If you host guests from time to time, you might want to consider investing in a pizza stone and a grill. This allows you to bake your own crispy, bubbly pizza with perfectly melted toppings that everyone will love.
Be that as it may, you’ll need some guidance to make home grilled pizza, especially if it’s your first attempt. So, what is a pizza stone, and how should you use it?
Here, I’ll share with you the core secrets to using a pizza stone on a grill. If you love pizza like I do, keep reading.
What Is a Pizza Stone?
This is a slab with a flat surface used to bake pizza, bread, or cake. It’s also known as a baking stone in some quotas because it can serve various baking purposes.
Pizza stones can be made of ceramic, clay, or cordierite. Each stone will conduct heat differently depending on the material used.
In most cases, those made of ceramic and cordierite will be ideal for high heat grilling and baking. For example, I’ve been using this Cuisinart Pizza Grilling Set for many years.
It is a 13-inch cordierite stone that’s excellent at retaining heat and creating an evenly cooked and crispy pizza. I also love that the set includes the Pizza Stone, Pizza Peel, and Pizza Cutter.
Note that not all stones can stand a temperature of 450 degrees Fahrenheit, which is necessary for baking pizza. You should also get a stone that allows for even heat distribution. This helps to cook the dough evenly so you can have a firm golden-brown crust.
Why Use a Pizza Stone On a Grill?
The reason why restaurant chefs whip out delicious pizzas is that they use professional pizza ovens. These can resist much higher temperatures than regular home ovens.
And, because a grill can reach higher temperatures than an indoor oven, it can cook authentic pizza. Ideally, a pizza stone mimics a traditional brick oven by acting as a point of high heat transfer on the grill.
When you use a pizza stone on a grill, your pizza will turn out crispier, and its toppings will melt to perfection. Besides, the crust will cook much faster on a stone, allowing you to turn out phenomenal pizza in no time!
Also, depending on which fuel you use in your grill, you might get a nicely charred crust with a slightly smoky flavor. This way, you get to enjoy Italian-style pizza without having to leave your yard.
So, whenever you crave pizza but a pizza oven is out of reach, simply get a pizza stone, gather the necessary ingredients, and light up the grill.
Using a pizza stone on a grill is more or less the same as cooking pizza in a masonry oven. The stone is porous enough to wick away moisture in baked goods. This, in turn, results in a pizza slice with a light and crispy exterior.
What Do You Need to Grill Pizza With a Pizza Stone?
When grilling pizza with a pizza stone, you must assemble a few tools and supplies in advance. These include:
A Pizza Stone
A stone gives the crust that uniform crispiness you need. You might want to try this ceramic pizza stone from Primo because it’s safe. It’s not only made from an extra durable material but has a thermal shock that prevents it from shattering at high temperatures.
You can use different types of grills, but the biggest players are gas, charcoal, electric, and wood pellet grills. You’ll need to use wood-fired grills if you want to have a smokier-tasting pizza. Be sure to heat the stone properly before sliding the pizza on it.
A Pizza Cutter
You’ll need a pizza cutter, like this OXO Good Grips, if you’ll be sharing pizzas with friends. I love this sharp stainless steel blade because it accommodates thick-crust pizzas. Know that a knife or fork can fill the place of a pizza cutter.
A Pizza Peel
Having a pizza peel makes the whole pizza cooking process incredibly easy. It gives you an easy-peasy way of getting the pizza on and off the stone.
You’ll find countless pizza dough recipes on the web. Some use store-bought pizza bases, and they work just fine.
Tomato pizza sauce is the favorite option for many pizza enthusiasts. But you can try cranberry or BBQ as well. It’s up to you to choose which type of sauce you’d like to use.
Again, the choice for what to crumble on top is yours. Things like Parmesan, Mozzarella, and Swiss work well. However, you can also make do with blue cheese, ricotta, and feta.
Stick with your creativity when it comes to toppings for your pizza. I suggest using something that fits your taste and preference.
Steps For How to Use a Pizza Stone On a Grill
Step 1. Preheat the Stone
Light up the grill and place the pizza stone on the grill gates. Turn the grill to medium-high, close the grill cover, and allow the pizza stone to preheat for about 30-45 minutes.
You want to ensure the stone has reached 425-450°F before placing the dough on it. A hot stone will provide a crispy crust with a soft bubbling center reminiscent of the Italian pizza.
If the stone is not hot enough, your pizza could turn out raw and soggy. Moreover, preheating the pizza stone prevents the risk of damaging the integrity of the stone due to intense temperature changes.
Step 2. Slide the Pizza Dough Onto the Stone
Once the stone has preheated, assemble the pizza dough on a floured baking sheet and bring it to room temperature for about 45 seconds. Know that cold pizza can be tight and tough to roll out, so it’ll need to come to room temperature first.
Then, slide your room temperature pizza dough onto the preheated pizza stone using a pizza peel or a pizza spatula. Make sure that the dough is in the center of the stone. Also, the stone should be sitting on the grilling gate to allow access to the coals.
You’ll want to dust the surface of the stone with a little cornmeal or flour before transferring the dough on it. A well-floured surface allows you to pick up and transfer food with ease. It’s OK to use parchment paper instead of cornmeal, but make sure you trim the paper to the same size as the stone when using it on the grill.
Step 3. Grill the Pizza With Lid Closed
After rolling the pizza dough onto the stone in the grill, close the grill cover. Keeping the lid closed helps trap the heat inside the grill to achieve the desired doneness. It also helps ward off too much moisture that can affect the temperature while grilling.
Depending on how big and thick your pizza is, you’ll want to let it cook for 7-10 minutes or to your desired doneness. Halfway through cooking, rotate the pizza 180 degrees and cook for another 7-10 minutes to allow the crust to cook evenly on the other side.
You want to grill until the crust has turned golden brown and the cheese has melted down to perfection. Make sure you keep checking the bottom to know if your pizza has browned all the way around the crust. If it looks raw, allow the pizza to cook for some minutes more before serving.
Likewise, be sure to keep checking the toppings regularly so that you don’t overcook them. When done correctly, your pizza should have a nice, crispy bottom with firm toppings that aren’t sloppy. In general, it should take a total of 20 minutes to grill pizza with a pizza stone.
Step 4. Leave the Pizza Stone On the Grill to Cool
Once your pizza is fully cooked, transfer it from the stone to a cutting board using a paddle. Leave the pizza stone on the grill to cool completely before slicing. Remember, handling a hot stone, even with heat-resistant gloves, can be dangerous.
As tempting as it can be, try not to slice your grilled pizza immediately after removing it from the stone. If you cut it while still molten hot, you may end up damaging the crust. Therefore, allow it to rest for a few minutes before slicing.
By so doing, the toppings will firm up, and the crust will appear nice and crisp when cut. You can slice the pizza using a pizza wheel, pizza cutter, or knife before serving. Always remember to place your pizza on a cutting board before slicing.
Once you perfect the art of using a pizza stone on a grill, the sky will be your limit. You’ll have fun trying out different varieties of crust, such as thin-crust, Neopolitan and deep dish. You’ll also be able to play with toppings as much as you want.
More importantly, you’ll love the flavor of a grilled pizza. So go and get yourself a pizza stone and a grill and start making your own homemade pizza. And most of all, have fun while at it!