How to Cook Pizza on a Grill

When pizza night is on the table, firing up your grill can offer some unique benefits to a delicious slice of pie. Here’s how to cook pizza on a grill.

Why Grilling Pizza is Best

You most likely used to cooking pizza, whether frozen or fresh, in the oven, but grilling pizza offers a few unique benefits that puts it ahead of your typical pizza method. First, pizza does best at high temperatures, and a grill can hit temperatures that most ovens cannot. And second, a grill can give you a crispier crust and those charred spots on the bottom of your crust you find in most restaurants. Simply put, grilling pizza is best!

How to Grill Pizza

When you’re ready to try your hand at grilling pizza on a charcoal or gas grill, here are the important steps to follow for the best crust and flavor possible.

  1. Heat your grill: Get your grill fired up to an appropriate temperature for grilling pizza. Aim for at least 550-600°F. If you have a choice between direct and indirect heat, set it up so the pizza is over direct heat. If using a Gravity Series® Grill, set your digital control panel or app to 600°F and wait for the grill to reach temp before cooking.
  2. Gather your toppings: You’ll want to have easy access to everything. Set up a table or stand near your grill with your toppings and ingredients. Grilling pizza is as much about organization as it is about the cook.
  3. Have your tools close: You’ll will want a pair of long metal tongs for turning your pizza. Having a long spatula or pizza peel is also essential to adding and removing your pizza.
  4. Prep your dough: Stretch or roll out your dough into a thin circle, roughly 10-12” in diameter. You can also purchase pre-made crusts from the store that work just as well.
  5. Brush the dough: Brush one side of the dough with olive oil; this is the grilling side. The oil will help the dough crisp up and help prevent it from overcooking.
  6. Grill the dough: Lay the pizza dough on the grill with the olive-oil side face down. Brush the top of the dough with a thin layer of olive oil if preferred. Let the dough cook for about 3 minutes with the lid up or 1 to 2 minutes with the lid down. Use the tongs to lift up the dough from time to time to check for doneness. You want grill marks but you don't want the dough to get crispy; it should be just set for the toppings.
  7. Top your pizza: Flip the dough over with the tongs or spatula. Watch for tearing. You’ll want to top the pizza quickly. Spread on a thin layer of sauce, some cheese, and finally your toppings. Don’t overload your dough or the pizza won’t cook well. Look for around 1/3 cup of sauce, a large handful of cheese and a few toppings to spread over the cheese.
  8. Cook your pizza: Close the lid and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Use your nose; if the pizza smells like it's burning, raise the lid and move the pizza to a cooler part of the grill, or turn the heat down.
  9. Remove the pizza: Lift the grill lid and check on the pizza. The edges should be crispy and well-done and the cheese should be melted all over. Remove the pizza with your spatula or pizza peel. Let cool for 2-3 minutes, then cut into pieces and enjoy!

For more grilling inspiration, check out our blog here and recipes here.