You won’t be disappointed throwing these pizzas in the oven, but we like to use the barbecue every opportunity we get!
Homemade pizza night was always one of my favorites growing up. The house smelled like fresh bread all day from making the dough in the bread machine. It was always an event in the neighborhood– There’d be flour all over the kitchen counters while we rolled out the dough into perfect crusts and loaded them with sauce, different kinds of cheeses, meats, and veggies. It was always a great opportunity to spend time with family and friends (and absolutely tasted better than ordering 2 medium pizzas for $10 down the street). You won’t be disappointed throwing these pizzas in the oven, but we like to use the barbecue every opportunity we get!
We are huge fans of our Traeger Renegade Elite Wood Pellet Grill. As much as we love our offset smoker, the ease of use with the Traeger is hard to beat and it’s HOA approved. We used the Traeger Renegade Elite Wood Pellet Grill while making our pizzas, but you can use whichever smoker or pizza oven you’d like. We used a 50/50 split of cherry and pecan for our pellets. Try out Candy’s Contest Mix by BBQr’s Delight. These pellets are our go to — they’re great quality and provide excellent flavor.If barbecuing isn’t really your thing, you can always make this inside using the oven.
You can buy store bought dough or make your own. In our experience, Trader Joe’s pizza dough is the best option for store-bought dough! You can find it in the refrigerated section.
Prepping The Dough & The Traeger
- On a floured surface (you can use a counter, cutting board, etc.), knead your dough into personal sized pizzas. Flouring the surface ahead of time is important and will help prevent the dough from sticking. If you like working on counter space, but hate the mess like we do, lay down some plastic wrap before sprinkling your flour. Clean up is a piece of cake.
- You want your pizzas to be 8 inches to 10 inches around. This is a pretty good size for personal pizzas, you can always make them a bit smaller if you’re making food for a lot of people. You want the dough to be about a half inch thick. If you make the crust too thin, the dough will rip when you transfer it to the barbecue.
- If your pizza has any holes or tears, rework the dough.
- Once your pizza rounds are formed, sprinkle some corn meal on a cookie sheet or cutting board. Place your personal pizzas on top of the corn meal.
- At this point, turn on the Traeger to smoke and keep the lid open. Let the barbecue warm up for a few minutes and then set the temperature to 450 degrees, or high.
It’s time to pre-cook your dough
- In a ramekin or small bowl, combine 4 tbsp of olive oil, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and smoked salt or salt of your choosing.
- Brush one side of your personal pizzas with olive oil mixture.
- Place pizza rounds on barbecue grates, oiled side down, for five minutes and allow the dough to begin to pre-cook.
- After your pizzas have been on the barbecue for a few minutes and has started to crisp on the bottom, brush the top side of the pizzas with olive oil mixture.
- Flip your pizza rounds over to the other side and allow that side to cook and begin to crisp.
It’s pizza building time!
Once your crust has gone through the step of pre-cooking, you’re ready to load it up with ingredients. The reason it’s important to pre-cook the dough is because the dough needs to be sturdy enough to hold all your ingredients and some of your ingredients do not need nearly as much time to melt or cook as the raw dough.
We like to pre-cook some of our ingredients before preparing the pizzas. I always caramelize some onions, sauté mushrooms, etc. ahead of time so they’re ready to go when it’s building time. This helps everything cook evenly and to your liking.
We’ll list some of our absolute favorite pizza combinations below for you to try out. The beautiful thing about making homemade pizzas is you can really use whatever you’d like. For the kids, you can go simple and use cheese, sauce, and maybe some pepperoni. If you’re feeling like a super cool mom, maybe you let them make mac’n’cheese pizzas for dinner. If you’re having sophisticated double date night, maybe you’ll break out the gruyere and mozzarella with some fig preserves and prosciutto.
Time to cook
Now that your pizzas are all loaded up, it’s cooking time. Put the pizza back in the Traeger and cook for about five minutes or to your liking. Sometimes it takes a few minutes longer. Make sure that your cheese has softened and begun to melt before pulling these off the barbecue to enjoy. It’s time to enjoy!
Let’s Talk Pizza Toppings
Sometimes we get a little crazy with our personal pizzas… we like to load them up with a bunch of ingredients and are always trying new pizza combinations. I’ve put together a few of our favorites for you to try out. Get creative, use ingredients you love, and have fun with it. Unless otherwise noted, all these pizzas use tomato sauce! We usually like to sprinkle our pizzas with some flaky sea salt and sometimes use fresh cracked black pepper as a topping. Try out Maldon Sea Salt Flakes – that’s typically what we use and it adds a nice bit of salt to your pizzas since we don’t add too much salt to the dough.
If you’re looking for yummy sauces to add to your pizzas, we really like the Ancho & Morita Smoky Tamarind Sauce by Humble House. It provides wonderful, smoky flavor and is really tasty on pizza. As far as spicy hot sauces, I dump the Secret Aardvark Habanero Hot Sauce on literally everything. Especially pizza. We also really love using Garlic Infused Avocado Oil as a drizzle for our pizzas. Try out the San Lucas 100% Pure Avocado Oil With Garlic Kosher Salt. It’s rich and provides excellent flavor!
- Feta cheese, mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes, basil pesto, sausage crumbles, artichoke hearts
- Mozzarella, barbecue sauce, pulled pork, caramelized onions, red onions, cilantro
- Mozzarella, black olives, caramelized onion, sautéed mushrooms, prosciutto, jalapeno slices, artichoke hearts
- Braised short rib, arugula, aged gouda, mozzarella, sliced jalapeños, drizzle of smoky chipotle chili hot sauce
- Fresno chilies, pulled pork, gruyere, mozzarella, roasted corn, scallions, avocado, drizzle of smoky chipotle chili hot sauce
- Goat, fig preserves, figs, prosciutto, arugula
- Burrata cheese, pear slices, bacon jam, bacon crumble, spinach
- Mozzarella, white onion, green bell pepper, Canadian bacon, bacon, pineapple, jalapeño slices
- Grilled peaches, basil, burrata cheese, blackberry jam preserves
- Fontina, tomato sauce, thyme, sautéed mushrooms
- Provolone, mozzarella, oregano, fresh arugula, cherry tomatoes, red pepper flakes
- Feta, spinach, tomato slices, mushroom slices, artichoke hearts, mozzarella
- Ricotta, mozzarella, chicken, blackberries, blackberry preserves, pancetta
- Mozzarella, basil, beefsteak tomato slices, garlic oil
- Beefsteak or heirloom tomato slices, mozzarella, basil, parmesan cheese, garlic oil drizzle
- Fontina, mozzarella, smoked gouda, bacon, chives
- Grilled chicken, artichoke hearts, fontina, mozzarella, zucchini, pesto, avocado, arugula
- Sausage crumbles, pepperoni, carmelized onion, black olives, green bell pepper
- Grilled buffalo chicken, mozzarella, blue cheese crumbles, chili flakes, red onion, buffalo hot sauce, ranch dressing drizzle