Follow these tips to grill a crispy pizza crust
It might seem intimidating at first, but with a few simple tricks and a little know-how, grilling pizza is quite easy.
If you’re craving pizza with a crispy crust and delicious charred spots on the bottom, then grilling is the way to go. It might seem intimidating at first, but with a few simple tricks, some best grilling recipes, and a little know-how, grilling pizza is quite easy. It won’t be as simple as ordering take-out, but follow these tips and these taste will far out rank delivery.
First, start with a hot grill. The grill gets much hotter than the oven, hence the charred bits that make thin crust so delicious. Heat your grill to about 600 degrees Fahrenheit (with the lid on). Next, prep your dough. You can use store-bought dough or homemade pizza dough. Stretch it out to a thin circle or as close to a circle as you can, and gently brush both sides with olive oil.
Remove the lid from the grill and lay the dough directly onto the grill. Cook the dough for about three minutes, checking underneath to make sure it doesn’t brown too much. Flip the dough over and add your toppings. Do this fairly quickly so the dough doesn’t burn. Spread a thin layer of sauce, add the cheese, and then add any other toppings that you like. Be careful not to overload the pizza with too many toppings. Put the lid back on and cook for about five minutes until the edges are crisp and the cheese is melted. Try adding different toppings to make a grilled chicken pizza or a grilled pizza salad.
So, next time you are firing up the grill, consider a pizza. It’s not as hard as you think and the thin and crispy crust can’t beat any other pizza.
Emily Jacobs is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyRecipes.
The Best Grilled Pizza Recipe Ever
Find out how to make the Best Grilled Pizza without using a pizza stone! This easy grilled pizze recipe uses homemade whole wheat pizza dough and your favorite toppings. Perfect for a summer dinner or entertaining a crowd.
Tips and Tricks
A few notes before getting started: for all homemade pizza I make from scratch, I start with my Fail-Proof Pizza Dough recipe (a recipe on my site that has been popular for years).
Divide that dough into manageable pieces for the grill and stretch and roll it out into the size you want. The size of your grill and/or who you’re serving will determine what size you make your pizzas. I did four individual pizzas that ended up being enough to feed two adults and three children. You *can* do a larger size pizza, but it can be tricky to flip.
For a barrel grill, we recommend following the steps above but placing your pizza stone slightly off to one side of the coals. This will ensure that the crust doesn't burn before the cheese is melted.
You can also cook the crust right on the grates if you want just make sure that they are well oiled and you move quickly.
Do you have any pizza making tips? Drop them in the comments below!
Want to make your own Char-Griller Pizza? Check out our favorite grilled pizza recipes here .
I Don&rsquot Own A Pizza Oven, but I Do Have a Grill
Don’t tell the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana, but you don’t actually need a pizza oven to make great pizza. All you need are peak summer ingredients and a grill. Grills get ripping hot, their grates in particular, which help crust get crunchy and charred. OK, technically, pizza ovens get a bit hotter than the average backyard grill. Roman pizza ovens hang out a little over 600ய, and Neopolitan ovens clock in at over 700ய gas grills on the other hand max out around 500ய, and while some charcoal can technically reach upwards of 700ய, most home manipulations will heat to roughly the same temperature as gas. Still, those grates are mighty hot—way hotter than your oven𠅊nd while you may not get perfect leoparding (the little spots of char that pop up on pizza crust), I know you’ll be pleased with the end result.
Watch: How to Make Grilled Watermelon
Start with ingredients: You can make your own pizza dough, but I typically leave that up to the professionals at my local Italian market. Stretch 8-ounce balls of dough into oblong circles and place on oiled sheet pans. For sauce, I like to use a can of crushed tomatoes (if you have access to in-season tomatoes, you can chop or grate those) infused with a couple cloves of grated garlic and plenty of salt. Grab your favorite toppings (pickled onions or peppers, pesto, cooked crumbled sausage, thinly sliced cured meat, fresh vegetables and herbs, they’re all fair game) and tear up some fresh mozzarella. Have everything prepped in bowls set on sheet pans near the grill, because the next part goes quickly.
Now you’re ready to grill. Prepare a charcoal grill for direct and indirect heat for gas, heat half the grill to 450º and leave the burners off on the other side of the grill. Preheat the grill for 15 minutes, then brush the grates very clean. Oil the grates well. Working one pizza at a time, carefully plop one dough circle on the hot side of the grill and cook until it releases from the grates, 30 seconds-1 minute. Gently flip the pizza with heat-safe tongs or a spatula and cook the other side for another 30 seconds-1 minute. Scootch the dough over to the cooler side and top with sauce, cheese, and toppings (save fresh herbs for after cooking). Cover the grill and cook until cheese is melted and crust is cooked through, allowing the residual heat from the hot side to cook the pizza without burning the crust, about 8 minutes.
