I’m above average. Yup. Turns out that most Americans eat 46 slices of pizza a year. My guess is I average a few more. (One last fun pizza fact: in Japan, they top pizza with squid. We haven’t tried that yet.)

I’ve tried naan pizzas, rocky road pizzas, margarita pizzas, savory apple pizzas, you get the idea. For National Pizza Month–yes October is it!–I wanted to try something new. If you haven’t tried grilled pizza, now’s the time.

Here are a few secrets to turn out brick-oven style pies right in your backyard:

Bring the dough to room temperature. If you’ve made your dough from scratch, this shouldn’t be a problem. But I often buy pre-made refrigerated dough from our local Italian deli. I let it sit out for at least an hour so it’s easier to roll out.

Keep the dough a little thicker. I like my pizza crust fairly thin, but it’s hard to get it onto the grill grate when it’s too thin.

Use cornmeal. Lots of it. Once you’ve rolled out the pizza dough generously spread cornmeal under it. Use the cornmeal to slide the pizza onto a cutting board or a cookie sheet (I’ve got a flat one so the pizza slides right onto the grill).

Pre-grill the dough. To fully cook the crust–and to keep the topping from falling off–bake it on the grill for a few minutes, just until it gets stiff and then add your fixins.

Kids’ reactions: I let each of my kids make their own pizza. My teen made the favorite pie–fresh tomato slices, chopped olives, baby spinach, feta cheese, slivers of red onion, and a little drizzle of olive oil. Yum!

Who’s ready to start grilling?

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