Grilled Pizza with Maple-Glazed Bacon, Potatoes and Blue Cheese
I loooove pizza on the grill. I’ve been making it since way before it became a thing. Know why I like it so much? Because grilled pizza is as close as you can get to wood-fired at home (unless you have a wood-fired oven, obviously). The intense heat creates the delicious bubbly crust and crispy charred bits everyone loves in a good Neapolitan style.
This one was even better than usual, because I had a cast iron pizza pan right on the grates, creating the perfect surface (making it even more like a brick oven).
This post has been kindly sponsored by Kitchen Stuff Plus. If you aren’t familiar, they offer discount prices (yes please!) on great cooking appliances, kitchen gadgets, tableware, barware etc., they’re proudly Canadian (#buylocal!), and their brick-and-mortar shop actually keeps getting voted one of Toronto’s best places to shop.
With Canada Day right around the corner, they asked me to create a Canadian pizza with their Lodge Cast Iron Pizza Pan. So I lacquered bacon with gorgeous Quebec maple syrup, and paired it with BC new potatoes and local spring onion fresh from the farmer’s market. Then I added cheese. Gooey fresh mozzarella, then some buttery, sharp blue to balance the sweetness of the maple-bacon.
Bacon + blue cheese + something sweet? Divine. Think bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese. Do you know how fast those disappear?? So will this.
Ok, so the PAN.
Well-seasoned and loved, cast iron will last multiple lifetimes. (And even if you don’t treat it well, it’ll come back to great condition with gentle coaxing.) It makes a perfect non-stick surface (sans questionable coatings), it gets screaming hot for an excellent sear, and distributes heat evenly for consistent results. I LOVE IT.
Besides making a killer pizza, this cast iron workhorse will without question be used on regular rotation for many uses. Keeping in mind that it turns the grill into an oven of sorts, you can bake things like biscuits right on it with the lid closed (you’ll just need to flip, since there’s no top heat source). You can also use it as a BBQ griddle for eggs and hashbrowns, or to cook foods that easily fall apart (like thin fish filets).
Indoors, it doubles as an excellent stovetop surface for making pancakes, multiple grilled cheeses, or flatbreads like tortillas and naan. It replaces a baking stone in the oven for perfect breads. And (my little secret), when preheated and placed under a baking pie it achieves that elusive perfect (never soggy) bottom crust. You can also take it camping because this baby can go straight over the flames or on the coals.
Now the pizza. Use your favourite crust recipe, or use this one (which is easy, fairly thin but not super-thin, and has good chew).
Prep all of your ingredients and bring them over to the grill so that when you’re ready to make the pizzas, you have everything you need within arm’s reach. Because once the dough hits the pan, it cooks in a flash and requires you to be watchful and organized.
Don’t panic if it’s browning too quickly just slide the pizza off the pan back onto the pizza peel while you gather yourself, or turn the heat down to low.
- Lodge cast iron pizza pan
- Epicurean pizza peel
- Porcelain mini bowls with spoons (and tray, not pictured)
- Zwilling J.A. Henckels professional paring knife
- Fluted acrylic wine glasses
- Zwilling J.A. Henckels stainless steel pizza cutter
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For Pizza Dough
- 11 oz 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp instant quick, rapid-rise or bread machine yeast
- 2/3 cup very warm water 120° to 130°F
- 2 tbsp olive oil
For Bacon & Potatoes:
- Vegetable oil for greasing
- 6 slices 10 oz/280 grams thick-cut bacon
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 lb new or baby potatoes, sliced 1/8" thick
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 250 grams 9 oz fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- 100 grams 3.5 oz blue cheese, crumbled
- flour for pizza peel
- 1 small spring onion bulb very thinly sliced (or 1/4 shallot)
- To make dough, use a fork to combine the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a standing mixer with dough hook attached. With mixer speed on low, add the water and olive oil. Once the dough comes together, let the machine knead the dough for 5 minutes. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and position a wire cooling rack on top. Put a bit of oil on a paper towel and use it to grease the cooling rack.
- In a medium bowl, toss the bacon with the maple syrup until evenly coated. Arrange slices on the rack set on the baking sheet.
- Toss potato slices with oil and salt and arrange in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the bacon and potatoes at the same time on the upper and lower oven racks for 15-20 minutes, until both are crisp, swapping the pans' positions halfway through. (Watch bacon closely toward the end.)
- Preheat gas grill on medium-high heat for 15 minutes with pizza pan on top of grates. Meanwhile, divide dough in half and roll each into a roughly 12" circle on a well-floured surface. Transfer first dough-round to a floured pizza peel or rimless baking sheet. Slide dough onto the preheated pan and close grill. When top is bubbly and bottom is browned, flip it over (it'll only take a minute or two). Quickly brush with 1 tbsp olive oil, then top with half the mozzarella, potatoes, bacon and blue cheese. Close grill and cook until cheese is melted, 1-2 minutes. If you find your pizza is browning too quickly, simply turn the gas down to low. Repeat with second pizza. Top with onion.