Everything You Need to Know About Using a Pizza Stone on the Grill

Your step-by-step guide to the best homemade pizza!

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July 06, 2022
By: Carlos Olaechea

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Cooking pizza on outdoor gas grill.

pizza stone grilling toppings

Cooking pizza on outdoor gas grill.

Photo by: arinahabich / Getty Images

arinahabich / Getty Images

A grill is an amazing piece of equipment that can help you cook almost anything, even pizza. While smaller, personal pizzas can be laid directly on the grates and get baked by a charcoal or gas grill’s naked flames, larger pizzas may not be so easy to maneuver onto a grill. That’s where a pizza stone comes in! These genius inventions help mimic the heat and surface of a brick oven right at home. While they’re typically used in an oven, they’re also a great tool for the grill to help you cook pizzas right alongside your burgers, hotdogs and steaks. Nevertheless, there are some things you should know before you turn your grill into a pizza oven. Below we share step-by-step instructions for how to us a pizza stone on the grill.

This article has been reviewed since its original publish date for accuracy, pricing and availability. We stand by our list of top pizza stone product picks.

Choosing a Pizza Stone for the Grill

Not all pizza stones are made for grilling, and a stone you use to bake pizzas in the oven doesn’t necessarily transfer over to the grill seamlessly. Because you are placing a stone over flames, you need to make sure the stone you’re using can handle that kind of direct heat. The last thing you want is to invite friends over for a pizza party just to have your pizza stone crack or explode. This is why you should always make sure to read the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure that your pizza stone is grill safe. If you’re in the market for a good grill stone, you can search online for pizza stones specifically intended for the grill.

Preheating your Pizza Stone

The beauty of a pizza stone is that it retains a lot of heat, but you have to preheat it before it is ready to turn out beautifully melty, golden-brown, crisp pizzas. With your grill off, place your pizza stone on top of the grill grates. If you are cooking other foods with your pizza, make sure to place your stone off to one side of your grill. Make sure your grill is completely cool before placing your pizza stone on it — a cold (or even room temperature) stone on an even moderately hot grill can cause it to break. Not only is this an inconvenience, it can also be dangerous as small shards can fly out and cut you or anyone else who is standing near your grill.

If you’re using a charcoal grill, you will want to place your stone on the grates before your light your coals. Even if you are using a chimney to start your fire, place the stone near it so that it comes up to temperature simultaneously with your grill and coals. After you arrange your glowing embers in your charcoal grill, you can adjust where your pizza stone is on the grill to make it easy to access. Make sure to close the hood or place the cover on your grill to help the pizza stone heat up. When your grill’s temperature gauge reaches the correct temperature (between 400 to 500 degrees F), you are ready to grill your pizza.

Prep Your Pizza

While you should wait until your grill heats up to start assembling your pizza, it’s best to roll or stretch out your dough while you are preheating your stone and grill. This is where a pizza peel — particularly a metal one — is vital. Since you’re cooking with live flames, a wooden pizza peel that you use for oven-baked pizzas might catch fire. Always sprinkle a generous amount of cornmeal or semolina on your peel before placing your pizza dough on top. This will prevent the dough from sticking to the surface.

Once your dough is ready, it’s time to add your sauce and toppings. However, don’t go overboard with the toppings as this can make your pizza soggy, which will make it stick to the pizza stone.

Transfer Your Pizza Onto Your Pizza Stone

It’s time to start cooking! Open the hood of your grill and sprinkle an even layer of cornmeal or semolina onto your pizza stone right before you intend to transfer your uncooked pizza. If you wait too long, the cornmeal or semolina may start to burn. Once you’ve added that layer, gently slide your uncooked pizza onto the stone by pointing the end of the pizza peel at a 45 degree angle at the far side of the pizza stone. Now, gently pull the peel towards you and the pizza should slide off and be centered onto the stone.

grilled pizza stone

Photo by: Giuseppe Moscarda / EyeEm / Getty Images

Giuseppe Moscarda / EyeEm / Getty Images

Bake Your Pizza

Even though you’re cooking your pizza on a grill, you are still essentially baking it. That said, you’re going to need to give your pizza some alone time while the flames from your gas or charcoal grill work their magic. While you can technically still cook your pizza uncovered, it will take longer and may lead to an unevenly cooked pie. Close the hood of your grill or replace the cover. We know it can be frustrating to wait for pizza to cook, but the marvelous thing about cooking with a pizza stone on your grill is that it really only takes a between five to eight minutes to cook. (Time will vary depending on the thickness of your crust and how many toppings you loaded onto it.)

Remove Your Pizza from the Grill

If you did your due diligence and sprinkled your peel and the pizza stone with cornmeal or semolina prior to baking, you should be able to easily slide your pizza peel under your cooked pizza in one smooth motion. However, sometimes things don’t always work out as planned. If you find that your pizza is sticking to the stone, try using your peel to scrap the pizza off little by little. Be gentle, though. It may only be one small part of the crust that needs to be loosened. If you’re using a gas grill and find yourself struggling, be sure to turn off your grill so you don’t burn yourself. You may find it helpful to use a spatula or tongs to help slide your pizza onto the peel. Next, transfer your pizza onto a cutting board or serving plate and enjoy.

If you find that more than one of your pizzas is sticking to the pizza stone despite sprinkling it with cornmeal, you can place your dough onto a lightly oiled square of aluminum foil and then transfer the whole thing to your preheated pizza stone. Never add oil directly onto your pizza stone, as this will prevent it from working properly.

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