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Paggi Pazzo tries the Grill Pizza Kettle Kit

8 May

As I have continued to research and review potential brick oven pizzas for my backyard, I spent a small sum to buy the Pizza Kettle Grill and try to replicate a brick oven pizza taste for my favorite Romano and Napolitano recipes. Thus far I have to say the product has been pretty good and worth the purchase. There’s some minor challenges and difficulties but for quick wood-fired pizza this kit is a good solution.

Grilling pizza with the kettle kit grill with Paggi Pazzo

Grilling pizza with the kettle kit grill with Paggi Pazzo

The Pizza Kettle Grill comes with a wire box/cage that goes under the pizza kit and separates the charcoal around the pizza cooking area. The kettle itself has an open top and attaches to the cooking surface level of the grill with the top of the grill placed over it. The heat escapes quickly so I went to Home Depot to cut a steel plate top that is directly over the pizza stone and allows the open flames over the edge to flow directly over the pizza. This provides a more consistent temperature for how the top of the pizza cooks compared to the bottom. This is important as the top of the pizza will sometimes cook slower and the kettle grill’s heat can climb as high as 900 degrees, cooking the pizza in 2-3 minutes and if not monitored may give you a slightly burned bottom crust with under cooked toppings. The modification I made of adding the steel plate has reduced these potential problems significantly.

Another downside I’ve found to the pizza kit is a a full cylinder of charcoal is needed to heat the grill for cooking. I don’t use lump hardwood charcoal in this case as it burns very fast and won’t last as long as regular charcoal briquettes (and because they are not directly under the food I don’t have concerns about the carcinogens). Once the charcoal is ready I place it around the wire-cage and add a handful more of unheated charcoal briquettes and pecan wood chunks. My first pizza typically comes out the best and I find that around 750 degrees is the ideal heat. Pizza 2 and 3 I need to lift slightly so the top of the pizza is cooking nicely under the metal plate I inserted but the char on the dough is usually better than the first.

Grill pizza outdoors with Kettle pizza kit

Outdoor pizza kettle grill from Paggi Pazzo

I’m still perfecting the Pizza Kettle Grill myself and can churn out about 3-pizzas in 15 minutes so it’s a fast cooking machine and not a bad alternative to a bigger, heavier brick oven pizza (though I plan to have one someday soon). Check it out for yourself and I think you’ll like the results.

Grilled White Pizzas over wood fire

Grilled White Pizzas over wood fire

Pizza Margherita grilled over wood fire

Pizza Margherita grilled over wood fire

Taleggio & Soppressata Friuli White Pizza – An (almost) Brick Oven Experience

1 May

White Pizza with Taleggio & Soppressata Friuli on the Grill, using the Pizza Kettle Grill Kit

Paggi Pazzo is back from a long hiatus to share my Tallegio, Soppressatta friuli pizza bianca recipe, grilled to perfection (from what I was told). My long desire to build or buy a brick oven pizza has not prevented me from trying to make brick oven like pizza and recently I purchased a pizza kettle grill. The outcome was pretty darn good with the Taleggio melting nicely on the lightly covered olive oil dough and bits of roasted peppers slightly charring over chopped soppressata friuli. Typically pizza bianca found in Rome is topped with little ingredients or not at all so this is more of a Tuscany meets Rome/Lazio recipe (molto piacere, mi chiamo Lazio! 🙂). So let’s get started on Paggi Pazzo’s pizza bianca with soppressata friuli and taleggio chesse, unless of course you have too much time on your hands like these guys. Pizza bianca with soppressata friuli, taleggio and roasted

To start the pizza I make the dough either well before and freeze or prepare that morning letting the dough rest and rise (for best results make the dough on the same day). After the dough is ready, I lightly cover the pizza peel (spatula) with semolina flower to get a nice crunchy texture on the bottom. Drizzle olive oil over the dough with a pinch of salt, pepper, and thyme. Chop Taleggio into little chunks over the pizza, using a pizza cutter slice strips of soppressata friuli and cover generously on the pizza. Then slice Italian roasted peppers (pre-made or store bought) or eggplant or whatever vegetable you like on top. Preparing pizza bianca with soppressata friuli, taleggio and roasted peppers recipe from Paggi

