So you’ve acquired a pellet grill, and now you’re ready to take it for a spin and utilize some of your grill’s versatility.
Even though it might not be the first pizza cooking method that typically comes to mind, using your pellet grill for pizza can lead to some incredibly tasty results.
If you’re looking for a complete guide to pellet grill pizza, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know for how to cook pizza on a pellet grill. By the end, you’ll be well on your way to delicious pizza on your outdoor patio!
Why Cook Pellet Grill Pizza?
When it comes to making pizza, there are tons of different styles and methods that you can choose from. So why would you cook pizza on a pellet grill?
The first and most important reason has to do with flavor. Since pellet grills are fueled by wood pellets made for grilling and smoking, you can achieve incredible wood fired flavors on a pellet grill pizza that you just wouldn’t get by cooking it in a traditional oven. For my taste, nothing beats that extra layer of smokey flavor that absorbs into the crust when the pizza cooks in a smokey setting.
Next, cooking pizza on the pellet grill is a pretty straightforward process, and you don’t need any extra equipment. Some people prefer to invest in a pizza stone or a grill mat for your grill, just to make things a little bit easier – but you don’t have to if you don’t want to. But you can definitely cook pizza directly on the grill grates if you prepare your crust the right way – but more on that in a moment.
Utilizing your pellet grill also eliminates the need to buy a specialty outdoor pizza oven to achieve wood fired flavor. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of outdoor pizza ovens, but they can get expensive. So using your pellet grill means you get to keep a little bit of extra cash in your pocket.
Last but not least, making pellet grill pizza is fun! You can create some really great pizza night memories with friends and family making pizza on the back patio.
How to Cook Pizza on a Pellet Grill
Here is everything you need to know to get started on your pellet grill pizza:
Prepare Your Pizza Dough
Getting your dough right is maybe the most important part of making delicious pizza – and the same holds true if you’re cooking on a pellet grill.
I recommend calling your local pizza shop and ordering a few pieces of dough, that way you get some fresh pizza without having to put any elbow grease into your dinner prep. You can also buy raw, pre made pizza dough from your local grocer if you want.
Now, you’ll want to make sure your dough has a generous coat of either flour or cornmeal on it, and a drizzle of olive oil. All of these ingredients are crucial to help the dough not stick to your grill grates or pizza stone.
Here’s a great video showing how you can safely and easily grill pizza directly on the grates:
Prepare Your Grill
Before the pizza goes on the grates, you have to make sure your pellet grill is ready to go.
First and foremost, make sure your grill grates are clean and that there aren’t any leftover food particles from your last cook.
From there, you’ll want to preheat your grill. For cooking pizza, you want the pellet grill to run at least 425°F, and ideally 475°F to 500°F if your grill can get that hot.
Preheat Your Dough
I prefer to pre bake the dough a little bit before adding toppings.
Place the stretched out dough on the hot grill (directly on the grates, or on your pizza stone or grill mat) and flip after about 2 minutes. Bake for about 2 more minutes, then remove it.
Add Toppings to Your Pizza
After your dough has been preheated, it’s time for the fun part – adding toppings to your pizza.
There aren’t any limits when it comes to pellet grill pizza; anything you can make in a pizza oven can be made on the grill. So whether you prefer a meat lovers or if margherita is more of your style, get your toppings on the crust and ready to go on the grill.
Put Your Pizza on the Grill
After your toppings are piled onto the pre baked crust, place the pizza back onto the grill. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the edges of the crust are crispy.
Remove, Serve, and Enjoy!
Once your pellet grill pizza has finished cooking, remove it from the grill and allow for it to rest for about 2 minutes. Then slice, serve, and enjoy!
Here is one of our favorite grilled pizza recipes below! BBQ chicken is a perfect style of pizza for the pellet grill to get a little bit of smokey flavor to work with a sweet and savory BBQ sauce.
BBQ Chicken Pizza on the Pellet Grill
- 1 pizza crust ~14" diameter
- 1 skinless & boneless chicken breast cubed
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 cup red onion chopped
- 2 cups Monterey jack cheese shredded
- Preheat your pellet grill to 400°F.
- Cook the cubed chicken in a sauté pan over medium heat until thoroughly cooked. Then remove chicken from heat and drain, if necessary. Set cooked cubed chicken aside.
- Roll pizza dough to desired thickness on a lightly floured surface.
- IMPORTANT: ensure that your flour the bottom side of your pizza crust thoroughly to ensure that it doesn't stick to your grill grate or pizza stone.
- Spread BBQ sauce over the dough evenly, leaving a 1/2" border around the outer edge.
- Sprinkle cheese, cubed chicken, cilantro, and red onion on top of the BBQ sauce and dough.
- Lightly flour a pizza peel - a cutting board or cookie sheet will do if you don't have a peel. Slide under pizza and transfer to your grill.
- Slide pizza off of the peel directly onto your grill grate or pizza stone.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese has belted and crust is lightly browned and crispy.
- Remove pizza from grill, allow to cool for about 5 minutes - then slice, serve, and enjoy!
Which Wood Pellets Are Best Pizza?
We’ve written a guide on the best types of wood to use for a pizza oven right here that you can check out for a more in depth look at this topic. All of the same wood flavors you’d use for pizza in a regular pizza oven are the same ones that work best for wood pellets in a pellet grill.
The rule of thumb is simple – if you’re making pizza with strong, meaty flavors, you’re better off using a type of wood pellet that’s a little stronger so that the flavors will stand up to what’s in the pizza. If you’re cooking a meat lover’s pizza, consider using hickory, oak, alder, or even mesquite.
On the other hand, pizzas without meat or with chicken and other mildly flavored meats are best with pellet flavors like apple, cherry, or pecan.
If you’re unsure about where to start, give oak a try – it’s a nice in between and generally works well with all different types of pizza.
Don’t be afraid to fire up the pellet grill the next time you’re hosting pizza night. You might be surprised at just how good the results are when making artisan style pizza on the grill!
Pellet grills are incredibly versatile outdoor cookers – and thanks to a convection style system inside of the grill, they’re perfectly suited for cooking restaurant quality pizza.
How did your pellet grill pizzas turn out? Which type of wood pellets did you end up using? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.