Grandpa Gotta Cook—Homemade Grilled Individual Pizzas

in #food3 years ago

This week on Grandpa Gotta Cook...

My wife wanted pizza. She never wants pizza. She didn't want it bought at a pizzeria or at a store. She wanted me to make it from scratch. The only allowance—the dough.


Welcome to this week's episode of Grandpa Gotta Cook.

If you've been following my cooking exploits over the last few months, you've undoubtedly learned a few things. Primary among them being—I'm not a professional, I do okay, I get too ambitious for my own good, and I've got a range of eaters that I need to try to satisfy.

Another thing you should be aware of is, I hardly ever get requests.

Except from the youngest son. He suggests I make the same dish every week. So far, I've been putting that off.

Pizza_Stone package.jpg

This past week, though, my wife stepped into the food flinging fray and insisted I grill some pizzas. Not store bought, not Papa Murphy's or some other take 'n' bake brand, but make them myself using ingredients from our garden and then buy whatever else I might need.

Like most things I've been endeavoring to do for Food Fight Friday, I'd never baked a pizza on a grill before. I started looking around on the Internet for the best way to do this, and came to the conclusion I should try out a Pizza Stone.

So, I started looking around for them. Local stores didn't have it. Costco didn't carry it. Nor did Walmart. Nope, these things' natural habitat was a home improvement store, in the grilling section. Lowe's didn't have any stock, which left me with Home Depot. They didn't have just the stone, but a set that came with a pizza cutter, serving handle or rack, and a pizza paddle or peel.

What I really wanted was two stones, but they didn't have them individually, and I didn't figure I needed two of everything else, so I bought one set. Normally I wouldn't do something like this, but I can see this becoming a regular thing, if the pizzas turned out at all, because we usually have pizza at least once or twice a month.


I decided instead of trying to go with one pizza everyone would like, I would make individual pizzas that people could order. This proved to be a logistical error, but more on that in a minute. To provide the variety people would want required having plenty of ingredients on hand. From the garden, there would be onion, green bell peppers and tomatoes. In addition, there would mushrooms and olives (thought the latter didn't get opened). There would be three kinds of meats, including ground beef, pepperoni, and Canadian bacon. To round things out, there was the pre-made dough, some pizza sauce, and fresh mozzarella.


The beef I started cooking in a pan, where it got some salt and Italian seasoning to flavor it up. While that was frying, I spent time heating up the grill, cutting vegetables and trying to get the dough ready, along with the pizza stone. I wasn't able to get all things done before the meat was cooked, so it sat for a while as the rest got prepared.

I had heard that pizza stones can crack in the grill, but that coating it them with oil will help, as well as warming the stone up along with the grill. So, I tried putting on the oil (which I'm not really sure did anything) then put into the grill to heat up. By the time the first pizza was ready to go, the pizza stone was nice and hot.


I'd also read that for a crispier bottom crust, put oil on it. So, while I was trying to roll it out (it didn't want to stretch beyond certain limits), it started sticking to the stone. That would be my tactical error. I would solve this issue later on, but not soon enough.

The first pizza to go into the oven was for the granddaughter. She's still figuring out what she likes and what she doesn't, so instead of getting too complicated, we opted for your basic pizza sauce and cheese. Her pizza was also the smallest. Dough instructions said to bake until golden brown. Other information said cook everything at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes. I decided to go the time route because with the sauce and cheese it was tough to tell what color the dough was getting.

While the granddaughter's pizza was baking, I did try to make the next one, but I was also concerned about hers sticking to the stone, and with good reason. When I tried to move the pizza with the peel before it was completely done, most of the bottom of the pizza stuck to the stone and I had to try to scrape it off. The oil had only helped to make it adhere more.


With each successive pizza, the results were similar, only larger and messier because of more ingredients. The next one up belonged to the daughter-in-law. She wanted pepperoni, some beef, sauce, cheese and mushrooms. I put a layer of cheese on top of the sauce and then put the other ingredients down with another layer of cheese on top. I placed her pizza on another part of the stone and tried to move it sooner with mixed results. Apparently the pizza bottom was sticking nearly immediately to the stone (probably due to the heat of the stone and the oil on the bottom of the pizza—instant fusion).

