Charcoal - Grilled Thin Crust Pizza

Picture of Charcoal - Grilled Thin Crust Pizza
If you enjoy thin-crust style pizza, this is a great way to get a wood-fired, brick oven style pizza without using a pizza stone or placing bricks in the oven to keep a stable and hot oven temperature. Except for making the dough, and cutting up the ingredients (cheese, tomatoes, etc.) the preparation can be done outdoors.

This pizza lends itself to simplicity, using the freshest ingredients. This is perfect for summertime, when fresh tomatoes and basil are readily available.

Adding additional toppings - mushrooms, peppers, thinly sliced onions, etc., will make it harder to get the pizza on and off the grill. It's feasible, but first, try it with minimal toppings: tomatoes and cheese; or tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and cheese (the red, green and white of the Italian flag): that's the classic and delicious Italian Margherita pizza (scroll down to the last photo) - named in 1889, in honor of Italian Consort Regina (Queen) Margherita.

Step 1: Prepare Dough

Picture of Prepare Dough
Depending on how you look at it, making pizza dough is easy, or an art.

Since this article focuses on the grilling aspects of the pizza, and rather than repeat what can be found elsewhere, general procedures for making pizza dough (search for pizza dough) can be used, such as:


I'll provide a recipe here, that we've used successfully for the grilled pizza. A thin-crust style, elastic dough is essential. This dough recipe will make four pizzas. It was adapted from the America's Test Kitchen TV cooking show.

2 cups bread flour
Pinch salt
1 tbs sugar
1 teaspoon (or envelope package) yeast
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour (optional, adds texture and color)
1 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil

Stir ingredients together for 1 1/2 minutes.

Remove dough from bowl, cover with towel, and allow to rest for one hour in a warm location.

Cut dough into four pieces. Roll out each piece, and let rest for 15 minutes.

Then, roll out each piece to about 9 inches in diameter. Stack the rolled dough rounds, dusted with flour and separated by waxed or parchment paper (see photo), until you're ready to grill the pizzas.

A wooden "pizza peel" (photo), like those used in pizza restaurants, will come in handy. While it isn't essential, it will make the following steps easier. To find a place to buy an inexpensive pizza peel, look in the phone book for a restaurant supply shop that has a storefront address and sells to the general public.
Arghus1 year ago
looks like a dropped pizza
Danzbieri5 years ago
looks great, I'll try it next weekend ;D Thanks for your instructable, looks very tasty and easy n_n
t.rohner7 years ago
I will fire up my Weber and try this. I can make a 1:1 comparison with pizzas out of my pizza oven.
I just made some Flammkuchen and bread this weekend. (Hanging in the pool with a glass of champagne in our hands, while waiting for the oven to reach its temperature isn't a bad thing...)

I let my pizza doughs ferment for at least 4 hours, using less yeast and no sugar. I think this enhances taste and texture. But of course, there is more than one way, especially in cooking and baking.
Maybe putting the grill in the lowest position and a layer of fire-brick could help those who don't have the space or permission to build an oven.

You can cut a pizza peel from birch plywood and be certain it will be small enough to use on a grill. Finish it with walnut oil which is non toxic and edible.
I am dying to know what the final verdict was? How did the oven compare to the grill?
Well, the oven pizzas came out more "pizza-like". It's more controllable, since it retains the heat longer and more even. I will use the Weber for steaks and burgers in the future. I built the oven for bread and pizzas and that's how i'll use it. But it's a good tip to first bake the dough alone in the grill, otherwise it wouldn't bake through or burn at the bottom. If you don't have a pizza oven, it certainly is fun to make pizza this way.
xpunkpr6 years ago
I really love pizza! So I guess I'll burn some. je,je,je
icemachete6 years ago
I actually remember that episode of America's Test Kitchen. The pizza makes me hungry.
Jalakahops7 years ago
Wow, it tastes so good! Great instructable.


sovereign7 years ago
Been doing this for years. Absolutely the best way to eat pizza. if you can't make the dough, go to your local pizza shop and ask to buy a round of dough for a large pie. I usually get two for 5 bucks. That's enough for 6-8 personal pies.
shooby7 years ago
Yeah, this looks delicious. Unfortunately I live in an apt. and don't have a grill. Now where did I put that flambe torch...
I have made great pizza and bread while backpacking without a stove. Just light a fire, and place the doe on the coals once the flame is gone.
Mr. Rig It7 years ago
Wow they turned out great. Not exactly the same way I saw them made in Italy, but who cares good pizza is good pizza. Your instructions are very clear and the photos are great. i think you did a great job with this instructable. I have two items to say: 1.What is infused olive oil, is it considered infused when you have heated it up with garlic cloves in it? 2. You gave me some great ideas to add to my own pizza recipe, thank you!
dsman1952767 years ago
Assuming that that is an umm! of cheesy, delicious, delight, agreed!
=SMART=7 years ago
Haha Very Tasty Lookin' i love the ruggedness of the pizza base :P REALLY want to eat that :D
LinuxH4x0r7 years ago
I love pizza made on an open fire. Great job!