How to make Pizza in a Big Green Egg
Real talk: I’ve started writing up how to make pizza in a Big Green Egg probably 5 times now. It’s the one thing we were most excited to make when we got our Egg (except for maybe pulled pork), and I haven’t been able to write down the words to share with you. You know the feeling, right? You know what you want to say, but when you actually try to say it…it comes out making zero sense.
So. What I’ve been wanting to say is we’ve made pizza in our Egg a gazillion times, and it’s amazing. Like, stand-outside-during-an-April-snowstorm-with-a-golf-umbrella-over-the-Egg-to-protect-it-from-the-sudden-blizzard amazing. Yes – that did actually happen. And yes, it was worth it. Obviously. Pizza is always worth it.
The Egg creates a similar flavor to a wood-burning pizza oven, but you don’t get as much char on the crust. I mean, unless you leave the pizza in there for a while, in which case you can if you want to. But you don’t have to. The Egg gets super hot – we run ours anywhere between 525-575 degrees – so pizzas cook up really fast.
The only downside is you need to let the Egg preheat for about 45-60 minutes before you start cooking. Everything needs to come up to temperature so you get an even cook. We tried a shorter preheat a couple times, and the pizzas were not as good. To be safe, plan on making it a stay-at-home pizza night, or start your Egg at least 2.5-3 hours before you need to be somewhere. Trust me, it makes the experience much more enjoyable.
My biggest tip to be successful making pizza on a Big Green Egg: use quality ingredients. We’ve made pizzas using frozen crusts, store-bought sauce, and pre-shredded cheese. Oh, and that one time we ran out of pre-shredded cheese and I added some torn up string cheese. Definitely one of my finer moments.
BUT. We notice SUCH a difference when we use homemade dough, a good sauce, and cheese we shredded ourselves. I will admit to cheating on the sauce most frequently, and this is a great way to use up leftover pasta sauce. Homemade (or from my favorite local pizza shop) is wayyyyy better. Honestly though…don’t let the homemade advice stop you from making a pizza on a BGE. It’s delicious no matter what.
Can I contradict myself any more than I did right there? This is probably why it’s taken me approximately 47281 tries to write this post. To summarize: use homemade first, then quality store-bought ingredients, and only use the questionable store-bought stuff in an emergency. But ALWAYS make the pizza, no matter what lengths you need to go to.
The pizza dough recipe below is adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I swapped some AP flour for wheat flour, doubled it and adjusted the flour amounts accordingly. If you want to make only enough dough for 3 8-10-inch pizzas, go by Sally’s recipe.
- 2⅔ cups warm water
- 2¼ teaspoons yeast
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ tablespoon salt
- 5½ - 6 cups AP flour, plus additional as needed
- 3 cups wheat flour
- 8-12 ounces of your favorite sauce
- 3-4 cups shredded mozzarella and provolone
- additional toppings, as desired
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the warm water - it should feel warm, but NOT hot - and yeast. Allow to sit for a couple minutes until the yeast is foamy and smells somewhat like freshly baked bread.
- On low speed using the dough hook, mix in the olive oil, sugar, salt, 5½ cups of AP flour and all of the wheat flour. Once combined, increase the speed to medium. Check it after about 5 minutes - the dough should be elastic and slightly tacky, but should not stick to your finger. If it sticks to your finger, add ¼ cup more flour, and mix for another 5 minutes. I usually end up using 6 cups of the AP flour.
- Lift the dough out of the mixing bowl, and spray it with nonstick spray before putting the dough back into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise until it's doubled in size. If I'm making the pizza right away, I like to set my oven to the 'warm' setting (or 200 degrees) while the dough is mixing, turn off the oven, and put the dough inside. It usually takes about an hour.
- If you're not using the dough immediately, you can also let it rise overnight in the refrigerator. I usually do this because I think it's easier to stretch the dough out when it's chilled. Since this dough recipe makes enough for 6 8-10" pizzas, I will portion it into 6 dough balls. I use 3 at a time, and freeze the other 3 individually in ziptop bags that are lightly sprayed with nonstick. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.
- If you're making the pizzas immediately, start your Big Green Egg approximately 30 minutes into the dough's rise-time. Once the charcoal is lit, put the Conveggtor, grate, and a pizza stone into the Egg.
- When the temperature reaches around 500 degrees, maintain the temperature for 45-60 minutes to allow everything to preheat.
- After the dough has finished rising, portion it into 6 dough balls. Stretch each one into a roughly circular shape on parchment paper. Top with the sauce, cheese, and any additional toppings. Trim the parchment to about 1½ inches away from the pizza. It's fine to let the pizzas rest on your counter until the Egg finishes preheating.
- Use a pizza paddle to transport your pizzas. Cook for about 2 minutes before removing the parchment. (It can take a little practice to figure out a method to remove the parchment - we steady the pizza using the pizza paddle and pull the parchment out quickly. Don't worry if you mess up the cheese on a couple pizzas before you get the hang of it, that's par for the course.)
- Cook for an additional 5-6 minutes, or until the crust is done to your liking.
- Keep pizzas warm in the oven using the 'warm' setting or at 200 degrees until ready to eat. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
If you stuck with me through that…let’s grab a glass of wine and talk about what toppings you’re putting on your next pizza in a Big Green Egg 😉