Now, with more cheese in the mix, the freshness of the mozzarella was creating moisture or water which wasn't completely cooking off. It kept things a little moister than I was wanting and the cheese wasn't melting like it should.

The dough also puffed up, too, making everything look bigger than it was to start out with. I'd tried to make things thinner, but as noted earlier, the dough kept snapping back.


The wife's pizza was the next to follow. She wanted all of the meat, plus pepper, onions and mushrooms, with the sauce and cheese. When it was done, she would top hers off with sliced tomatoes. She wanted a lot of cheese, which only compounded the moisture problem. However, of the first three, her pizza fared the best as far as moving it and keeping it from sticking to the stone, though I'm not entirely sure why.

Pizza_Last two.jpg

Finally, I did my younger son's and mine last. He wanted everything but Canadian Bacon, peppers and onions, and I would have everything but pepperoni. Again, tomato slices would go on later.

I finally got smart with the tactical error and threw down some flour. That solved the sticking problem completely, which is good, because at the time our pizzas went on the grill, they were stuck together and unwieldy. I managed to get them both on without dumping ingredients. It was part way through the process that I separated them.

Before they were done, I discovered we ran out of propane. After baking three other pizzas for 15-20 minutes each, what was left of the propane from the previous uses ran its course. I had to heat our oven to 400 and finish the rest of the baking there. Our oven apparently heats differently than the grill, because when I pulled out the pizza, the cheese I heaped on top appeared to be gone, the crust was tougher and bloated.


When I do this again, I will cook too larger pizzas with half and half, and one smaller pizza for the granddaughter. I will make sure that there is oil for the crispy crust, but flour to avoid sticking to the stone, and I will probably either have another stone by then, or go and see if the metal pizza pan we have will fit with the stone (the metal pan is quite a bit larger). I like the way the stone distributed heat, though, and the way the pizza crust turned out on the bottom, so I'd prefer a second stone.

Everyone said they really enjoyed their pizza. The granddaughter didn't use words, but wolfed hers down in no time flat (she's 14 months). The daughter-in-law (with her mouth full) said it was really good. My wife enjoyed hers a lot and so did my younger son, though we both ended up with way too much crust. I need to take some time roll it out more.

I will definitely be doing this again, maybe even experiment with crusts (I prefer sourdough) and pizza sauce (though this particular brand was pretty tasty). I'll also make sure to get the olives sliced and maybe throw on some pineapple next time, too.


About This Post

This installment of Grandpa Gotta Cook is published in conjunction with Food Fight Friday. Anyone is welcome to participate. Just talk about food, use the fff tag and post it on Friday.

Images courtesy of Glen Anthony Albrethsen. Images taken with an Olympus E-3 DSLR. Copyright © Glen Anthony Albrethsen, 2018. All rights reserved.


Your pizza attracted a whale!

I guess it did. :) Never know when that's going to happen, do you?

Why you do this to us? @gelnalbrethsen
yummy would be a word very small for it.
Enjoy eating and have a happy weekend ahead

I did enjoy it last week. This week we're also having pizza, but we're buying it instead. :)

I have to try to keep up with the folks that participate in Food Fight Friday somehow, which means I guess that I torture you with food. :) Even if it is an adventure.

Haha yes that's true, having to see such delicious food without being able to actually eat it is a torture for a foodlover like me :D

Good luck with your try and I can see you as a winner already :)
Pizza? That's good, which famous pizza restaurant do you like buying your pizza from?
We have the American pizza outlet in a mall near us and I love their thin crust pizza

Figuring out how to make flat crusted pizza is a holy grail goal of mine, although I haven't put the time in yet to learn.

I'm tempted to work part time at the local pizza place so I can do it for a few months and get really good!

