How to Grill Pizza

If you’ve never grilled pizza before, you’re in for a treat. Follow step-by-step instructions and our grilled pizza recipe for the best pizza you’ve ever made at home!

Pizza grilling on a grill

Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

The first time I heard of making pizza on a grill all I could think of was, why would anyone want to do that?

Now that I've done it more than a few times I can think of several reasons, the first being who wants to heat up an oven to 450°F or higher on a hot summer day?

Grilled Pizza is a Game-Changer

If you use a grill to make pizza, you can keep the heat outside where it belongs. Grills also better mimic a wood fired oven than your conventional indoor oven.

Whether using charcoal or gas, the smoke from the grill will help give your pizza great flavor that you simply cannot get from a regular oven.

It's also easy! No, the pizza dough does not fall through the grill grates. Assuming you've properly heated the grill, your dough will form a lovely lightly browned crust.

How to Grill Pizza
Elise Bauer

How to Grill Pizza the Smart Way

The trick is that you cook the plain dough first, on one side, on the grill. Then remove it, flip it, brush the grilled side with sauce and toppings, and return the pizza to the grill for final cooking.

Need a Homemade Pizza Dough Recipe?

This is a quick how-to on the grilling steps. I'm assuming that you already have pizza dough ready to go, but if not, we have a great recipe here on our homemade pizza post.

How to Grill Pizza
Elise Bauer

Make Ahead Instructions

  • Dough: Make a double batch of the dough, let it rise, then divide it, wrap it in plastic and freeze it. Then, when you want pizza for dinner, take the dough out of the freezer and put it into the fridge before you go to work, and when you come home take it out of the fridge and put the dough on the counter to warm while you heat up the grill.
  • Pre-grill crusts: Just stretch out the dough and grill it lightly on both sides. Let the crust cool on a rack so that the heat and steam on the underside of the crust don't make it soggy. You can make several this way, a few hours ahead of time. Then when you are ready to grill again, paint the crusts with sauce, add toppings, and grill.
grilled pizza

Simply Recipes / Elise Bauer

The Best Pizza Toppings for Grilled Pizza

Any topping you put on pizza baked in the oven can go on grilled pizza, but because the grilling time is only 2 to 3 minutes once the toppings go on, many toppings will still be raw when the pizza is done. For vegetables, that's fine if you don't mind them super crunchy, or you can cook them before putting them on the pizza. But, for meats, that's a problem. Any meat you put on top of this grilled pizza must be pre-cooked.

Whichever toppings you choose, go light with them or your pizza will be heavy and soggy.

Winning Sauces for Grilled Pizza

Store-bought sauce works just fine, but if you want to make your own, we have recipes!

More Homemade Pizza Recipes to Try

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

How to Grill Pizza

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings
Yield 2 grilled pizzas

Make pizza dough from scratch using our pizza dough recipe. Alternatively, you may be able to find prepared pizza dough in the frozen foods section at your local supermarket.


  • Pizza dough (if using our pizza dough recipe note that it makes enough dough for 2 pizzas)

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • All-purpose flour or corn meal to dust the cookie sheet or pizza peel

Optional toppings

  • Tomato sauce

  • Herbs

  • Cheese (mozzarella is the best)

  • Onions, thinly sliced

  • Tomatoes

  • Mushrooms

  • Pepperoni


  1. Prep grill and toppings:

    Prepare the grill for high direct heat. Prepare a small bowl with olive oil for greasing the grill grates and for brushing the pizza. Prepare the toppings so they are ready to go on the pizza—tomato sauce, cheese, and anything else you wish.

  2. Stretch and shape the pizza dough:

    Shape the pizza dough by flattening it with your hands on a slightly floured surface. Either use your fingers to stretch the dough out, or hold up the edges of the dough with your fingers, letting the dough hang and stretch, while working around the edges of the dough.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer

    Once you've stretched the dough, let it sit for 5 minutes and then push out the edges with your fingers again, until you have a nice round shape, about 12-inches in diameter. Do not make a raised rim, it will interfere with the grilling process.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer

    Simple Tip!

    Note that if you are preparing the pizza dough for a party, you can make several pizza dough rounds, stack them separated by parchment paper, and keep them in the refrigerator for up to two hours before cooking.

  3. Grill one side of the pizza dough:

    Once the grill is hot (you can hold your hands an inch over the grates for no more than 2 seconds), dip a tightly folded up paper towel in olive oil and use tongs to wipe the grill grates.

    Then place a pizza dough round on a lightly floured (or you can use cornmeal) rimless cookie sheet (or pizza peel if you have one).

    Let the dough slide off the cookie sheet onto the hot grill grates.

    Close the lid of the grill and let cook for 2 minutes.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
  4. Check the dough and look for air bubbles:

    After 2 minutes, open the grill and check underneath the dough to see if it is getting browned. If it is on one side, but not another, use a spatula or tongs to rotate the dough 90 degrees and cook for another minute.

    If it is not beginning to brown, cover the grill and continue to cook a minute at a time until the bottom has begun to brown.

    It should only take a couple minutes if you have a hot grill. The top of the pizza dough will start bubbling up with air pockets.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
  5. Remove grilled dough and flip it over onto a cookie sheet:

    Once the pizza dough has browned lightly on one side, use your cookie sheet or pizza peel to remove it from the grill. Use a spatula to flip the dough over so that the grilled side is now up. Keep the grill covered so it retains its heat for the next step.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
  6. Brush with olive oil, add toppings:

    Paint the grilled surface of the pizza with a little extra virgin olive oil, then cover with 1 ladle of sauce—no more, or you'll end up with a soggy pizza.

    Sprinkle on your toppings, ending with Mozzarella cheese (if using), and if using meat, put that over the cheese.

    Remember to go light on the toppings, or your pizza will be heavy and soggy.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
  7. Slide the topped pizza back onto the grill:

    If you are using a gas grill, reduce the heat. If working with a charcoal grill, close the vents on the cover almost all the way. Close the lid and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, or until the bottom begins to char and the cheese is bubbly. Pull off the grate with a spatula onto a cutting board or other flat surface and let rest for a couple minutes before cutting into slices.

    Slice and serve!

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
259 Calories
9g Fat
37g Carbs
8g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 259
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 9mg 3%
Sodium 465mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 113mg 9%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 132mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.