With the upcoming Labor Day holiday, I thought I would share one of our favorite Summertime dinners, Pizza on the Grill. We love to grill pizza because it gives it such a unique flavor. The bottom of the crust gets those beautiful grill marks. The pizza gets a little bit crispy and a little bit chewy with a wonderful smoky flavor. I also HATE turning on my oven when it’s really hot outside, so I cook on the grill as much as I can.
How to Make Pizza on the Grill
Using the grill to cook pizza is not much different than using the oven. The dough and toppings are prepared the same and for the most part, all the same equipment is used. Except for the grill of course. The recipe for pizza dough that I like to use is adapted from Sugar Spun Run. It’s easy, has amazing flavor and works perfectly on the grill. Then, once your dough and toppings are prepared, it’s time to cook! I use a pizza stone to par-bake the crust then cook it directly on the grill grates with the toppings. Par-baking the crust allows for you to place it right on the grates without it sticking or falling through. If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can use a sheet pan to par-bake the crust on the grill or in the oven. Here are some tips for success:
- Pre-heating is important! Give both your grill and your pizza stone time to pre-heat. It does make a difference.
- Next, use cornmeal on your stone to prevent the dough from sticking to it during cooking and transfer.
- Don’t forget to brush your crust with olive oil so it doesn’t dry out. It also adds good flavor.
- Finally, cooking on the grill heats your food from the bottom, so keep an eye on your crust so that it doesn’t burn.
What are the best toppings for pizza?
I think I could start a huge debate on which toppings are best to put on a pizza. Let’s be honest though, the best thing about making your own pizza, is that you can put whatever toppings you want on it. Meat, cheese, fruit, vegetables, whatever you like. Really, there are no wrong answers, but here are some of our favorites:
- Italian Sausage
- Diced Ham
- Fresh Mozzarella
- Ricotta Cheese
- Peppers (hot, spicy or mild)
- Grilled Vegetables
- Pineapple (yep, I said it)
- Homemade or Store bought Pesto
- Fresh Herbs (always put these on AFTER cooking)
Pizza on the Grill
- 4 cups all purpose flour, divided
- 4 teaspoons dry active yeast
- 1 Tablespoon granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ cup warm water
- ½ cup olive oil, divided
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- marinara sauce
- cooked ground italian sausage
- ricotta cheese
- fresh oregano leaves, for garnish
- In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour with yeast, sugar, italian seasoning and garlic powder and whisk to combine.
- In a small bowl, combine warm water, ¼ cup of the olive oil and salt and stir to combine.
- Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to make a thick paste. Slowly add in the remaining flour, a ½ cup at a time, stirring after each addition, until the dough forms a ball. If stirring becomes too hard, you can use your hands to start to knead it into a ball.
- Turn the loosely formed dough ball out onto a floured surface and continue to knead for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth. Add more flour if the dough becomes too sticky, but do not over flour it. It should be tacky, but not stick to your hands.
- In a clean bowl, add 1-2 Tablespoons of the olive oil and add your dough. Roll the dough around in the olive oil so that it is completely covered with it. Brush the olive oil up the insides of the bowl as well to prevent sticking as the dough rises. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and set out in a warm spot to rise 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size.
- When the dough has almost finished rising, pre-heat the grill on medium-high. Lightly dust a 12" pizza stone with cornmeal and once the grill has pre-heated, add the pizza stone and allow it to pre-heat.
- While the pizza stone is pre-heating, remove the plastic wrap from the bowl with the dough in it and punch down the dough. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and take the dough, remaining olive oil and toppings out to the grill.
- While holding the edges, slightly stretch the dough while turning it slowly to gently expand the dough to make a larger circle the size of the pizza stone. Place the dough on to of the pre-heated pizza stone, gently pressing it down with your finger tips to make an even layer.
- Generously brush the crust with olive oil and close the grill and allow the crust to par-bake for 5-7 minutes. The crust is par-baked when the olive oil is bubbling on top and the crust is no longer soft on the bottom and slightly browned.
- Using tongs and an oven mat, slide the crust off of the pizza stone and directly onto the grill. Remove pizza stone and set aside. Be careful, it will be hot!
- Add marinara sauce to the top of the pizza crust, then add Italian sausage and ricotta cheese.
- Close the cover and cook an additional 5-7 minutes more until the cheese and sauce are bubbling and the crust has finished cooking. Make sure to peek at the crust half way through cooking to make sure it's not burning. If the bottom is cooking too quickly, reduce your heat down to medium.
- Remove pizza from the grill onto a serving plate using tongs. Sprinkle pizza with fresh oregano and allow it to sit for 5 minutes before slicing.
- Repeat steps 6-13 with the remaining dough and toppings and serve!
Looking for more recipes to cook on the grill? Here are some popular ones from the blog:
- Grilled Pork Chops with White BBQ Sauce
- Grilled Peaches with Honey Whipped Mascarpone
- Hatch Chile Turkey Burgers with Fresh Pineapple Salsa
- Pork Ribs with Coffee Molasses BBQ Sauce