To get your pizza kettle grill nice and hot, in a charcoal cylander, add charcoal and wood chunks and once grey and ready, dump into grill pit with the pizza kettle already attached and then add a layer of non-lit charcoal and wood chunks (place the pizza stone then on top carefully using gloves not to burn oneself). This will get the fire temperature up to 800-900 degrees in about 5 minutes. Once the fire is ready, slide the taleggio, soppressata friuli pizza bianca on the pizza stone and watch closely. The pizza will cook in 2-3 minutes so using quarter turns, adjust the pizza and turn every 30 seconds until the dough is charred slightly and turns a golden brown. Rest for a few minutes and drizzle olive oil on top of pizza before slicing and serving. Crack open a nice bottle of Nobile di montepulciano or Chianti reserva and enjoy! There you have it, Paggi Pazzo’s taleggio and soppressata friuli pizza bianca, un il bocca lupo!!!

White pizza with taleggio and soppressata friuli on the grill recipe from Paggi Pazzo

White Pizza with Taleggio & Soppressata friuli Recipe on the Grill

Prep time: 3 hours

Cook time: 5 min

Total time: 3 hours 5 mins

Yield: 8 slices


  • 2 ounces Taleggio cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups Molino Caputo tipo 00 flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon yeast
  • pinch thyme
  • 3/4 cup Italian water
  • 4 slices Soppressata friuli
  • Handful roasted Italian red pepper sliced OR 1 roasted Italian baby eggplant chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Semolina flour

Cooking Directions

  1. In order to make dough, heat Italian water in a pot for 2-3 minutes until warm then place in a bowl with salt and stir well for several minutes
  2. Add yeast into the bowl and stir for at least 5 minutes until yeast dissolves
  3. Add 2 cups of Molino Caputo tipo 00 flour to bowl, pouring slowly as you stir, then a tablespoon of olive oil and continue to stir for at least 10 minutes, until dough begins to turn into an elastic substance
  4. Place dough on a cutting board or cooking sheet and cover all sides with a little flour, then cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and place under a bowl for at least 3 hours
  5. After 3 hours, take dough and kneed for several minutes, covering with flour as necessary until all air bubbles are removed. Then take dough roller and roll, adding more flour when necessary, to a circular shape but not too thin (dough will likely create at least enough for 2 pizzas so feel free to make another or freeze for another time)
  6. Add Semolina flour sprinkled across pizza peel then place dough on top
  7. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil across dough with pinch of salt, pepper and thyme then chunks of taleggio cheese, sliced soppressta friuli strips and your choice of roasted peppers or roasted baby eggplant
  8. Set up pizza kettle kit on grill, start charcoal fire then when ready add to grill pit with wood chunks on top. Then place pizza stone on pizza kettle kit and cover with top. When temperature exceeds 750 degrees, grill is ready for pizza to be cooked
  9. Place pizza on top of pizza stone with pizza peel carefully as pizza grill will be very hot. Once pizza is placed on stone, quarter turns every 30 seconds until pizza is cooked throughout in about 3-4 minutes
  10. Remove from grill and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Let rest for a few minutes and then slice and serve

White pizza bianca with Taleggio and Soprressata friuli Recipe on the Grill

5 out of 5
stars based on 0 reviews and 2 ratings.

Click here for Grilled Pizza Bianca with Taleggio and Sopressata Friuli Recipe and all other Paggi Pazzo recipes.

Grilled Steak and Cheese – It’s Always Sunny for Cheesesteak!

6 Feb

Grilled Steak and Cheese Sub – It’s Time to Go Hextall Up in Here!

