If you’ve never grilled pizza it will be a revelation of flavor. The smoky, lightly charred crust is completely addictive.
I’ll eat pizza any time and we have a favorite local spot for takeout. Homemade pizza tends to be a summer specialty at our house because I like to make pizza outside on the grill.
I have both a gas and a charcoal grill, but I always use charcoal for pizza. I love the smokey flavor the charcoal imparts on the dough and I love the charred bits on the bottom of the crust.
You could probably use the same method on a gas grill by lighting the side burners and leaving the middle burner off. I’ve never made it on the gas grill so you’d have to work out the method by trial and error.
I’ve been making pizza over charcoal for almost 20 years, and I would say it took about 10 years to figure out a system that works for me every time. It took many burnt crusts (and fingers) to come up with this method.
If you love this charcoal grilled pizza as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.
- 1 Recipe Easy Pizza Dough
- 2 cups Tomato Sauce of your choice
- 1 Pound Mozzarella Cheese
- Charcoal Grill
- Charcoal Chimney
- Pizza Peel
- 2 large grill spatulas
- Pastry brush
- Using hardwood charcoal, build a split fire. Put 1/2 the coals on each side of the grill and leave an open space between. (If your charcoal grill is too small to do a split fire you can try the same method with one hot side and one cool side.) Place the grate over the fire and allow it to heat up for 5 minutes. Use a grill brush to clean the grate. Hold a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil with long grill tongs and oil the grate.
- Slide the dough onto the grate between the two sides of the fire. Poke it all over with a fork to pop the bubbles that will form as soon as the dough hits the heat.
- After a minute or two the edges of the dough closest to the fire should no longer be raw. Use two large spatulas to spin the dough a quarter turn so that the two sides closest to the coals are away from the heat and the other two sides are now facing the coals. Lift the dough occasionally to make sure no spots are burning.
- After about 4-5 minutes the first side of the dough should be baked and just lightly browned. Use the two spatulas to flip the dough over.
- Brush the baked side with olive oil and then add the toppings. Keep an eye on the bottom of the dough and continue to spin quarter turns to avoid burnt spots (personally, I like a little char). Sometimes I'll move the pie over one of the hot spots very briefly to evenly brown the bottom of the crust.
- You can remove the pizza from the grill and finish baking it in the oven if the bottom of the crust is done baking before the toppings are ready. I usually preheat the oven so I can finish baking the first pizza while I put the second pizza on the grill.
- 1 1/4 cups (10oz, 300 ml) warm water
- 1 packet ((2 1/4 teaspoons, 7g) instant dry yeast
- About 3 cups (15 oz, 420g) all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- In a mixer bowl combine the water, yeast and 1 1/2 cups of the flour and mix until it looks like pancake batter. Cover the bowl and set aside for 30 minutes.
- If using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook.
- Add the salt and olive oil. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour 1/4 cup at a time. The dough will begin to clear the sides of the bowl and gather on the hook. If mixing by hand continue with a spoon or spatula until the dough becomes too thick then turn the dough out onto a floured surface and finish kneading in the flour by hand.
- Increase the speed to medium and knead for 3-4 minutes or knead by hand for 5-6 minutes. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead into a smooth ball.
- Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and turn it over to coat the surface. Cover the bowl and leave in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- If you're baking the pizza in the oven, preheat it to 450° F. If you have a pizza stone preheat that too. Alternately, try grilling the pizzas for a special smokey flavor.
- Dump the dough onto a floured surface, do not knead out the air. Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut the dough into 2 equal pieces.
- Gently form each piece into a ball by tucking the sides under the dough. Using the tips of your fingers, gently flatten and press the dough into a disc.
- Drape the dough disc over your two fists and pull from the edges to slowly enlarge the disc to about 12-14" around. Alternately, you can roll the dough with a rolling pin but I think the texture is better if you form the dough by hand.
- Place each pizza round onto a wooden peel, pizza pan or baking sheet sprinkled heavily with corn meal.
- Finish with your choice of toppings and proceed to bake or grill.