Grilling Pizza Article -
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Grilling Pizza

Want pizza with a crispy, chewy crust and wonderful smoky flavor?

Then put your pie on the grill!

Grilled Pizza: The Basics

Grilled pizzas are a specific style of pie: typically thin-crusted, they're lightly sauced (too much liquid means a soggy crust) with minimal toppings. They also cook very fast.

Make the Dough

Use your favorite crust recipe. Divide the dough into two or more pieces and shape into balls for individual-sized pizzas. Set the dough aside to proof while you prepare your toppings.

Tip: if you have a heavy-duty mixer or bread machine, double the recipe. Divide and shape the dough, and freeze each portion in a plastic freezer bag greased with about a tablespoon of olive oil.

Assemble Your Toppings

With grilled pizza, the crust is the star. Choose a few simple ingredients that can showcase the smoky flavor and crispy crust. Or go for minimalism: top the grilled bread with a brushing of good olive oil, a sprinkling of coarse salt, and bit of chopped fresh herbs.

Suggested bases: marinara, pesto, flavored olive oil, barbeque sauce, guacamole, salsa verde

Suggested cheeses: mozzarella, fresh mozzarella, ricotta, goat cheese, Parmesan, Gorgonzola

Ideas for toppings: grilled vegetables, prosciutto and fresh figs, salami, chicken, fresh herbs, fresh arugula, toasted pine nuts, olives or capers, caramelized onions, roasted garlic

Grill the Crust

Prepare the grill for high heat.

Dust a baking sheet, a peel, or a plate with flour or cornmeal so the dough won't stick.

Shape the dough into rounds, either stretching it by hand or using a rolling pin. Each round should be no more than ¼ inch thick. You can stack the rounds by layering waxed paper, parchment, or a clean well-floured kitchen towel in between the individual crusts.

When the coals are hot, have all of your toppings ready near the grill.

The easiest method for grilling pizza is to par-bake the crust: grill one side just long enough to firm up the crust so you can move it easily. By taking it off the heat, you can take your time arranging the toppings and are less likely to burn the bottom of the pizza.

Begin by placing one dough round on the grill.

  • You can oil the grill's grate, but it's not necessary; once the crust has set, after about three minutes, it should be easy to pull off the heat with tongs, a spatula, or your fingers.
  • Don't worry if it droops a little through the grate--it'll firm up fast.
  • After two to three minutes, give it a little tug--it should move easily. If it sticks, give it another minute or so.
  • When the crust is set, remove it from the heat and transfer it to a plate or peel; flip it over so the "done" side is up, and add the toppings.
  • Repeat the process with the rest of the dough rounds.
  • If this is a group effort, friends and family can start topping the pizzas while you grill the crusts.

    Grill Your Pizzas

    Grill the topped pizzas until the cheese melts and the toppings are heated through. Depending upon the heat of the grill and the size of your pies, this can take two to 10 minutes (if your grill has cooled dramatically, you might need to cover it with a lid to finish the cooking).

