The Best Pizza Stone for a Grill
If you love pizza parties and you’ve got a grill, you’ll be able to impress everyone with crispy, delicious pizzas. Using a pizza stone for a grill will allow you to make pizzas worthy of any pizzeria. The only challenge is that your friends will probably ask you to make your pizza night a regular event!
Why Use a Pizza Stone on a Grill
There are many reasons for using a pizza stone on a grill.
Better Heat Retention
Pizza stones are known for quickly absorbing heat as well as keeping food hot for long periods. In other words, they can mimic the heating methods of a traditional pizza oven, where the underlying surface is extra-hot.
Faster Cooking Time
Your pizza will not only be tastier, but it will be ready faster, thanks to the excellent heat retention of a pizza stone. Guests (and families) can get impatient when waiting for pizza!
Pizza stones are so popular because they allow you to make pizzas with rusts that are nice and crisp crusts. Baking pizzas in a traditional oven will usually give you a firm crust that’s not any crunchier than the cheese on top! But a pizza stone keeps the temperature steady and will help your grill cook your pizza more evenly.
Pizza stones are simple to clean (see below), so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your friends.
Make Larger Pizzas
Although you can put smaller, individual pizzas directly onto your grill, a pizza stone lets you make larger pizzas. If people like various toppings, make one large pizza and divvy the toppings up among different sections. Job done!
Can You Use a Pizza Stone on the Grill?
Believe it or not, you can use a pizza stone on the grill, and you can, therefore, cook your pizzas right alongside your burgers, steaks, fish, or anything else you’re grilling.
Everyone can have delicious food, no matter what their preferences. No more struggling to make one meal that will suit everyone – and you won’t have to have some food in the oven and some on the grill. Easy prep, with fabulous results!
How to Make Your Perfect Pizza on the Grill
Here’s how to make perfect pizza on the grill, step by step.
Prepare Your Pizza Stone
Before turning on your grill (or lighting the coals), put the pizza stone on the grates. You may want to have your pizza stone to one side of the grill to cook other foods simultaneously.
Always begin by putting your pizza stone onto a cold grill: if the grill is even a little bit warm, the stone can crack.
Once your pizza stone is in place, put the cover down on your grill (or lower the hood) so that the pizza stone heats up properly. Check the temperature on the gauge: when it reaches between 400 to 500 degrees F, you can start grilling your pizza.
Prepare Your Pizza Base
While the grill preheats, you can prepare your pizza base. Stretch or roll out the dough using a pizza peel. If you don’t have one already, get yourself a metal pizza peel: the wooden ones can catch fire over open flames.
Before putting your pizza dough on top, you want to avoid the dough sticking to the surface of your pizza peel. You can do this by sprinkling your pizza peel with a good amount of semolina or cornmeal.
Add Your Toppings
When your grill is hot enough, add the sauce and toppings to your pizza. If you put the sauce on too early, your pizza can end up soggy (and can stick to the pizza stone), so it’s best to wait for a hot grill.
Place Your Pizza on Your Pizza Stone
Now comes the fun bit: grilling! Open the lid or hood of the grill, and sprinkle some more cornmeal or semolina onto the pizza stone. As quickly as you can (before the semolina burns), slide your pizza onto the stone. Do this by pointing the end of your pizza peel at the far side of the pizza stone. Slowly pull the peel towards you so that your pizza slides off neatly onto the stone (as centered as possible).
Cook Your Pizza
You could cook your pizza uncovered, but this will take longer and might not give you the best results. Therefore, as soon as your pizza is on the pizza stone, cover up your grill.
You should only have to wait about 5 to 8 minutes for your pizza to cook. If you have a thicker crust, or you’ve packed on lots of toppings, allow closer to 8 minutes. For margarita pizzas or other simpler pizzas with thin crusts, 5 minutes should do it.
Serve Your Pizza
The semolina or cornmeal on the stone should allow you to easily slide your pizza peel underneath your pizza without the dough sticking. If, however, you discover that the dough is sticking in some places, gently use your peel to scrape underneath, bit by bit. The critical word here is gentle – you don’t want to tear the dough.
If your pizza sticks to the pizza stone even though you’ve sprinkled it with cornmeal or similar, you can use a lightly oiled piece of aluminum foil and then put the foil on top of your pizza stone. Don’t ever put oil onto your pizza stone: the oil will clog the pores of the stone and will prevent it from doing its job.
For gas grills, you’ll want to turn your grill off if you’re having a hard time so that you don’t burn yourself.
Transfer your pizza onto a serving dish or cutting board, and dig in!
What’s the Price?
The price of a pizza stone depends on the material that’s used.
Cordierite or Cast-Iron Pizza Stones
These pizza stones tend to range from about $40 to $60.
Steel Pizza Stones
Steel pizza stones are more expensive (but aren’t necessarily better) and range from $70 to $90.
Thermite Pizza Stones
Thermite is a proprietary material that is excellent for transferring heat, and pizza stones of this material range from around $36 to $50.
