which shall it be – pizza or wings?

There will be crying before the night’s out….

It was a bit warm during the day, so we decided to have pizza again for dinner last night. But the last time we made it on the barbecue, the bottom got a bit scorched. So T had the brilliant idea to cook the dressed pizza on the top shelf.

Because we are such hogs, we like to make a huge pizza. We shape the dough and put it on a giant pizza pan – originally, we bought the pan to use as a lid for our paella pan. It just fits into the barbecue. The first stage of cooking went very well. The dough puffed up a bit and had just the right tinge of gold on the bottom. We brought it inside, turned it over and dressed it with homemade sauce, mozzarella, ham, sliced onions, spinach and oil-cured sun-dried black olives. And back outside it went. T managed to balance the pan on the top shelf – just balanced, I might add. He kept saying we’d done this before. I didn’t remember but then I never do any of the barbecuing so he must be right…. And he carefully, oh so carefully, closed the lid. We could sense the pan teetering and resting back in place. (You can see where this is going, can’t you?)

I put the oven mitts on the wooden shelf right beside the barbecue. And said, “be very very careful opening the lid. I think that pan wants to fall.”

I received a withering look and assurances that great care would be taken. Then I said, “If something bad happens, you know what will happen, don’t you?”

“Yelling. Lots of yelling.”
“And then?”
“More yelling.”
“Maybe. And then?”
“More yelling?”
To which I replied, “No. We’ll walk down to the high street and go for wings.”
“Okay. Good plan. But nothing bad is going to happen. We’ve done it like this before.”

And I went inside to set the table. (You do know what’s going to happen, don’t you?) And as I got out the knives and forks, I heard a rather loud crash of the barbecue lid suddenly closing. And a muffled curse. And my name being called.

“Are you okay??!”
“It looks like we’re going out for wings.”
“You’re joking.”
“Nope.”

Rrrrrrrrr… and out I went to see most of the pizza right side up on its pan on the bottom shelf of the barbecue. About a third of the toppings were lying in a steaming heap on the ground in front of the barbecue. But really, most was still intact. T had managed to push the falling pan onto the bottom shelf just as it was beginning its careening descent. I have no idea how he managed to sidestep the uppermost ingredients that swooshed to the ground as he completed this amazing maneuver.

I went and got the snow shovel and shovelled up most of the onions, a little of the cheese, ham, spinach and all but ONE of the olives and pushed it all under the shrubbery. (I’m sure the resident raccoons were ecstatic last night.)

We finished cooking what was left of the pizza over indirect heat on the bottom shelf. And remembered that the time we had cooked pizza on the top shelf was when we were still using two regular sized pans instead of one giant one.

So we didn’t go out for wings after all. And you know what? Even though some of it was bare, the pizza was pretty darn good.

“Hey, we should do it like that every time!”
“Ummm… Hey! How come you got to have the one and only olive when I was the one who asked for olives tonight?”

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  • Amy

    I’ve always wanted to try grilling pizza and now I know—2 pans instead of one big one!! thanks for the tip. :)

  • ejm

    It’s okay to use one big pan, Amy. Just don’t try to balance it on the small upper shelf of the barbecue….

    My sister grills pizza directly on the barbecue (no pan at all) She says it doesn’t fall through. I suspect that if we made 3 pizzas using the same amount of dough that we use for making one giant one, we could do the same thing.

    Whatever you decide to do, here’s the method: shape the dough and put it on a well oiled pan (or not if you decide to follow my sister’s method) Turn on the barbecue, shut the lid and let it heat up for a few minutes. Put the pan (or the dough if you’re using my sister’s method) on the bottom stable shelf. Close the lid and bake for about 5 minutes or so. Check the bottom of the dough. If it is a very light gold, take the crust off the heat and turn it over. Dress the golden side. Put the pizza back on the barbecue, close the lid and let it bake til the cheese is bubbly. You might want to turn the pizza around a couple of times to account for uneven heat.

    Happy pizza making!