Discover the joy of grilling pizza without a stone, as we guide you through the simple steps to achieve that perfect crispy crust and delicious smoky flavor.
Pizza is one of the most beloved foods in the world. Its crispy crust, gooey cheese, and endless toppings make it a go-to meal for any occasion.
And while pizza is traditionally cooked in an oven or on a stone, have you ever considered cooking it on the grill? Not only does grilling pizza add a smoky flavor to your pie, but it also gives you that coveted crispy crust without having to invest in a pricey pizza stone. In this article, we’ll show you how to cook pizza on the grill without a stone and achieve restaurant-quality results right in your own backyard.
So grab your favorite toppings and let’s get grilling!
Choosing the Right Grill
While any type of grill can be used for cooking pizza, some are better suited than others. Gas grills are a popular choice due to their convenience and ability to maintain consistent heat levels.
Charcoal grills, on the other hand, provide that smoky flavor that many people love in grilled foods.
If you’re using a gas grill, make sure it has at least two burners so you can create different temperature zones for cooking your pizza. This will allow you to cook your crust on one side while melting cheese and toppings on the other.
For charcoal grills, use natural lump charcoal instead of briquettes as they burn hotter and produce less ash which makes them ideal for high-heat cooking like pizzas.
Preparing the Pizza Dough
You can either make your own dough from scratch or purchase pre-made dough from a local grocery store. If making your own, be sure to follow a recipe that is specifically designed for grilling as the process may differ slightly from traditional oven-baked pizza.
When preparing the dough, it’s important to let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before rolling or stretching it out. This allows the gluten in the flour to relax and makes shaping easier.
If using pre-made dough, remove it from its packaging and allow it to come up in temperature before handling. Dust both sides of each ball of prepared or homemade pizza with flour so they don’t stick together when stacked on top of one another.
The beauty of making pizza on the grill is that you can get creative with your toppings and experiment with different flavors. However, keep in mind that some ingredients may cook faster than others on the grill.
When selecting toppings for grilled pizza, it’s best to choose those that are not too heavy or watery as they can make the crust soggy. Opt for fresh vegetables like bell peppers, onions, mushrooms or cherry tomatoes which will add a burst of flavor and color to your pie.
For meat lovers out there who want something more substantial than veggies alone; consider using thinly sliced meats such as prosciutto or salami instead of thicker cuts like ham or bacon which take longer to cook through.
Remember: less is often more when it comes to topping a grilled pizza! Too many ingredients piled high could weigh down the crust and cause uneven cooking.
Assembling the Pizza
The beauty of making pizza on the grill is that you can get creative with your ingredients and experiment with different flavors. However, keep in mind that less is often more when it comes to toppings – too many ingredients can weigh down the crust and make it soggy.
Start by spreading a thin layer of tomato sauce or pesto over the dough, leaving about half an inch around the edges for a crispy crust. Then add cheese – mozzarella is traditional but feel free to mix things up with other types like provolone or fontina.
Next come your chosen toppings – sliced vegetables like bell peppers, onions or mushrooms; cured meats such as pepperoni or prosciutto; fresh herbs like basil leaves are all great options. Be sure not to overload on any one ingredient so that everything cooks evenly.
Preheating the Grill
This will ensure that the temperature is consistent and that your pizza cooks evenly. Preheating also helps to prevent sticking and makes it easier to slide the pizza onto the grill.
To preheat your grill, turn all burners on high for 10-15 minutes with the lid closed. This will heat up both sides of the grates and create a hot surface for cooking.
Once you’ve finished preheating, use a wire brush or scraper tool to clean any debris off of your grates before placing down your dough. A clean grate ensures that nothing sticks or burns onto your crust while cooking.
Creating a Barrier
To avoid this, you need to create a barrier between the dough and the grill. There are several ways to do this, but one of our favorites is using cornmeal or flour.
Sprinkle some cornmeal or flour on your work surface before rolling out your dough. This will help prevent it from sticking and make it easier to transfer onto the grill.
Once you’ve rolled out your dough, carefully transfer it onto a sheet of parchment paper dusted with more cornmeal or flour. The parchment paper will act as another layer between your pizza and the hot grates.
When you’re ready to cook, slide both pizza and parchment paper directly onto preheated grill grates (cornmeal/flour side down). After about 2-3 minutes into cooking time use tongs/ spatula remove any excess burnt bits that may have stuck on top of crust while cooking so far.
Grilling the Pizza
Place the pizza on the grill using a large spatula or pizza peel. Be careful not to tear the dough as you transfer it onto the hot surface.