Occasionally when I grill steak there may be some left over (this rarely happens by the way) and when this actually does happen (did I mention it’s very rare?), I like to make steak and cheese subs. It might not be Philly-style and if I were to suggest it was better, it might just get me “Hextall-ed” outside the Wells Fargo Center! BUT…(and I am a sucker for a big BUT and a smile – I really wanted to get Boyz II Men in the post but Bell Biv Devoe seemed so apropos for this, don’t you think?) this cheesesteak has proven to be a mighty tasty treat or at least my wife has told me so. Today I’m sharing my Grilled Steak and Cheese that will have you channeling your inner-Philly and ready to throw down like the Broad Street Bullies, or sing the Eagles fight song, or get all fired up like Dennis Reynolds over milk steak…. Or, maybe….. just sit back, relax and enjoy the cheesesteak with a beer? It’s really your call, I’ll let you decide.
Grilled steak and cheese sun with provolone, mushrooms, onions and peppers from Paggi Pazzo

Now I’ve had a real Philly cheese steak before and I can legitimately say…. this is not a Philly Cheese steak. But, the Paggi Pazzo steak and cheese throws together a nice mix of sweet and salty flavors to make this a hardy lunch time meal (dare I say that this recipe is as brilliant as the invention of kitten mittens?). We start off by slicing the already grilled steak into thin strips that were grilled over a wood fire and seasoned with garlic powder, pepper and salt by adding a splash of Worcestershire sauce and wrapping it in foil before allowing it to heat in the oven for 10 minutes at 300 degrees. Then chop your onions, peppers, and mushrooms, and sauté for about 15 minutes until all of the ingredients become soft and caramelize together.

Preparing grilled steak and cheese with sautéed peppers, onions, and mushrooms from Paggi Pazzo

Once the steak strips are done, add them to the pan of peppers and onions at low heat and then stir. After a few minutes, add the sliced provolone cheese on top and once it melts, you’re ready to go to town on your steak and cheese! For bread, I prefer a ciabatta loaf but you can also try a baguette or any other soft bread (toast yours for a nice crunchy flavor). To go with my steak and cheese I enjoyed some tortilla chips and an ice cold Corona, now that’s a lunch that even a philanthropist can enjoy! So there you have it, Paggi Pazzo’s Steak and Cheese sub recipe, a real American classic!

Grilled Grilled Steak and Cheese recipe from Paggi Pazzo

Grilled Steak and Cheese recipe

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 50 min
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: 2 servings


  • 4-6 oz. Steak (New York Sirloin, Boneless Rib Steak or Strip Steak)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 Spanish onion
  • 1/2 red or green pepper
  • 4 slices American Provolone cheese
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 dash black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 French baguette or Italian ciabatta

Cooking Directions

  1. Season steak with garlic powder, salt, and pepper
  2. Add lump hardwood charcoal to 1 chimney starter (you can add cherry or mesquite wood chunks or chips if you prefer) and when grey, dump into grill pit
  3. Dress grates with olive oil on a paper towel and then add steak to grill over high-heat zone, giving a quarter-inch turn after 2 minutes and turning over after 5 minutes (10 minutes total)
  4. Once steak is done, remove from grill and cut into thin strips then wrap in aluminum foil with a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce then place on low-to-medium heat zone of grill (heating indirectly)
  5. *Your choice from here to continue to cook on grill or cook indoors with your stove – Chop onions, peppers, and mushrooms and add to pan with olive oil, sauteing for 10-15 minutes until vegetables are soft.
  6. Add steak strips to pan and saute for 5 minutes, adding provolone cheese on top until it melts then remove from grill or stove
  7. Cut baguette or ciabatta in half and slice into sandwiches, add steak and cheese saute to baguettes. Ready to enjoy and serve.

Grilled Steak and Cheese recipe

5 out of 5
stars based on 4 ratings and 2 reviews.

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Grilled Angus Beef Steak Filets – Super Duper!

7 Dec

Grilled Steak Filets Over an Apple & Cherry Wood Charcoal Fire; It’s Super-Duper!

