria or supermarket. This will help ensure your first venture in pizza is a success. Once you have mastered pizza using a premade dough, feel free to investigate making your own dough which opens up many more possibilities while giving you even greater bragging rights to your devoted pizza-loving guests.
If the dough is the heart of the pizza, then the sauce is its soul. A good sauce is hard to miss. It is both rich and tangy. The flavors are fresh and bright. Making the sauce, much like dough, can be a simple prospect but again takes practice. For your first time making pizza on a grill, I urge you to purchase some pizza sauce from a local pizzeria or, if in a pinch, from a supermarket in a jar or can.
Quality cheese is just as important to your pizza as any other ingredient. In this case, there is no reason to compromise. Fresh mozzarella cheese is a must. Grate your cheese by hand or with a machine if you have access to one. For some styles of pizza, you can use thin slices of cheese instead. Once you have the hang of making pizza, feel free to experiment with different types of cheese. Just because a pizza is non-traditional does not mean it isn’t delicious!
Let your dough come to room temperature and then roll or stretch it into a pie shape. Try to keep the edges of the pizza slightly thicker than the center while being careful not to make any holes. The thicker edge will form a traditional crust. While there are many methods of achieving this goal, do what works for you. Throwing pies and mastering the art of stretching out pizza dough will take practice and patience. For now, stick with smaller pizzas and work your way up to the more difficult stretching techniques.
Assembling your pizza for the oven is fun for everyone. Lay your shaped dough out on a floured work area and apply your sauce. Start at the center of the pie and work your way out in a spiral motion. Be careful not to use too much as this will result in a soggy pie. Once the sauce is on, put down a layer of cheese. Try to cover the sauce evenly but don’t over-do it. Now is time for your toppings! Add generous amounts of your favorites which may include pepperoni, olives, onions or perhaps even pineapple. Use your imagination and you will not be disappointed.
The key to a crispy crust is a hot grill. Preheat your closed grill at its highest setting for at least 15 minutes with the pizza stone or upside-down cast iron pan inside. Now comes the tricky part: getting your pizza on the stone or pan. While a pizza peel is a traditional tool to use, you can transfer your pizza to a floured plate or cutting board instead. Have an assistant open the grill while you carefully transfer the pizza to the stone or pan. Once the pizza is in place it will be difficult to make adjustments so try your best to get it straight the first time. This takes practice so don’t be discouraged if at first, it goes wrong.
Allow your pizza to cook with the grill closed until the cheese on top is hot and bubbly which generally takes around 10 minutes. Once your pizza is cooked to your liking, use your pizza peel, metal spatula or similar implement to retrieve the now crispy treat.
Don’t worry if your pizza doesn’t come out perfect the first time. Like everything else worth doing, making pizza takes practice. Perseverance and patience will yield better results with each effort. After just a few tries, you’re sure to find making pizza on a grill to be a wonderful, exciting and delicious experience.