You don’t need to order every time you want pizza – you can go out to your backyard and grill it yourself with the help of your trusty grill and pizza stone. Yes, a pizza stone on top of a grill! Though pizza stones are typically used in an oven, it’s also an excellent tool to use in the grill. Grilling the pizza offers you an added smoky flavor that will be unmatched by any oven. The stone will also help the crust become crispy because it absorbs moisture while cooking. It can also mimic the heat and surface of a brick oven at home.
How to Use Pizza Stone for Grilling Pizza on a Gas Grill
Grilled pizza on a pizza stone is probably the best and easiest way to cook your pizza at home. But it’s always better if you do it properly.
1. Choose the right pizza stone for the grill.
Not all pizza stones are suitable for grilling, and the stone you use to bake pizzas in the oven might not work well with a grill. Because you will be placing a stone over direct flames, you need to make sure that the stone you use can handle that kind of heat. The last thing you want is to invite some company over for a pizza party just to have the stone crack and explode. Always look for the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure if it’s grill-safe. If you’re planning to buy a good grilling stone, search online for pizza stones that are specially intended for use at the grill.
2. Preheat your pizza stone.
The great thing about a pizza stone is that it retains a lot of heat, but you need to preheat it before it’s ready to create beautifully golden-brown, crispy, and melty pizzas. While your grill is off, place the pizza stone on top of the grill grates. Make sure the grill is at room temperature before placing the stone on it, as a cold or room-temperature stone on an even moderately hot grill can cause it to break. Breaking the stone will not only cause inconvenience and waste, but it can also be dangerous, as tiny shards can fly out and cut you or anyone else near the grill.
3. Prepare the pizza.
While you must wait until the grill heats up to start assembling the pizza, it’s best to roll or stretch the dough while you’re preheating your stone and grill. This is where a metal pizza peel is important. Take note: use metal because a typical wooden pizza peel might catch fire on the grill. Always sprinkle a generous amount of cornmeal or semolina on your pizza peel before putting the dough on top to prevent it from sticking to the surface.
Once the dough is ready, add the sauce and the toppings you like. However, the grill is not the place to go overboard with pizza toppings as this can make the pizza soggy, which will make it stick to the pizza stone.
4. Transfer the pizza onto the stone.
Now, it’s time to cook your pizza! Open your grill hood and sprinkle an even layer of cornmeal or semolina onto the preheated pizza stone before transferring the pizza. Put the pizza right away because the cornmeal or semolina may start to burn if you wait too long.
Gently slide the uncooked pizza to the stone by pointing the end of the pizza peel at a 45-degree angle to the far side of the pizza stone. Then, carefully pull the peel towards you, and the pizza must slide off to the stone.
5. Wait for it to bake.
Though you’re technically grilling the pizza, you’re still essentially baking it. Close your grill hood or replace it with a cover. While you can technically still cook it uncovered, it will take longer and may lead to an unevenly cooked pizza. The baking process will take about five to ten minutes, depending on the thickness of your crust and how many toppings you added to it.
6. Remove from the grill and serve.
If you sprinkled a generous amount of cornmeal or semolina into the peel and stone before baking, you should easily slide your pizza peel under the cooked pizza quite easily. Quickly transfer your pizza for serving and turn off your grill.
However, things don’t always work out as planned, and pizza can stick to the stone. If this happens, try using your peel to scrape off the pizza little by little. But be gentle so as not to ruin the crust. If you’re using a gas grill, turn it off first to not burn yourself. You can also use some spatula or tongs to help slide your pizza onto the peel.
How to Use Pizza Stone for Grilling Pizza on a Charcoal Grill
It is possible to cook pizza on this type of grill, but it’s an advanced grilling method. It’s a lot the same as the procedures mentioned above, but with a slight difference: the use of a coal basket. Here’s how you can do it:
1. Prepare your charcoal.
The first thing to do is to light a full charcoal chimney and let it get hot. Fill a charcoal basket about halfway full of the unlit charcoal. If you want to use lump charcoal, check out the best ones here.
The goal is to have a small amount of charcoal placed under the pizza stone and a larger amount of coal placed under the area near the pizza stone. To really boost the dome’s temperature and give the pizza a smoky flavor, sit a basket of charcoal directly on top of the grilling grate next to your stone.
Once the coals are lit and spread out, you’ll add a few of them right over the top of the unlit coals in the basket. Then, put the basket directly on the grill grate.
Keep most of the charcoal positioned under the area adjacent to the pizza stone and not directly under the stone.
2. Preheat the pizza stone.
Make sure to place the stone before you light your coals. The goal is to help the stone come up to temperature simultaneously with the grill and coals. Heat the stone by putting the charcoal in the grilling basket, then move it to the side of the grill. Let it heat up to about 500 degrees before moving the basket.
Use long tongs and add some lit coals to the charcoal basket. Put that charcoal basket right up on the grate next to the stone. Let it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes with the dome open to allow the coals from the charcoal basket to get fully lit and hot. The main way for the top of your pizza to be cooked is through the charcoal basket.
3. Put the pizza on the stone and bake.
Using a pizza peel, slide the pizza directly on the stone, close the dome or lid and let it cook for about 3 minutes. After that, open the dome to rotate the pizza 180 degrees to allow the entire pizza to get close to the charcoal basket. After another three minutes, check the pizza to see if it’s nicely browned. If there’s an area that doesn’t look completely cooked, rotate it to be near the charcoal basket. After a minute or two, it would probably be done. Check under the pizza, too, to prevent the bottom from burning.