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Deliciousness aside, a sizzling slice of thin and crispy pizza straight from the oven can actually be pretty good for you. Of course, not many of us get to enjoy pizza straight from the oven, and domestic stoves rarely cut it when it comes to creating the right temperature. In fact, the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (The Register of Approved Suppliers of the “True Neapolitan Pizza”), who know their stuff when it comes to pizzas, say a true Neapolitan pizza must be cooked in a wood fired oven at 500 C - now that’s hot!
The KettlePizza Gas Pro kit is ideal if you want to try and replicate that blistering heat in your own home - this clever piece of kit is designed to work with your gas barbecue. Composed of a pizza stone for the perfect undercarriage (that’s the underside of the pizza base to you and me) and a solid stainless steel enclosure that forces the temperature up, for the perfect leopard spotting on the top crust.
Designed to work with a 3 burner grill or better, you’ll need a grill surface of 24 inches wide by 17 inches deep to accommodate the stone and cooking hood. Then just fire up the barbecue for a good 20 minutes - make sure you have some cold beers or a good Italian red on standby - before sliding in your pizza and watching it bubble and char in just minutes. It can even work its magic on a sad old supermarket pizza, even the frozen kind!
Pizza has an incredible history - the word itself has been around in Italy since AD 997, and people all over the Mediterranean seem to have been cooking flatbreads with cheese and other toppings since then. Pizza as we know it, however, originated around the turn of the 19th century, when the Antica Pizzeria Port'Alba added tomato to their toppings and created a culinary masterpiece. Now the Italians have strict rules about what makes a genuine pizza, but for the rest of the world, anything goes, from chicken tikka to ham and pineapple - the combinations are weird and wonderful, and usually delicious!
If you want to create your own pizza, then you’ll need to start with a simple dough using just yeast, pizza flour, salt and water. Then add your favourite tomato sauce - canned tomatoes give plenty of flavour in the winter, although fresh vine grown tomatoes are best in summer. Then mozzarella and a few basil leaves for a classic Margherita pizza, named after the Italian queen, and representing the red, white and green of the Italian flag.
Though the KettlePizza Gas Pro won’t get you down to the 60-90 seconds cooking time of the real Neapolitan pizza, it certainly comes close, by using the stainless steel hood to conduct heat around and over your Margherita, Neapoletan or even Spicy Mexican!