No grill you say? If you can find a grill pan or even a large cast iron skillet you’re totally fine. Preheat the pan over medium on the stove for 10 minutes, and preheat the oven to 500ய. Grease the pan with a tablespoon of oil, then drop in the crust. Layer on sauce, cheese, and toppings, and cook for 3-5 minutes. Slide the entire pan into the hot oven and cook for another 10-15 minutes. This pizza might end up slightly lacking in that classic charred flavor the real grill imparts, but you’ll be too busy snacking to notice.
Tomato-Ricotta Grilled Pizza
It's summer, so why not use fresh tomatoes instead of jarred sauce? This pick with fresh ricotta, Pecorino Romano, and a touch of honey will be your new go-to.
pizza dough, at room temperature
plus 4 tsp. olive oil, divided
small shallot, finely chopped
fresh oregano, finely chopped
Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
medium to large mixed-color heirloom tomatoes
Fresh basil, for sprinkling
- Heat grill to medium-high and arrange so half will give direct heat and other half will give indirect heat.
- Working on floured surface, shape pizza dough into 12- to 14-inch round and place on flour-dusted baking sheet. Brush top with 2 teaspoons oil.
- Transfer pizza dough to grill over direct heat, oiled side down, and grill, covered, until top begins to bubble and bottom is crisp, 2 minutes (use tongs to peek underneath).
- Working quickly, brush top of dough with 2 teaspoons oil.
- Flip dough to indirect-heat side of grill, then grill, covered, until dough is cooked through and charred in spots on bottom, 3 to 5 minutes more transfer to cutting board.
- In bowl, combine vinegar, shallot, oregano, honey, remaining tablespoon oil, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
- In second bowl, mix ricotta until smooth, then stir in Pecorino and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Spread onto pizza crust. Slice tomatoes and arrange on top of ricotta and drizzle with vinaigrette. Sprinkle with basil if desired.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per serving): About 490 calories, 21 g fat (8 g saturated), 17 g protein, 660 mg sodium, 58 g carb, 2 g fiber
9 Steps To Grilling A Pizza
Every time we grill, we are always trying to find the best way to improve the flavor of our food. One sure fire way to achieve this is to grill your pizza directly on the grates. This will turn you into a backyard Pizza Grill Master.
1. Preheat your grill for direct medium to medium-high heat for 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Role out your pizza dough on a sheet of parchment paper or foil. Lightly coat the top of the dough with oil.
4. Now you have to COMMIT. Flip the pizza onto the grill. Peel off the paper.
5. When the underside is crisp and toasted, about 3 minutes, transfer the crust to a work surface with the grilled side facing up.
6. Arrange the toppings on the grilled side.
7. Transfer the pizza back to the grill.
8. Grill the pizza until the bottom of the crust is crisp and the cheese has melted, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Some foods, like pizza, benefit from hot, fast cooking so a super-hot grill is the next best solution for creating pizza that tastes like it came out of a pizza oven.
1 Stew Leonard’s Pizza Dough
1/2 lb. Broccolini
2 medium Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. Stew Leonard’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for brushing
1 Tbp. Hot Peppers, finely sliced
1/4 lb. Mozzarella
Remove the pizza dough from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
In the meantime, prep your pizza toppings and get your grill going.
Toss broccolini, garlic, and olive oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the grill to high heat, about 450 – 550°F, for about 10-15 minutes. Use a stainless-steel grill brush and scrape the grates clean.
Once the grill comes up to temperature, turn off the burners on one side of the grill to use for indirect heat.
Place broccolini on grill over direct heat and cook, turning frequently with tongs, until charred and tender, about 3 minutes. Return to bowl.
Flour your work surface and place the dough on top. Lightly flour your hands and stretch the dough slightly. Lightly flour the top of the dough and use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a circle, stretching and rotating as you go. It should be about a ¼-inch thick.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Brush top of dough with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.
Carefully place the dough, oiled side down, on the hot side of the grill. Cook, checking frequently and moving to encourage even browning until bottom is charred in spots and top is bubbly, 45 to 90 seconds. Flip and cook until second side is charred.
Move the pizza over indirect heat to finish cooking. Place the cheese slices evenly across the surface of the pizza. Add the broccolini and sprinkle with the chilies and a little salt. Cover and cook until cheese is melted, about 1 minute.
Transfer pizza to cutting board, drizzle with more olive oil, and serve.
