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how to cook pizza in a gas grill

pizza on orange table

Cooking pizza on a gas or charcoal grill can add extra flavor to your pizza and is a great way to enjoy your summer or an outdoor kitchen, plus entertain friends. Pizza baked on charcoal grills will absorb a bit of smoke adding flavor and bringing it closer to the traditional brick oven pizza flavor.

If you own a gas grill, you can also add smoke flavor by adding wood chips using a smoker box with wood chips. Grilling pizza is fun, and creativity is welcomed.

To cook pizza on a grill, there are a few steps to follow. Mainly, there are two methods you can use to grill a good pizza on a grill. One method is to place the pizza directly on the grill grates, and the other is using a pizza baking stone. Baking stones absorb moisture from the dough and help crisp the pizza dough. Pizza stones can also distribute heat evenly and reduce cold spots.

What temperature do you cook pizza on the grill?

Pizza dough cooks quickly, and your pizza will only need to be in the grill for a few minutes, depending on your grill’s temperature. The temperature to cook your pizza will vary depending on whether you are using a pizza stone or are cooking the pie directly on the grill’s grates. 

However, if you are grilling your pizza directly on the grill’s grates, you should try temperatures between 350 to 400 degrees F. Pizza dough can cook dry and burn quickly. So it is best to slow down the grill to protect the bottom of your pizza but allow the cheeses and other topics to get to temperature and cook. 

If you are using a baking stone, you can cook at a higher temperature and preheat the stone from 400 to 500 degrees. 

Benefits of Cooking Pizza in a Grill?

The significant benefit of cooking pizza in a gas or charcoal grill is flavor. Baking pizza in your kitchen electric oven will do the job, but your pizza is not exposed to smoke, wood chips, so it won’t have that traditional brick oven wood-fire flavor.

Another advantage is your charcoal or gas grill can heat up faster and be more efficient at cooking at high temperatures. Although indoor kitchen electric ovens are great for baking, they cannot safely mimic the smoky wood flavor of gas or charcoal grill.

Things to avoid when grilling pizza

The most important thing to avoid when grilling pizza is heating your grill to too high temperatures and burning the pizza dough. The cheese will start melting anywhere from 130 to 180 degrees for harder cheeses. 

Prepare your grill

Preheat and Clean the Grates from excess grease and old food. Fat will start to burn at high temperatures producing dirty smoke and add odd flavors to your pizza.

Add a smoker box or pellets for flavor.

Whether you are using a charcoal or propane grill, a smoker box or smoke tube will add smoke flavor to your pizza. Place the smoker box on your grill and fill it with your favorite wood chip flavor. Note that if you own a pellet smoker grill, the flavor from the wood pellets will be enough and you do not need to use a smoker box or add wood chips.

Two Pizza Grilling Methods

Without a Pizza Stone Pizza Cooking Method | How do I grill pizza without a stone?

Prepare the pizza dough so that it is ready to be baked, expand it and stretch it to your preferred thickness.

Set and preheat your grill to about 350 to 400 F but don’t be afraid to modify the grill’s temperature to not burn the dough. The goal in this step is to lightly toast the bottom of the dough.

Once the pizza dough’s bottom begins to “brown,” remove it from the grill and get your dough ready for toppings.

After adding your toppings, place the pizza in your grill and close the lid. Check the pizza cooking progress after 2 to 3 minutes. The pizza’s bottom should start to crip and char but not burn, and the cheese on the pizza should start melting.

Once the cheese starts “bubbling remove the pizza from the grill.

With a Pizza Stone Method ( Use this Method for Better results )

Grilling a pizza using a pizza stone is, for some, the preferred and only method. The pizza stone does play an important role when baking pizza. Baking stones can absorb moisture from the pizza dough, making a crispier crust. The stone can also absorb and radiate heat better than grill grates and cook the pizza evenly.

To grill a pizza in a grill using a pizza stone, preheat the grill to 450 degrees F. The stone will need some heat to warm up and absorb heat to get to the baking temperature. 

Place the pizza on the stone and close the grill lid. After 2 to 3 minutes, check the pizza, the cheese should start melting, and the crust should cook evenly but not burn. Once the cheese melts and starts bubbling, remove the pizza from the grill.

Related: Find the Best Pizza Stones

Do you need a pizza stone to grill pizza?

A pizza stone is not necessary, but it does help in many ways. First, if your grill grates are dirty, the grease and dirt can stick to the pizza dough. Also, low-quality grates do a poor job at absorbing and radiating heat, damaging your pizza crust.

Lastly, the pizza stone does a better job at radiating heat evenly, cooking the entire pizza at the same temperature.

Tips Baking Pizza On A Gas BBQ Grill

1) Gas or propane grills can produce smoky flavor. Use a smoker box or smoke tube and add your favorite wood chips to add wood fire flavor to the pizza.

2) Always preheat the grill and be sure to clean the greats and burn excess grease. During the preheating process, dirty smoke will fill the grill, and the pizza should not be exposed to this smoker as it will ruin its flavor.

Tips for Baking Pizza On a Charcoal Grill

1) Baking pizza in a charcoal grill is very similar to baking in a gas grill. The main difference is the fuel, charcoal. When lighting up your charcoal grill, be sure that the coals get to cooking temperature and void placing the pizza in the charcoal grill while dirty smoke from the coals is present. 

2) Let the grill get to temperature; if you are using a pizza stone, preheat the stone, or cook directly on the grates, let the grill get to the appropriate temperature.

One Last Word

Baking pizzas in a grill add flavor and fun to this favorite dish. Try your favorite recipe this weekend, and be sure to test multiple smoke chips until you find your favorite smoke flavor.




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