Iron Pizza Chef: Pizza on the Grill


My husband and I like to battle Iron Pizza Chef every once in a while. We each make a pizza and then decide whose is better.

Here’s the funny thing: My husband always makes the same pizza. His is pepperoni and green olive. Mine is everything from margherita to bacon to vegetable to arugula. I gotta admit that more often than not, it also has an egg. And some sort of pork product. (But you all know me enough by now to have guessed, right?)

Here’s a typical ‘za battle:

Those are Boboli crusts. Easy in a pinch. And I’ve been battling my own self forever when it comes to rolling out dough. It either gets a whole or it’s too thick.

Well anyway, last night we threw a new wrinkle on the plan. We used refrigerated dough from Whole Foods, and grilled the pizza. I’ve done this a few times, but it’s never come out very well. I have a new technique ā€” learned by reading Weber’s The Way to Grill: Parchment paper. First, I used the bottom of a sheet pan to help shape my dough without tearing it:

Then I put a piece of parchment paper over the top. (Sorry.. no photo.) I peeled the bottom of the dough off the sheet pan and placed it gingerly onto the grill grate. Cook for about 3 minutes, then remove it to put your toppings on the crisp side. Put the wet side down (obviously):

And grill.

My husband used jarred pizza sauce and Parmesan cheese, so his pizza was much drier to start with.

He also had big pepperoni and olives.

I used San Marzano tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, so mine had to go into the oven at 550 for about 5 minutes AFTER it came off the grill. But man oh man. Once it was finished?

I threw some basil from the garden on there and was in heaven.

Sorry. I think I win again.

Your vote?


About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm ā€” with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.


  1. You know they both look really good. I honestly can’t decide. They’re both very different. One thing though, I don’t think I would like the olives hot, but then again, I like puttanesca sauce…

  2. TheLastBite on

    I made some pizzas with my daughter after reading this to hold our own style of personalizing our meal together,It was a lot of fun!
    I have to tell you… with a sunny-up egg…..brilliant!

  3. Hi Liz,

    I think they both look good.

    I love making pizza on the grill, but I do it differently. I also have a gas grill, but have used charcoal to make pizza as well. To me, with a grill you have a great opportunity to make a really authentic Neapolitan style pizza, because you can have such a great heat source that can get very hot. I’m not really interested in getting grill marks, but great char on the crust.

    Sometimes I will put some tiles on the grill grate and sometimes I will use foil (tiles are better if you’ve got them), I usually don’t put the pizza right on the grill.

    Get the dough nice and thin (this is very important), put minimal toppings on (like your doing) and put it on the grill. If you are using tiles, slide it on like you would do in an oven, if you are using foil, but a little olive oil on it before you put the dough on top and put the whole thing on the grill. Try to open the close the lid as quickly as possible. If you’ve got your grill hot enough, your pizza should be able to cook in 5 minutes or less. You will get really nice char on the crust, just like in a “brick oven”, but it may take some practice.

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