Making Pizza on the Grill

It’s been so blasted hot here this week that I haven’t used my oven at all. I miss baking and really missed my pizza, especially since I wanted to make it for Father’s Day. A friend of mine always makes his on the grill, but I had yet to try it out myself. I did some googling and watched some You Tube videos, and found there are several different ways to make pizza on the grill.

After reading websites and blogs and watching several videos, I’m sharing with you the method that worked for me. They were absolutely fabulous and it’s very easy! My husband even preferred them over the oven baked version. Now I don’t have to worry about missing out on pizza all summer!

Making Pizza on the Grill
First off you are going to need:
metal spatula
olive oil
pizza stone or cutting board, sprinkled with cornmeal
I make my own sauce (link above) and my own dough (also above) and I also mix up my own pizza sausage. If you use sausage, I suggest browning it first like I do, there isn’t enough time for raw sausage to cook with this method. As for the toppings, you want to have everything chopped and the cheese shredded and ready to go before you begin. This is a lot like making stir fry – the cooking part actually goes very quickly so you need to have everything chopped, measured, and sitting at the ready.
For toppings I am pretty simple – I use shredded Mozzarella cheese, chopped onion, bell pepper and mushrooms, pepperoni and browned pizza sausage. Use whatever toppings you like, just remember to cut them up as this cooks quickly.
Let’s Get Started
First off let me say I have a gas grill with four burners. If you have charcoal, you will probably want to google some ideas. But basically, if you are familiar with making your charcoal grill very hot on one side and using indirect heat, then you should be able to follow the instructions below and adjust for your grill.

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First, turn your grill on to high and close the lid. Allow it to heat up and get good and hot, about 15 minutes.
Next, you will need 4 pieces of aluminum foil (big enough to cover a cookie sheet). Brush each piece of foil (on one side only) with olive oil.
Cut your dough into 3 or 4 pieces. You want to make individual pizzas instead of trying to make one great big one. Use the heel of your hand to press the dough flat and stretch it out, or if you prefer you can roll it, pressing it give it a more rustic look though. :) I made mine about 7-8″ in diameter and got 4 pizzas from one dough recipe. Place one dough onto an oiled sheet of foil. Use brush or your fingers to oil the top of the dough. Place next piece of foil, oiled side facing up, on top of that dough. (You are stacking here) Now place the next dough on top of that foil, then oil the dough, repeat until all four pieces of foil have dough on them and they are all oiled. Just FYI – the olive oil keeps the dough from sticking to the grill grates and adds great flavor as well. Oh, and it also keeps the dough from sticking to the foil. The foil works as a handy way to slap the dough onto the grill, I’ll cover that in a minute.

Place your stack of dough/foil aside for now.
Again, be sure all your toppings and your sauce are at the ready, make sure you have your pizza stone or cutting board and tongs and spatula. Ready?

Grab one piece of foil with dough. Turn all four burners down to medium, open grill and invert the dough onto the grill, peel off the piece of foil. Close the lid and LEAVE IT CLOSED for 2 1/2 minutes. Don’t peek, I know you’re tempted! Ok, ok, after two minutes you can check and see how the dough is doing, it should be getting puffy and developing grill marks on the bottom. Check this by lifting the corner with your tongs. If you have nice brown grill marks move on to the next step. If not, close the grill and let them cook a little longer, but generally 2-3 minutes does the trick.

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Next, open the grill, use the tongs and metal spatula to remove your dough and place it on the stone or cutting board, grill marks up. Close the grill.

Now, add your sauce and toppings to your dough, again the grill marks should be facing up.
Turn the two middle burners OFF and turn the outer left and right burners back up to high. This creates a hot environment, but allows you to cook on indirect heat so that the bottom of your crust does not burn.
Open the grill and carefully slide your pizza back onto the grill (the cornmeal acts as ball bearings and lets the dough slide off the stone or cutting board easily) on the center rack, where the burners should be off. Close the lid and let cook for 5-7 minutes, or until cheese is melted and toppings are done. Mine generally took 6 to 6.5 minutes.

