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Take it outside: How to make restaurant worthy BBQ pizza

Summer screams for firing up the barbie, but it's not just for burgers and hot dogs. You can also achieve pizza perfection with a smoky twist by cooking it on your grill.

While your oven might be the traditional pizza domain, your BBQ can be a surprising champion for creating crispy crusts and smoky flavours! This method adds a depth of flavour you just can't get from a traditional oven, with a crispy, char-grilled crust that'll rival your favourite Italian restaurant. So, grab your tongs and get ready to impress your taste buds (and maybe your neighbours) with these BBQ pizza tips.

Gearing Up for Grilling Greatness

First things first, you'll need a pizza dough. You can use store-bought pizza dough for convenience or try your hand at making your own. There are plenty of no-fuss recipes online.

Here's the key to BBQ pizza success: high heat. Aim to preheat your grill to around 500°F (260°C) for both gas and charcoal grills. Pre heat your gas grill with the lid closed. 

A pizza stone or a baking sheet are your best friends here. Preheating the stone on the grill alongside the burners will radiate heat from below, ensuring a beautifully cooked crust. A pizza peel (a large, flat wooden paddle) is ideal for transferring pizzas, but a baking sheet in a pinch works too. If you don’t have a pizza stone, don’t worry, you can also just place the bare dough directly on the preheated grill for 1-2 minutes, or until the underside starts to brown and crisp! 

The Art of the BBQ Pizza

There are two main methods for BBQ pizza: the direct and the indirect approach. Both have their merits:

  • Direct Method: This is a faster cook, perfect for weeknight pizzas. Simply grill the plain dough for a minute or two per side, then flip, add your sauce and toppings, and cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly.


  • Indirect Method: This method gives you more control over the cooking process and offers that coveted smoky flavour. Here, you preheat the grill with the heat source on one side and the pizza stone on the other. This creates a zone of lower heat for indirectly cooking the pizza. Slide your dressed pizza onto the hot stone (not directly over the heat source) and close the lid. Cook for 5-7 minutes, then rotate the pizza 180 degrees for even cooking.

Top Tips for Triumphant BBQ Pizza

  • Less is More: Avoid overloading your pizza with toppings. The high heat of the grill can easily burn them, and too much moisture can make the crust soggy.
  • Embrace the Smokiness: Try incorporating smoked ingredients like cheeses, peppers, or even a drizzle of smoked olive oil.
  • Go Authentic: If you have a pizza peel (a long, flat wooden paddle), use it to transfer your pizza onto and off the grill. If not, a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal will do the trick.

With a little practice, you'll be a BBQ pizza pro in no time. So fire up the grill, unleash your inner pizzaiolo, and enjoy a restaurant-worthy meal made from your own home!