&ldquoAt Stew Leonard&rsquos, we follow a principle so important that we etched it into a three-ton granite rock! Rule 1: The customer is always right! Rule 2: If the customer is ever wrong, reread Rule 1!&rdquo
These Gorgeous Pizzas Are the Best Way to Use Up Your Farmers’ Market Haul
Pizza thrives on heat—lots of scorching heat to get that crust to spring into bubbly, blistered shape, to melt cheese, and to perform the too-many-to-count alchemical tasks required to turn a disk of dough into basically the best food there is. Which is why the grill is a pizza’s best friend: It generates way more heat than most home ovens can, getting you closer to the fiery conditions created by a proper pizzeria’s deck oven. We like to take it one step further by placing a ceramic pizza stone on our grill, letting it get wicked hot, and using that as the platform for our smoky backyard pies. It harnesses and evens out all that obscene heat, kind of like the floor of a pro pizza oven, meaning you can throw down your dough, top it, close the lid, and let the combo of direct and ambient heat work its magic, no flipping required. Don’t get us wrong, we’ll never say no to grill-marked pizzas cooked right on the grates (keep reading for our pre-stone age method). However you do it, the deck is stacked for success: The sun is shining, you’ve got a bounty of summer produce at your fingertips, and there’s ice-cold beer in the cooler. Happy summer.
Pesto + fresh goat cheese + grilled Swiss chard and kale + scallions + parsley + basil + chives
Great grilled pizza is an art, not a science. Our method is really simple but, you know, everyone’s rig is different, which means it might take a little trial and error before you start cranking out picture-perfect pies for a crowd.
We like using a gas grill for this (I know, right? We never say that!) The even heat eliminates a huge variable. Place a pizza stone on the grates and set the burners beneath to medium-high. Allow the grill to heat, covered, with the stone inside. When the grill is super hot—a thermometer should register around 500°, about 10 minutes—remove the lid, place an 8-oz. ball of dough stretched to a 12"–14" oval on the stone, add your toppings, and brush the crust with a little olive oil. Replace the cover with vents open and cook until underside of crust is browned and cheese is bubbling, 7–9 minutes. Using a couple of large metal spatulas, transfer the pizza to a platter or board. Let cool for a few minutes, slice, and watch everyone freak out.
The setup is a little different, but the method is the same. Once you get one chimney’s worth of charcoal hot, spread the coals in a ring around the perimeter of the grill and set the grate on top. When the coals are glowing but no longer flaming, place the stone on the grate, cover, and preheat—20 minutes should get you to around 500°. Then proceed as described at left. One chimney should be enough for two or three pies.
You don’t need a pizza stone to grill pizza this summer. Just follow our lead.
Summer is meant to be enjoyed outdoors and away from the oven. If you've never tried grilling pizza, now is the time to start. It is far easier than you can imagine, and there's no pizza stone required! For this simple grilled pizza recipe, we are placing the dough directly on the grill. The crust turns out perfectly charred, crispy on the outside, and chewy on the inside, with plenty of melty cheese on top.
Get everything you need ready.
Here's our #1 tip for success. Prep everything you are going to need before you start grilling. The grilling part goes fast. We're talking 4 minutes tops, so don't wait to slice your tomatoes until the pizza is on the grill. Have everything ready and near you so that as soon as you flip the pizza crust, you can start topping and pull your pizza off the grill as soon as it's done.
Can I use a pizza stone?
Yes! If you have a pizza stone and would rather use it, you definitely can! Place your pizza stone on your grill grates and close the lid. Heat your grill over the highest heat and let it warm up for a good amount of time. Your pizza stone needs to be HOT when you put the pizza dough on! If you're using a pizza stone, you won't need to flip your crust, so you can top with desired toppings right after placing the dough on your stone.
What pizza dough should I use?
We love our pizza dough for all types of pizza, and it's perfect on the grill! If you have premade dough, that will work great, too. You can even ask your local pizzeria to buy some pizza dough!
What should I top it with?
This is the fun part! We kept ours fresh and simple, because that's what we crave in the summertime. You can top yours like a classic with sauce, mozzarella, and pepperoni, or get controversial and add some pineapple! We love a good grilled barbecue chicken pizza, too. However you like your pizza, it will work well with this grilled version. Because the pizza cooks for such a short amount of time, just make sure all ingredients that need to be cooked first are already cooked before you start.
Put the pizza on pause while you add toppings.
Photo by Travis Rainey, Food Styling by Regina Dolza
The actual grilling part of the grilled pizza equation isn’t difficult, but Music’s method is foolproof. The key is to build a two-zone fire, which effectively splits your grill in half, creating a high-heat zone and a low-heat zone. (For a charcoal grill, this means banking all of your coals to one side for a gas grill, this means cranking the heat on half the burners and turning the remainder to low.)