No matter the weather or the reason, grilling beef and steak are always in-season! Especially when we’re talking thick, Angus Beef filets my friends! The absolute succulence of the beef which is so thick and tender is really a thing to behold. Today I’m sharing my Grilled Angus steak filet recipe over a hardwood charcoal fire with apple & cherry wood chunks that will have you screaming in delight Super Duper!, as if you were just told your newscast was voted #1 in the ratings (doesn’t everyone dream of that?).Grilled Angus Beef Steak Filets over an apple and cherry wood charcoal fire from Paggi Pazzo

My buddy Rob was generous enough to give me a few Wilson & Wilson Omaha Angus beef steak filets and there was no way I could decline. These bad boys were 2-3 inches thick and similar to a Bistecca Fiorentina in terms of size but certainly nowhere near as long. With beef this good and thick, I don’t like to do too much with it in terms of marinating or seasoning so I put together a quick dry rub to help bring out the meat juices over the grill. Before grilling, I season the steak filets with garlic powder, salt, pepper and a little olive oil and Worcestershire sauce. Now when I say a little, I mean a little…. no more than a teaspoon for each filet and to finish it off I add a dash of paprika for a little kick. The dry rub will give the steak filets a nice little crust when we grill them over high heat, as if we were searing the filets in a pan.

To get the grill going for your Angus Beef Steak filets, I use hardlump wood charcoal but add a few thick apple & cherry wood chunks with them in the chimney starter. Once the charcoal wood fire is going strong and turns a nice grey color, add them into the grill pit and lightly dress your grill grates with olive oil on a paper towel or an onion cut in half. Then add the steak filets over the high heat zone area for 2 minutes a side, turning a quarter inch. Because these filets are so thick, we want to give the edges a nice crust before moving them to a medium-heat zone. Once we’ve grilled them on high heat for both sides, move the filet steaks to a cooler zone of the grill and slowly grill them for another 5 minutes per side with the grill top closed. Give a nice soft push to them soon after and if there’s a nice bit of give, you should have a medium-rare and tender Angus Beef steak filet!

Now that the Angus Beef Steak filets are done and off the grill, I love me some red wine to go with my steak so I’m going to recommend an Argentinian Malbec or a Californian Cabernet or a French Médoc. So there you have it, Paggi Pazzo’s Grilled Steak Filets over a wood apple charcoal fire, Super-Duper!!!

Grilled Angus Beef Steak Filet recipe from Paggi Pazzo

Grilled Angus Beef Steak Filet Recipe

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 25 min
Yield: 2 servings


  • 4 oz Angus Beef Steak Filets (2)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash paprika

Cooking Directions

  1. Clean Steak filets and then place on a plate
  2. Season both sides of steak with garlic powder, salt, and pepper
  3. Then lightly dress (on both sides) with 1/2 teaspoon per side of olive oil and Worcestershire sauce
  4. Sprinkle dash of paprika on top
  5. Prepare charcoal grill: Add lump hard wood charcoal with apple and cherry wood chunks to chimney starter with paper towel brushed with olive oil.
  6. Light olive oiled paper towel under chimney starter to start fire.
  7. Once wood charcoal is a nice grey color, remove charcoals from chimney into grill pit
  8. Place grates back on grill and use long grill fork to oil up grates with 1/2 onion, back and forth.
  9. Add (2) 4 ounce Angus Beef Steak filets to grill over high heat for 2 minutes then giving a quarter-inch turn for another minute before turning steaks over (and repeating)
  10. Move steaks to medium-heat zone, cooking indirectly for another 5 minutes per side
  11. Remove from grill and allow Steak filets 5 minutes to cool
  12. Ready to serve!

Grilled Angus Beed Steak Filet recipe

4.5 out of 5
stars based on 5 ratings and 0 reviews.

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Uruguayan Grilled Stuffed Zucchini (Zapallitos Rellenos) – Viva La Celeste!!!