Posted using Partiko Android

Sounds like a plan to me. My wife says I need to be more patient with the dough, but when people are starving before I even start—I guess I need to get going around 3:30 pm in order for things to be done before 6 pm. :) Or I could just go for Mac 'n' Cheese from here on out. The box kind.

I like boxed Mac n Cheese too, but as I mentioned to @puravidaville, we keep our grocery costs super low here, and prepackaged food is incredibly expensive.

Box of Mac n Cheese vs that mushroom linguine I made the other night? Easy choice. ;-)

Simple choice, that mushroom linguine looked insane and I bet is much healthier for you.

Hahaha… you had me giggling throughout @glenalbrethsen. I’m glad you trial and error-ed yourself to figure out flour was going to be your best friend. The bit about your youngest son always having the same food request was pretty funny too. Haha

I think for your first go at it you nailed pizza night. You took us on a great cooking journey, hiccups and all. Good triple F entry my friend! It’s definitely a bit more difficult to attain these artisan cuisines without all of the proper utensils but you killed it. Bravo you cookin up a storm grandpa you.

Well, I appreciate all of that. I like to keep the warts in if there's warts to tell about. If anything, people will learn what not to do. And so much of what I end up doing is problem solving on the fly that I probably need to share that, too. Next go around will be better. We like pizza too much not to try again. :)

Sad thing is, I think I knew I needed the flour about the second pizza, but just ignored the thought. Silly me. :) Other sad thing is, none of what I read even mentioned it, so I'm not sure what happened there.

The warts is what makes you relatable and interesting. I’m glad you share your hiccups with us. We love pizza in my house too so I learned that flour trick pretty quick myself. Maybe we should broadcast a public service announcement that warns those about the pizza flour debacle… it’s a thought 🤔

Hey, and congratulations on hitting a curie trail @glenalbrethsen. It’s about time you are rewarded for your Kung fu in the kitchen sir- you deserve it 👏. Looking forward to what you conjure up next week :).

Well, thank you. Hopefully they're going to be watching the fff tag, because there's more than just the couple of us who have gotten them so far that should be considered. It's probably less for the kung fu than it is for the drama. :)

I think it’s all of our Kung fu food fighting. Haha… really though, everyone puts out some great stuff on triple F day. It’s a lot of fun. Great job again @glenalbrethsen. Now enjoy the rest of your weekend riding the curie trail. :)

Only a grandpa will do all that! And they’ll do it day in, day out. Awesome @glenalbrethsen.

I don't know about day in a day out, @dandays. I'll do it once a week maybe. :) As it is, I'm hoping others have a little bit more knowledge of things going in before they jump in with both feet. I tried. I read quite a few things, but until you're in it there's just nothing like the experience, I guess.

I would make individual pizzas that people could order. This proved to be a logistical error, but more on that in a minute.
The oil had only helped to make it adhere more.

I swear I'm not laughing to much over here.

At least everyone ate it all, so it was still a hit.

I guess I should have consulted you before I started this endeavor. I'll need to pick your brain the next time I go to do some other food project. :)

I think it turned out well for what it was. I sort of treated the dough as if it were something that should just stretch to what I wanted, kind of like a pre-made shell, and it just didn't do that.

Live and learn. All of this cooking I'm doing later in life is for the birds. :) Not that I really wanted to do it earlier, either.

Wow. I never would have imagined that making your own pizzas could be so complicated @glenalbrethsen.

We often do it with kids here where they roll out the dough an add their own toppings but they are down in the oven. I've never actually done it but both my kids went to birthday parties where this was the main activity.

They looked very tasty though. Great job! 😊

hey, @gillianpearce.

I think part of it was in my attempt to accommodate everyone, I ended up over complicating things. I think if I make the changes it will work out pretty well the next time. Less cooking time, and less sticking. :)

Yep. It sounded like you got the hand of it by the end @glenalbrethsen. 😁

Yum Yum :)

I never heard that pizza stones can crack on grill. So guess what? First time i tried, crack crack :(. Olive oil hmmm

Grandpa Loves His Grill :D

Hey, @weirdheadaches.

