Has anybody made pizza on a propane grill?

I keep hearing about this, and I want to try it.

I bought a can of Pillsbury pizza dough. Can I try it with this kind of dough? I’ve heard of cooking a crust on one side, then flipping and adding toppings.

Any suggestions? I don’t have a stone, or a “slide” or whatever you call the wooden paddle thing.

I think you could definitely use that kind of dough. The thing is, I think you really need to get a pizza stone. They aren’t too pricey…I think we got ours for $15 at Bed, Bath, & Beyond. The reason I recommend it is because the advantage of using the gas grill is that you can get it really hot…we cranked it up all the way (maybe 550 degrees?), and the pizza actually cooked in about 5 minutes. Your average cookie sheet or other thin metal pan will probably warp at that heat, and it will be hard to get the crust just right.

The main problem we haven’t worked out yet is to keep the crust from sticking to the stone. I think someone recently did a thread on this subject…you might try searching for it. I remember someone suggested spreading corn meal on the stone before rolling the dough out on it, the way some pizzerias do. The next time we grill pizza, I’m planning to try that. I was also thinking about trying a layer of aluminum foil between the stone & the pizza, so I could just lift it off the stone and cut it right on the foil, but I’m not sure if that will be good for the texture of the crust (I like it really crispy).

Good luck…pizza this way is really really good!

I do it all the time. There was a recent thread started by Drain Bead where I talked about it a little.

You can put a stone on the grill and do it that way, but that’s “pizza cooked on the grill” rather than “grilled pizza”. Also awesome, but in a different way. If you want stones on the cheap, unglazed quarry tile from Home Depot works really well.

For the real “wow factor” of cooking it straight on the grill, I don’t know how pre-packaged dough would work, but it’s worth a try. I cook mine on one side and then flip and top them; I use a giant grill spatula, but a couple of regular spatulas would work just fine. You’ll want one really hot area to start them and a cooler area to finish them after they’re topped.

I’ve not done it on a propane grill, but several times on a charcoal grill. It’s become our new favorite pizza.

We usually make our dough, but I don’t see why the canned wouldn’t work.

We don’t use a stone or a peel; expect some very hot hands with this method. (Personally, I don’t see the point of grilling pizza if you’re going to use a stone - just stick it in the oven already. I do have a pizza stone, just don’t use it on the grill.) Some tongs and/or a very large spatula will help.
Roll out pizza dough per instructions. Best to stay fairly small - 6-7" diameter max. Think personal pizzas rather than family pizza.

Fire up the grill. While it’s heating get all your toppings ready, you’ll need them handy at the grill. When the grill is hot, turn half of it down for medium-heat cooking and leave half at fairly high heat.

Brush one side of dough with olive oil and place that side down on the grill over fairly high heat. Cook for a few minutes (3-5, maybe?) until the crust gets lovely brown and toasty. If you try to move it and it starts to stick or tear, it’s not done yet. You’ll have a few dark brown spots, if you’ve got too many turn the heat down a bit.

Brush the other side of the dough with oil and flip it over on to the lower-heat side of the grill. Add your toppings - not many - and cook until the toppings are melty-warm and the bottom is brown and crispy. Adjust heat down if bottom burns before toppings are warm, or up if it doesn’t seem to be getting done.

We usually top with a touch more olive oil, garlic, chopped tomatoes, chopped fresh basil, minced red onion, and a little mozzerella cheese. Yum!

If you’re doing meat toppings, you’d want to cook them first if that’s needed. If you want cooked veggies (as opposed to hot but still crispy veggies), saute them first also. This method won’t get hot enough to really cook the toppings, just hots them up.

Go light on the toppings - it’s easy to overwhelm the pizza, and the toppings won’t get hot and yummy.

Serve IMMEDIATELY if possible. While these are still good after sitting a bit, they’re far better when served straight off the grill. (If you have to hold them for a while, try popping them back on the grill to reheat and crisp up again, or run them through a toaster oven.)

Oh, and I forgot the best grill trick ever–if your grill surface is all grungy, get a couple of disposable aluminum pans, put them on the grill upside-down, turn it on full blast and close the cover. The areas under the pan will get so blazing hot that the schmutz just turns to ash, easily rubbed off with a grill brush to reveal a grate as smooth as a baby’s ass. (It’s the same principle behind your self-cleaning oven.)

With regards to the stone–you shouldn’t roll the crust out on it at all. It should be heated to cooking temperature in the oven or on the grill and you slide the pizza onto it. You’ll need a pizza peel (wide, thin, long-handled wooden paddle). Flour the peel well, sprinkle with corn meal and then roll out the dough. When you have the pizza assembled, give the peel a couple of gentle shakes to loosen the pizza, then slide it carefully onto the stone. You can take it out of the oven by pushing/scooping it back onto the peel. No hot stones to deal with.

