How To Grill Pizza

If you’ve never grilled pizza before, now is the perfect time to try it! And if you have grilled pizza before, now is definitely time to do it again. This is my FAVORITE way to make homemade pizza because no matter how hard I try, most homemade pizza tastes, well, slightly homemade, even in the best of circumstances. This is because most of us don’t have the kind of equipment needed to bake pizza crusts quickly and evenly, so frequently taste a lot like bread instead of pizza crust. But if you have a grill, you can replicate individual-sized pizzas from your favorite brick- or wood-fired pizza restaurants! This is amazing party food because everyone can get exactly the pizza they want in just a few minutes.

Ingredient Notes

  • Dough – You’ll need pizza dough. Obviously. You can use any pizza dough- whatever you normally use to make pizza at home. Here is a great recipe for homemade dough and another for Neapolitan Pizza Crust (which is perfect for the grill.) If you’re planning on serving more than a few people, but even if you’re not, I highly recommend making the dough ahead of time and freezing it into individual crusts to prevent the dough from over-rising, especially on a hot summer night.. You could also buy dough. Many grocery stores, clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club, and bakeries sell fresh, raw pizza dough.
  • Sauce – Grilled pizza works great sauce-less, or try it with this pizza sauce, bbq, pesto, or garlic alfredo.
  • Toppings
    • Meats like pepperoni, Canadian bacon, bacon bacon, pancetta (Italian bacon), smoked pulled pork, grilled chicken, hamburger, Italian sausage, etc.
    • Fruits and veggies–traditional things like bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, olives, fresh basil (don’t add this until your pizza has cooked!) and pineapple (we know this is controversial, but it’s popular for a reason), but try some other, less traditional things like roasted red peppers, pepperoncini, and stone fruit like cherries or peaches (I’m dreaming of a peach/bacon pizza with alfredo sauce).
    • Shredded mozzarella cheese is a classic, but other great options are dollops of ricotta, fresh mozzarella balls or slices, pepper jack, or smoked gouda.


Preheat Your Grill

  • First, you need to preheat your grill. This is an important step. The rack needs to be nice and hot so the dough will start cooking immediately and the overall temperature needs to be hot in order to act like an oven when the lid is closed. I set my gas grill to medium-high heat and shut the lid.

Gather Everything You’ll Need

  1. Your toppings (cut, sliced, shredded, etc.), including sauce.
  2. Olive oil and a brush to brush it on.
  3. A spoon to spread on sauce.
  4. A large spatula or pizza peel to flip the pizza

pizza toppings for grilled pizza

Prep Your Dough and Get Cooking

  1. You want this dough as thin as you can roll it–not any thicker than 1/4″ inch, but thinner if you can.
  2. When your dough is flattened out, drizzle a little olive oil on one side and brush it around. If you’d like, sprinkle it with a little garlic or onion salt.

    olive oil on pizza dough
  3. Now comes the fun part. Toss that puppy (oil side down) straight on the grill and then shut the lid immediately. You’ll want the heat to stay inside so it acts like an oven and cooks the dough. The timing all depends on the heat of the grill and the thickness of the dough. But it usually only takes about 5 minutes or less. Have a spatula handy to lift up the dough and check it. You’ll want to see nice brown grill marks, but avoid burning it. If you can tell that your dough is cooking too fast and too hot, you may want to use indirect heat. For a gas grill with multiple burners, turn off the burner directly under the pizza, but leave the others on. For a charcoal grill, move the charcoal to one side of the grill and place the pizza on the other side.
  4. These only need a few minutes–Check the bottom for nice grill marks and make sure it’s dry to the touch before flipping. Right before you flip it, brush a little olive oil on the uncooked side.
  5. As soon as you flip the crust, grab that tray with your toppings and put them on the cooked side right away. Shut the lid again and leave it shut. The second side cooks pretty fast. If the bottom of your pizza is done, but the top still needs to cook, you can place it on an upper rack if you have one.
  6. Take a peek at the bottom crust and as soon as it’s done and your cheese is all melty, grab a spatula and pull it off. You can place these right onto people’s plates or onto a large cutting board and let everyone snag their pizzas. The only thing left to do is sit back and let everyone tell you how this is the most amazing homemade pizza they’ve ever had!
grilled pizza from our best bites

grilled pizza

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I grill my pizza on a grill mat or on foil?

I love the smoky char marks grilled pizza gets from cooking directly on the grill grates. If you are feeling apprehensive about cooking directly on the grill, feel free to try cooking your pizza on a lightly oiled piece of foil or a grill mat.

woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. wow, it looks wonderful. I love grilled pizza and I am going to try this one for sure.

  2. Yum! I love grilling pizza. My grill has wide grates and the dough would sag between them before it cooked enough to stiffen up. We solved this by starting the dough on a piece of foil brushed with olive oil, then removing the foil when flipping it to the second side. If you’re making several rounds of pizza you can keep re-using the foil.

  3. A little trick I learned….When I make mine, I roll out each individual pizza on its own little sheet of foil that I’ve sprayed with cooking spray. Then I just flip it over onto the grill, with the foil still attached, and let the first side cook that way. When the dough cooks a little bit it unsticks itself from the foil! I can then peel off the foil and flip the dough onto the foil again for each person to top as they please. It slides off the foil easily to cook the other side.

