How To Make Grilled Pizza
Grilled pizza has everything going for it — crispy crust, delicious smoky flavor, and the chance to be outside. So grab our simple Pizza Dough and Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce recipes, check out some of our topping ideas, below, then follow these step-by-step instructions on making perfect grilled pizza every time.
Some of the best pizza comes from coal-fired ovens. Temperatures in them can hit a whopping 900°, cooking a pizza in minutes. Those hot ovens deliver a dynamite crust that’s crisp, smoky, and a little charred. To me, it’s the perfect pizza. In the endless quest for pizza perfection at home, I knew I needed hot temperatures along with the ability to produce a little char and smoke. The natural solution was right outside on the deck—the grill.
It doesn’t matter whether you own a gas or charcoal grill, the technique is the same and the results are excellent. One side of the grill is hot — this is where the crust gets crispy and charred. The other side, on low heat, is where you slide the crust over and add the toppings.
All this results in an unbelievable pizza that rivals those baked in coal-fired ovens. But there is one more secret to an excellent pizza— underdress it. With this great crust, the last thing you want to do is overload it with too much sauce, cheese, or toppings. Keep it simple.
Pepperoni Pizza Brush dough with olive oil, then top with fresh mozzarella, sliced pepperoni, and some Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce. Sprinkle with thinly sliced fresh spinach, shredded Parmesan, salt, and red pepper flakes
Mediterranean Pizza Brush dough with olive oil, then top with cubed fontina cheese, sliced salami, quartered marinated artichoke hearts, and slivered kalamata olives. Sprinkle with diced fresh tomatoes and shredded Parmesan. Add torn fresh basil before serving.
Sausage Pizza Brush dough with olive oil, then top with shredded white Cheddar, cooked and sliced link Italian sausage, and some Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce. Sprinkle with thinly sliced red onion, shredded Parmesan, kosher salt, and red pepper flakes. Add torn fresh basil before serving.
How to Grill Pizza
With your dough (Pizza Dough) made and proofed (or purchased) and the toppings ready to go, you’re literally minutes away from grilled pizza nirvana — simply follow these guidelines and steps, below.
Preheat and prepare the grill: Set the grill up for two-zone grilling (lighting one side to medium-high and the other side to low); brush the grill grate with oil.
Shaping: Roll out your dough on a dry work surface dusted with flour. Shape it into a 10- to 12-inch circle or rectangle — don’t worry if it’s not perfect. An irregular shape gives your pizza a rustic look.
On the grill: To transfer the dough to the grill, lift it by the edges with your fingertips and drape it directly onto the hottest part of the grill. The high, direct heat from the fire will quickly firm the crust. If your grill has hot spots, use tongs to move the crust around so it doesn’t burn.
Toppings: Before adding toppings, flip the crust over to the cool side of the grill. (If your grill doesn’t have a double burner, move the crust to a baking sheet before adding toppings.) Then return the pizza to the hot side for final cooking. Check it frequently to prevent burning.
Preheat one side of grill to medium-high, the other side to low. Place dough over hot side, close lid, and cook 2–3 minutes. The crust will bubble and grill marks will appear underneath.
Use tongs to flip the crust over and move it to the low heat side of the grill. Brush the crust with olive oil — it adds flavor and contributes to the crispy texture.
Add toppings (see suggestions, above). Keep quantities light so they cook quickly. Return pizza to the hot side of the grill to finish cooking.
Pizza is done when cheese is melted. Remove pizza from the grill using a pizza peel or the back of a baking sheet.