Turn your TEC Grill into an infrared pizza oven! Chef Danielle is here to show you how to prepare a variety of pies on the Infrared Pizza Rack using fresh dough, flatbread, and frozen pizza. With tips and tricks to getting a perfect pizza every time, Chef Danielle guides us through three different pizza variations.
We’ve discovered that infrared heat makes pizza crust crisp and doesn’t dry it out. Our patent pending stainless steel Infrared Pizza Rack raises the cooking surface above the grates to slow down the cooking process so that the crust and top of the pizza cook evenly. The large open area of the perforated rack allows the maximum amount of infrared heat to reach the crust, making the outside of the crust crisp while keeping the inside and toppings moist.
The pizza rack can also be used for any dish you would bake in the oven, including cookies and tater tots! The Pizza Rack is available for the Sterling Patio and Patio FR series of grills.
Tips for cooking on the Infrared Pizza Rack
-Consider investing in a pizza peel, the large wooden or metal paddle you’ve seen used to transfer pies to and from the oven. You can also use the back side of a sheet pan if you don’t have one. Sprinkle corn meal on the surface so that the uncooked dough slides off more easily.
-If you’re using classic mozzarella, we recommend a block of whole milk mozzarella and hand grating it. Fresh mozzarella (the wet, ball-shaped type) can make dough soggy. If you do want to use it, slice the fresh cheese, and let it sit on a paper towel-lined plate for at least an hour to remove excess moisture.
-Allow all ingredients (fresh or frozen dough, sauce, cheese, toppings) to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before assembling pizzas.
-To avoid soggy pizza, wait to assemble pies and flatbreads until you’re ready to grill them, and take care not to overload the pizza. You only need a thin coating of sauce (roughly 1-2 tablespoons), and avoid completely covering the dough with cheese and toppings.
-Always preheat with the Infrared Pizza Rack in place on the grates and with the hood closed.
-Time and temperature settings for preheating and cooking depend on your dough. See guidelines below.
-Add any fresh herbs or greens to your pizza after baking.
-The pizza is done when the crust is golden brown and crispy and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Fresh Pizza Dough
If you like Neapolitan-style thin crust pizzas with a crisp bottom and chewy interior crust, then fresh dough is for you. Fresh dough is easy to find in the refrigerator or bakery section of your grocery store, or you can ask your local pizzeria if you can buy some. Or make your own! Here is a great recipe from the classic Brooklyn pizza restaurant for Roberta’s Pizza Dough.
Preheat Time & Temp: High for 10 minutes
Cooking Time & Temp: Low for 9-10 minutes
-While the grill preheats, gently stretch or roll out the pizza dough into roughly 10-inch rounds. Place each round on a square of parchment paper, and allow the stretched dough to rest for 15 minutes.
-Working quickly, top the dough with your favorite ingredients but don’t overload it with toppings.
-Using the parchment paper to help you, slide the parchment with the pizza directly on top of the rack. Turn the heat down to low, and close the hood.
-After about 5 minutes, the crust should be set; remove the parchment paper and stab any dough bubbles with the tip of the knife. The pizza should be ready after an additional 4-5 minutes.
Using store-bought lavash flatbread or naan gives you a crispy crust and a drier texture to the dough. Because flatbreads are so thin, you need to watch them carefully on the grill. Since the bread is already cooked, you are just waiting for the cheese to melt and toppings to cook.
Preheat Time & Temp: Low or Medium-Low for 10-15 minutes
Cooking Time & Temp: Low for 6-8 minutes
-Place the flatbread on a pizza peel, and top it with your favorite ingredients, avoiding overloading with sauce, cheese, or toppings.
-Slide the flatbread directly on top of the rack. Turn the heat down to low and close the hood.
-Check the flatbread after 5 minutes; it should be ready in about 6-8 minutes.
We get it: sometimes you just don’t have time to make pizza! So for an easy weeknight dinner, or if you are entertaining a crowd, frozen pizzas are a great solution.
Preheat Time & Temp: Medium for 10-15 minutes
Cooking Time & Temp: Low for 10 minutes (thin crust) or Medium-Low for 20 minutes (regular or thick crust)
-Remove the pizza from the freezer, and allow it to thaw at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.
-Place the pie on the Infrared Pizza Rack. Turn the heat down to low (for a thin crust) or medium-low (for a regular or thick crust) and close the hood.
-Check the pizza after about 10 minutes; it should be ready in about 10 minutes (for thin crust) to 20 minutes (for regular or thick crust).
Share with us how adventurous you get with your new accessory by using the hashtag #TECGrills on all your grilling pictures!
IMPORTANT: Do not use the Infrared Pizza Rack on high heat for more than 15 minutes and only to preheat. TEC grills can easily reach 900°F (and above!), and sustained high temperatures may cause the rack to warp. If this occurs, it will generally recover its natural shape after it cools.