I tried grilling pizza on the Weber Jumbo Joe many times before I felt I had the process down good enough to warrant a post. I’ll start with what worked best for me and then go over some of the things that I learned. Don’t forget to check out the Fanatic’s Guide to the Weber Jumbo Joe for more information about this grill.
What worked best:
- Dump a full chimney of lit charcoal onto the charcoal grate and spread it out.
- Place the grilling grate over the charcoal.
- Place a disposable 11 inch rectangular aluminum pan on the grill grate.
- Place a pizza stone on top of the aluminum pan.
- Place the pizza on the stone, close the lid and grill for 30 minutes with all vents wide open.
A pretty obvious question is, “What in the heck is going on with the aluminum pan?” It turns out that I need the aluminum pan to shield the pizza from the direct radiant heat of the charcoal as well as raise the stone away from the coals.
The first time I tried grilling pizza I used a stone directly on the grill grate and the bottom of the pizza was burnt before the cheese was browned.
The second time I tried grilling pizza I arranged the coals in a ring around the outer edge of the Jumbo Joe. I tried to have it set up so that the pizza stone was surrounded by coals without any heat directly under the pizza. It seemed like a good idea but the bottom of the pizza got just as burnt.
By placing the stone on the aluminum pan I was able to raise the pizza about an inch and a half higher from the charcoal while also shielding it from direct heat. I tried this technique a couple of times and all of the pizzas came out great.
Grilling pizzas on the Weber Jumbo Joe gives them a great smokey flavor and is fun as heck.
Here are a few tips to fast track your progress:
I made my pizzas by rolling out the dough then placing it on a wooden cutting board that had been dusted with cornmeal. I added the toppings and would gently shake the board to make sure the pizza would easily slide around. If was sticking I would lift up the problem area and add a little more cornmeal to the board.
I also found it VERY useful to use a large spatula as a backstop when sliding the pizza off of the board and onto the stone. On two attempts the pizza slid off the board so fast that it overshot the stone and landed in a heap on the grill grate. Very frustrating.
I was learning how to bake bread on the Jumbo at the same time as I was learning to grill pizza. I got tired of making dough for the experiments and ended up getting cans of Pillsbury bread dough and rolling those out. Yep, that’s an “easy bake oven” shortcut but the pizza was still pretty danged good.
If you decide the Jumbo Joe would be a good addition to your backyard you can pick one up here at Amazon. I highly recommend eventually getting the hinged grate as well. It comes in handy on long cooks and can be used to drastically increase capacity.
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