    Jun. 19, 2009 10:15 am
    We have been grilling our pizza's for years. Although we have grilled on gas the best flavor comes from grilling on hot coals. It reminds me of the pizza we use to eat in Brooklyn. What a flavor!!!
    Jul. 20, 2009 3:25 am
    BBQ'd pizza is the best... it has a wonderful flavour that is unmatched by anything other than a traditional wood fired pizza oven. I love it with Feta cheese, hot pepper rings, mushrooms, red onion and sweet red pepper. A little Mozza on the top adds the stringiness - wonderful!
    Aug. 3, 2009 10:54 am
    I really enjoy grilling pizzas, nothing beats that flavor. I actually grill the crust to perfection, remove from the grill, add toppings and zap in a very hot oven (500 or more) for just a couple minutes. No burned crust, and cheese melts beautifully.
    Aug. 4, 2009 9:37 am
    We have been grilling pizza for some time. When we have company and we do this they think we are crazy but we eventually convert them to this method. I haven't cooked homemade pizza in my over in over 2 years.
    Aug. 5, 2009 5:48 am
    Anyone who hasn't tried this yet, really needs to give it a go! Tastes wonderful!!
    Aug. 9, 2009 3:25 am
    i didn't try it still, but it lokks so delicious and palatable.....ahmm,,can you make a new recipes which is fit for summer
    Aug. 9, 2009 4:45 pm
    A great summer pizza is a Margarita pizza - it uses lots of fresh summer garden staples. You can make your own sauce simply by sauteing some chopped onions and garlic, add a can of crushed tomatoes, then some basil or oregano. Spread thin layer on grilled pizza and top with fresh mozzarella and fresh basil leaves. SOOO good and simple. I used to make my own dough but then discovered frozen pizza dough in my grocer's freezer. it's really the easiest way and it's delicious. Some pizzerias, such as Papa Murphy's (depending on the franchise owner) may sell their dough for $3-4. My local one used to until they had a new owner and now won't do it.
    Aug. 28, 2009 9:15 am
    Does anyone want to reveal a temperature to have your barbeque at for doing this please? I find it very strange noone does. Not even the video.
    Sep. 2, 2009 5:17 am
    Cooking temp should be around 350 or so...just like your oven. Also try buffalo chicken pizza - ranch dressing instead of sauce, cut up chic cutlets and toss in hot sauce and a little melted butter - place chicken on top of ranch dressing and top with mozzarella cheese.....great as a grilled pizza. AND it's true pizza does NOT stick to the grill! Great in the summer so your oven doesn't heat up the house!
    Oct. 9, 2009 7:59 pm
    on your next camp out before dark have the kids collect "hot dog sticks" clean and prepare them well then open up your cans of grand bisquits roll them between the hands to make a long worm like figure wrap the dough around the clean stick and cook over the fire like a marshmellow when golden brown pull the bread off of the end of the stick and dip in pizza sauce or melted cheese you can do the same thing in the morning with your favorite jelly
    Dec. 30, 2009 8:08 am
    Did it when hurricane Gustav hit Baton Rouge area and had no electricity for 21 days everything was on the grill...and this was very good.
    Feb. 3, 2010 1:02 pm
    Can anybody give any tips about how to properly grill the dough? The middle doesn't seem to be cooked while the outsides are. Any advice would be appreciated (time, heat, etc.) Thanks.
    Feb. 5, 2010 7:35 am
    I grill my dough on the grill, 1 to three min. each side, and finish in my oven 425 deg on the racks after adding the toppings.
    Feb. 23, 2010 5:41 pm
    Hey Newbie, we've been grillin pizza for years. everything should be at room temp.(just like meat)if possible buy the store doughs ready to roll and bake much easier than doin ur own. the idea is the novelty abd ease with the flair of flavor. roll pizza out to 1/4 " spray both side with olive oil cook on med-to-high heat. when top is bubbled i mean bubbleboy bubble and bottom releases remove by flipping raw side onto parchment paper. brush with olive oil and then top(keep the sauce lite) place back on grill and cook till bottom is brown. This is a great meal kids love it as it is a personal pizza. remember its a thin crust style pizza.
    Feb. 23, 2010 5:47 pm
    oh yeah if your grill has an infrared back burner bring it on it will brown the toppings....BUT NEVER LEAVE THE PIZZA UNATTENDED
    Feb. 23, 2010 5:50 pm
    sorry people... dont worry aqbout the dough drooping between the grate it only does it a couple of seconds
    Mar. 2, 2010 3:41 am
    we love grilling pizzas and often just use flour tortillas for the "crust"
    Apr. 11, 2010 6:25 pm
    love pizza on the grill. I'm making it tomorrow for a friend. You do have to go very lite on the toppings. It makes it very easy to make your pizza more healthy. If you have friends over for a cook-out, you can make a very impressive bread by cooking the dough with sliced olives, (any kind) garlic, evoo and a little sprinkling of parmesan.
    Apr. 17, 2010 2:46 pm
    Thin thin crust is a must!! I;m grilling pizzas for the first time this weekend. What I've learned so far. 1. Make the pie the size of a retaurant small any larger is messy 2. Roll the dough out paper thin it rises considerably to cook thru make thin 3. Light charcoal 20-25 prior to cooking dough burns quickly careful 4. Cook topings for 1-2 minutes in microwave first I love grilling and will master this recipe
