Pizza Stone for Grill – A Step by Step Guide for Grilling Pizza
If it’s your first time making grilled pizza, you’re in for quite a treat! Cooking pizza on the grill turns out incredible pizza with an extra crispy base and perfectly melted toppings because of the high heat of this cooking environment. It’s not hard to do either! With a quality pizza stone for grilling and a bit of practice, you’ll soon get the hang of it and be wanting home grilled pizza every night of the week (don’t say we didn’t warn you!). To get started, here’s a step by step guide to bbq pizza.
Why Grill Pizza with a Pizza Stone?
Grilled pizza cooked on the best pizza stone for grill is without a doubt the best way to cook pizza at home!
If you’ve ever wondered why restaurant quality, wood-fired pizza is so good, it all comes down to the simple fact that professional pizza ovens are so much hotter than regular home ovens. And, because your grill is capable of reaching higher temperatures than your indoor oven, it’s the best way for you to cook authentic pizza. You can totally do it without even having to leave your yard.
When you cook pizza on the grill, the base will turn out crispier and the toppings will be melted to perfection! But, depending on which type of fuel you use in your grill, you’ll also get that slightly smoky flavor and a nicely charred crust that instantly transports you to the Italian pizza parlor of your dreams.
However, there’s also a few practical reasons why you should bbq pizza. First, you won’t have to heat your oven up and make your house hot during summer and, secondly, it makes for an almost effortless but oh-so-good meal for entertaining. Simply grab a selection of ingredients, fire up the grill and ask your guests to make their own. It’s a great way to break the ice between a large group of friends and providse a bit of entertainment while everyone gets the exact pizza toppings they love the most. You can even cater to specific dietary requirements by having gluten free bases, vegetarian options or simply leaving the cheese off for dairy-free. Once everyone’s gone home, the cleanup job will be minimal too. What’s not to love about that?!?
The Science Behind Grilled Pizza
When it comes to cooking authentic pizza on the bbq, you’ll be doing it the traditional way. This means that there’s no pre-cooking the base on both sides beforehand. Instead, you’ll simply make the dough, roll it out, top it and then throw it on your grill pizza stone. Because of this, you’ll need a high-quality pizza stone for grilling and use the right temperature both for the cooking surface and for the air around your pizza to turn out an evenly cooked pizza.
Setting Up Your Grill for Cooking Pizza
If you tried to cook pizza directly over the heat source on your grill, you’ll most likely be left with a burnt crust and raw toppings. A pizza stone will actually shield the pizza from the intense heat of the grill, the pizza can be slid directly onto the stone without having to go to elaborate extremes to build indirect heat zones or buy another type of shield.
Using a gas grill is generally the easiest option when combined with a pizza stone for a grill. Preheat it by turning on all the burners. This will help your pizza stone for bbq to get nice and hot. When it’s up to a temperature of between 500 and 600 (depending on the chef), just slide the pizza on the stone and close the lid. Some cooks like to grill their pizza at temperatures well over the 425 that is usual for an oven baked pizza. Cooking fast is great and can lead to wonderful tastes and textures, just be sure to check the pizza more often, it can cook in just minutes at such high temperatures.
On a charcoal or wood-fired grill, the Cast Elegance stone can handle the direct heat of the fire and perform well at high temps. The Cast Elegance stone is often bought for the Big Green Egg and Kamado style grills to use as a heat diffuser. It does an excellent job of shielding and grilling the pizza at the same time, there is no need to buy another expensive add on to deflect or diffuse the heat.
The Ideal Temperature for Using A Pizza Stone for Grill
The exact temperature you should use to cook pizza on the grill depends on what type of grill you’re using, it’s size, ventilation, the amount of empty air space under the hood, how warm the weather is that day, your grill pizza stone and the thickness of your pizza base and toppings. As such, you can see that there’s no ‘golden’ temperature when it comes to cooking pizza on the grill.
In order to find the right temperature, you’ll probably need a bit of practice to find your sweet spot. However, to start you off, we suggest heating your grill to approximately 500-600°F. You should always heat your pizza stone on the grill at the same time that you are preheating your bbq. The Cast Elegance stone can handle the extreme temperature of being put on a hot grill when the stone is cold, but the stone should be at the cooking temperature to simulate the wonderful brick oven style of cooking that chefs are aiming for. The proper technique is to have a very hot stone to slide the pizza on and then shut the cover for a few minutes.
The Trick to Evenly Grilled Pizza
Using a quality pizza stone for grill, will not only act to protect your toppings from burning under the high heat of your grill, it’ll help to ensure that your pizza crust is perfectly crispy and not soggy. However, to turn out perfectly barbecued pizza, there are a few other key tricks. Firstly, start with a thinner style of crust that’ll cook all the way through quickly and, secondly, use pre-cooked ingredients so that you don’t need to wait for raw foods like meats to cook thoroughly in the radiant heat. This will help to ensure that your cheese is melted and the pizza toppings are hot and ready to eat by the time your dough is just starting to char.
If the crust cooks too quickly, simply turn the temperature down a little the next time so that the toppings can heat without the base burning.
