Although some people would never think to grill a pizza, and in fact would wonder why anyone would put a pizza on the grill, there are many reasons you should give it a try.

And with temperatures in the 90s this week, a great reason to grill a pizza is to avoid turning up an oven to 450 degrees when the heat is already sweltering. So you keep the heat outside where it belongs.

Grills also mimic a wood-fired oven, giving pizza a taste you cannot get from the ordinary indoor oven. It is quite easy to grill a pizza; even a frozen pizza can be prepared on an outdoor grill.

Whether using charcoal or gas, the smoke from the grill will char the crust to give pizza that wood-fired taste that you simply cannot get from a regular oven. Pizzas need heat, lots of it, to get the crust crispy and melt and brown the top layer of gooey cheese. So besides a nice charred crust, you also get sweet caramelized cheese on top. What better way to enjoy a pizza?

The standard 10-inch frozen pizzas tend to cook better on grills than the large or jumbo size. The trick with a frozen pizza is to heat the grill to a medium heat for at least 15 minutes before placing the pizza on the grate. Place the pizza on top of the grates and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, just until the cheese is melted and the crust is slightly charred. Remove, let cool a few minutes, slice and serve!

Craving pizza but don’t want to heat up the house? Fire up the grill. Happy Eating.

Grilled Pizza

  • Pizza dough (you can make your own or use refrigerated pizza dough)
  • Pizza sauce
  • Toppings: sausage (cooked), pepperoni, mushrooms, sliced peppers, olives
  • Fresh basil
  • Mozzarella cheese

Prepare the grill for medium high heat.

Prepare the toppings: Slice mushrooms, peppers and olives, cook sausage and set aside.

Place a couple spoonfuls of olive oil into a small bowl to grease the grill grates and brush the pizza.

Place the dough on a floured surface and flatten it by stretching with your hands. Pinch the edges of the dough so that the ingredients stay on top of the pizza.

Clean the grill grates and then wipe with olive oil. Place the dough on the grill and close the lid. Cook 2 to 4 minutes, just until the bottom of the crust is slightly browned. Using a spatula, carefully turn the dough over.

Place a spoonful of olive oil on the dough and spread across the top of the dough. Close the lid and cook 2 minutes.

Open the lid and spoon the pizza sauce on the dough. Place the basil leaves on top of the sauce, then add desired toppings. Place shredded cheese on top. Close the lid and cook 5 to 7 minutes. Check the pizza. Lift the corner of the pizza with a spatula. The crust should be browned and the cheese should be melted and slightly browned.

If not browned, close the lid and cook an additional 3 to 5 minutes, just until the crust and cheese are browned.

Remove and let sit just a couple minutes, then slice and serve.

Pizza Dough

  • 1 2 1/4-teaspoon package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (warm, not hot, approximately 110 degrees)
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Place the warm water in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and yeast and stir to combine. Let mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes until it becomes frothy and bubbles form.

Add olive oil and gently stir until combined. Add 2 cups of flour and the salt and stir until a round ball is formed. If it is too sticky, add a bit more flour. Transfer to a floured surface and knead until a smooth dough forms.

Dough can be used immediately or refrigerated for future use.