The next best thing to an oven-baked, wood-fired pizza is grilled pizza! Roll up your sleeves and crank up the grill for a lesson on how to make pizza on your gas or charcoal grill!
Chicago-style, Sicilian, California or Detroit-style - it’s always the right time for crispy-baked, golden crusted pizza! At least that’s what my ten year old tells me. And really, what’s not to love about this classic Italian dish?
Simple ingredients, an endless variety of choices, some fuel, and you can enjoy your very own pizza hot off your grill. Follow our tips to avoid the most common mistakes and you’ll be on your way to master level grilling in no time!
Now let’s get started!
Not that there’s anything wrong with baking pizza in your oven. But, if it’s a matter of quality, grilled pizza is much closer in taste to brick oven pizza than oven-baked pizza. And it all boils down to temperature, really.
A conventional oven has a maximum temperature of 550F, but a gas or charcoal grill can get as high as 800F or more. In the high heat, the pizza cooks rapidly, crusting the outer layer in minutes while leaving the inside moist.
As with any grill recipe, whether it’s smoked brisket or Neapolitan-style pizza, planning ahead will lead to much more satisfying results. There are several types of pizza to choose from, and each requires different ingredients. You’ll want to prep these in advance so that you can focus your attention on the grill, especially if you’re dealing with charcoal.
If you’re serving guests or catering to multiple tastes, deciding how much gluten-free dough you’ll need, for example, needs to be worked out ahead of time.
The selection below features only five varieties of pizza, but there are many more. Of course, you can always make your own signature kind too!
Chicago Thin Crust
Chicago Deep Dish
St. Louis-Style Pizza
When it comes to grilling pizza on a gas or charcoal grill, a pizza stone is an absolute must. Grill grates aren’t really made for handling dough, and you don’t want grill marks seared into your pizza crust!
A pizza stone is a flat, circular cooking surface that uses radiant to bake your pizza. The stone is placed directly onto your cooking grates above the open flames. Exposed to the flames, the pizza stone quickly heats up, distributing the heat evenly across its surface to achieve that delicious golden brown, toasted color on the crust.
Most of today’s top brands of pizza stones are made of a highly heat resistant refractory material called cordierite, but there are several types of traditional types that work just as well. You can find a pizza stone to fit your charcoal or gas grill almost anywhere where quality cookware and grilling utensils are found near you.
On a charcoal grill, use a chimney to light the coals when you use the pizza stone.
3 Types Of Pizza Stone
What is a Pizza Steel?
Essentially, a pizza steel is a utensil with a long handle and a flat metal end, similar to a large spatula, for sliding under the pizza to remove or handle for serving. Even with gloves, removing a pizza from your grill can be tricky without one. The pizza requires full support underneath or you risk tearing before it reaches your plate or serving dish.
With its flat end, a pizza steel can make your job much easier when it’s time to remove your pizza or add it to the grill.
How To Use A Pizza Stone On Your Grill
Once you’ve chosen a style of pizza and picked out the ingredients, you’ll want to prep the pizza dough ahead of time. While each recipe calls for different requirements, there are a few fundamentals when it comes to getting your pizza dough just right.
On the grill or in the oven, these pizza dough tips will enhance your results:
Tips for Preparing Your Dough
Tips For Grilling Pizza To Perfection
As a starting point, these grilling tips for making a delicious pizza cover all the essentials you’ll need. Explore recipes online and don’t be afraid to make mistakes! Trial and error will make you a pitmaster in time, but it takes practice.
Let us know if you have any hacks, shortcuts, or suggestions to help fellow readers grill their own perfect slices of pizza-heaven!
William Clay is a BBQ enthusiast dedicated to sharing his grilling (and overall cooking) expertise with FireFoodChef's readers.