One of the sites I was looking at to buy the pizza stone had reviews where the stone had cracked, and so they gave it bad reviews. Well, then there were a bunch of good reviews that were basically saying if you heat up the stone with the grill, it won't crack. Another review mentioned adding the oil. So, I did both, and no cracks. :)

Otherwise, I wouldn't have known any better, and I probably would have preferred to prepare the pizza on the stone and then add both to the heated grill.

Can remember exactly how i did it :/. But i was cooking wings.

I think i did what you say dont do.

Maybe another go? Heat w grill & oil, hmmm....

Ty Glen

Thank you for sharing your experience! The pizza looked yummy, and one day I might even try to do one.

Well, thank you, @swan-nguyen.

I think it's important that I try to hit the different ups and downs I inevitably go through in my cooking, because it is what happens to me. I'm not that experienced at all, and I end up winging things quite a bit. This one had a few more things to overcome than what even normally happens to me. I think things did turn out okay. Just need to keep trying so I get the baking time reduced and get to the point where there's no sticking to the stone.

Yummm!! Your pizzass look really yummy @glenalbrethsen! And you customized the pizzas for everyone!! You are one amazingly cool husband, daddy and grandpa :) And it is cool that you could bake the pizzas on a pizza stone over the grill. Do you know what the stone is made of? I can only imagine that it is very heavy. Thank you again for sharing with us your story and the photos. I would have loved to eat your pizzas!

Hey, @marblely. Thank you for all the kind words. I try to do within the limits of the food of course to accommodate all the tastes I can. It doesn't always work out, though.

I'm afraid I don't know what the stone is made out of. It is fairly heavy, but not so much that it can't be maneuvered.

It is always fun to experiment :) And just skip whichever part that doesn't work the next time :D

You had me salivating over here. Although I was still waiting to see the finished pizza after it passed through the final step but no problem, I have a wild imagination. I can always come up with something.

My wish is to just try out something new in cooking every week just as you did.

Thanks @trojan4.

I baked four different pizzas. Two of them actually do have finished images. The first image at the top is actually the last two pizzas I baked that I talk about at the end. I had to go from the grill to the oven to finish it up.

The other pizza that was completely baked when I took the photo was the third pizza all together. They more or less show you what the crust did.

Good luck with the cooking. It's definitely a challenge to do it week in and week out.

ok now I see. You seem to have given me a task. Today I plan on making pancakes for the first time. Hope it turns out good

Hi glenalbrethsen,

This post has been upvoted by the Curie community curation project and associated vote trail as exceptional content (human curated and reviewed). Have a great day :)

Visit or join the Curie Discord community to learn more.

Thank you everyone at @curie for this. It's always great to be selected. It is always appreciated. You've made my month. :)

Congratulations on the trails grandpa.

This post was shared in the Curation Collective Discord community for curators, and upvoted and resteemed by the @c-squared community account after manual review.

As always, @c-squared, I appreciate the resteem and the recommendation. I'm glad that I can be considered among the other content that you folks pick up and evaluate.

I think you are supposed to use a very hot stone and throw something on it like cornmeal. But yours look very good anyway and your family should be happy you go to such a huge effort for them :)

Hey, @fitinfun.

I think I will try the cornmeal next time. It's amazing what you learn when you do all of this on your own. :)

Well, I don't know if they're appreciating the time being put in or not. They of course want to eat, so if I'm going to continue to do these two to three hour cooking sessions, I need to start earlier in the afternoon. :)

Yes yes yes - your pizza 🍕 looks very delicious 🤤 buddy ! Self baked pizza is anyway the best how to enjoy it. Then you know exactly what’s in it and you could be sure that’s it’s totally crispy. You made it on a stone i see. Perfect for a crisp ground. 👌 when the get delivered they are never so delicious and crispy like that what you had done ✅ 😀

Hey, @avizor.

