Learn how to make pizza on the grill for a close replication of wood fired pizza right at home. Plus, you don’t have to turn on the oven!Jump to Recipe
I love making pizza on the grill* in the summer. Homemade pizza is one of my favorite things, everyone can customize it how they want. Making it on the grill gives it an almost wood fired pizza taste and feel all without turning on the oven and heating up your house.
Now, I have made pizza on the grill many times over the last 10 years and I’ve messed it up many many times. Particularly the first pizza of the season, it’s like I totally forget how to do it! But once you get the hang of it, it’s super easy and fun.
Step 1: Prep your dough
I like to make my own pizza dough. It’s cheap, it’s easy, it tastes great. If I’ve got my shit together, I make it in the morning, let it raise for 1/2 hour or an hour and then stick it in the fridge until dinner time. The extra long raise in the fridge lets your gluten relax, your flour hydrate, and more flavor to develop. You can also do this step the night before. However, most the time when I decide to make homemade pizza, I decide about an hour before dinner. Pizza dough is super forgiving that way.
Step 2: Roll your dough
If you’re using my recipe below, split the dough into quarters (that batch of dough makes 2 regular sized pizzas). When we’re making pizza on the grill, we want smaller pizzas. It makes them easier to put on the grill, easier to flip, and easier to get off the grill. This is also the time to warm up your grill and get all your toppings in place outside.
Step 3: Put the dough on the grill
Ok, we’ve got our dough rolled out. I like to carry it out to the grill on a large plate or cutting board. Next, brush the dough with olive oil. This is an important step, it will keep the dough from sticking. Then take the dough and place it, oil side down, on the grill. Allow it to cook on an opened grill for 3-4 minutes.
Step 4: Flip the dough
While the bottom of your pizza crust is cooking, brush the top with olive oil. You know your crust is ready to flip when you can put a spatula under it and the whole thing comes up easily and cleanly (like a pancake). Flip your dough over to cook the other side.
Step 5: Put on the toppings
Now it’s time to put the toppings on your pizza. This is where you can feel free to go wild with whatever floats your boat. I like a regular red sauce pizza but I’ve also made it with corn pesto and basil walnut pesto too. Note: I usually save tender green things like basil for either the last minute of cooking or I just pile it on top after it comes off the grill. After you’ve topped your pizza, close the lid on your grill and allow it to cook for another 3-5 minutes. Check after a few and typically once your cheese is nice and melty you can take your pizzas off the grill and enjoy!
*We used a gas grill, we have never grilled pizza on a charcoal grill so cooking times may vary drastically.
Tips for Success:
- Don’t roll your dough too thin or too large. Think personal sized pizzas. I like to roll mine about 1/4 inch thick so it is still substantial enough to pick up and place on the grill.
- Have extra dough. In case you flop your dough onto the grill and you have to scrape it back off…
- Oil both sides of your dough so it doesn’t stick to the grill.
- A friend recommended putting a little bit of cornmeal on the bottom of the dough to help it slide easily onto the grill.
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt I use Kosher
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together whole wheat flour, sugar, salt, instant yeast and all purpose flour. Take care not to put your salt right on your yeast, it will kill it. Drizzle in olive oil over the flour and stir to coat the flour in oil. Add in a cup of water and stir until dough is combined. Use a dough hook to knead dough for about 8 minutes on low speed. If dough seems dry, add more water. I tend to prefer my pizza dough a bit on the loose side since I always add flour when I roll them out.
- Cover and allow to raise for 1-2 hours. Or you can let it raise in the fridge for 6-8 hours.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Divide dough into 2-4 pieces. My husband and I find that pizza on the grill is easiest if you make individual sized pizzas. Roll dough into a pizza shaped round. This dough is very stretchy so you may have to roll it and then let the gluten relax for a few minutes and re-roll it. I roll my dough to approximately dinner plate size and about 1/4 inch thick.