5 tips to make the perfect grilled pizza for 2022 summer

Welcome to a summer of (probably, mostly) being able to socialize — but the cost of entertaining over a meal is reaching stratospheric levels.

It was one thing to prepare self-soothing meals like duck or steak during the pandemic slog when it was for just you and yours. But now that grocery prices are on a dizzying ascent and we can (finally!) entertain and have a slew of folks over, that’s not going to make sense for most of us.

So, what’s a food loving, sociable person to do? Enter: grilled pizza.

This has long been a summer stand-by in my home and this favorite dish will likely be our go-to when we have friends over this summer.

Not only are grilled pizza delicious, interactive (everybody can get behind a pizza toppings bar!), and easy, there’s an unexpected bonus: they’re a great, budget-friendly way to use up items languishing in the fridge, or those canned items in your pantry you stocked up on when we never knew what we’d be able to find at the store.

A build-your-own pizza bar at Courier Journal dining columnist Dana McMahan's Old Louisville home.

We recently hosted our first pizza party of the summer with friends and their grade school kiddo, and the collaborative dinner was a runaway success (if by runaway success you mean everybody swapping slices and getting into a friendly competition over whose pizza toppings were best).

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Here are a few tips for hosting your own grilled pizza night.

How to pick the perfect dough for a grilled pizza

Lotsa Pasta pre-made doughs are available at Paul's Fruit Markets in Louisville.

Sure, you could make your own pizza dough. We’ve tried, with expert advice from the Pizza Lupo team. But, let’s just say there’s a reason that team runs a successful pizzeria and we don’t.

Pizza dough is an art and science that takes a whole lot of finesse. We need to keep things simple, so my husband I grab pre-made doughs from Lotsa Pasta, 3717 Lexington Road. The same pre-made dough is also often available at Paul’s Fruit Market shops in the freezer section.

Why you should pre-grill your pizza crust

For a quick pizza bar, use pre-made doughs from Lotsa Pasta, and grill them ahead of time.

This one’s optional, but if you can’t always rely on the weather (Louisville, I’m looking at you) or you want to be able to jump right into building your pies when friends arrive, go ahead and roll out your individual pizzas crusts and grill them ahead of time. If it’s grossly hot (hi, again, Louisville), this also lets you cool down or shower before company after sweating it out at the hot grill.

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