In the summer, it’s just way to hot to heat up the house baking pizza. So I take my pizza baking to the grill, when we are in the hot days of summer. If you have never grilled pizza you have to give it a try. The crust turns out so wonderfully crisp and yummy. Here’s my pizza crust recipe in case you need one.
Setting Up the Grill
To make pizza on the grill, you are going to want to have an indirect heat source. That just means you don’t want the heat right below where your pizza will be baking, or grilling. We have a wood fired grill with a heat defector shield so there isn’t any direct grilling with it.
If you use charcoal, after your coals good and hot pile them up on one side of the grill and cook the pizza on the other side, with the lid on. The heat will be more like an oven and be less likely to burn the pizza crust.
If you have a gas grill with separate burner controls turn on the burners on one side and turn them off on the other. Grill the pizza on the side where the burners are turned off. If you only have one control for all of the gas burners you may need to use a pizza stone so the pizza crust won’t burn.
Preparing the Pizza
I usually make individual pizzas when I’m grilling pizza. It’s just easier to get the smaller size crust onto the grill without stretching it too much and ending up with holes in it. The dough is oh so much more stretchy when it hot outside and close to the heat of the grill.
I will stir up a batch of my favorite pizza crust and then roll them out inside, while the grill is heating up. I place them on a cookie sheet, keeping wax paper between them to keep them from sticking together. Be sure to put a good layer of flour on each of the cookie sheets to prevent sticking.
I also like get all my topping ready to go, the sauce, meat topping, vegetables and the cheese. I place them in easy to transport containers so they are all ready when I am.
Grilling the Pizza
Once the grill is hot and set up for indirect heat, it’s time to grill the pizza. I brush one side of the pizza crust with a little olive oil. Then I flip the pizza crust, oil side down onto the grate of the grill and shut the lid. I wait a minute or two and then peek to see how it’s cooking.
Depending on how hot your grill is and how hot it is outside it can brown quickly so keep an eye on it. It took about 3 minutes for the first side to get brown on our grill.
Once the dough is set and brown on the one side. Move the pizza crust off the grill and brush the top side with a little olive oil. Then flip it over. I like to have a cookie sheet with nothing on it, to use for this step. Once the crust is flipped over to the browned side up, I add the sauce and toppings. Then back to the grill it goes to brown the bottom side of the crust and melt the cheese on top.
I usually can get 4 individual pizza on our grill at once but I only do 3 at a time. More than that and one usually ends up burnt. Because it’s hard to keep up with that many. So start with just one or two until you get the hang of it.
A few tips for grilling pizza
Make sure to oil the dough before adding it to the grill. It helps to crisp the crust and helps with sticking.
Once you have placed the pizza dough on the grill, don’t try to move it. It only results in holes in the crust. You can adjust the edges a little but don’t try to move it much. Trust me I learned this the hard way.
Try to keep the edges of the dough on a grill slat when you place it. If the edge falls between one of the slats it will expand making it harder to remove to flip over. This has happened to me so many times.
Smaller pizza crusts are easier to handle and the cheese melts more quickly on smaller pizzas than on the larger ones. If you make a large pizza, the crust may get overly done before the cheese is fully melted or browned to your liking.
If you don’t like to make the pizza yourself, you can grill frozen pizza too. We have done it before (in our pre-milk allergy days) and it turns out well too.
Just start by placing the frozen pizza right on the grill, close the lid and let it bake. Frozen pizza are convenient but we really enjoy making them from scratch.
Have you ever tried grilling a pizza before? If you have how did it turn out for you?