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How to Make a Pizza Grill With Your Gas Grill

How to Make a Pizza Grill With Your Gas Grill
How to Make a Pizza Grill With Your Gas Grill


Inside: Do you love wood-fired pizza? Have I got a hack for you! Here’s how to turn your grill into a pizza oven and take pizza night to the next level.

A homemade pizza sits inside a DIY pizza oven on a gas grill
Create a pizza oven on your gas grill and elevate pizza night!

If you’re like me, you have opinions about pizza and don’t subscribe to the “even when it’s bad, it’s good” school of pizza thought.

I love a floppy, foldable slice of NYC-style and will happily dig into a wedge of deep dish Chicago with a knife and fork.

But my favorite pie is wood fired. It cooks quickly in a super-hot oven, giving it lovely charred edges and a smoky flavor.

I’ve been on a quest to recreate my favorite pizza at home (read: Do These 5 Things For Better Homemade Pizza), and I’ve considered buying one of those pricey tabletop pizza ovens.

Then a friend of mine shared this brilliant, game-changing hack with me: Turn your gas grill into a pizza oven.

A homemade pizza fresh out of a DIY pizza oven
Bubbly edges and charred crust = chef’s kiss

Why this works

You can cook pizza right on the grates with the lid closed, but it leaves something to be desired. You need to cook both sides of the crust, then add sauce and toppings. The top cooks but it’s a little…meh.

Instead, this method works in a similar way to a tabletop pizza oven. What you’re doing is creating a skinny, high-temperature slot. The preheated pizza steel or stone on top captures heat and radiates it down onto the top of the pizza while the gas flames below (on low or even turned off) cook the bottom.

A homemade pizza made in a DIY pizza oven
Pizza night just got better!

What you need

CAUTIONS

  • This process involves high heat. Be careful with every step, especially pulling the hot pizza out of the grill.
  • Remember that the pizza steel holds and traps heat, so it will stay hot long after you’re done cooking.
  • Be sure your grill is clean-ish. A lot of grease buildup inside the grill can be dangerous at very high heats like this.
Bricks set on a gas grill to create a pizza oven
Arrange the bricks so they form a frame for the pizza steel to rest on.

How TO BUILD YOUR PIZZA OVEN

Gather your supplies: A pizza steel, 6-8 standard-sized bricks, and aluminum foil (the foil is optional, for aesthetics).

Pick a spot: If you have a 3-burner grill, you’ll want your pizza pan to be directly over the center burner. If you have a 5-burner grill, you will have 1-2 burners under the pizza pan.

Arrange bricks: Wrap bricks in aluminum foil (or not) and arrange in an upside-down U-shaped pattern. Your pizza steel should rest on the back and sides of the bricks, and you should have space inside the upside-down “U” for your pizza screens (my screens are 12″ ). You can put your bricks on their sides (as in the photo above) or lay them flat (shown in the photo below). Both options work.

A pizza oven built onto a gas grill
The bricks can be placed up on their sides or set flat

HOW TO MAKE A PIZZA IN YOUR PIZZA OVEN

1. Light your grill: Turn all burners to high, and close the lid. Wait at least 20 minutes (ideally closer to 45) for the temperature to reach at least 500 degrees (but preferably higher). You’re getting the pizza steel good and hot.

2. Shape the dough: While the grill is preheating, use your fingers to shape the dough into a round that will fit on your pizza screen.

3. Spray the pizza screen: Use cooking spray and spray it all over VERY WELL so the dough doesn’t stick. This is best done over the kitchen sink.

4. Transfer the dough: Using your hands, move the dough onto the pizza screen and reshape it as needed. Add sauces and toppings.

5. Turn middle burner(s) to low: When you’re ready to cook the pizza, turn the burner(s) directly underneath your pizza pan to their lowest setting. Depending on the size of your grill and pizza pan, that might be one or two burners. (*Note: If your grill is very hot, you may be able to turn the burner(s) under the pizza off completely. This will take some experimentation to see what works best with your grill.) Keep the burners on the sides on high.

6. Slide the pizza under the steel: Using metal tongs (and preferably a heat-resistant glove) carefully slide the pizza screen under the pizza steel.

7. Rotate the pizza screen: After 3 minutes, carefully rotate the screen a half turn using the tongs and heatproof glove. Keep checking the pizza, especially the bottom, and remove when it’s reached the desired doneness.

8. Remove pizza: Using the tongs, carefully (see a pattern here? be careful!) slide out the pizza screen onto a baking sheet. Removing the pizza works best as a two-person job. I have two pizza screens, so I slide in the next pizza at this time.

9. Transfer: Move the pizza to a cutting board, let cool slightly, then slice and serve.

The steps to making homemade pizza including shaping the dough, putting it on a pizza screen, adding toppings, and sliding it into pizza oven
Shape the dough with your fingers and place it on a well-sprayed pizza screen before adding toppings

FAQ: Turning your grill into a pizza oven

What dough should I use?

My favorite speedy dough is this Homemade Pizza Dough from Dinner: A Love Story, which makes three 12-inch pizzas. The friend who taught me this grill hack also vouches for Trader Joe’s refrigerated pizza dough.

What’s your favorite pizza sauce?

I’m a fan of saving time and using the super-affordable Dei Fratelli canned sauce. If you prefer a homemade version, I have a recipe for Homemade Pizza Sauce.

Someone puts a homemade pizza into a DIY pizza oven, and a cooked pizza sits in the foreground
Using a heat-resistant glove helps prevent burns (but still be careful!!)

Can I use a pizza stone instead of a steel?

Maybe. But check the maximum temperature your stone can withstand. I learned that the hard way when mine cracked in the oven at 500 degrees.

What’s the difference between a pizza steel and a pizza stone?

A pizza steel has a much higher heat conductivity than a stone, so your pizza cooks faster. It’s also more durable.

A Nerd Chef pizza steel sits on top of foil-covered bricks on a gas grill
You can use a pizza steel in your oven and on your grill.

Do I really need a heatproof glove?

No, but I recommend it as a precaution. I accidentally touched the edge of the pizza screen when removing it once, which cause me to dropped the pizza on the ground and get a bad burn that I had to ice for hours. That pizza screen gets HOT!



Written by bourbiza mohamed

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