Close the lid of your grill and let cook for 2-3 minutes before checking on it. Use tongs or a spatula to lift up one edge of your crust gently; if there are char marks underneath, then rotate 90 degrees with either tongs or by sliding back onto peel/spatula and rotating that way (depending on how big/awkwardly shaped).
Continue cooking until both sides are crispy and golden brown, usually around 5-7 minutes total depending on thickness of crust.
If your grill has a built-in thermometer, use that as a guide. The ideal temperature for grilling pizza is between 450-500°F (230-260°C).
However, if your grill doesn’t have a thermometer or you want to be extra precise, invest in an instant-read digital thermometer and insert it into the center of the pizza after about 5 minutes of cooking time. This will give you an accurate reading of how hot your pizza is getting and whether or not adjustments need to be made.
It’s also important to keep in mind that different toppings may require different cooking times and temperatures. For example, vegetables tend to cook faster than meats or cheeses so adjust accordingly by rotating them more frequently or moving them away from direct heat if necessary.
Rotating for Even Cooking
After a few minutes of grilling, use tongs or a spatula to rotate the pizza 180 degrees. This will help cook both sides evenly and prevent any hot spots on your grill from causing uneven cooking or burnt crusts.
If you’re using a gas grill, it’s also important to adjust the burners as needed for even heating. For example, if one side of your grill is hotter than the other, move your pizza around accordingly so that it cooks evenly.
Remember not to rotate too frequently as this can cause temperature fluctuations in your grill and affect how well-cooked your pizza turns out. A good rule of thumb is rotating every 2-3 minutes until fully cooked.
Checking for Doneness
The easiest way to do this is by using a spatula or tongs and lifting up one side of the crust. If the bottom is golden brown and crispy, then your pizza is ready! You can also use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature of your toppings has reached 165°F (74°C).
Keep in mind that cooking times may vary depending on factors such as grill temperature, thickness of dough, and amount of toppings used. It’s always better to err on the side of caution when grilling pizza for the first time – you can always put it back on if needed! With these tips in mind, you’re now ready to impress your friends and family with delicious homemade grilled pizzas without needing a stone.
Removing the Pizza Safely
Be careful! The last thing you want is for all of your hard work to go down the drain because you didn’t take proper precautions when removing the pizza. To safely remove your grilled pizza, use a large spatula or two smaller ones and gently slide them under the crust.
Lift up slowly and carefully until you have enough clearance to grab onto with tongs or oven mitts.
It’s important not to let any toppings fall off during this process as they can cause burns if they land on skin or clothing. Once you have a good grip on the pizza, lift it off of the grill and place it onto a cutting board.
Letting your freshly grilled pie rest for just a few minutes before slicing will allow all those delicious flavors meld together perfectly while also preventing any cheese from sliding right off when cut into slices.
Slicing and Serving
Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the pie into slices of your desired size. Be sure to let the pizza rest for a few minutes before slicing so that the cheese has time to set and won’t slide off as you cut.
When serving grilled pizza, consider adding some finishing touches like fresh herbs or grated Parmesan cheese on top. You can also drizzle some olive oil over the finished product for added flavor.
Grilled pizzas are perfect for sharing with friends and family at backyard gatherings or even as an easy weeknight dinner option.
Step-by-Step Guide On Cooking Pizza On The Grill Without a Stone
First things first, make sure you have all your ingredients and tools ready before starting. You’ll need pizza dough, toppings of your choice, a rolling pin or your hands for shaping the dough, olive oil or cooking spray for greasing the grill grates and tongs for handling hot pizzas.
Step 1: Preheat Your Grill Preheat your grill on high heat with all burners turned up until it reaches around 500°F (260°C). This will ensure that when you place the pizza on the grill surface later in Step 7 below; it will cook evenly.
Step 2: Prepare Your Pizza Dough Roll out or shape your prepared pizza dough into desired size and thickness using flour as needed so that they don’t stick together while being grilled.
Step3: Add Toppings To The Pizza Dough Add sauce followed by cheese then any other toppings of choice onto one side of each rolled-out piece before folding over gently pressing edges together creating an enclosed pocket filled with deliciousness!
No Pizza Stone? You Can Still Grill It!
One of the best ways to do this is by using a cast-iron skillet or griddle. Simply place the skillet on the grill and let it preheat for 10-15 minutes before adding your prepared dough.
Another option is to use heavy-duty aluminum foil as a makeshift “stone.” Roll out your dough onto the foil and add toppings as desired. Then, carefully transfer it onto the preheated grill with tongs or a spatula.
No matter which method you choose, be sure to keep an eye on your pizza while it cooks. The high heat of grilling can cause pizzas without stones or skillets to cook faster than expected, so check frequently for any signs of burning.
