Grilled pizza is some of the best homemade pizza I’ve ever made. I’ve done lots of testing and experimenting in the pursuit of trying to make the best homemade pizza possible. Much of what makes restaurant pizza so delicious is the extremely high heat in which it’s prepared.
Commercial pizza ovens reach upwards of 900°F and cook the crust very quickly, rendering that phenomenal cracker-like crust that is tender on the inside. The good news is that grilled pizza mimics some of the same brick oven tastes and textures you know and love.
Because a grill can reach hotter temps than a conventional home oven, it produces much better results. Cast iron grates have better heat transfer to help to create a crispy crust with beautiful charring. I’ve never been able to achieve similar results with a pizza stone alone.
How to Cook Pizza on the Grill
Grilling pizza is really simple and doesn’t involve any special equipment other than a grill. While some use their pizza stone on the grill, I cook my pizza right on the cast iron grates. The process of grilling pizza moves very quickly and requires your full attention for the best results.
Start by grilling one side of the crust for 45-60 seconds until the crust starts to bubble and then flip it over and add your toppings. Once the pizza is dressed to the nines you can close the cover to take advantage of the ambient heat. Precooking the crust ensures both sides cook evenly. The true bottom of the crust will cook for longer and brown/crisp up much more than the top. It’s very important not to overcook the top so it does not burn.
TIPS & TRICKS
- A pizza peel, large spatula, or flat cookie sheet makes the flipping process easier. Luckily, once the crust starts to cook, it will be relatively firm and easy enough to flip.
- Get the grill as hot as possible. Keep the grill on the highest setting and let it fully preheat before starting. I target 600°F or hotter.
- It’s very important to thoroughly clean and oil the grill grates before starting. This prevents the dough from sticking. Use a basting brush or rolled-up paper towel gripped with tongs to grease the grates. Olive oil or canola/vegetable oil should work fine.
- Get all your toppings organized and ready to go. Once the crust goes on the grill you need to be at full attention. You’ll need to top your pizza quickly so you can shut the lid and retain the heat.
Neopolitan-Inspired Pizza Sauce
The homemade pizza sauce in this recipe is an added bonus. It’s my favorite pizza sauce because it’s very simple, delicious, and modeled after Neopolitan-style pizza sauce. I use a few canned whole plum tomatoes, fresh garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper. The ingredients are blended together and then lightly simmered to cook and thicken. It’s the perfect sauce for more authentic Italian pizza and is complementary to crispy grilled pizza.
More Pizza Recipes
- Skillet pizza
- Margherita pizza
- BBQ chicken bacon pizza
- Buffalo chicken pizza
- Proscuitto fig and arugula pizza
- 5 easy flatbread pizza ideas
Grilled pizza shares some of the much-desired tastes and textures of your favorite crispy brick oven pizza.
- 16–20 ounces pizza dough (room temp)
- 1/2–3/4 cup pizza sauce or homemade pizza sauce
- 4–5 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
- 3–4 basil chopped basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, for the crust
- pinch of sea salt
- Oil for grill grates
Homemade pizza sauce
- 3 peeled whole plum tomatoes (canned tomatoes) do not include excess juice (28-ounce can is all you need)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- pinch of salt and pepper
Homemade pizza sauce
- Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth and creamy. Heat sauce in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Bring to a low simmer, cooking until slightly thickened (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool.
For the pizza
- Preheat the grill to high heat with the cover down. Clean the grates well. Allow the grill to heat up to at least 600°F.
- Meanwhile, roll out the dough into a circle or oval. The dough should be room temp for easier rolling and optimal cooking. Use a pizza peel or well-floured flat baking sheet for easy transferring.
- Brush the grates with oil using a basting brush. Transfer dough directly to the grill grates (remember, no toppings yet) and cook for 45-60 seconds with the lid closed. The crust should start to bubble all over.
- Once the crust is firm enough to lift off the grill, flip the crust with a pizza peel, large spatula, or flat baking sheet.
- Drizzle the crust with oil and season with sea salt. Add pizza sauce, leaving a 1-inch crust all the way around. Add the mozzarella, close the lid, and grill until the cheese is fully melted; about 4-5 minutes.
- Remove from the grill and top with fresh chopped basil. Slice and serve.
The homemade pizza sauce in this recipe is an added bonus. It’s my favorite pizza sauce because it’s very simple, delicious, and modeled after Neopolitan-style pizza sauce. It’s a must-try!
- Serving Size: 2 slices
- Calories: 384
- Sugar: 0.1g
- Sodium: 788mg
- Fat: 11.6g
- Saturated Fat: 4.5g
- Carbohydrates: 50.2g
- Fiber: 4.2g
- Protein: 10.2g
- Cholesterol: 23mg
Keywords: grilled pizza, how to grill pizza, how to grill pizza without a stone