Grillmasters and pizzaiolos don’t seem to have too much in common. But there’s something that both can appreciate, but few even think to try: smoking a pizza! Considering the flavors of pizza, adding smoky flavor can be a fantastic idea. So what’s the best way to smoke your next pie? It’s probably a lot cheaper and easier than you’d think. Whether you’re cooking pizza on the grill or in a Pizzeria Pronto, we’ll show you how to smoke pizza to perfection.
Pellets vs. Chips
Along with all the different types of tools used to smoke, there are also a very wide variety of woods available in several different forms. Which wood to use and in what form depends a little on what you’re cooking and what appliance(s) you’re using to cook. Let’s apply these guidelines to pizza and discuss which method works best depending on how you’re cooking those pizzas.
The Pizzeria Pronto
For those of you who read our latest Pizzeria Pronto Accessories blog, you already know we’ve recently released a pizza oven wood smoker set. The set is not only easy to use, but easy to install. All you need to do to start smoking is remove your oven hood and stones, install the smoker tray, and re-assemble. Preheat your Pizzeria Pronto as you normally would, and when you reach the desired cooking temperature, use the included shovel to add your Smokehouse-Style Maple Wood Pellets or chips. When the chips or pellets begin to smoke, place your pizza in the oven and enjoy a complex smoky flavor to compliment your favorite pie.
Pizzas on the Grill
If you’re already into smoking (on the grill, that is), I probably don’t need to tell you what to use to achieve smoky flavor while cooking. For the rest of us, let’s take a look at the options we have to infuse some smoky notes into a grilled pizza.
As soon as the demand for smoked pizza arose, we created a smoking set designed to fit right where it needs to be: along the sides of your trusty pizza stone. The boxes are curved to fit snugly next to your pizza, bathing your pie in earthy wood tones that compliment your ingredients perfectly. Putting these smoker boxes the same level as your pizza stone allows you to easily refill as needed, without having to remove hot grill grates.
Timing is Everything
Perhaps someday we’ll have wood smoke available at the push of a button, but for now, smoking your pizza just takes a little forward thinking. Since wood chips and pellets both take time to begin smoking, it’s a good idea to give a little consideration regarding when to place your smoking wood on the grill. With the Pizzeria Pronto, simply wait until you’re at least halfway finished preheating before adding a single scoop of pellets. This way, by the time your oven is ready to cook, the pellets won’t be far from producing smoke. Once your pellets have fully burned out, simply use the included shovel to refill the tray. When grilling your pizza on a gas grill, there are a few different ways and many different types of boxes use while smoking:
- If you’re using a smoker box on top of the grill grates, preheat your grill and pizza stone then place your filled box next to the stone when you’re ready to cook.
- If you’re using a smoker box beneath the grill grates, set up the wood before you preheat. You may end up needing a little extra fuel as your wood chips or pellets will be put on the grill sooner using this method.
How much is too much?
Yes, there really can be “too much of a good thing,” and smoke is no exception to the rule. Smoke is a powerful flavor changer, and if you’re not careful it is possible to overdo it. From our testing with smoking pizzas, we’ve learned that it doesn’t take much to imbue a wonderfully smoky aroma into your next pizza dinner. Start with a single scoop of pellets or chips, and based on the results, increase or decrease the amounts from there. A single 1 oz. scoop of pellets or chips should be plenty of smoke for 1-2 pizzas. Too much smoke can produce off flavors or acrid tasting food, so find what amounts of smoke work for you and stick with those numbers. Another thing to keep in mind is that certain woods pair better with certain types of meat. Here’s a short list of the most popular wood types and what goes best with each one:
- Hickory – Due to its strong flavor, its best used on red meats like beef and lamb.
- Oak – Versatile with a strong but not overpowering, smoke flavor. Use with any meat.
- Maple – Often produces a lighter, sweeter flavor. Great for poultry, pork or fish.
- Fruit Woods – Also produce lighter, sweeter flavors. Great for poultry, pork or fish.
What’s that you say? Your pizza is vegetarian? No problem, grab a few different types of pellets or chips and experiment to see what you like best! While no one has created a detailed guide to pairing smoking woods with veggies (yet!), that leaves you free to determine what tastes best to you!
There’s never been a better time to jump on the pizza smoking bandwagon, so be sure to grab a smoker box, pellets or chips, and your best pizza recipe and get started smoking today. You may find your favorite pizza flavor was there waiting for you all this time… it was just hiding in a cloud of smoke!