Pizza on the Grill

pizza on a cutting board

My ideal self would have the time, skill, and motivation to build a wood fired pizza oven in my own backyard.  I would order bricks and concrete, buy a saw at Home Depot, invest in a good pair of work gloves, and download instructions from any of the myriad resources on the internet. I might even decide I need a pair of overalls for the job, since they happen to be in style at the moment.

My actual self is more likely find a way around all that heavy lifting. I’d use the time it would take to build a pizza oven to read last Sunday’s Style Section while sharing a bottle of rosé with Mr. Mom’s Kitchen. Meanwhile, pizza would be cooking on the outdoor oven I already have: Pizza on the Grill.

Outdoor Grill as Pizza Oven

Cooking pizza on the grill is a method I’ve been using for years with terrific results. The scorching temperature of the grill, along with a pizza stone as the foundation for cooking, do a bang up job of emulating the real deal. The result is a perfectly burnished crust within minutes that is superior to anything I get out of my indoor oven.

How to Make Pizza on the Grill

Here’s how it goes down:

Pizza stone on a grill

Heat A Pizza Stone

Put a pizza stone on the grates of your outdoor grill. Turn the gas to the highest heat (or get your coals going if using a charcoal barbecue) and shut the lid. Let that get as hot as it will go.  I sometimes grill vegetables at the same time, since they make a great side dish.

Pizza on the grill using a pizza peel

Use a Pizza Peel

Meanwhile, build your pizza on a well-floured pizza peel (the official term for the wooden board with a long handle you see in pizzerias). I find a pizza peel indispensable for shuffling the pies onto the grill, but you can use a floured cutting board or baking sheet without sides instead. For the dough, use your favorite store bought option or check out this recipe for no-knead pizza dough.

Pizza headed for the grill

Transfer the Pizza

Carry the pizza out to the grill, lift the lid, and carefully transfer it onto the pizza stone, pulling the pizza peel away as you lay the pizza on the stone.

Pizza grilling on a pizza stone

Cover and Bake

Cook the pizza until it is very crisp along the bottom and bubbly on top. I use tongs to pull it off of the stone and onto a cutting board.

Cut right into that beauty and enjoy, perhaps with last Sunday’s Style Section and a glass of rosé .

Another Option

This is not the only way to do pizza on the grill, it’s just the best way I’ve found. If you don’t have a pizza stone, my friend Chris, a skilled home cook, recommends building your pizza on a baking sheet and setting the baking sheet on the grill. When the pizza is firm enough to transfer, slide it directly onto the grill grates and cook until crispy.

If you like Pizza on the Grill, you might like these other pizza recipes:

Sheet Pan Pizza

Easy Lavash Pizza

Greek Pizza with Pourable Crust

Middle Eastern Lamb Pizza

5 from 1 vote

Pizza on the Grill

The scorching hot temperature of an outdoor grill, with the addition of a pizza stone, does a fine job of emulating a pizza oven. The result is a crispy, beautifully burnished crust all done in an ordinary barbecue.


  • 1 pound pizza dough , homemade or store bought
  • Tomato sauce or pesto sauce
  • Shredded Mozzarella or other firm grating cheese (or sliced fresh Mozzarella)
  • Favorite toppings , such as arugula, olives, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearst, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and prosciutto


  1. Put a pizza stone on the center of the grill. Turn the grill to the highest setting. For a charcoal grill, get the charcoal going. Close the lid to the grill.
  2. Divide the pizza dough into 2 equal balls. Lightly coat pizza peel or a wooden cutting board with flour. Roll out one ball of dough into a very thin circle (9 or 10-inches in diameter) that is slightly thicker around the edges for the crust. As you are rolling, periodically check to see that the dough isn't sticking at all to the wood. If it is, scatter a little more flour on the board.
  3. Once the dough is rolled out, jostle the pizza peel to be sure the pizza will be able to move freely off the board when the time comes. Lightly brush or spoon tomato sauce or pesto sauce onto the pizza, leaving the crust free of sauce. Be careful not to drip sauce onto the edges of the dough or the board, since that will cause the dough to stick to the board. If you do get sauce on the pizza peel, wipe it away and put some flour between board and dough to prevent sticking.
  4. Sprinkle cheese over the top of the pizza and finish with favorite toppings.
  5. Once the pizza oven is piping hot, open the lid and carefully transfer the pizza from the peel to the stone. Tilting and jiggling the board as you transfer the pizza will help it along.
  6. Shut the lid and bake until the dough is firm and crusty and the cheese is bubbling. This can go as quickly as a couple of minutes. Once done, use tongs to pull the pizza off the grill onto a cutting board.
  7. While the first pizza cooks, assemble the remaining pizza on the peel.

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07.14.2019 at3:14 PM #

richard neutz

Hello, I have not yet used your pizza cooking method. I want to, but I have 2 questions … 1. How long do you heat the stone on high? … 2. When you place the pizza on the stone, do you keep grill temp on high and do you shut the lid?

Thanks for your time and your cooking technique.

R. Neutz

07.14.2019 at3:14 PM #

Katie Morford

Great questions! I would suggest heating the stone for at least 10 minutes. You keep the grill as hot as possible the entire time you are cooking the pizza and you shut the lid once the pizza is on the stone. The idea is to emulate a pizza oven, which can cook at temperatures north of 700 degrees.

07.14.2019 at9:40 PM #


Where do you buy the stone? I have a pampered chef one. Will that work

07.14.2019 at9:40 PM #

Katie Morford

I’m sure the one you have will be great!

05.24.2020 at5:05 AM #


We don’t have a stone. Will it work with our pizza pan on the grill do you think?

05.24.2020 at5:05 AM #

Katie Morford

Yes. You can actually cook it partway in the pizza pan and when it’s good and firm, you can slide it right on the grill grates as long as the flame isn’t high.

07.11.2021 at4:53 PM #


Just wanted to let you know that the pizzas were excellent but don’t use a pampered chef stone. Mine broke into 4 pieces as soon as I put them on the stone.

07.11.2021 at4:53 PM #

Katie Morford

Oh gosh, sorry to hear that. Thanks for sharing. So your stone broke when you laid down the pizzas? Or your stone broke when you put them on the grill. I do think that putting the stone down before heating the grill can make a difference, but perhaps some stones can’t withstand the heat.

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