I’ve found that the best grilled pizzas need to be cooked fast, which means thin crust and limited toppings. You can’t make a thick crust pizza with lots of sauce and meats on a grill. You’ll end up with a crust burned on the bottom, raw on the top, and half cooked sausage.

There is a lot of direct heat to the bottom of the crust, so things need to cook quickly before it burns. One way is to pre-cook the toppings, but that just doesn’t taste good to me. I just limit my toppings to things that barely need cooking - light on the sauce, leafy greens like basil or spinach or arugula, procuitto for a meat, sliced marinated tomatoes, things like that. I make a white seafood pizza with shrimp (small), bay scallops and crabmeat that cooks perfectly in under four minutes.

I used to disdain the use of a stone, but lately I have used it to allow the toppings to cook longer, then sliding the pizza directly onto the grill to crisp the crust and give it that smoky grilled flavor.

Grilled pizzas are perfect summer backyard fare, people get tired of burgers and hot dogs and heavy stuff all the time.

Pair it with a crisp chilled white wine like Sokol Blosser Evolution and the party is set.

Grilling pizzas is one of those things that you get much better at with experience, so don’t get discouraged if the first try isn’t all that sucessful.

You don’t live in the South, do you? Since it’s been averaging a thousand degrees outside for a few weeks, I’m very reluctant to crank my oven up to 500 to cook pizza. As a result I’d been wondering if I could put the pizza stone on the grill, and let the billowing waves of heat churn forth outdoors, instead of battling with our valiant air conditioner.

So, yay! Ignorance fought, and electric bill reduced, with this thread.

I read in Cooks Illustrated that when grilling pizza, one should avoid moist toppings. So for instance they salted and drained plum tomatoes for 30 minutes before putting them on. They also advocate DoctorJ’s grill cleaning method - burn it and scrub it, to avoid sticking. Finally, the created a pizza dough with bread flour for strength, a fairly high water content, and some olive oil for flavor and anti-stick properties.

This is spooky, right now I’m eating a pizza I grilled on my propane grill for the very first time. Here’s how I did it. I just took a basic pizza dough recipe and put the results directly on the grill. Then I added sauce, cheese, and toppings and let it cook for about 8 minutes. Bingo, done. The dough itself will start to cook rather rapidly do you need not fear it falling through the grates.


This was exactly the article I used. Even if you’re not a subscriber, it’s worth tracking down that issue if you want to grill pizza.

Dry toppings are key, because there’s no sauce to absorb the liquid and not enough time for it to evaporate away. I like fresh mozzarella on them, but this can be a problem.

My only concern about using a pizza stone on the grill is that you lose a lot of heat when you lift the lid on a grill, moreso that you do in an oven. I would try to just barely lift the lid enough to slip the pizza onto the stone.

And no, you don’t want to roll pizza crust out on a stone. Using a cool stone like a pizza pan has exactly the opposite of the effect that a stone is supposed to have–it’s going to pull heat away from the crust.

If you don’t have a stone and don’t feel up to trying it straight on the grate, there’s no reason why you can’t just put a sheet pan on the grill. It won’t be kind to it, but sheet pans aren’t supposed to last forever anyway. (The best $36 I ever spent for my kitchen was on six heavy-gauge half sheet pans from a restaurant supply store. The plan was to gradually replace them as I destroyed them, but they’ve turned out to be indestructible.)

Thanks for all the tips, folks! I’m gonna try it one day this week. I like meat toppings, as well as mushrooms and peppers. I’m gonna use the flip method, and par-cook some of the veggies, and I already cook the Italian sausage beforehand.

Seems to be a popular topic around here lately.

Anyway. . .for the first (and second) time, recently, I used a pizza stone on the grill. Here’s how I’ve got it broken down.

  1. Grilling pizza directly on the grates is cool, but not really that effective. It’s way too much heat directly onto bread to properly cook a pizza. By the time the crust is burning, the toppings aren’t ready, and the sauce isn’t fully warm. To remedy this, people will grill one side, flip it to a cooler part, and finish cooking. That’s a lot of work for something that is likely to still come out unevenly cooked, burnt in parts, and EVEN WHEN DONE PERFECTLY isn’t any better than. . .

  2. Cooking on a stone on the grill. Now, I’ve only done this twice now, but I’ve got to say, this is a brilliant method of cooking pizza. The stone gets hotter than you can get in your oven. With charcoal under the stone, you get great convection around the pizza, a beautiful, smoky flavor infused into the cheese and crust. This is the closest I’ve ever come to replicating a real brick-oven pizza. . .the kind I’ve only had at Egyptian pizza places.

Have you see the price of charcoal lately?

Not only did Kingsford, at some point, go from a 20 pound bag to an 18 pound bag (“hey, I found a great way to increase our margins by 10%”) but, they’re charging about $8.00 for it nowadays. It used to be about $4 for a 20 pound bag.

Good point! Actually, I’m Okie, so we usually have those temps. This year we’ve only gone over 100° a few days, just in the last couple weeks. How quickly one gets spoiled! :slight_smile: