Grilled pizza has a wonderful charred flavor and a crispy-on-the-outside texture that oven-baked pizza can’t provide. To grill a great pizza…
Make your dough at least an hour in advance so that it has enough time to rise. Any pizza dough that works in the oven will work on the grill, so use your preferred dough recipe, store-bought dough or the easy dough recipe at FineCooking.com/recipes/pizza-dough-for-grilling.aspx.
Divide the dough into four-ounce balls. Flatten and stretch each ball of dough until it’s quite thin—preferably one-eighth to one-quarter-inch thick. Thick crusts don’t work on the grill—they char on the outside before they’re properly cooked on the inside. Don’t worry if your “dough round” is irregular in shape.
Clean your grill grating. Use a stiff brush to remove any cooked-on debris to prevent the dough from sticking and from picking up the flavors of what you grilled before.
Prep your toppings. Grate the cheese. Make your sauce if you prefer homemade to store-bought. Chop any meats and vegetables that you intend to use as toppings. Cook these meats and vegetables, too, if they need more than a few minutes of cook time. Pizzas cook much faster on the grill, so most toppings must be largely cooked in advance.
EXTRA: For more expert grilling tips, visit our Bottom Line Guide to Great Grilling.
Alternative: To give your pizza an even smokier flavor, consider grilling these meats and vegetables rather than cooking them in your kitchen. Be sure to do this before the dough goes on the grill.
Fire up your grill. The heat should be medium-high under an area approximately as large as your dough round.
Helpful: If you have a large grill, fire up one side of the grill, with no flames under the other side.
Brush one side of your dough round with olive oil. Sprinkle this side lightly with kosher salt.
Carefully lay the dough onto the grill, oiled-side down, with the grill lid open. To do this, hold the dough by one edge so that the other edge hangs down. Allow the lower edge to contact the grill grate near one side of the heated area. The heat should cause this edge to stick to the grate. Gently pull the top edge to stretch the dough out a bit before laying it on the grate.
Brush the top of the dough with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
Use tongs or a spatula to peek at the underside of the dough after it’s been on the grill for one minute. Continue peeking frequently until the underside is brown and crispy. This should take just one to three minutes, depending on the temperature of the grill.
Flip the dough, and add sauce, cheese and toppings. Speed is more important than precision here—the bottom side of the dough will be brown and crispy after just one to three minutes, giving the sauce and cheese precious little time to cook.
Helpful: If the cheese isn’t melted before the bottom of the dough is crisp and brown, move the pizza to a part of the grill that isn’t over direct flames (if there’s enough room), close the lid and allow it to cook for up to another few minutes. Open the lid, and reposition the pizza occasionally during this time so that the side of the crust nearest to the flames doesn’t burn.