How to Grill a BBQ Pizza

BBQ Pizza

If you have a barbecue like the RoadTrip LXE, you can make a pizza. I do it all the time, and now I prefer it to one I could bake in an oven.

Because grills vary in size and heat – and pizzas can be fresh, frozen, thin crust, thick crust or be piled high with lots of toppings – this technique may take a careful eye the first time you do it. However, once you’ve done it, its a piece of cake (or pizza).

You can cook straight on the grill, use a pizza stone or cooking mat or even get a $24 BBQ Grill Pizza Pan like the one in the photo (but it is not required). You can also use a cast-iron cooking skillet or tray as well as pre-heated bricks (which heat like a pizza stone).

How to Grill a Pizza

This can be as simple as following the time and temperature baking instructions on your pizza box (or the recipe if you are making a pizza from scratch). I’ve noticed that food cooks quickly on my covered bbq, so keep this in mind if yours does the same. (This is actually another side benefit to cooking pies on the grill!).

When in doubt (or your first time making a BBQ Pizza), lower the temperature a small amount. The last thing you need is a burnt bottom crust with pizza toppings that are still raw sitting on top. I keep a large spatula on hand for moving the pizza but also allowing me to check the bottom for any potentially hot hazard spots.

Pizza Stones

If your barbecue is at home in your backyard, you might want to consider using a pizza stone if you have one. It helps even out the heat when you cook your pie, and it can give your pizza a crispier crust. Simply pre-heat it when you turn on your grill. Alternatively, you could use a BBQ Grill Mat, which also prevents toppings from falling through the cracks. Less mess means less clean up.

My Most Successful BBQ Pizza

I’ve had the best success grilling thin crust pizzas that I buy frozen at my grocery store. I usually thaw them before cooking, but they don’t have to be completely thawed.

The nice thing about thin crust pizzas is that they cook quickly – but you also have to watch that they don’t burn on the bottom. I regularly check and slide the pizza around to prevent burning and I don’t have a problem – unless I’m not paying attention.

My small to medium sized thin crusts are typically done in 10-12 minutes at 300-350 degrees (on a pizza stone). This gives me a crispy crust with the cheese thoroughly melted.

** If you are cooking a thicker, larger pizza with extra toppings and a crust that is not pre-made, you may be looking more at a 20-minute pizza at 400 degrees or so.

Grilling Pizza for BBQ Brunch?

One of my favorite pizzas is the breakfast pizza. You can simply buy a plain cheese pizza (or make your own crust from scratch of course) and add your favorite breakfast toppings. Mine are eggs, cheese, bacon and sausage.

For toppings like these, I will scramble the eggs and cook the meats prior to adding them on top of the pizza. This way, I don’t have to worry about cooking it too little, and the ingredients are more solid than liquid and easier to manage.

If you have more a of a sweet tooth, there is no reason why you couldn’t get a plain pizza crust and sprinkler cinnamon, powdered sugar or honey on top and slice it up into hand-manageable servings. (The egg-style option usually requires a fork, depending on how crazy you go with your toppings).

How to BBQ Pizza Minis for Tailgaters or Camping

Cooking pizza on the grill may be delicious, but a large pie may be a little unmanageable on a road trip or a smaller portable grill. Don’t worry! You can cook mini pizzas, which can also be great as appetizers and snacks too. This also gives kids, family and friends the opportunity to build-their-own custom pies.

Just like in a regular oven, remember that you don’t need to cook them as long. Stacking too many toppings on a small pie could result in a disaster, but possibly a fun one. Mid-way through cooking mini pizzas you might venture to stack 2 on top of each other to create a hot pizza sandwich. Oh boy…


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