Use spatula and tongs to remove pizza. Enjoy!
To continue making more pizzas, after removing finished pizza(s) turn the middle burner back on to high and close the lid to get hot again. Repeat steps above.
NOTES: I was able to cook two pizzas at a time this way, sliding both pizzas onto the middle burners together. Some of the instructions I found said to brush the grill grates with olive oil, I found putting the oil on the dough was much easier. Besides, I fried my brush bristles painting the hot grill grates! LOL Other instructions left the burners on medium the whole time, I prefer the indirect method, less chance of over charring the dough.
Oh, and if you are anything like me, you’ll need one of these to keep you cool while you’re cookin’… ;)

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  1. Jane says

    Wow, those look great! Tomorrow is Friday, which is homemade pizza day at our house. I think I'll try this.


  2. Judy says

    I don't make pizza that often, but I've been experimenting. Everyone likes their pizza different — hubby and I prefer thin crust pizza but my neighbor can't get it thick enough. Yours looks in between. It is a great idea to make pizza on the grill in hot weather. Wish I could eat it more often because I really do love pizza.

  3. finsmom says

    I just bookmarked this! I think it sounds fantastic! Ive never tried it before, but will be soon!

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Chef Fresco says

    It's been way to flipp'n hot in Charlotte too. It was hot when I left the house this morning at 8 AM — ridiculous! You're on the right track to keep cool though, especially with that last picture. Your pizza looks awesome too — I'm sure it had wonderful flavor.

  5. Katrina says

    First of all, it's been stinkin' hot here all week, too and I haven't baked/turned on the oven. Second, I have the same pizza stone as you and it looks just as "well seasoned" as yours! Third, we often have pizza on Friday nights. We're gonna have to try the grill! Looks great.

  6. Ingrid says

    Your pizzas look GREAT! I love pizza.

    I finally made my own dough about a month ago and it was GREAT. So easy I don't know why my lazy butt hasn't made more that way I can have all the white pizza I want!! :)

    Thanks Amanda for sharing!

  7. Culinary Cory says

    I love grilled pizzas! Yours look great with those amazing grill marks. I've heard the Miller 64's are pretty good. I'm more of a Bacardi O and tonic on the rocks kind of guy. :)

  8. Pamela says

    Thanks for the informative lesson. I am ready to conquer grilled pizzas this summer thanks to this post and your enthusiasm!! Great job.

  9. mickey says

    Those look beautiful!! I am sure they taste as good as they look. Thanks for sharing your idea. Love it!

  10. PacificSean says

    I don't bother making pizza in a the oven anymore, as I cannot get it hot enough – unless I have the oven on for 2 hours.

    The grill is definitely the way to go. Get yourself a pizza stone, crank the grill up to maximum heat (I have a gas grill) and within 10 mins the grill is up over 600 degrees.

    I cheat and buy shop-bought pizza dough, roll it out, slap some pasta sauce on top – we prefer Glen Muir Organic and then some toppings. My wife and daughter can't do cheese, so we go without. Frankly I don't even miss it (and I can eat cheese).

    I figure that once the stone is up to temperature I can cook a pizza in about 2 minutes. If you go thin crust, it'll cook in 90 secs!

    Thanks for sharing. I'm getting hungry!

  11. Tiffiny Felix says

    Love it, love it, love it! I made grilled pizza once, years ago…why haven't I done it since?! I need to remedy this :) Thanks for the reminder of a great way to make pizza!

  12. Jennifer, The Lady Riposter says

    Sometime when I get a back porch and a grill I'm definitely trying these. They look incredible!!

    Thanks for sharing the link on my blog!

  13. Anonymous says

    I just tried this, noticed some of the posts were from last year, but what the heck! Thank you! It was fun and I would do it again…pizza's were great! Followed your directions to a tee and it all worked great! The 17 year old son even loved it…high praise! (I even drank a 64!) LOL
    Joan Rupp

  14. Sue says

    Your post made me believe I could do this! Grand kids are here and we enjoyed making them and eating them! Thank you


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