How To Cook Pizza On The Grill In 6 Easy Steps

skillet pizza on grill

If you are like me, pizza is one of the best parts of life.  The warm cheese and crispy crust of a wood fired pizza cannot be matched.  Maybe you’ve considered getting an Ooni or building an outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven. Though this may remain a goal of yours, the immediate cost and effort has made you look into other options. You may have heard you can use a grill to cook pizza. If you’re wondering how to cook pizza on the grill, this article is for you.

Prepare Your Gas Grill

First, what you need is a gas grill.  Yes, you may be able to do this on charcoal, but I have never tried it.  I don’t see why you couldn’t do it on charcoal, but just know the charcoal will impart an unique flavor onto the pizza.  In general, a gas grill will be flavorless assuming you have cleaned the grating of any burger or barbecue chicken residue.

Follow A Good Pizza Dough Recipe

Next, find a decent dough recipe.  For simplicity’s sake, when grilling pizza we recommend using the Martha Stewart recipe. Though it’s not the best dough in the world, it’s really easy to make.  This dough is not going to be the best dough you’ve ever had, but instead it’ll be a reliably delicious pizza delivery vehicle to be used when you grill pizza.  

How To Cook Pizza On The Grill

When you have all your toppings, sauce, and dough prepared, go ahead and heat up the grill.  You’ll want to give the grill time to reach 500 degrees or so.  It’s a good idea to use thinner cut meats.  Since the grill is so hot, your cook times are short or else you’ll burn the crust.  I go to the deli when getting pepperoni, salami, and prosciutto so I can have them cut the meat as thin as they can.  This makes the best pizza.

tutorial on how to cook pizza on the grill with a large rectangular pizza resting on a black gas grill

How To Prepare Pizza Dough For The Grill

Take approximately a fist sized ball out of the bowl of dough.  Go ahead and make it into a round pizza shape by spinning, pressing, and stretching it evenly on a flour covered countertop.  This will take some getting used to. Eventually, you’ll figure out the best way to get the dough into that round pizza shape, approximately 10” to 12” in diameter.  Then, the next trick is to get the pizza shaped dough out to the grill.  You may need someone to help you open the door and open the grill for you.

Now the first step for how to cook pizza on the grill is to drop the dough onto the grill carefully.  If you have a pizza peel, go ahead and make sure that’s handy for the next step.  Close the grill and set a timer for a couple minutes.  There’s no science here, just make sure the dough isn’t burning.  After a couple minutes have passed, open the grill, and take a look at the underside of the pizza dough.  If it’s starting to crisp or has some black marks, grab the peel and take it off.  

How To Make Pizza On The Grill

Next, flip the cooked pizza dough over onto your work surface, so the cooked size is up.  This is where you’ll be making the pizza.  Add the sauce, cheese and any toppings as you prefer, scoop it up on the pizza peel and head back out to the grill.  Put the pizza on the grill and cook until the cheese is melted, and the bottom of the pizza is crisp and clearly cooked, about 2-5 more minutes.  

As you can see, how to cook pizza on the grill isn’t an exact science.  I hesitate to say anything about cook times because the variation can be huge from grill to grill.  You’ll want to double check your first few pizzas throughout the cooking process to make sure you don’t overcook. Eventually you’ll get used to your grill and the time it takes to cook the typical pizza.

When you take the pizza off the grill, drop it onto a cutting board, and slice it up immediately.  Be careful, it’ll be quite hot.  The process can be fun and a great social event.  In my family it’s one of the favorite activities to bring us all together for a delicious meal.  Each pizza can be customized so everyone can get their preferences met throughout the process.

How To Cook Pizza On The Grill Summary

Cooking pizza on the grill is a little more challenging than something like burgers or hot dogs. However, by following a good dough recipe and our careful instructions, you’ll make a great pizza. Be sure to set timers and monitor your pizza at all times. Remember that a gas grill will produce the best flavor.