    May 1, 2010 11:01 pm
    Has anyone tried it on a gas grill? Do you cook it on medium heat?
    Jun. 15, 2010 7:47 pm
    This is so much easier than it seems! And it tastes wonderful and impresses your friends!
    Jul. 1, 2010 12:38 pm
    Even your favorite doctored up frozen pizza,baked useing the indirect heating method,another great ingedent to add is smoked fish.The chacoal flavor plus the oils from the fish and yes sir everyone will be impressed
    Jul. 9, 2010 5:38 am
    I usually do my pizza indoors, but extreme heat forced me out to my grill to finally give this a try.... and I couldn't be happier that I finally gave this a shot! It was so fast and easy, and the results were fantastic. Be sure to have everything prepared and ready when you hit the grill because it comes together really fast.
    Kim M 
    Jul. 18, 2010 4:31 pm
    I have been wanting to try this and finally did. I had left over pulled BBQ pork that I put on a few, it was awesome!
    Nancy J 
    Jul. 20, 2010 11:39 am
    The reviews & knowledge here!!! Just awesome...How can anyone miss with this one! Like an experiment it needs a bit of a conclusion & I really want to do it!!! LET'S Go!!!!
    Jul. 27, 2010 5:30 am
    i had such fun in doing pizza i just add topping which comes up in my mine cook with feelings very interesting....
    Jul. 28, 2010 1:43 pm
    FWI, if your really busy like my family you can use cheap frozen pizza. What would taste like cardboard if cooked in the oven, taste gourmet cooked over mesquite charcoal!
    Aug. 19, 2010 7:40 pm
    This was great! We're grilling all our pizzas from now on! We had to turn down the grill a bit for the second pizza, as our first one got a little too done.
    Oct. 8, 2010 8:24 am
    We've been doing this for years. It's a great hors d'oeuvre recipe that can be prepared during a party. Always a home run! You should ensure that each side gets brushed with olive oil, just as you turn them to the grill. If you saute' your meats and veggies before topping the pizza, you'll have more control over the cooking time. Since this recipe comes together so fast, and we are blessed to have a 3'x 5' BBQ pit, with a crank-up cover, it's lots of fun to lay out several kinds of prepared sauces, toppings and cheeses, then let our guests bake their own pies.
    Nov. 6, 2010 10:41 am
    I am loving all these bits of wisdom. Has anyone ever used a pizza stone on the grill? I have never tried pizza on the grill and have been wanting to. I am finally conquering making my own crust. Pizza is my husband's favorite food. I want to get really, really good at pizza making.
    Jan. 31, 2011 12:50 am
    I'm wondering, for a frozen pizza.,does it need to be brought to room temperature first? What a fast yummy meal idea!
    Feb. 14, 2011 4:40 pm
    Terri, I'm new to grilled pizza -only tried it 3 times (4th is happening right now!). I've always used a pizza stone . It does GREAT things for the crust.....
    Feb. 19, 2011 1:51 am
    i heat in the grill a piece of marble we kept from a recent renovation, it's an oval piece about 15"x12" the hole that was cut our for the sink. This is perfect for BBQ grilled pizza's.
    May 24, 2011 1:19 pm
    I have tried this and it is truely wonderful. I have made many pizzas in the oven and it took about the same time but when I tried it on the grill, there is no going back to the oven for pizzas. The smokey flavor is the kick my pizzas needed. Thanks for the recipe.
    Jun. 12, 2011 5:41 am
    did this once and the crust was pretty thick. I rolled it out very thin but it seemed to "rise" while cooking on the grill. is there some way to avoid this and get nice thin crust?
    Jul. 14, 2011 7:13 am
    We've been grilling pizzas the last few years. So good! I have always made my own dough. It's cheap and easy but does take some time. But then I can infuse the dough with garlic and basil. We have a gas grill - I don't know the temp but the burners are as low as you can turn them. Even then we sometimes turn a couple off and do the indirect heat method. You have to keep checking them. I'll have to try popping them in the oven to melt the cheese after the dough is cooked. It's hard to get everything melted/cooked before the bottom is too brown. Our favorite toppings so far are for Pizza 1: good spag. sauce, lots of mixed Italian cheese, hamburger and mild Italian sausage (pre-cooked before hand of course) Pizza 2: Good spag sauce, fresh real mozzarella cheese, big slices of fresh tomato and basil chopped and sprinkled over top. Ooey gooey cheesy yumminess! Makes me hungry just thinking about it!!
    Aug. 9, 2011 7:28 pm
    I appreciate all the comments, especially regarding using a charcoal grill! Can't wait to try some of the recipes!
    Aug. 10, 2011 7:40 am
    I cant wait to try it!
    Aug. 11, 2011 6:46 am