  4. I like to mix some garlic bread seasoning in with my olive oil then spread it on. Makes it extra tasty!

  5. For some reason, I can’t get the blue links in this post to work. I am going to attempt to make this for some friends on Conference Sunday, and I am still very much a beginner cook. I especially need to get into the “how to make the pizza dough” link. It would also be nice to see the “garlic alfredo” sauce link. I tried searching these out individually, but had no success. Thanks for all the yummy recipes!

  6. I LOVE grilled pizza! I have never dared to do the whole process on the grill till the other day, though. I’ve always just grilled the dough and finished it in the oven. I decided to try it the other day and it worked! Thanks for the tutorial. I also wanted to share that we actually did this for a get together with friends last night. It was a big hit! I had everyone put all their toppings in a bowl and shape their dough. We had the sauce, olive oil, and cheese at the grill already. Then everyone grilled their own pizzas. I wasn’t sure how it would all go down, but everyone loved it, including the making part. You could tell who was not at all comfortable cooking! It was funny at times. Most people were uncomfortable to some degree since they had never done it, but everyone had fun and loved the pizza. I think we had the lids open too much and the heat too low, though. I will know to do it better in the future. Your tutorial helped a lot!

  7. I made these gluten free and it totally worked! It came out really really well. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  8. All I can say is WOW. Seriously…WOW. I have had this recipe in my favorites for some time now, but I just got a grill. The first thing I cooked on it (that very same night!) was pizza. We are a big pizza family – I make it homemade every Friday night. There is absolutely no comparison between baking it in the oven and cooking it on the grill. Hands down, the grill produces the best tasting crust and pizza I’ve ever eaten. It’s gives it a brick oven type flavor. I have cooked it 4 more times since then – even inviting a group of friends over. It was such a hit! Thanks for this awesome tutorial on grilling pizza! My pizza eating will never be the same!

  9. I’ve done this,,,scarey at first, you think it’s just not gonna work but it was downright easy and yummilicious.

  10. Finally got to try this tonight … YUM! Thanks for the great tutorial that gave me the guts to try it. I even started the gas grill myself for the first time in my life to make grilled pizza!

  11. We made these twice this week… yum! We just used the directions on the package of pizza yeast which didn’t require rising, but we had a lot of trouble with our crust sinking into the grill making it impossible to flip without losing parts of the crust. We ended up grilling the first side on aluminum foil and then flipping it directly onto the grill for the second side and they turned out perfect without the frustration! Any other tips to prevent the crust from settling into the grill? We tried smaller pizzas, thinner, thicker, placing it gently, slapping it on, etc etc etc- all ended up in frustration!

    1. Melody, it definitely sounds like your grill is not hot enough. It shouldn’t fall through at all. The only other factor I can think of is the actual dough you used; but I can’t be sure. I’d definitely try cranking up the heat!

  12. WOWZERS! I tried this for my family last night for our special “back to school” dinner and uhhhhh YUM! Everybody LOVED it! Thank you for posting such wonderful, detailed, delicious recipes for us! Things like this are “scary” for me to try but having your step-by-step instructions with pictures gives me the “courage” I need to step out of my cooking comfort zone! SO THANK YOU!

  13. please tell me is the cheese in this tutorial mozzarella? Did you use basil and what other herb? I want to make it exactly.

  14. This pizza rocked! My whole family now prefers this grilled pizza over my oven baked pizza. I had read many articles on how to grill. But this by far made it seem so simple and less complicated.

  15. We did this last night for the first time. They were awesome! My kids even liked them, and they don’t eat “regular” pizza very well. I did notice that you need less toppings for the pizzas, like you said. I made your recipe for pizza dough (which, by the way, is my favorite!) and we got six small pizzas out of it. We are definitely doing this again!!

  16. I wish there was a way to print all of your recipes. If it doesn’t have the short printable version, I end up using all my colored ink printing all the beautiful pictures. Is there something I don’t know?

  17. Grilling a pizza is on my bucket list! I am so excited to see this on your “How to’s” and I am going to do this before summer is over! Thanks!

  18. Just made it and it looks yummy…. we did learn an important lesson though: the grill pan on the stove cooks the dough VERY quickly… we COMPLETELY burned the first mini-pizza. Oops!

  19. I love your website! Thanks for sharing all your wonderful recipes, I use them all the time! These pizzas were absolutely delicious! Your pizza dough is awesome too. Thanks!

  20. Okay, I have been eyeing up this recipe for awhile and have finally gotten up the guts to try it today. Did I mention I've never grilled anything, at least on a gas grill outside…I'm feeling adventurous and it's a beautiful day so wish me luck!

  21. Trimble- I've never grilled a calzone, but I bet it would be good. Let us know how it turns out!

  22. Thank you for the post. My husband thinks I'm a great cook thanks to awesome recipes/tutorials like this. He wants me to make it into a calzone next time so I'll give it a try and let you know how it goes in case you haven't tried that yet. If you have, I'd love to know if it worked.

  23. Thanks for posting this, I never thought to try grilling pizza! We made it last week with fresh mozzarella, pepperoni and green pepper. Will definitely be making this again!

  24. Tried grilled pizza for the first time the other night….wonderful! And all the possibilities ! Can't wait to grill again!

  25. Great idea to grill this pizza – it looks delicious and so colorful with those gorgeous tomatoes!

  26. I'm new to cooking. Not cooking persay, but the fancy schmancy stuff. I have to say after finding your blog, I've tried a few recipes so far and I LOVED this pizza! Absolutely delicious! So nummy! Thank you for sharing!


  27. Yes, we grill pizza! I started last year when I found the idea on here. We've already done it this year too. Yummy!