6 Sep

Uruguayan Style Grilled Zapallitos Rellenos From the Asado Nation

Uruguay! The second smallest country within South America is among the largest nations in consuming beef per capita in the world (what else would you expect from a country that neighbors Argentina and Brazil?). Just like their brothers and sisters across the border, their passion for grilling and futbol are unmatched. Today however, I am not sharing an Asado recipe from our Guacho friends in Montevideo but rather a classic appetizer dish made on the grill; Grilled Stuffed Zucchini – Uruguayan style with prosciutto di Parma, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella. It’s as classic as an Enzo Francescoli or Diego Forlan goal electrifying the La Celeste faithful! Grilled Uruguayan style with stuffed zucchini (Zapallitos Rellenos) with prosciutto di Parma, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella from Paggi Pazzo

To prepare Uruguayan style stuffed zucchini on the grill (also known as Zapallitos Rellenos), buy 2 large zucchinis and cut them in half the long way and carve out the insides about a quarter-inch to the skin (but save the filling). For the filling, by a thick slice of prosciutto di parma, small cup of sun-dried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, onions and garlic and then with the zucchini filling, chop them all and saute in a pan with olive oil. After a few minutes, add a little flour to thicken it up (the traditional way is to use corn starch, so feel free to use either). Now in Uruguay, they take their grilling very seriously and use mainly wood to do their cooking. I use (exclusively) lump hardwood charcoal with wood chunks or chips (in this case mesquite) but if you have natural wood, oak is a great choice for grilling. To start the grill, fill up a charcoal starter half way and once the charcoal wood turns grey, dump into your grill pit and oil the grates with a paper towel. Fill the carved out zucchini halves with the stuffing and place them across grates on the grill for 5 minutes before turning a quarter inch. After another 5 minutes, your grilled stuffed zucchini will be finished.

In Uruguay it’s not uncommon to serve the stuffed zucchini with mayo on the side but that’s just not Paggi Pazzo’s style. Now for full disclosure, be careful when you remove the zucchini because the heat will flatten the skin and outsides and when I took one of them off the grill, I completely misjudged the weight and it was top heavy dropping to the ground (and making me very, very sad or – muy triste!“). Moral of the story is, watch what you’re doing slappy! Cuisine in Uruguay is very European influenced and this fantastic dish is a combination of many flavors that, yours truly, has created to pay homage to this wonderful South American country. Uruguayan Style Grilled Stuffed Zucchini from Paggi Pazzo, Fuerza La Celeste!!!!

Grilled Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 25 min
Yield: 2 servings


  • 2 large zucchini
  • 1 ounce sun dried tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 ounce fresh mozzarella
  • 1/4 pound thick slice of prosciutto di Parma
  • 2 tablespoons flour

Cooking Directions

  1. Slice zucchini in halves the long way, and then carve out filling for each half getting within a quarter inch until out side skin (save carved out zucchini fillings and chop into small pieces)
  2. Chop garlic and onion finely and add to pan with olive oil, let caramelize for 3-5 minutes then add zucchini filling pieces for 5 more minutes stirring at low to medium heat
  3. Cut prosciutto di Parma, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella into small chunks and add to pan
  4. After almost 15 minutes of cooking the zucchini filling, add the flour and stir for several minutes until flour has formed a thick creamy texture with the rest of the ingredients. Then remove from oven.
  5. Start grill (if using gas grill fire up burners and maintain medium-to-high-heat) and use one 1/2 chimney starter filled with wood lump charcoal. Once wood charcoal is grey, empty into grill pit
  6. Oil grates with paper towel and then place filling into carved out zucchini pieces and place on grill
  7. Turn zucchini after 5 minutes a quarter inch and grill for another 5 minutes until bottom of zucchini has browned
  8. Remove from grill and rest for 5 minutes. Then ready to serve

Uruguayan Style Grilled Stuffed Zucchini Recipe
(Zapallitos Rellenos)
5 out of 5
stars based on 3 ratings and 2 reviews.

Click here for full Grilled Stuffed Zucchini recipe, and other Paggi Pazzo recipes.

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