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How to Make Perfect Grilled Pizza

How to Make Perfect Grilled Pizza a step by step guide to making incredible pizza quickly & easily on your backyard grill. Recipes for pizza crust and chunky tomato sauce are included as well.

How to make perfect grilled pizza photo with with text copy

Grilled pizza.

So can you really make a great pizza on the backyard grill? Oh yeah! In fact, I’ll hazard to say that some of the best pizza I’ve ever had came off the grill. Especially a hardwood charcoal grill.

The secret to getting it right is to keep it simple. Partially pre-cooking the crust as a flatbread, using the best ingredients you can find are key.

Keeping the toppings to a single layer are the keys to making a perfect grilled pizza.

The pizza in this photo was spectacular. I made a quickly sautéed chunky sauce using some summer ripe sweet tomatoes as the base.

My toppings on this occasion were thick cut smoked bacon, fresh mozzarella, a dusting of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. The real star of the show though, was my homemade chorizo sausages.

Homemade Chorizo Sausage pictured beside a gas grill with title text added for Pinterest

Quality ingredients are key to great pizza.

The sausages that I smoked myself and all of the ingredients combined atop the crispy thin crust in an exercise of pizza perfection. Cooking it on a hardwood charcoal grill gave a hint of smoky charred flavour as well, making it even better.

My preference is to use fresh mozzarella on grilled pizza because it melts a little easier. Just add it in small cubes that sort of infill the spaces between the other ingredients.

I like to use a very simple pizza dough recipe based upon a French Bread recipe. That’s because I find it crisps up nicely on the grill but feel free to use your own recipe if you like a softer crust.

I won’t even complain if you use store-bought pizza dough… well not too loudly anyway. 😉

Create your own favourite combinations and throw a backyard pizza party!

How to make perfect grilled pizza

How to make perfect grilled pizza

How to make perfect grilled pizza

How to make perfect grilled pizza

How to make perfect grilled pizza

How to make perfect grilled pizza

How to make perfect grilled pizza

For more tried and true recipes, check out this collection of our 25 Most Popular Recipes since Rock Recipes began back in 2007.

Originally Posted July 2013. Updated June 2020.

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How to make perfect grilled pizza

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How to make perfect grilled pizza photo with with text copy
Yield: 4 medium sized pizzas

How to Make Perfect Grilled Pizza

Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

How to Make Perfect Grilled Pizza a step by step guide to making incredible pizza quickly & easily on your backyard grill. Recipes for pizza crust and chunky tomato sauce are included as well.

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp instant rise yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 tsp sea salt

For the Chunky Pizza Sauce

  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 - 10 large ripe tomatoes diced
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes, (optional)

Instructions

To Prepare the crust

  1. Makes sufficient for about four 12 inch pizzas
  2. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with a dough hook.
  3. Mix for 5 -10 minutes on medium speed. You may need to add a little more flour, a tablespoon at a time until the dough doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl.
  4. Alternatively stir together with a wooden spoon before turning out onto a floured bread board and kneading for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Cover the dough and allow to rise for about an hour until about doubled in size.
  6. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for another few minutes.
  7. Divide into 4 equal portions, form into balls and let rest for about 10-15 minutes before stretching or rolling the dough out into about 12 inch rounds.

To prepare the Chunky Pizza Sauce

  1. Saute the garlic in the oil over medium heat for just a minute before adding the tomatoes, brown sugar, salt, pepper and chili flakes.
  2. Continue to cook until the tomatoes soften and the sauce reduces to a chunky consistency.
  3. Add the balsamic vinegar in the last few minutes of cooking time.

To grill the pizza

  1. First you will want to partially pre-cook the crust. Preheat your gas grill to about medium low heat and place the stretched dough portions, a couple at a time directly on the grill.
  2. Watch these carefully, adjust the temperature and move them around on the grill as needed. You will know it's time to flip them when the dough bubbles significantly. You can burst any really large bubbles before you flip them and cook for an additional minute or two, then remove to a wire rack to cool.
  3. To cook the pizza, spread the tomato sauce over the crust and add the toppings that you have chosen in a single layer.
  4. Preheat the grill. If using a gas grill, turn off the burners on one side and place the dressed pizza on the opposite side. If using a charcoal grill build the coal fire on one half of the grill and cook the pizza on the other side.
  5. Once the pizza is in place, shut the lid and cook until the cheese completely melts. This can usually take anywhere from 10-15 minutes.
  6. Turn the pizza 180 degrees half way through the cooking stage so that the bottom browns evenly.
  7. Sometimes I will move the pizza over the fire in the last minute if I want a really crispy bottom crust.

Notes

Prep time includes rising time for the dough.

Recommended Products

Rock Recipes a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Our product recommendations are almost exclusively for those we currently use or have used in the past.

Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 698Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 0mgSodium 1272mgCarbohydrates 123gFiber 9gSugar 20gProtein 17g

 

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Janet

Wednesday 8th of July 2020

What temperature should the BBQ be set at, for the final cooking?

Elwood Jones

Sunday 7th of July 2019

I buggered it up a little bit as usual but all in all it was very tasty. The actual recipe was spot on. I just got the heat a little too high and I wound up with a very much toasted and crunchy crust.

Gail Marks

Wednesday 15th of November 2017

Barry: Thanks for the wonderful recipes which I use all the time and many times inspire me to make something even if I don't have all the exact ingredients at home. I am in one of those situations now in which I need to make four pizzas in the oven. Too cold and wet outside for the bbq. Can this crust be used in the oven with perhaps a greasing of olive oil and a few grains of corn meal on pizza pan to keep from sticking?

Noelle Perry-Earle

Wednesday 20th of July 2016

With a gas grill Barry am I understanding that you turn off one side of the burner and cook the pizza on the side that it still lit, as in directly over the flame? Or is it the opposite way round?

Barry C. Parsons

Saturday 23rd of July 2016

Once the pizza is assembled it should be cooked over indirect het. NOT directly over the flame, with the lid closed to build up the heat.

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