What You Need for Grilled Pizza
The best tip when it comes to making great grilled pizza is to start off by being organized! Although you do need quite a few different ingredients and tools to bbq pizza, the whole process is very simple once you’ve got them all laid out. So, to make it easy on yourself, make sure that you’ve got:
- A gas, charcoal or wood-fired grill – Any of these will work but charcoal and wood-fired grills will turn out a smokier tasting pizza. Make sure the stone is heated to the 500 or 600 target temperature before the pizza is slid on the stone.
- A high-quality pizza stone for grill – Not all pizza stones can handle the high-heat that’s created from your grill. As such, you’ll need one that’s made from an extra durable material with thermal shock capability. This will prevent it from shattering as the temperature changes. Our Cast Elegance pizza stone for grill is designed for you to use on your home bbq.
- Sharp knife or pizza cutter – This is an essential if you’d like to share pizzas. Otherwise, a knife and fork for each guest will do the job.
- Pizza dough or store-bought pizza bases – You’ll find one of our favorite pizza dough recipes that’s quite and easy to make below.
- Pizza sauce – Stick with the tried and true, tomato pizza sauce or mix it up by trying something different such as cranberry or bbq. Make your own or buy one from the store.
- Your choice of toppings – Get creative with what you’d like to use to top your pizza. However, we’ve left some suggestions below too.
- Pizza cheese – Again, it’s up to you to choose which type of cheese you’d like to use on your pizza. Things such as mozzarella, Asiago, Swiss and Parmesan work well. However, feta, ricotta and blue cheese are also popular choices for crumbling on top.
Our Favorite Pizza Dough Recipe
While you there’s nothing wrong with opting for store-bought pizza doughs, making your own dough from scratch does instigate a bit of extra pride in your home grilled pizza. And, the great thing is that making your own pizza dough for the bbq is quick, easy and inexpensive.
There’s a few different types of pizza doughs that are suitable for cooking on the grill. However, thinner styles generally work the best as they’ll cook through faster than pan-thick options. We love a hearty base that’s a bit more crunchy and solid for cooking over the grill. If you do too, try the pizza dough recipe for the grill below. This recipe makes enough for 1, 14” thin pizza crust and will cook perfectly on our Cast Elegance pizza stone for grill. Simply multiply the ingredients if you want to make more.
- ½ tsp instant yeast
- ¾ cup warm (not hot) water
- 2 cups plain flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Combine the yeast with warm water by stirring it gently in a small bowl. Let it stand for approximately 2 minutes until it’s well dissolved.
- In a separate, large bowl, combine the flour and salt and mix in the olive oil 1 tbsp at a time.
- Once combined, pour in the yeast water and gently stir with a mixer or by hand. This should take about 1 minute and it’s alright if there are still lumps.
- Work the dough into a ball and cover with a thin layer of olive oil before returning to the bowl and leaving, covered with a wet tea towel in a warm place for about 1 hour to rise.
- After the dough has at least doubled in size, press it out to make a base that fits on your pizza stone for grill. Alternatively, keep it covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Inspiration for Your Grilled Pizza Toppings
While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a standard margarita pizza cooked on a pizza stone for grill, this is also your opportunity to get a little creative! Almost any quality ingredient is perfect for topping your home grilled pizza. So, use up the leftovers, check on your best farmers market finds or head to the shops to create something special. Here are some ideas to top your grilled pizza:
- Prosciutto – Marinara sauce, fresh crushed garlic, sliced prosciutto, fresh basil and sliced mozzarella
- Meat lovers – Barbecue sauce, salami, bacon and sausage
- Sweet delight – Cranberry sauce, poached chicken and sliced brie or camembert
- Seafood sensation – Marinara sauce, shrimp, arugula and avocado
- Vegetarian lovers – Marinara sauce, mushrooms, bell peppers, olives, red onion and baby spinach
Steps for Cooking Pizza on the Grill
Once you’ve got everything you need to make incredible grilled pizza at home, follow these simple steps:
- Preheat your pizza stone for grill – Once you’ve set your grill up, place your pizza stone on grill and turn on the heat. Leave it for 30 minutes to an hour to heat thoroughly with the lid closed.
- Prepare your ingredients – While your grill and pizza stone is preheating, take the chance to prepare your ingredients. This means pre-cooking raw ingredients such as chicken, sausage, shrimp and onion, slicing vegetables and grating cheese.
- Assemble your pizza – Once your ingredients are ready, shape your pizza dough and place it on a plate or paddle with a bit of flour underneath to prevent it from sticking. Top with sauce, meat, vegetables and cheese. Be careful not to overload the pizza with toppings as this will make it harder to cook on the grill.
- Cook your pizza on the grill – Transfer your uncooked pizza onto your warm pizza stone by gently sliding it with a large paddle. To prevent the dough from sticking, dust the stone with cornmeal before sliding the pizza on. Close the lid and cook for approximately 10-12 minutes or until the crust has browned and the cheese is nicely melted. Depending on your grill setup, you might want to rotate your pizza at the halfway mark so that the crust cooks evenly on the side that’s closest to the heat.
Serve your grilled pizza – Once cooked, remove your grilled pizza from the stone using a paddle. Slice and serve hot! Leave your pizza stone on the grill ready to cook the next one or if you’re done, let it cool down with your grill.