Last Updated on May 22, 2009 by Hanna Trafford
Homemade Pizza on the Grill is gaining popularity, and for a good reason. It’s quick & easy, and it’s the best pizza you’ve ever eaten! It sounds frightening and intimidating at first – what happens if the dough slips through the grate?- but once you’ve done it a few times, it’s a piece of cake…or rather – a great slice of pizza!
Here’s what you are going to need and a quick how-to for making homemade grilled pizza.
First you need a grill! Gas grill is great, but you can certainly use charcoal or a wood-fired grill too.
No need for the pizza stone! The only pan you’ll need is the one to carry your pizza dough to the grill on, but you could just as well do double-duty by using a cutting board instead eliminating the need for any pans.
Tools – Stainless tongs, metal spatula, large knife, aluminum foil, spoons for toppings, ziploc bags and containers for toppings, wine, beer, cocktails!
Pizza Dough – Spend the time to make your own, or you can buy really good pizza dough from your local bakery or supermarket. You can use regular white dough or try this with a whole wheat dough!
You really don’t need any formal recipes, you’re the pizza chef, whatever you have a craving for should go on your next pizza! Most people just wing it, choosing seasonal ingredients and toppings, or as their tastes dictate.
Pizza Sauce – Traditional red pizza sauce, pesto, alfredo sauce, maple chipotle sauce, refried beans, salsa – anything goes here. Use your imagination when building your pizza. Consider theme pizzas, like Mexican, Italian, Greek, All-Meat, Veggie, etc. The sauce should match your toppings.
Toppings – Again, be creative. Use what you like, but consider the sauce you’re topping. The different seasons will often dictate what you use on your pizza. Spring asparagus is great on a pizza topped with pesto! Summer offers an abundance of fresh veggies from the Farmers’ Market.
How to Grill your Pizza
Bring ALL your things to the grill now. Once you start, the process goes rather quickly, so you need to be organized before you even turn on the grill! You don’t want to be running back and forth for tools and/or ingredients.
Your secret to good looking grilled pizza – Aluminum Foil
This is the secret to good looking grilled pizzas. You have to be able to transfer the flimsy dough from your workspace to the grill. If you are grilling 2 pizzas, cut off 2 large pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil. “Roll” one pizza at a time on a cornmeal dusted piece of foil. Once they’re flat, you can stack them one on top of each other with foil between each pizza. This method makes it so much easier to transfer and flip the dough on the hot grill in one piece. After all, it’s not just about good taste, it’s also about the awesome presentation!
How Hot Does the Grill Need to Be?
Hot – Hot – Hot! Crank up that grill! Assuming you’re using a gas grill, light it and preheat on high for about 10-15 minutes. If you’re using charcoal, no problem! Just make sure to give it enough time to get those coals white hot. This is important – your grill has to be hotter than hell before you throw your pizza on it – Don’t be scared! The dough won’t fall through the grates as long as it’s searingly HOT!
How to Grill Your Pizza
- Leaving the pizza dough on the foil, open the grill and in one swift motion, flip the dough upside down on the grill, foil and all, trying to keep it all in one piece. Then quickly peel off the foil, adjust the dough if you have to and close the top. Leave it in there for about 3 minutes. The experts say not to peek, but every grill is different, and we peek each time just in case one edge is browning faster than the other. Those nice grill marks on the bottom are great, but make sure it doesn’t burn! Use the tongs to move the dough around. Just be sure to leave it on the grill for at least 2 minutes before moving otherwise it will tear.
- When you’re happy with the way it looks, remove the dough from the grill and transfer to cutting board, grilled side up. This is the side you’ll be “decorating”.
- Add sauce, toppings, cheese and sprinkle with seasonings.
- Turn one of the two grill burners off. Place pizza back on the grill, cover and grill for another 10 minutes or so, until the cheese is melted and bubbly and bottom is browned and cooked through. If the bottom starts to cook faster than you expected, turn the pizza around or move it to another spot.
- Remove to cutting board, slice and serve with ice cold beer or a nice glass of Chianti!
Congratulations! And believe me – once you have tastes grilled pizza, you may not want to go back to your oven!