Sunday, 21 July 2013

How to cook pizza on the barbecue

Last year, at the beginning of 'summer', we bought a fancy new barbecue. We used it once, and then it rained for two months. We shivered around it a couple more times later in the year, and then it was back to the garage for the winter. So now that we are basking in the hottest and longest summer that I can remember, we are certainly making up for it and we've been barbecuing almost every night. Which is great, except that with a vegetarian husband, and a fussy one at that, it's rather difficult to come up with many variations on veggie burgers and sausages.

So when I was invited to take part in The Charcoal Challenge by MoneySupermarket I decided that it was a chance to try something a bit different on the barbecue. We were given £50 to see how creative we could be, and I blew a large part of the budget on a pizza stone, something that we had been eyeing up for a while but not yet been brave enough to try.

How to cook pizza on a barbecue

To use a pizza stone on a barbecue, you need a barbecue with a lid. First you need to get the barbecue nice and hot, then place the stone on it for about ten minutes to heat it up. Our pizza stone has a removable baking tray, so you can prepare the pizza while you wait for the barbecue to heat up.

I use a simple and tasty recipe for pizza dough which came with my Kenwood Chef - 225g strong white bread flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon dried yeast, 150ml tepid water and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Just mix it all up together and knead for five minutes, roll out and leave to rise for about an hour before you add the toppings.

Make the pizza up on the baking tray, then when the stone is hot place the baking tray on top of the pizza stone and replace the lid. The instructions said that it would take about four minutes to cook the pizza, but we found that it took nearer to ten minutes.

We were so pleased with how well our pizza turned out. We know our pizza, and this was delicious. The base was crispy but not at all burned and the toppings were cooked to perfection. Lovely! Buoyed by our success, we also used the pizza stone to cook a pre-made garlic bread, all washed down with a small glass or two of sparkling wine.

How to cook pizza on a barbecue

Browsing through the instruction booklet as we ate, I noticed that you could also use the pizza stone to bake things, in particular cookies! So I knocked up a batch of cookie dough using my favourite cookie recipe and with bated breath we placed the balls of dough onto some baking paper as instructed and popped them inside the barbecue. Next time I wouldn't bother with the baking paper, but apart from the papery residue stuck to the bottom the cookies were also delicious - with a chewy caramelised base and distinctive smoky flavour.

How to cook cookies on the barbecue

So here's to trying new things, and adding a new barbecue meal to our repertoire!

How we spent the money:

Barbecue Pizza Stone - £35

Small bottle of sparkly wine - £3.50

Garlic bread - £1.20

Pizza topping - £1
Strong white bread flour - £1
Dried yeast - 65p
Pepper - 58p
Onion - 20p
Cherry tomatoes - 20p
Mozzarella - £1
Mushroom - 20p

Caster sugar - 99p
Golden syrup - £1.89
Butter - £1.30
Self-raising flour - 65p
Minstrels - £1

We already had a few bits in the store cupboard. This comes to £50.36, although of course we didn't use up everything that we had bought so there is plenty left over for next time!

I was given £50 by MoneySupermarket to spend to show how creative I could be on a budget when hosting a barbecue.

14 comments:

  1. I love my pizza stone, although I don't think I can put it on the BBQ as its not supposed to be heated without anything on it. It makes brilliant pizza in the oven - and nothing sticks

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    1. It worked so much better than we expected! I'm wondering if we could use ours in the oven too for the other 51 weeks of the year!

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  2. Great job, we are completely unadventurous BBQ cooks! Mich x

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    1. Thank you, so were we, we always had exactly the same for each BBQ, now we have a choice of two meals!

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  3. Love it! Next time perhaps try putting the stone directly on the coals (carefully)? Should get hotter.

    I don't quite understand a pizza stone you can't pre-heat first - I thought that was the point? Mine goes in the oven for at least half an hour on top whack before cooking.

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    1. Thanks for the tip about the coals, we followed the instructions with the stone but that might be worth a try next time.

      You do have to pre-heat the pizza stone first for about ten minutes on the barbecue, perhaps I need to re-write the post to make that clearer, thanks for pointing that out!

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    2. Thanks, I was more directing it at Kath Bee above - not sure why a pizza stone that can't be pre-heated exists!

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  4. We are thinking about getting a pizza stone for the barbecue too - for many of the reasons that you did. I'm a vegetarian too.

    Looks excellent!

    www.kneadwhine.co.uk

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    1. It's really good for vegetarians, it increases the options a bit!

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  5. I've never even thought to use my pizza stone on the bbq but I will do now!

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    1. I would definitely recommend, I can't see why you can't use any type of pizza stone on there, and I'm going to try the BBQ one in the oven.

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    2. I completely stole your idea for cookies on the barbecue & they were great - blog post (& link back) coming up! x

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