Why You Should Put Steak on Pizza, and Grill It

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Courtesy Tony Gemignani

Burgers and sausages make sense, but if you're a meat lover that wants to toss something different on the grill, Tony Gemignani, author of The Pizza Bible, has just the thing for you. 

Wood Fired Artisan Pizza

RELATED: How to Make Perfect Pizza Dough 

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When you think pizza, you tend to think of something you either cook in your oven or have delivered to you by a college student that's just hoping you'll tip him a couple of bucks. But with Gemignani's recipe, you've got the perfect meal for you and a few friends that's familiar, but also really out of the ordinary. 

The Steak Lover's Grilled Pizza

Makes one 12- to 13-inch pizza; 3 sandwich -size wedges or 6 slices

Grilled steak with mango salsa is insanely good on a pizza—especially when the pizza is grilled, too. I like to cook a nice thick steak to make sure it stays juicy, so I recommend grilling a one-pounder, which, like the amount of mango salsa, will be enough for two pizzas. The salsa can be made several hours ahead of time. Be sure to check the heat of your serrano chiles—they can really vary in terms of spiciness—and adjust the quantity to suit your taste.


  • 1 (9-ounce/255-gram) ball Dough for Grilling 
  • Flour, for dusting
  • Mango Salsa (see accompanying recipe)
  • 1 (1-pound/455-gram) strip steak, at room temperature
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for rubbing
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces (115 grams) whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Mango Salsa

  • Makes 3/4 cups (176 grams), enough for 2 pizzas
  • 2/3 cup (140 grams) finely diced ripe mango
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) finely diced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon (8 grams) finely diced serrano chiles
  • 1 tablespoon (2 grams) chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Pinch of fine sea salt


  1. To make the mango salsa, a few hours before making the pizza, stir together all of the ingredients in a bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  2. Cover and set aside at room temperature.
  3. Prepare the Dough for Grilling and set up the grill
  4. About 10 minutes before you are ready to grill the pizza, rub the steak with oil and season both sides with salt and pepper. Grill the steak over medium-high heat, turning once, for a total of 7 to 8 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 125°F to 130°F for rare to medium-rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest while you grill the pizza.
  5. The first grilling: Grill the pizza as instructed in the master recipe.
  6. When the half-cooked pizza is removed from the grill, flip it over as directed, then mound the mozzarella in the center of the dough and use your fingertips to spread it evenly over the surface, leaving a 3/4-inch border.
  7. The second grilling: Return the pizza to the grill to cook and lightly brown the second side and melt the cheese as instructed in the master recipe.
  8. Completing the pizza: Thinly slice the steak on the diagonal against the grain. Arrange half of the slices over half of the pizza (if you are folding it) or over the top (if you are serving it open-faced). Top the steak with half of the salsa. (Use the remaining steak and salsa for a second pizza or another purpose.) Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and squeeze a wedge of lemon over the top. Fold the pizza in half and cut it into 3 wedges to serve sandwich-style, or cut the open-faced pizza into 6 wedges. Serve extra lemon wedges on the side.

Grilled Pizza Master Recipe

  1. Remove the dough ball from the refrigerator and leave wrapped at room temperature until the dough warms to 60°F to 65°F. This will be about 1-1/2 hours before you begin grilling the pizza.
  2. The pizza should be grilled on a preheated gas, wood, or charcoal grill over medium-high heat. If you are using a wood or charcoal grill, use indirect heat to avoid burning the bottom of the pizza. If you can set up two zones on your gas grill, heat one to medium-high and one to medium. That way, if the pizza is cooking too quickly over the medium-high zone, it can be moved to the medium zone.
  3. If possible, set up a station near the grill with a cutting board, a sheet pan, a pair of tongs, your pizza cutter, and all the toppings for the pizza.
  4. Dust the work surface with flour, then move the dough to the surface and dust the top.
  5. Sprinkle a wooden peel with flour.
  6. Roll out the dough into a 12- to 13-inch round, press the edges with a rolling pin to keep them from puffing on the grill, and dock the surface of the dough.
  7. Move the dough to the peel. As you work, shake the peel forward and backward to ensure the dough isn’t sticking.

For the first grilling:

  1. Slide the dough onto the grill and cook uncovered for about 1 minute. Lift an edge of the dough with a pair of tongs and check the bottom to make sure it isn’t burning. If it is just beginning to brown, lower the edge and continue to grill for another 30 seconds to 1 minute, until browned and well marked. If it is too dark when you check, rotate the dough 90 degrees and continue grilling for another 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the dough is browned in a crosshatch pattern. If it’s not brown enough when you check, increase the heat or move the dough to a hotter spot on the grill.
  2. Lift the dough onto the peel. If you have space on the counter, you can work with the pizza directly on the peel; otherwise, slide it onto the cutting board. Flip the dough over and press down on the top to flattenit and burst any bubbles. Scatter the cheese listed in each recipe evenly over the crust, leaving a 3/4-inch border. Slide the dough back onto the peel (if it was moved to the cutting board).
  3. For the second grilling: Hold the peel over the grill and use your hand to slide the pizza carefully back onto the grill grate. (If you shake the peel to remove the pizza, the cheese may fly off the crust onto the grill.)
  4. Cover the grill and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, rotating the pizza as necessary to brown the bottom evenly and melt the cheese. If the bottom browns before the cheese has melted, move the pizza to the sheet pan and return the pan to the grill just until the cheese has melted.
  5. Transfer the pizza to the cutting board and complete according to the recipe. For a sandwich-style pizza, arrange the toppings on half of the pizza, fold the pizza in half, and cut into 3 wedges. For a traditional pizza, cover the entire top and serve open-faced.

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