    I have been grilling pizza for years..only way to do it! I make my crust in the bread machine, but if I am pressed for time, I use the pillsbury ready made pizza crust in the can. Everyone's favourite pizza is the chicken caesar, we put caesar dressing on, then red onion, roasted red pepper, cooked chicken pieces and a mix of mozzarella and cheddar cheese~fantastic! Another favourite is pesto sauce and mozzarella cheese slices. finally, the greek pizza is another often requested pizza with green pepper, red onion, black olives, tomato slices and feta cheese. Love grilled pizza :)
    Aug. 12, 2011 7:09 pm
    Has anyone tried a "boboli" store bought type crust, thick or thin? Or maybe a Rhoades dinner roll dough rolled flat?
    Aug. 14, 2011 4:23 pm
    I'd like to hear about how the boboli crust turned out if anyone's tried it. It sure would save lots of time and the crust is perforated for getting middle cooked better.
    Aug. 24, 2011 2:00 am
    I made my first one last week using a Boboli pre made crust and it turned out great!!! Grill on low top of crust down first for a couple minutes turn over and add pre-made toppings of your liking, less than 10 minutes you do have to watch it
    Dec. 28, 2011 1:15 pm
    Fabulous site this, just love it, however, (awwww here comes the but) to bad you can't save every page in recipes not just the recipes for a this page will not save in recipes cause it has several recipes on it I guess. I am back to saving in my notepad again.........and or bookmarks. Will say again tho w0w this site rawks. Thank you for all your hard work making this such a go to site for so many fabulicious recipes heheh...thnx (;oÞ~~
    Miss Maillet 
    Mar. 19, 2012 11:38 am
    I use the basic recepy but I make it into a dessert. Instead of pizza toppings I add a can of prepared apple pie filling then when cooked, I drizzle icing on top. It s a big success at my house.
    Apr. 17, 2012 10:28 am
    Grilling pizzas is our family's absolute favorite way to make them! The smokiness is wonderful.
    Apr. 18, 2012 7:04 am
    We love grilled pizzas and this article helped us get the basics down and now it's a regular on our menu rotation.
    Apr. 25, 2012 12:30 pm
    Quick question about the grill? Do you keep the gas grill door open the whole time or do you close it?
    May 15, 2012 9:56 pm
    Over the last two years, I've really focused on my grilling skills (or nonexistent grilling skills that have slowly evolved). Really liked the idea of grilling pizza and have done it a number of times...finally got to the point where I can grill it such that it does not blacken on the bottom!!
    Kim H 
    May 16, 2012 1:32 pm
    Having a gathering this weekend with 7 people. I figure two individual ones a piece. All the toppings will be inside though. Any ideas how to get them from the grill to inside the house to add toppings and then get them back on the grill? Maybe wax paper between each one??
    Kim H 
    May 16, 2012 1:32 pm
    Having a gathering this weekend with 7 people. I figure two individual ones a piece. All the toppings will be inside though. Any ideas how to get them from the grill to inside the house to add toppings and then get them back on the grill? Maybe wax paper between each one??
    May 17, 2012 6:56 am
    Kim, parchment paper might work better
    May 17, 2012 9:51 pm
    Ate grilled pizza for the first time at a friend's home last night - gas grill on a pizza stone. Delicious! (1)refried beans, hamburger, cheese - then served with avocado, chopped lettuce and tomatoes (2) chicken and artichokes with cheese (3) pepperoni and cheese (4) plain cheese for little kids
    May 18, 2012 4:29 am
    Hey Kim a large flat cookie sheet works well for transporting the pizzas back and forth from kitchen and the grill. We have been making grilled pizzas for years, mostly on the gas grill but camping we make them on charcoal and they are even better with charcoal.
    Jul. 30, 2012 2:19 pm
    new here on grilling pizza, wondering if everyone puts it right on the grill or can you use a pizza pan or cookie sheet,or even on tinfoil, not sure if I can get my grill clean enough to want to put it right on there.
    Aug. 7, 2012 2:20 pm
    First off the shoot, I'm a rookie, but a determined grill chef. Tried grilling pizzas last night on our gas grill. Had made homemade dough that turned out really well. All toppings were chopped in advance, including fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes from my garden, and basil. I had warmed a pizza stone in my grill and found out the hard way that it was way too hot so first try, the pizza had burned crust. The top looked great. When transferring the pizza to another pan, I lost control and the pie slipped and fell in the ivy. Disaster...but fortunately, I had a second crust. After turning the grill down and removing the stone, I set the pie on a pizza pan that has holes, and I very carefully watched this one. An earlier post said, "DO NOT LEAVE UNATTENDED." That is the truth. As it turned out, the second pizza came out well and we didn't over eat. I will get better at grilling pizzas. It looked great and tasted good, too. Crunchy in the right way and veggies cooked up well.
    Aug. 7, 2012 2:39 pm
    One more question for you pizza grill mates. We do not like corn meal on the bottom of our crust. Any recommendations, other then flour, has anyone used to help the pizza slide off and on a stone or pan. Tks for the feedback.
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