Ceramic Pizza Stones
Ceramic pizza stones are the cheapest (starting at $10), but they aren’t the best for conducting heat. Very hot grills can be too much for many ceramic pizza stones: they tend to be a bit more fragile.
What to Consider Before You Buy a Pizza Stone
Here are some factors for you to consider before buying a pizza stone.
Make Sure Your Pizza Stone Can Be Used on a Grill
Not all pizza stones can be used on a grill, and if you don’t get this right, it can have disastrous results. There’s nothing worse than lovingly preparing a huge pizza only to have the stone crack or even explode underneath! All your hard work will then drip onto the grill, leaving you not only without a pizza but with a messy cleanup job.
On top of that, a pizza stone that shatters could cut anyone nearby with tiny shards (and these can be very sharp!)
Check the manufacturer's instructions: you want to be sure that you can use your pizza stone not only in the oven but on the grill as well (over an open flame as well as over coals).
Check the Weight and Size of the Pizza Stone
You can find pizza stones of varying sizes and weights, and Pizza stone diameters usually start at 10 inches and go up to 16 inches. And, of course, the larger your pizza stone, the bigger the pizza you can make to eat!
The material will usually determine the weight of your pizza stone. Ceramic pizza stones are the lightest, weighing from 5 to 7 pounds. Cast iron stones can weigh from 7 to 10 pounds, and steel stones are the heaviest, some weighing as much as 15 to 25 pounds.
Check the Shape of Your Pizza Stone
Some pizza stones are circular, and others are rectangular or square. The most significant consideration when choosing the shape of your pizza stone is the type of pizza you wish to make.
A Word on Handles
Some pizza stones have handles, although why you would want handles is questionable since your pizza stone will be very hot. You’ll be using your pizza peel anyway to remove the pizza from the pizza stone, but if you want handles, some models do offer them.
Caring For Your Pizza Stone
You’ll want to care for your pizza stone so that it will last you for many years. Because the best pizza stones are porous to absorb and retain heat evenly, they require special care.
Here are some steps to follow to look after your pizza stone.
Don’t use soap to wash your pizza stone: the pores will absorb the soap, and you’ll taste it in your next pizza!
Don’t Soak Your Pizza Stone
Don't soak your pizza stone in water – the pores will absorb the moisture, affecting its performance.
How to Clean Your Pizza Stone
Here are the steps to the most effective way to clean your pizza stone:Wait till the stone cools
- Scrape off bits of food using a plastic scraper or a stiff brush (without any water)
- Wipe the stone down with a slightly damp cloth
- For extreme levels of grime, sand down raised bits using sandpaper (medium-grit)
If you notice that your stone gets a bit stained, that’s entirely natural. As long as you haven’t used soap or water, the flavor of your future pizzas won’t be
Homemade Pizza Ideas
To make the most of your pizza stone, here are some homemade pizza ideas.
You can try some classic favorites, such as:
- Margarita pizza (cheese, tomato, and basil)
- Four-cheese pizza (mozzarella, gorgonzola, fontina, parmeggiano)
- Four seasons pizza (olives, artichokes, mushrooms, ham – one for each season of the year)
- Calzone (folded in half with any toppings you wish inside)
You can even make gluten-free pizza with your pizza stone if you wish.
You can also have a go at more wild and wonderful recipes, like:
- Taco pizza (refried beans, cheese, tortilla chips, romaine, and ranch dressing)
- Spinach Artichoke pizza (Spinach Artichoke Dip with minced garlic, basil, and cheese)
- White pizza (ricotta is used as a white sauce for the base, topped with mozzarella and Parmesan)
- Veggie supreme pizza (mushrooms, red onions, oregano, and feta cheese)
Pizza Stone for a Grill: FAQs
Here are some common questions about the best pizza stone for a grill.
Why Did My Pizza Stone Crack on the Grill?
Pizza stones usually crack because of a sudden temperature change, and this is why you never want to put a cold pizza stone onto a hot grill – or even onto a warm grill, for that matter.
Can You Cook Burgers on a Pizza Stone?
Yes, you can cook burgers or steaks on a pizza stone. Place your burger or steak on the (preheated) stone, and cook for a few minutes on each side. Remember, though, not to put any oil onto the pizza stone before adding the meat.
Can I Put a Pizza Stone on a Charcoal Grill?
You can put a pizza stone on a charcoal grill, provided that you have most of the charcoal in the correct position. Put the bulk of the hot coals underneath the area adjacent to the stone, rather than having most of it directly underneath. If most of the coals are underneath, the stone will be much hotter (800 to 900 degrees F) than the temperature of the dome (about 350 degrees F).
Final Thoughts on The Best Pizza Stone for a Grill
When looking for the best pizza stone for a grill, remember to consider the shape, size, material, and weight that you want.
Be sure to keep in mind how to care for your pizza stone so that it can continue to deliver top performance every time.
Get yourself a metal pizza peel to work together with your pizza stone for the very best results.
And remember to get creative! Pizza is a very versatile food, and your pizza stone will allow you to create the tastiest pizzas with a nice, crunchy crust that everyone will love.