How to Make Homemade Pizza on the Grill
When it’s a hot summer day, the last thing we want to do is turn on the oven to cook supper. The outdoor grill is the perfect solution to this! More often we reach for burgers, hot dogs, the occasional steak or pork chops, maybe even some grilled veggies to balance things out. But have you ever done pizza on the grill? If you haven’t, we’re about to change your mind!
Since your grill can get hotter than your kitchen’s oven, cooking your pizza this way is going to be as close as you can get to those fancy restaurant brick-oven pizzas. All you’ll need is a pizza stone, your gas or charcoal grill, and all the delicious ingredients for your pizza!
Ingredients for Pizza:
- Pizza dough (homemade or store-bought)
- Sauce of your choice (tomato, alfredo, pesto…)
- Cheese of your choice (mozzarella is a classic)
- Toppings of your choice (see idea list below)
- Flour, for dusting
Pizza Grilling Tools Needed:
- Parchment paper
- Pizza stone
- Outdoor gas grill
- Pizza cutter
The Pizza Stone
It is totally possible to make pizza on the grill without a pizza stone – it just takes some oil and a quick hand with the toppings. However, we chose to use a pizza stone for our recipe. They’re inexpensive to buy and can be used in both your oven and your grill, so homemade pizza night can be a year-round event. They are a cost-effective way to replicate pizzas from fancy brick ovens. Those brick ovens reach extremely high temperatures (think 900 degrees Fahrenheit) to get that crispy crust in mere minutes. Since our home ovens only do that on the self-clean mode, the grill is our best bet!
Making the Pizza
Prep Your Ingredients
For our pizza, we used both homemade dough and homemade sauce. We made the dough a few days prior and let it rest in the fridge, but a store-bought variety will absolutely work. For our sauce, we used quality canned tomatoes and added some salt and oregano. To make it smooth, you can give it a whiz with an immersion blender. For toppings, we shredded some mozzarella cheese, sliced green peppers, and pepperoni. There are literally unlimited combinations of toppings you can go with, but if you need some inspiration, we’ll share some of our favorite combinations below! When it comes to the cheese, we recommend not using the pre-shredded kind. There is a coating that keeps the shreds from sticking together, but it also prevents it from melting to its full potential.
Fire up the Grill
We want to get the grill as hot as it can possibly get, in order to replicate brick pizza ovens, so fire up the grill with all the burners on high, or fuel up your charcoal grill. Then place your pizza stone on the grates and close the lid. After about 20 minutes of preheating, the temperature should be up around 600 degrees Fahrenheit. This time will depend on the type of grill or charcoal barbecue you are using. If your grill or barbecue doesn’t feature an in-built heat-sensing thermometer, we recommend using an instant-read thermometer for accurate reading of the internal temperature under the hood.
Assemble Your Pizza
Next, we’re going to put our pizza together. We have our dough rolled out, and we’re going to place it on a piece of flour-dusted parchment paper, cut to size to fit on our pizza stone. First up is the tomato sauce. We didn’t want to go too crazy, but we want to have good coverage. Too much sauce and you risk having a soggy pie instead of a crisp one. Then we’re going to add some cheese, this is the part where you really don’t want to be shy with it. Make sure you have even coverage and not a pile in the middle. Once again, our goal is crispy, not soggy! Finally, our toppings, starting with the pepperoni. For some vegetables, we’re going to add some green pepper. If you’re using any raw or “heavier” vegetable toppings, be sure to cook them beforehand as the quick cooking time on the grill won’t be enough.
Time to Grill
Since our grill is now nice and hot thanks to the preheat, the next step is to quickly but carefully lift the lid and slide the pizza and parchment paper right onto the pizza stone. Close up the lid again as we want to keep things as hot as possible in there. The amount of time it will take the pizza to cook is quite varied, anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. So, you don’t want to walk away from the grill, but you also don’t want to be constantly opening the lid to check. If you do need to look, just pop the lid open a couple of inches and peek inside. After about 10 minutes our cheese was nicely melted and the crust had gotten crispy, so we pulled it out and onto the cutting board to cool. Be extra careful when removing the pizza, as all elements of the grill and especially the pizza stone will be roaring hot.
We garnished our pizza with a sprinkle of dried oregano before digging in. A totally optional topping, but it adds a little something. You may want to drizzle yours with some oil or honey, or maybe fresh cracked pepper or shaved parmesan. After taste testing, we determined this was one of the best homemade pizzas we’ve ever had.
Toppings to Try
Tomato sauce – Mozzarella cheese – Ham or bacon – Pineapple (try grilling the pineapple first!)
Tomato sauce – Mozzarella cheese – Bacon – Pepperoni – Mushrooms
Olive oil and garlic – oregano – feta – red onion – cherry tomatoes – kalamata olives
Grilled Inspired Combos:
BBQ Sauce – Cooked, diced chicken – Monterey jack cheese – Red onions – Mushrooms
Tomato or BBQ sauce – Cooked, crumbled ground beef – Marble cheese – Lettuce, tomatoes, pickles (added after grilling)
Try using a homemade smoker packet to give extra flavor to your pies while they cook. A pulled pork and gouda cheese pizza, with an applewood smoker packet, would be incredible.
Repair Your Grill
We’re sure that once you try it, pizza on the grill will be in regular rotation this summer. Make sure your grill is in its best condition to keep up! If you need replacement parts, simply search for your model number. Follow along with us on our YouTube channel for more great tips and repair how-to.