Homemade pizza cooked hot and quick on the grill over fire and coals. From making the perfect dough base to choosing the best toppings, here’s how to grill pizza in your garden kitchen.
Grilling pizza can improve its flavor and reduce cooking time. If YOU are using a charcoal grill, the flames will lick up the top of the batter, giving the crust a crispy golden-brown marbling and portions that are lightly charred.
Both gas and charcoal grills will cook your pizza in about two-thirds the time it would take a traditional oven.
Why do you need a pizza stone?
A pizza stone is a large rock that IS placed in the grill before preheating. Your pizza rests on the pizza stone while the pizza bakes. The stone protects the base of the pizza from the intense heat given off by the flames. It also helps ensure even cooking.
What you need:
- Olive oil
- Pizza sauce
- Cheese(I use a mix of mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, and gorgonzola)
- Ingredients of your choice
Time and temperature
Because you are using a pizza stone, you can use high temperatures when grilling. You want to maintain a temperature between 475ºF and 500ºF. At this temperature, the pizza should only take 10 to 12 minutes to finish grilling.
Ideas for dressings and side dishes
Using the grill allows me to dive into the main ideas that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to do otherwise.
Another idea is your favorite meat. The classic types of meat for pizza are salami or pepperoni. Any ingredients that your local pizzeria put on your pizza can withstand the heat of your grill.
When it comes to side dishes, why not try a salad? A pizza usually does not contain many green elements, so it is natural to a balanced diet. You can make a classic green salad with a vinaigrette, or you can make a Caesar salad with all the trimmings.
Why do we spread oil on pizza before baking?
The pizza should always be brushed with olive oil before grilling. Be sure to brush the crust generously as well. This can limit the amount of moisture that gets into the batter during grilling. Too much moisture will give the crust a doughy texture. By adding oil you get a crispy and light pizza.
How to grill pizza on a charcoal or gas grill
Here’s a summary of how to cook pizza on your grill.
- Preheat Grill and Insert Pizza Stone: The first step in any grilled pizza is to preheat the grill. It should aim for a temperature of around 500ºF. Once you have lit the charcoal or adjusted the gas to the correct setting, insert the pizza stone. Make sure the temperature doesn’t rise too high above your target temperature.
- Bake Pizza: Making pizza while the grill is preheating is a great way to save time. Mix your pre-made dough until it forms a round shape. Place the round dough on a floured pizza peel or rimless baking sheet. Next, foam the dough with the pizza sauce. Now place the desired pizza topping on top. Finally, cover the pizza with the grated cheese and brush the pizza with a layer of olive oil.
- Double Check Temperatures – An essential step before you can put the pizza on the grill is to double check the temperature of the grill. YOU should be able to accurately measure the ambient temperature of the grill using your grill’s built-in thermometer. If that’s not possible, place a meat thermometer on the grill away from the pizza stone for a minute for the most accurate reading.
- Putting Pizza on the Grill – Now comes the hard part. Push the finished pizza onto the pizza stone with the pizza shovel or the baking tray. If you don’t make it complicated, you could tear or ruin your pizza. Sometimes using another tool like a spatula can help slide the pizza out of the pan.
- Double check the pizza during grilling: While the pizza is cooking, you need to watch to see if it’s burning or undercooking. Since pizza takes about ten minutes to bake, I check my pizza every three minutes to make sure it’s cooking properly. When checking the pizza, turn it slightly for more even cooking.
- Remove and Serve: Once your pizza is to your liking, remove it from the stone. If you have a pizza peel, use it. If you don’t have a bowl, use two pancake spatulas to lift the pizza onto the baking sheet you used previously. Now all you have to do is slice and enjoy!