For some, nothing but a deep-dish pizza will do.
For others, only a piled-high slice will satisfy cravings.
But for this set of tastebuds? I reach for grilled pizza, the kind with a fragrance that teases the neighbors and has me going back for just one more bite.
What's not to like? It's smoky, chewy and the flavor options are infinite. Perhaps a tomato and fresh mozzarella pizza tonight, and a caramelized onion pizza tomorrow. I'll save the sautéed mushroom variety for later in the week. With some fruit and a salad, I'm set with all the summer variety I need.
The best part, beyond the good taste, that is? It's easy and -- not so incidentally -- cheaper than if you had one delivered. As important, grilled pizza is fun to prepare, which may be all it takes to get that favorite teenager to help with dinner ("Who wants to top the pizzas?").
Grilled pizza does have a few differences from oven-baked.
• It tastes smoky.
• The toppings need to be minimal or the crust will burn long before the ingredients are warm or melted.
• Small pizzas are easier to handle on the grill than large ones, unless you have a wooden pizza peel for placing and removing the crust on a hot surface.
To get that brick-oven flavor that your favorite wood-fired pizzeria offers, all you need is a grill (gas or charcoal) and some pizza dough. We've got a recipe for you if you want homemade dough. Too busy? Turn to frozen dough or some prepared dough from your pizzeria (call ahead and ask if they will sell you some).
For a cooking method that's been popular for more than a decade, I have rarely run across this outside my own back yard, though it's ideal for all sorts of meal-time gatherings at home or at picnics. Who wants a burger or tube steak when there is pizza to grill!
And it's not just the flavor that is so pleasing. Topping the pizza is a great way to interact with your guests or family members: They get to choose their toppings. What's not to like? I've served it to great enthusiasm for a variety of summer entertaining, from family reunions to graduation parties.
I mastered the art of pizza on the grill when my daughter graduated from high school. Before she mentioned that there would be 100 of her closest and dearest friends at the gathering, I had agreed to grill pizzas. What I initially expected to be an impossible task turned into a manageable one that may have been one of the most fun parties I've put on.
But you don't need to wait until you have a crowd that big. This is suited to any gathering, big or small, that needs a little pizazz.
I'm thinking that a Greek pizza would be just right tonight.
Lee Svitak Dean is editor of Taste.