8 Secrets to Making Hot and Crispy Grilled Pizza

Updated: Nov. 10, 2023

Want to learn how to grill pizza? Follow these tips and you'll never order take-out again!

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Pizza pie with sausage and peppers cooking on a charcoal grill in an Italian pizzeria
Shutterstock/Olivier Le Queinec

Who doesn’t absolutely love grilled pizza? It’s a great, low-cost way to throw a pizza party while getting to hang out in the great outdoors! While learning how to grill pizza is pretty easy, there are a few secrets that will result in the crispiest, best-tasting pies.

Check out some more ways to grill all season long without breaking the bank.

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Hand flipping flatbread cooking on outside electric grill showing browned bottom and top not yet cooked

1. Flip and Top

Unlike oven-baked pizzas, you’ll want to pre-cook one side of the dough on the grill before adding your tasty toppings. This ensures each side will have nice, charred flavor and the crust is completely cooked through. So get ready to bring your toppings outside and build the pizza right on the grill.

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Fresh ingredients for homemade pizza on wooden table
Shutterstock/Przemek Klos

2. Be Prepared

Grilled pizza cooks up quickly – which means you’ll need to be ready. Since you’re building your pizza directly on the grill after flipping it, have your sauce, cheese, and toppings all ready to go. Make things easy on yourself by chopping everything up and placing the toppings in small bowls ahead of time.

Looking for topping inspiration? Check out these amazing ways to make pizza on the grill.

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Empty grill with red-hot briquettes, close-up
Shutterstock/Lukas Gojda

3. Manage Your Heat

You don’t want to burn the crust before the cheese has the chance to melt! The best way to avoid that is to set your grill up for indirect heat (learn how here). After brushing your dough with olive oil, cook it on the hot side first before flipping it onto the cool side. Then, top it and let it cook away until everything is melted.

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Flames reaching up toward meat and vegetable cheese pizza on grill. Hot sauce in bowl on iron plate

4. Or, Skip Those Last Three Tips with This Neat Trick

Want to skip past all of our previous tips? Use a ceramic pizza stone! You can place it directly on the grill grates before heating the grill to high. Keep the lid closed to generate as much heat as possible. Then, place your pre-built pizza on the stone and cook it just like you would in an oven.

Here are more delicious ways you can put that pizza stone to work.

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Dough preparation recipe bread, pizza or pie making ingridients, food flat lay on kitchen table background. Working with butter, milk, yeast, flour, eggs, sugar pastry or bakery cooking

5. Work Your Dough

You can make your dough from scratch if you’re looking for homemade taste, but you’ll want to make it the day before so it has enough time to rise. Or, pick up a premade dough from the grocery store or your neighborhood pizza joint. No matter which you choose, always allow it to come to room temperature for an hour before stretching it out.

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Cooking pizza on wooden table, top view
Shutterstock/Africa Studio

6. Top with Care

It’s easy to make an overloaded pizza, but heed this warning: too many toppings can cause your dough to become soggy and make it impossible to hold the slice while eating. So, top with a gentle hand. Standard proportions are about 1/2 cup of sauce, 1 cup of cheese and 1 cup of additional toppings.

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Cooking Ground sausage meat in frying pan with garlic and burlap background

7. Pre-Cook Those Toppings

Because the pizza cooks so quickly, it’s important you’re using ready-to-eat toppings. There won’t be nearly enough time to cook raw sausage or caramelize onions. Pre-cook any raw ingredients and thinly slice those that you wish to consume raw.

Craving some caramelized onions? Find out how to make them here!

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Fresh italian pizza on wood. Pizza with cheese, salami and tomatoes. Fast food. Rustic pizza

8. Finish It Off

A green or crunchy topping goes a long way to making a pizza stand out. Consider topping your grilled pizzas with spicy arugula, sliced green onions or freshly chopped herbs. You can also add some extra flavor by drizzling the pie with infused oils or chopped, tangy pickles.

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Delicious summer appetizer: Vegetarian pizza with grilled vegetables and soft cheese on wooden board. Top view

Grilled Pizza

For more grilled pizza inspiration, check out our favorite grilled pizza recipes. Browse the collection to get some great ideas and easy-to-follow recipes.