Introduction: Simple Grilled Pizza

No special equipment needed!

All you need is a grill (gas or charcoal) that you can divide into a hot side and a cooler side.

This instructable is more about technique than ingredients so experiment with your favorite toppings / sauces / cheeses.


Gas or charcoal grill.

Your favorite pizza ingredients.

A metal pizza peel or some other metal utensil to flip / move the pizza on the grill. (spatula, tongs, etc.)

Step 1: Prep Your Pizza Ingredients

For my pizza, I used the following:

  1. mushrooms ( 6 ounces for each 10" pizza)
  2. garlic (1 or 2 cloves)
  3. pepperoni (enough for a piece in every bite)
  4. fresh mozzarella (8 ounces for each 10" pizza)
  5. red pizza sauce (1 jar - you won't use it all)
  6. fresh basil (nice package so you have about 6 - 8 leaves per 10" pizza)
  7. store bought pizza dough (mine was a little more than 1 LB and I split it in half to make 2 pizzas)
  8. olive oil (as required)

It is important for crispy pizza that the ingredients do not add too much moisture to the crust.

I was using frozen store bought pizza dough so I let it defrost in the refrigerator for 24 hours and then set it covered on the counter for a minimum of 2 hours before I started to prep.

Sauté the mushrooms in a little olive oil over medium - medium/high heat until they have released most of their moisture and have started to brown a bit. Then add in 1 or 2 cloves of minced garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and divide up if needed. See picture 2 and 3 for before and after.

Slice the fresh mozzarella into 1/4" or so thick slices and spread out on pieces of paper towel to dry them out. Use another piece of paper towel to blot the top. Let them sit for at least 15 minutes before using. Or, you can use low-moisture shredded mozzarella and skip the drying out part (but fresh tastes better IMO).

For the dough, I use a little olive oil on the counter and start by pressing the dough into a 6" circle. Then I hold the disc up and turn it around in my hands so gravity will make it bigger. Or, I just push it into a circle about 10 - 11" in diameter. If the dough 'springs back' into a smaller circle, it is still too cold so cover it and let it rest at room temperature for another 10 minutes and then try again.

(Note: using olive oil to prevent sticking when you form the pizza dough instead of flour, helps to keep the crust tender and crispy.)

See the fourth picture above showing the dough and mozzarella.

Preheat your gas grill or start charcoal for charcoal grill. Make sure you have it two zoned - one side very hot heat and one side low heat.

Step 2: Make Pizza!

Place your formed pizza dough on something to use as a pizza peel - can even be underside of a large pan.

Use some corn meal on the peel and 'test' that the dough is not sticking. If it sticks in some spot, lift the dough up there and throw some more corn meal underneath. You need to be able to have the dough slide off the peel quickly and in 1 piece! Rapidly put it on the hot side of your pre-heated grill - don't worry about the shape - free form is fine! Also, it will look like it is sticking to the grill and drooping between the grates but just give it a couple of minutes and it pull rise up. Brush the top of the dough with some olive oil and after 2 or 3 minutes it should 'release' from the grates. At this point you should flip it to the cool side of your grill. See photo 1 showing the dough on the hot side of the grill and then picture 2 shows it flipped onto the cool side.

(Note: I have a fairly wide grill so plenty of room for a 10" pizza - if you have a smeller grill, just make smaller pizzas!)

Now add some sauce - sparingly - you do not want it to be too watery. Put on your toppings then the mozzarella cheese and move the pizza back over the hot side. Close the grill for a few minutes and then check how it is doing. If the bottom is getting too cooked but the cheese is not melted, move it over to the cool side and close the lid until the top is melted the way you like.

Take it off the grill and add the basil!

Let it cool briefly and then cut into pieces and serve.

Simple and delicious!


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