Have you ever wondered how to cook pizza on the grill? Our friends at BBQGuys are going to show us just how easy it can be done. There are 2 ways to grill pizza: on a pizza stone and directly on your cooking grates. Both methods require a closed lid to take advantage of a grill’s convection heat, which will produce slightly charred, golden-brown crusted covered in the bubbly toppings of your choice. If large veggies like peppers are among those toppings, we recommend you pre-cook them because the water they release when grilled will make your dough soggy. We can think of few things sadder than soggy dough.
Grilling Pizza with a Pizza Stone
Start by placing your stone on the cooking grates and preheating the grill as normal. It’s extremely important to preheat the pizza stone along with the grill because putting a cold stone on hot grates may cause it to crack. As the grill preheats to around 500–550 degrees Fahrenheit, take time to roll out your dough and assemble your pizza. A tip for outdoor entertainers: After your dough is ready, set up different topping stations and let guests create their own pizzas.
To ensure your stone is at the correct temperature, sprinkle corn grits or cornmeal on its surface. The cornmeal will smolder if the stone is around the target temperature of 550 degrees. If it immediately catches fire, however, you know the stone is too hot to cook the dough properly. In that case, just drop the temperature, clear the corn grits from the stone, and re-test with another sprinkling. In addition to indicating temperature, this coating of cornmeal on the pizza stone prevents the dough from sticking and helps draw out moisture for crispy crust.
Once your pizza is assembled and the stone is at the proper temperature, simply place your pie on the stone (topping side up) and close the lid. Neapolitan pizzas and other thin crusts need only 3–5 minutes to cook on a stone, while thick dough can take up twice as long. You should always use a pizza peel to move your pie, and we recommend first-timers invest in a metal peel because it’s thinner and easier to use than the wooden alternative.
It’s also possible to bake pizza on a gas grill, which is done on a stone and at lower temperatures around 350–425 degrees. Just place your pizza on the stone as usual, then step back and let the convection heat of your grill work its magic for about 10–12 minutes.
Grilling Pizza on the Grill Grates
This method calls for moderate temperatures of about 425–450 degrees to account for the direct heat your dough will be exposed to. It’s the preferred way to grill frozen pizzas, but it works just as well for the homemade stuff. Preheat your grill, lightly brush olive oil one side of the fully formed dough, then place the oiled side on your grill grates. Allow thin-crust pizzas to cook for about 1½ minutes and let thick-crust pizzas sit for around 3–5 minutes.
From there, use a spatula and tongs to bring the dough back to your prep counter, placing the cooked side down. Apply oil to the raw side before flipping over the pizza and arranging your toppings on the cooked dough. Put your pizza back on the grates, raw side down, so it can cook for the same amount of time as the first side. Now all that’s left to do is take your pizza off the grill and serve!
Now that you know the basics on how to cook pizza on the grill, it is time to give it a try!