BBQ Chicken Pizza from Justin Goodman

Pizza on the Yoder Smokers S-Series Pellet Grill is one of the most popular dishes when having others over. The dough can be prepared (or bought) in advance, the toppings can all be prepared and ready to go, and each person can create their own style of pizza. One of my personal favorites is BBQ chicken Pizza, as even saying BBQ Chicken can have so much depth and variety! To make this pizza I started by turning on the smoker, setting it to 450°F with the heat diffuser removed and a pizza stone on the lower rack opposite of the firepot. With the smoker fired up, it’s time to start creating the dough

This simple dough recipe is enough to create one medium size pizza: 

  • 1 package of active dry yeast (.25 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 cup of warm water (if you have an instant-read thermometer, you are aiming for 110 degrees for the water)

In a medium bowl combine the above ingredients and let it sit about 10 minutes. Next, sift in the following and mix until smooth. I used my stand mixer with a dough hook: 

  • 2.5 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Mix this till it has a smooth look to it. At this stage, it is safe to let sit on the counter while you prepare the remaining ingredients. You can refrigerate the dough if needed, but you will want to work with a room temperature dough before it hits the grill. To shape the dough I recommend working on a cutting board, with a piece of parchment paper covering the board and dusted lightly with flour. The parchment will make transferring the pizza from the cutting board to the pizza stone much easier! Shaping the dough, making it as thin as possible without creating any rips or tears. Working your dough; pushing the dough out to roughly a 12 inch round. I use a rolling pin to assist with getting everything even and rolled out, doing it by hand is great if you can do so! Once everything is rolled out, I use a fork to poke several small holes throughout the dough leaving just the edge alone to help form the crust. 

Next up is time to start topping your pizza! 

I start every pizza I make the same, I brush the outside edge of the crust with flavored olive oil (usually some herbs in the oil work well). For this pizza, I then used a Raspberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce (you should use your favorite sauce), some smoked chicken breast (leftover from a previous cook), sauteed grilled onions, a cheese blend, and spicy bacon for balance. The cheese blend I used is mozzarella, cheddar, and parmesan. I love this blend as the mozzarella brings an amazing chew, the cheddar packs a punch in flavor, and the parmesan browns nicely. After the pizza is all built, if you can dust away the excess flour it will help to keep the smoker/pizza stone cleaner. Transfer the pizza including the parchment paper to the pizza stone. Let the pizza cook about 5 minutes before you remove the paper and give the pizza a rotation. I rotate about 180 degrees and try and get a sense of how done the pizza is by look. Each pizza cooks just a little bit differently based on how much cheese, toppings, and dough are involved. If the top is starting to brown, it’s worth taking a peek at the underside of the pizza. The first thing to be done with this cooking method is likely the bottom crust. Leaving the lid closed is really key to helping the cheese melt while cooking the crust. If you need to rotate the pizza again 90 degrees do so quickly to help retain the hit above the pizza as well. 

As you work through the art of pizza making, you’ll see that different stone vs air temperatures will have a big impact on how much the dough bubbles up with that nice airy texture vs has a more bread-like texture. ENJOY!

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