How to Grill Pizza ~ thin, lightly crispy-charred crust topped with tangy tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, farm stand tomatoes and basil. Learn how to make grilled pizza to tastes like the wood-fired from your favorite restaurant.
I’m going to tread lightly on the topic of pizza because I know most of us have very strong opinions when it comes to what (and who) makes the best pizza.
I only started making homemade pizza about 4-5 years ago when I bought my first pizza stone and had never even taken my oven to 500°. Grilled pizza on our Weber without the stone came later.
The intimidation factor of grilling pizza is what took me so long to give it a try but it really is easy. I’m not a trained chef but a home cook like you who also happens to be a food blogger. That means I cook a lot ~ and I’m willing to make mistakes in my kitchen so that you’ll have success in yours. I learned how to grill pizza and with the instructions and tips below, you can too.
Why should I grill pizza?
First off, the flavor is insanely delicious. It rivals any wood burning artisan pizza from your local restaurant.
Second, you won’t heat up the oven to make your own pizza. You’ll leave the heat outside instead of your air conditioned kitchen.
Third, you can’t get this kind of flavor from your oven.
Will the dough fall through the grates?
This is probably the #1 concern when grilling pizza for the first time. The answer is no the dough doesn’t fall through the grates. Start with a hot grill and the dough will crisp and brown quickly without falling through.
Don’t panic if a little of the dough dips between the grates. Use your tongs and give it a slight turn and it will right itself.
The trick to successfully grilling pizza is in your organizational skills. Have all your toppings on hand, cut, torn, shredded and ready to go onto the crust because it cooks super fast.
The ingredients below are for my favorite Margherita pizza. The directions for grilling are the same regardless of what you top your pizza with.
- premade dough (or homemade)
- olive oil
- sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- pizza sauce
- fresh mozzarella, hand torn
- burrata (optional ~ can also use all mozzarella)
- fresh tomatoes **
- fresh basil
** I used a variety of Heirloom tomatoes from the local farmers market. Any slicing tomato would be good.
Preparing to grill pizza:
When I make pizza at home, I usually buy a premade dough from a local market, but of course if you’d like to make your own dough, that’s fine, too.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before rolling it. Room temp dough rolls easier and holds its shape better.
Using your hands or a rolling pin, spread the dough into a rectangle-ish shape. The shape doesn’t have to be perfect.
Preheat the grill to high heat (about 400 degrees) and while the grill is preheating, gather all your toppings.
Slice the tomatoes and lightly season them with salt and pepper. Dry the mozzarella and burrata with a paper towel and tear it so it’s ready to go onto the pizza. I also like to give it a light seasoning with salt and fresh cracked pepper.
Collect all of the toppings on a tray to carry outside when you’re ready to grill because the cooking process is fast. You won’t have time to run back in the house and risk burning the pizza. You’ll also need tongs, a spatula and a cutting board or baking sheet to bring the pizza into the house or wherever you’re eating it.
How to grill pizza:
Brush the rolled out dough with olive oil then lay the dough oil side down on to the preheated grill.
Close the lid and grill 2-4 minutes. Once you see the dough bubble, gently lift an edge of it with the tongs and see if the bottom has crisped. If not, continue grilling another minute or so. Grilling times vary depending on your grill and the thickness of the dough.
When the crust is gently crisped/charred on one side, flip it over then quickly add your toppings: pizza sauce, mozzarella and tomatoes leaving a little space for the burrata you’ll add soon.
Close the lid and continue grilling 4-6 minutes or until the bottom is crispy brown, the cheese is softened and the toppings warm. Just before the pizza is done grilling add the burrata where you left space.
Transfer the grilled pizza to a baking sheet or cutting board then add fresh basil and if you’d like a little sea salt. Slice and serve hot and if you have a nice red wine or sangria on hand, now would be a great time to break it out.
What if I want a different kind of pizza?
This post is more instructional for how to grill pizza then an actual recipe. Now that you know how to make pizza on a grill you can customize it with whatever toppings you like! The possibilities are endless but here are a few suggestions. If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out the menus of your favorite pizza places near you.
- green peppers
- fresh corn
- red onion
- shaved parmesan cheese
You can even top the pizza with pesto instead of pizza sauce. Learning how to grill pizza is really easy. It’s worth the effort for a really delicious warm-weather meal.
If you tried this grilled pizza recipe or any other on the blog I’d love to hear from you with a comment or star rating. Questions? Leave it here too.
- 1 ball premade dough
- Olive oil
- sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
- pizza sauce
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella
- 4 ounces burrata
- Heirloom or other slicing tomatoes
- 6-8 fresh basil leaves
- Slice the tomatoes, season lightly with salt and pepper. Gather the remaining ingredients, chop the basil, then dry the mozzarella and burrata well with a paper towel and hand tear it.
- Roll out the dough then brush the top with olive oil. If you’d like you can also add a sprinkle garlic powder. Transfer it to a pizza stone or baking sheet to carry it outside.
- Once the grill is hot, place the dough on the grill oiled side down and close the lid. Grill 2-5 minutes or until you see the top bubble.
- Using the tongs carefully lift one end. When the crust is gently crisped/charred on one side, carefully flip it. Add the sauce, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese (leaving space for the burrata) and continue grilling 4-6 minutes or the bottom is crispy brown, the cheese is softened and the tomatoes are warm. About halfway through this time add the burrata.
- When the pizza is finished grilling, transfer it to a stone or baking sheet, add the fresh basil and if you're like a little fine sea salt. Slice and serve hot.