A charcoal grill adds delicious, smoky flavor to a pizza, which can be cooked on a round specialty stone for a crispy crust. Almost any kind of charcoal grill will work with a pizza stone, provided the grill has a tight-fitting lid for baking the pizza dough. Unlike tossing a pre-made pizza in the oven, grilling with a pizza stone over charcoal is a two-step process. The crust is allowed to bake a few minutes before it is flipped on the stone, then toppings are added. Grilling pizza is a fun way to bring new flavor to a familiar dish.
Start a fire with about 20 briquettes of charcoal, enough to cover the bottom of the grill over which the pizza stone will be placed.
Bring a ball of pizza dough to room temperature. Store-bought or homemade pizza dough will work equally well on the grill. A basic dough for a 16-inch, thin-crust pizza consists of 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of water and a package of dried yeast mixed together with a tablespoon of olive oil and allowed to rise for an hour before grilling.
Prepare toppings while the coals are burning. Consider using sliced tomatoes instead of pizza sauce, which can scorch and cause flareups on the grill.
Lightly grease one side of the pizza stone with a tablespoon of olive oil rubbed in with a paper towel, then set the stone on the cooking grate over the fire with the oiled side facing upward when the coals burn white.
Close the lid and allow the pizza stone to preheat for 10 minutes while you roll out the dough on a flat surface.
Place the dough on the pizza stone, close the grill lid again and allow the dough to bake for three to four minutes.
Use a spatula to lift and turn over the crust to continue cooking the other side.
Add toppings to taste and close the grill lid, baking the pizza an additional four to five minutes or until the crust turns golden-brown, the toppings are crisp, and the cheese is melted. Transfer to a cutting board with the spatula, slice, and serve.
Add fresh herbs during the last two minutes of bake time to prevent them from scorching.
Experiment with different pizza crusts, adjusting flour and water quantities for the desired thickness and mixing herbs and spices into the dough for flavor. Combinations can include basil, oregano, rosemary, or grated parmesan cheese and garlic.
Do not bake the crust more than five minutes per side before checking the progress or the pizza will overcook and taste like burnt toast.