Very true. Most of the time the pizzas we get aren't as crispy, although it does happen on occasion. The sourdough crusts we get with some pizzas actually are quite crispy. This particular dough needed to be rolled out thinner but I couldn't seem to get it right. Next time. :)

Haha yes. Happend the same to me. I got a decent beefer with comes included with a pizza 🍕 stone. I tryied it out a few days ago and the dough was to „big“ ... so the ingredients, mushroom and stuff gets burned 😂. And the dough was not ready... looks like I have to try I a few times more :-)

CONGRATS on yet another Curie, Glen!

The post was good reading even if I am the worst cook on the entire planet! Great photos, too; they look like professional studio shots and are one of your best sets, I think. The DSLR does a great job.

The Curie was well earned.

Thank you, as always, @willymac, for all the kind words. I'm going to say worst cook is relative for you. If I enjoyed it more, I think I would get better, but as it is, I really don't get enough satisfaction out of it. I think if I were doing it for just myself and my wife, I might like it more, but when there's other people involved, it's not quite as fun as it needs to be because there's way too many tastes to try to appeal to.

I was actually very pleased with the way these turned out. The backgrounds weren't anything extravagant (basically a plastic table for the most part), but the lighting outside was just right and this particular lens works really well in the late afternoon.

Well, I'm not sure about the curie. I've been reading other people's efforts, like yours, and I think, I'm just happy to be on their radar. :)

Too modest about your writing, my friend. It's good, and it's natural and unforced. People strive to achieve that level of professionalism and fail because it's like trying to use a Southern accent when you're not from the South: it is going to sound fake. (Rock Hudson should have been tarred and feathered for trying!)

I had wondered if you had used studio lights for the photos because of their very good shadow detail. The camera has a good internal light meter or light processor. They added a very nice touch to the text.

I'm afraid I have gotten lazy with my photos by using the iPhone instead of my Nikon DSLR. Lugging that around is like carrying a field pack and, other than for photos of my S.O., I seldom use it. I have made thousands of portraits of her over they decades and, in my opinion, the perspective through the 300 mm lens cannot be beat for getting close-ups without actually being there.

Nope, I don't cook because I lose interest in food when I see it being made. I'm not a real food fan anyway, even though it's an obvious necessity. I eat because I have to and don't pay much attention to whatever it is. That lack of interest does not provide a driving force to be good at cooking. Eating canned stuff is okay with me, but that offends my S.O. considerably since she is a dedicated cook and spends hours a day preparing meals for the two of us. I do appreciate gourmet food, but canned field peas on jasmine rice suits me just fine, too.

I think Curies happen when they happen. I have no clue what gets attention and what they like or don't like. I would be happy if I could get readers and comments on what I do post. I'm sure it depends on the time of day of the post, the title, the thumbnail image, and what happens in the millisecond the posting gets attention from a viewer. All else is mystery.

I hope your wife is back to normal after her surgery. I know how disruptive that is.

Thank you for taking us on this great cooking adventure, it was fun following you through... And they all look delicious

If I were to choose one (to eat) out of them, I will go with that of your daughter-in-law (although I wouldn't mind having a taste of all that you have up there).

I am glad everyone enjoyed their pizza and you were able to find out what works after series of trial and error. Hopefully, next time it will turn out to be easier and even better!

Thanks @audreybits.

I'm glad you liked the process I went through. The adventure or journey is definitely a part of my cooking experience each time, especially when it's a something new I'm trying to do.

Nothing like learning as you go, I guess.

I'm glad everyone liked them too. It's not very fun when all the work is done and people either don't like it or it's only so-so. :)

Yeah, it always feels good when one's work is loved and appreciated.

Definitely, there is nothing like learning as you go. We learn better from our experiences.

Hey Glen! Nice to "see" you :) I'm assuming your wife is continuing her recouping nicely seeing as she's scarfing back pizza :)

Here's the thing with these stones; they work like cast iron, and the more you use them, the more seasoned they become, and nothing sticks to them at all eventually. So, after cooking, the key is not to wash the heck out them to lose what you've just worked to put on there. And normally, only hot water to clean them because they are porous, too much soap eventually gets in there and your food will taste like it.

