Recipe: Calzones on the Grill on a Cast Iron Skillet

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Calzones on the Grill

 

I love pizza.  Or, pretty much anything that has most or all the components of pizza, such as a calzone.

Today, I will be sharing my experience making calzones on the grill and some reasons why you might want to do this.

Cast-Iron-Calzone-on-the-Grill-1Cast Iron Calzone cooked on the Grill

(Read more about Wagner Cast Iron)

About 50% of the time, you can see a ball of dough in my refrigerator resting, slowly rising, and developing great sourdough like flavors, waiting to be kneaded (pun intended).

Personal pan pizza size — 5″ Lodge

I might bake a loaf of bread, na’an, pita, pizza, or flatbread.  Once, I even made some cinnamon rolls with Nutella spread over the top.

The recipe for the dough that I make varies slightly but our cast iron pizza recipe has a good one to start with.

We actually travel a decent amount and sometimes a kitchen isn’t fully stocked so I have definitely made bread or pizza dough with just flour, water, yeast, & salt.

That’s all you really need.

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Cast Iron Calzone on the Grill – Divide the dough into four equal pieces and knead for a few minutes.

Okay, here is how it started –  I knew I wanted to have some sort of a pizza.

I also knew that it was a warm day and the house was already heating up!

Cranking up the oven for an hour or more would definitely make the house hotter and that is not at all a good thing during the summer time.

No problem since a grill can cook just about anything and we know that from so many chefs.

The last time that was on my radar is when I saw Bobby Flay grill pizza on his show “Grill It!” using a Weber Kettle.

Awesome.

Next, I wanted to use my cool WagnerWare 1053 #3 Cast Iron Skillets.  🙂

No really good reason why but I have really enjoyed coming up with ways to use these smaller pans.

It’s a little tough to cook in a small pan like a #3 but that make really fantastic serving dishes and if you’re making personal sized meals or side dishes, they just make good sense.

 

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Cast Iron Calzone on the Grill – After kneading and letting the dough rest, you can spread and press the dough into the pre-oiled pan.
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Cast Iron Calzone on the Grill – Fill up your pizza pocket or calzone with your favorite toppings.

You can see I divided the dough into four roughly equal pieces.  I kneading them for about 2-3 minutes a each and then let each of them rest for about 5 minutes.  After the rest, I flattened each ball of dough and pressed one of them into the bottom of each cast iron skillet.

I filled them up with caramelized onions, red peppers, minced garlic, and chopped artichokes.

Feel free to put anything you want in the calzone, like bacon, sauce, olive oil, cheese, goat cheese, more bacon, etc. You could even add some pesto sauce for an extra authentic Italian flavor. See this article to learn the official recipe of the world pesto champions!

You’ll notice that I opted to omit the sauce and cheese for the filling.

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Cast Iron Calzone on the Grill – The calzones are topped with the other two pieces of dough.  I used the very delicious Pizza Seasoning from Penzey’s Spices.  I also enjoyed a black lager while grilling – gotta have beer if you’re by the grill.
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Cast Iron Calzone on the Grill – This thermometer is not super accurate but it is close enough to keep us in the right range.  The temp actually dropped a little bit for this picture.  Most of the time, the grill was in the 300° range.

I had the grill heating up with an indirect heat set up.  That is to say, I had the two side burners lit at about med-low.

This allowed me to keep the burners at the center of the grill off so that the bottom of the calzones would not burn.

I might try turning them on low for the 2nd half of the baking next time but I was a little worried about that for the first attempt.

And, since this was my first try I was not quite sure about how long to cook these calzones or at what temperature.

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Cast Iron Calzone on the Grill – Topped with cheese and ready for the grill.
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Cast Iron Calzone on the Grill – Sitting in the center with the two outside gas burners on Med-Low.  The stock thermometer displayed about 300° for most of the grilling time.

Normally, I would cook a pizza really hot, like 500-550° + on a pizza stone or cast iron skillet.

In this case, I knew the filling was dense, the cast iron was relatively cool, and that a hot grill would not be the right way to do it.

I figured that a moderately warm grill would work and that I needed to keep the calzones on for 25-40 minutes or so.  I monitored, watch, peaked, and checked on the calzones every 10 minutes or so.

Towards the end of the grilling, I bumped up the burners on the outside and even turned on the  center burners.

I slid the calzones right out of the pans and then  put some pizza sauce on the top.

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Cast Iron Calzone on the Grill – After 35 minutes on the grill.
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Cast Iron Calzone cooked on the Grill – All sauced up!
grilled calzones
These Lodge Skillets are perfect for this recipe at 5″. Personal pan pizza size.
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