Get the Dough Ready
You can either make your own pizza dough from scratch or purchase pre-made dough from a local grocery store. If making your own, be sure to follow a recipe that is specifically designed for grilling as this will ensure that the crust holds up well on the grill.
When working with pizza dough, it’s important to let it come to room temperature before stretching or rolling out. This allows for easier handling and prevents tearing of the delicate gluten strands in the dough.
To stretch out your pizza crust by hand, start by dusting a clean surface with flour and placing your ball of room-temperature pizza dough onto it. Use both hands to gently press down on top of the ball while simultaneously pushing outward towards its edges until you have achieved an even thickness throughout.
Prepare the Toppings and Heat the Grill
The beauty of grilling pizza is that you can get creative with your ingredients and experiment with different flavors. Whether you prefer classic margherita or something more adventurous like BBQ chicken, the possibilities are endless.
While preparing the toppings, preheat your grill on high heat for about 10-15 minutes until it reaches a temperature of around 500°F (260°C). This will ensure that your grill is hot enough to cook the pizza quickly and evenly.
Assemble all of your desired toppings in separate bowls so they’re easy to access when assembling the pizzas later on. It’s important not to overload each pie as this can make them difficult to handle while cooking.
Once everything is prepped and ready, reduce heat on one side of the grill by turning off one burner or moving coals aside if using charcoal grills. This creates an indirect heating zone where we’ll place our pizzas later during cooking process.
Shape the Pizza Dough
Start by dusting a clean surface with flour and place the dough on top. Using your hands or a rolling pin, gently stretch the dough into your desired shape – round or rectangular – making sure that it is evenly thick throughout.
Be careful not to overwork the dough as this can cause gluten strands to break down and result in a tough crust. If you find that the dough is difficult to work with, let it rest for 5-10 minutes before continuing.
Remember that when grilling pizza without a stone, thinner crusts tend to cook more evenly than thicker ones. So aim for an even thickness of about 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) all around.
Once you’ve shaped your pizza base, transfer it onto parchment paper lightly dusted with cornmeal or flour so that they don’t stick while cooking on grill grates.
Oil the Grill
This will prevent sticking and ensure that your crust comes out perfectly crispy. To do this, dip a folded paper towel in vegetable or canola oil and use tongs to rub it over the grates.
Be sure not to use too much oil as this can cause flare-ups and burn your pizza.
Another option is using a spray bottle filled with cooking spray or olive oil instead of rubbing with paper towels. Once you’ve oiled the grill, let it heat up for another 5-10 minutes before adding your pizza.
Tips and Tricks
Here are some expert suggestions for achieving the perfect grilled pizza every time.
1. Use high-quality ingredients: The key to any great dish is using fresh, high-quality ingredients.
Choose ripe tomatoes, flavorful cheeses, and fresh herbs for maximum flavor.
2. Keep it simple: While it can be tempting to load up your pizza with all of your favorite toppings, remember that less is often more when grilling pizzas.
Stick with just a few toppings so they don’t overwhelm the crust or each other.
3. Don’t overload the dough: When adding sauce or cheese onto your dough before grilling make sure not too add too much as this will cause them both slide off during cooking.
4. Oil everything well: Make sure you oil everything from grill grates ,pizza peel etc. This helps prevent sticking.
5. Watch out for flare-ups: Grilled pizzas tend to have higher fat content than oven-baked ones which means there’s always risk of flare-ups. Be prepared by having water handy in case flames get out of control.
By following these tips and tricks along with our step-by-step guide on cooking pizza on the grill without a stone ,you’ll soon become an expert at making delicious grilled pizzas right in your own backyard!
What can I use if I don’t have a pizza stone?</strong>
If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can use a preheated large cast iron skillet upside down, set on a sheet pan for safety and ease.
How do you grill pizza without burning the crust?
To grill pizza without burning the crust, check the bottom of the crust every few minutes, and consider flash-grilling the dough at 500 degrees Fahrenheit on each side until fully cooked.
What are the best techniques to ensure even cooking of grilled pizza without a stone?
One effective technique to ensure even cooking of grilled pizza without a stone is to preheat the grill, use a well-oiled pizza pan or heavy-duty aluminum foil, and rotate the pizza periodically for uniform heat distribution.
Can I use any alternative surfaces or tools to make grilled pizza without a stone?
Yes, you can use alternative surfaces like a cast iron skillet or a baking sheet to make grilled pizza without a stone.
How can I keep the toppings from falling through the grill grates while cooking pizza without a stone?
To prevent toppings from falling through the grill grates while cooking pizza without a stone, place the pizza on a preheated and greased grill-safe pan or use aluminum foil.