Nice job on the curie vote too :)

Thank you about the tips and the curie.

I will keep that in mind about the washing and the continual use. I got to thinking halfway through that there must be some kind of seasoning that needs to take place with the stone, to where it gets to the point where pizzas no longer stick to it. I'll make sure it doesn't get overly washed.

I think my wife is doing better. Haven't had much of a chance to see how things went today. This was the first time since her surgery that I spent any length of time away from her. She seems to be okay, but she doesn't always say if she isn't, either. :)

I have been wanting to try one of those stones. It looks pretty thick I was wondering if they take forever to heat. I always fight with the crust too. Have gotten a little better with practice. Cornmeal instead of the flour has been one of my favorite tricks.
The wife healing up and feeling better? Wanting pizza is a good sign.

Hey, @headchange.

I think my wife is on the mend. But the pizza desire is just a little strange, considering she's not really a fan. Unless the hernia surgery rewired her brain somehow. :) And taste buds.

Cornmeal. Interesting. Wouldn't have thought of that.

The stones aren't very thick at all. I'd say they're around a 1/3 of an inch maybe. They feel substantial, though. It's not something you'd want falling on you or anything.

This one didn't take long at all. It was ready to go as soon as the grill was up to temperature, which took about four to five minutes.

howdy sir Glen! how's it going? long time now see. well, I thought it all looked great and I would have scarfed it up!

I could just lay out the fixin's and leave the dough behind for you, or maybe even create a cheese crust or something.

That was all the photography. They modeled really well. :) Didn't do too much photoshopping.

It's going okay. My oldest son and his expecting wife are now here, and my wife is still on the mend, so that's where most of my time is going right now. Hard to think about getting too involved on Steemit because there's either too much to do off Steemit, or I can be called away at a moment's notice when I'm not expecting it. I'm thinking it's going to be this way for all of next week and part of the one after that. Then, as long as she's still improving as she is now, she'll be in Mexico City for a couple weeks. I hope to get back into a routine then.

well sir I'm so glad to hear that things are going well, I just miss talking to you but your priorities are right on of course.
I saw you got hit with curie again, great job! I guess if you can post one post each week and get hit by curie you could almost work one day a week on steemit! lol. that was great timing for that one wasn't it? great job.
curie likes to revisit previously voted posts.
your wife is going to Mexico to visit family?

Pizza stone on a grill! I never would have thought of it, thanks. I will try it.


Hey, @smithlabs.

I wasn't thinking about it either before my wife asked to make pizza and I decided I wanted to use the grill. I think the stone itself worked out well—my own inexperience with it and baking pizza in general, not so much. :)

It looked like a good idea, and I bet there are other things that would cook well that way too! I will have to get a stone now, LOL!


I do love homemade pizza but I've never tried making it on the grill. I probably need to get one of those baking stones too! You inspired me with your chili recipe and I did make chili this week and just had a bowl of it for supper. I ended up putting individual portions in the freezer so I'll be able to have a bowl of chili again when ever I want! Are you planning ahead for any snacks for next weekend's football games?

Hey, melinda010100.

I haven't been giving much thought to next week yet. College football starts this week, so there are games tomorrow. My oldest son and I are going to the Oregon Ducks football game to watch them play. I'm not sure if we'll be taking anything with us, but we do plan to hit up a Texas Roadhouse beforehand.

Frozen individual portions of chili sounds like a good idea. I'm sure your chili turned out delicious.

Cooking for one is hard. I end up freezing a lot of individual portions, which is great because that means I don't have to actually cook nearly as often!

There might be a few lessons to take on board before the next attempt. My mate has an outdoor pizza oven and it is epic. The pizza's that come out of it are so delicious even though we have had our few failures along the way too. That's a thing of the past now after all the practice that we have gotten since.