Pizza is a mainstay dish across generations. There are many different ways to cook pizza, but the traditional method uses masonry ovens, which are wood-burning ovens. Enclosed brick ovens or stone chambers are often used as well.
Modern times allowed us to rethink the ways we cook pizza. A welcome development is cooking pizza through a stone on a grill. Compared to using an oven, this technique adds a smoky flavor and aroma to a pizza.
By learning how to use a pizza stone on a grill, you can even cook crisp flatbreads and other similar recipes that would otherwise call for baking. If you’re feeling creative and want to up your grill game, here’s a primer to using pizza stones for your next BBQ session.
How to Use a Pizza Stone on a Grill
Using a pizza stone on a grill is simple. Whether you own a charcoal, gas or a pellet grill, the steps to follow are similar. These steps involve:
- Preheating the grill and the pizza stone
Before tossing that pizza on the grill, you’ll want to control the temperature first. The ideal heat you want to achieve will depend on your recipe. With the exception of pellet grills, you can place the pizza stone as soon as your grill starts smoking.
For pizza, it’s around 500⁰F to 600⁰F. The best time to heat your grill is when the dough has doubled its size. That way, you can save time, and your pizza dough and toppings won’t get soggy.
- Assembling your recipe
You can start preparing your meal while your grill is preheating. While you’re learning how to use a pizza stone on a grill, you can use this time to get creative. For flatbreads and pizza, add in your toppings. Don’t be afraid of spicing things up. There are foods that react well to smoking, like caramelized peaches and flavor-rich mushrooms.
Once you’re all set, get to grilling. Flatbreads often require a floured surface, spread some flour on your pizza stone before putting the dough in place. Doing so will prevent it from sticking to the pizza stone. Be careful as the pizza stones can get hot.
The time it takes to cook your grilled goods will vary depending on your recipe and what type of grill you use. The great thing about pizza stones is they retain the heat, so you can keep grilling as long as your grill fuel can go. Below are the steps specific to different types of grills.
On a Charcoal Grill
So, you’ve learned how to use a pizza stone on a grill, and you want to put your BBQ pit master skills to the test. For a lot of backyard cooks, a charcoal grill is preferred.
This kind of grill offers the most flavor to grilled food. However, it can also be the trickiest. To use the pizza stone, you’ll need to:
- Prepare the grill.
- Put the briquettes on one side. If you don’t have briquettes, light some lump coals until they are colored gray and covered with ash.
- Add some unlit lump coal on top of the briquette, and spread them evenly.
- Put the grate on the grill.
- Place the pizza stone on top of the grate.
- Cover the grill, but leave it slightly open to preheat the grill easily.
- While preheating the grill, assemble your meal.
- Slide the food in as quickly as possible.
- Grill until done.
On a Gas Grill
Using a gas grill is more straightforward than using a charcoal grill. Because gas grills come with burners, it’s easier to achieve desired temperatures. Below are the steps on how to use a pizza stone on a gas grill.
- Remove the other grates of the grill and leave only the center grate to get as much as airflow as possible for the heat.
- Place the pizza stone over the center grate.
- Open all burners and set them all to high. Close the lid and let it preheat for about 20 to 30 minutes depending on your grill.
- Assemble your food while preheating the grill.
- Once the grill is preheated, and the pizza stone is ready, turn your center burner to low. Leave other burners at medium or high to maintain the temperature.
- Slide your food in on top of the stone until cooked.
On a Pellet Grill
A pellet grill operates much like a charcoal grill in that it uses wood to smoke. It’s different in that it uses wood pellets instead of lumps of coal. This type of grill excels at grilling food at low but steady temperatures.  Here’s how to use a pizza stone on a pellet grill:
- Prepare your pellet grill. Ensure that there are enough pellets on the hopper. On the control panel, turn the knob to smoke before flipping the power switch on.
- After a couple of minutes, the grill will start smoking. Close the lid and set the knob to preheat. You can check the temperature on the control panel on the side of the grill.
- After reaching the temperature, put the pizza stone and leave it until preheated.
- Once the pizza stone is ready, put the food in place.
- Leave the food grilling until it’s ready.
Useful Accessories and Tips
As you learn how to use a pizza stone on a grill, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with accessories to handle the pizza stone.
You can use pizza paddles to help you to put the food in and out of the stone easily, a rack to hold the pizza stone in place, and a carrying tray for larger slabs of stone.
Remember to check the pizza stone and make sure that it’s preheated before grilling, and always keep the temperature consistent to cook your food evenly.