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How to Grill Pizza — A Simple and Easy Guide to Try at Home

by Outdoor Cooking Pros November 01, 2021

How to Grill Pizza — A Simple and Easy Guide to Try  at Home

Grilled pizza gives you about the same result as a brick-oven crispy pizza crust – if not better. However, you might end up with disappointing charred remains if you don’t do it properly. Here is our simple and easy guide on how to grill pizza at home on the first try using your own grill, whether it is a gas or charcoal grill.

Why Cook Pizza on a Grill?

It’s normal for anyone to want to know why they should make pizza on a grill. A grill mimics a wood-fired oven as compared to your regular oven so you can keep the heat out by cooking pizza on a grill. 

According to our chefs, using either a charcoal or gas grill generates a characteristic smoke that will help give your pizza a great flavor that you can’t get from any conventional oven. There is also almost no additional prep time.

Staple and Topping Ingredients + Kitchen Tools

Our team of grillmasters recommends the following recipes and special equipment you would need to cook a pizza using a grill.

Dough recipes 

  • Cornmeal or all-purpose flour for baking sheet
  • Flour for surface
  • 1 lb. pizza dough (thawed at room temperature, if frozen)

Topping recipes

  • 2 to 3 cups of any topping like sautéed onions, sautéed mushrooms, pepperoni, cooked hot sausage, cooked bacon, diced peppers, fresh herbs, leftover veggies, or any other favorites
  • 3 or 4 cups of marinara, pizza sauce, BBQ sauce, tomato sauce, white sauce, or other spread
  • 1 to 2 cups or 5 oz. shredded or sliced cheese, such as coarsely grated or torn mozzarella cheese, Monterey Jack, provolone, fontina [1], or any other favorite cheese
  • Salt and pepper, olive oil, pepper oil, and garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, onions and garlic, Meats, Sun-dried or smoke-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil for sprinkling

Kitchen tools

  • Pizza stone or baking sheet
  • Pizza peel or baking sheet
  • Parchment paper (optional)

There are more recipes available that you can choose from. Be sure to read the recipe notes and calorie content such as Vitamin C content carefully when you find recipes.

How to Grill Pizza in 7 Easy Steps

Here are our 7 easy step-by-step instructions for making the best grilled pizza using your grill, as explained by our experts.

Step #1: Pre-Heat the Oven

The first step on how to grill pizza is to prepare the grill for high direct heat. If you are using a gas grill, pre-heat to medium-high (at least 500°F) and this should take between 10 minutes to 15 minutes. If you are using indirect heat, pre-heat the grill to 350°F. Grease the grill grates with olive oil.

Step #2: Make the Dough

You can either make the pizza dough from scratch using your favorite basic pizza dough recipe or use prepared store-bought pizza dough mixed with a little warm water. Divide risen dough into two halves. Roll the dough out into a circular-shaped pizza crust of about a half-inch thick. It’s okay if the shape of the dough is not even.

Place the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface (baking/cookie sheet or pizza peel if you have one), brush the top side of the dough with olive oil, and season it with salt and pepper.

Step #3: Grill One Side of the Pizza  Dough

Once the grill is hot, dip a tightly folded paper towel into olive oil prepared beforehand in a small bowl. Hold it with tongs and gently wipe the grill plates with it. Let the pizza dough slide gently off the sheet onto the hot grill grates so it can get direct high heat. Alternatively, flip it onto the hot grill and brush the other side with olive oil, especially the crust. Shut the grill lid, reduce the high heat to medium, and let the pizza dough cook for about two minutes.

Step #4: Check Readiness of the Dough and Remove

After two minutes, check if there are golden brown grill marks underneath the dough. If the pizza crust is not brown underneath, cover the grill and cook for another minute or until the underneath of the dough turns brown. 

If it is getting brown only on one side, rotate the dough 90 degrees with tongs or spatula, and cook for another minute to get an even grilled side and golden crust. This step should take only a few minutes if you had pre-heated the grill. By now, the top of the pizza crust should start to have air bubbles.

Step #5: Add Your Preferred Toppings

Gently remove the grilled pizza from the grill using your baking or cookie sheet or pizza peel. Using a spatula or tongs, flip the grilled pizza over to have the grilled side on top. You may want to move the pizza to a cooler part of the grill while you add toppings. 

Quickly brush the top grilled surface with olive oil and sprinkle your favorite toppings and pizza sauce, add fresh Mozzarella cheese (if available), and add meat over the cheese if you wish according to your recipe. Always remember to add toppings sparingly when you’re making pizza, or else your grilled pizza will be soggy and heavy.

Step #6: Place Back the Pizza on the Grill

Place the pizza back into the grill and close the lid. At this point, reduce the heat if it’s a gas grill or close the vents on the cover if using a charcoal grill. Let the grilled pizza cook for two to three minutes more, or wait until the cheese melts or is bubbly and the bottom crust is done.

Step #7: Wait Until Ready

Once the underside is done, use a spatula or tongs to remove the grilled pizza off the grate onto a cutting board or any other flat surface. When you finish cooking, add any final toppings like fresh basil, salt, and pepper, let it rest for a couple of minutes before cutting the grilled pizza into slices, and serve immediately.

Tips and Reminders

Toppings

Always keep the toppings simple. Our chefs reiterate that too many will make grilled pizzas soggy and heavy and it will take too long to cook.

If the topping is something you like to eat raw, add them to the pizza right when it comes out of the oven. The residual heat from the pizza will cook them. Otherwise, add them to the pizza ahead of time.

Grill Temperature

The desired grill temperature for grilling pizza is at most 500°F. However, all grills are different. You may need to make some adjustments, and it may require some time or a few tries for you to figure out the optimal grilling temperature and time for your grill.

FAQ

How long does it take to cook pizza on the grill?

It takes about five to seven minutes to cook pizzas on the grill. This also depends on the type of grill you are using and whether you have pre-heated your grill.

How hot should my grill be for pizza?

The temperature of your grill should be about 375°F-400°F for pizza. If you are grilling with indirect heat. Direct heat should be hotter. Too much heat can cause the bottom of your grilled pizza to overcook and get burnt. However, if you are using a pizza stone, keep the temperature at 450°F-475°F.

Conclusion

It’s not difficult to learn how to grill pizza, and a crispy brown grilled pizza has a much better taste compared to a pizza made in an oven. With a homemade pizza you can customize the topping and sauce that you choose to add for the perfect pizza you can enjoy at home.

Outdoor Cooking Pros
Outdoor Cooking Pros


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