This photo shows a homemade pizza being lifted from a Traeger pellet grill with a pizza paddle.

How to Cook Pizza on a Pellet Grill the Easy Way

- Outdoor Cooking -

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The secret to cooking homemade pizza on a pellet grill isn’t about the recipe or even the use of a pizza stone: The secret to cooking pizza on a pellet grill the easy way is simply using a pizza peel, also known as a pizza paddle.

For cooking homemade pizza on my Traeger pellet grill, I now use a Weber Pizza Paddle. It makes a world of difference and is well worth the investment. For quick answers about cooking homemade pizza on a pellet grill, jump to our Pellet Grill Pizza FAQ at the bottom — or read on more detail!

How to Ready Your Pizza for the Pellet Grill

When you’re ready to make your homemade pizza, all you have to do is sprinkle some cornmeal on your counter and then rollout your dough on it. Then you top off your pizza dough with sauce and your chosen meats, veggies and cheese. At this point, you should be able to scoop up your pizza with a pizza peel or pizza paddle to move it to your pellet grill. If you struggle to scoop it up, for example, if you’ve managed grind the dough into the counter so that the pizza paddle doesn’t get under your dough very easily and it sticks, you can sprinkle a bit of cornmeal onto the paddle and try again. This little trick seems to work well.

Another option is to rollout your dough first with flour, then sprinkle the pizza peel or paddle itself with cornmeal, then lift the dough onto the pizza paddle directly. Once on the paddle, you can add sauce and dress the pizza with toppings. Both ways work well for me with the Weber Pizza Paddle.

Placing Your Pizza on a Pellet Grill

This photo shows the author sliding an uncooked pizza onto a Traeger pellet grill with the Weber Pizza Paddle.
Using a bit of cornmeal underneath the pizza dough and sprinkled on your pizza paddle helps the pizza slide off easily.

To cook the pizza on your pellet grill, preheat your pellet grill to 450-500 degrees. If your Traeger maxes out at 450 degrees, don’t worry about it — I cook pizza on my Traeger Pro 575 at 450 degrees and it works well.

Use the pizza paddle to slide the pizza directly onto the grill grates. If the pizza dough sticks to the pizza paddle, tug the far end of the dough to get it moving. For particularly large pizzas, including pizzas heaped with toppings, you can take a typical household turner and slide it between the pizza dough and the pizza paddle at the end of the paddle. Then, once you’re ready to put the pizza on the grill, you can use the smaller turner to lift and pull the pizza off the paddle and onto the grill. Like most things in life, there’s a bit of a technique that you’ll have to learn through trial-and-error: If you’re smart enough to cook with fire, you’re probably smart enough to figure it out. Do what works for you!

Either way, the key to making pizza on a pellet grill easy is using the pizza paddle. I’ve used thin cutting boards to transfer pizzas and used multiple pancake turners and used two people and four hands at once, but ultimately, the investment in a pizza paddle will make the process so much easier.

 

How Long Does It Take To Cook a Pizza on a Pellet Grill?

It’ll take about 10-12 minutes to cook your pizza on a pellet grill. Try not to open the grill and look at it too often because you’ll drop the grill temperature each time you do. I prefer to cook the pizza long enough so that the outer crust is just starting to blacken with just a bit of burn on the thinnest edges. In this way we can get a nice crispy thin crust. If you like thicker, more doughy crust, use thicker dough or a pizza stone.

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How Does Pellet Grill Pizza Taste?

This photo shows a homemade pizza with arugula on top.
Pellet grill cooked pizzas taste fantastic! (If you like arugula, throw some on after you cook the pizza.)

You might think that a pellet grill pizza will taste smoky, but it doesn’t because you’re not really smoking it low and slow like you might with other foods. What you get is a slightly wood-fired taste, very mild. In our experience, the taste is much better than cooking pizzas in our oven inside our homes, but let’s face it, it isn’t quite as a great as what you get from a true super high-heat wood-fired pizza oven at your neighborhood pizzeria. However, you’re making it yourself, at your own home, and hopefully with guests and kids who get to help make the pizzas. The experience is just as good as the pizza.

Can I Use a Pizza Stone with My Pellet Grill?

This photo shows a pizza being cooked on a pizza stone inside of a pellet grill.
You can also use a pizza stone with your pellet grill.

You can use a good pizza stone on your pellet grill. In my experience, it’s easier to get the crispy crust we like best without a stone, but a stone works if you preheat the stone when you turn on your pellet grill.

Here’s how to use a pizza stone on your pellet grill:

1. Place the pizza stone on your grill when you start your grill. This will help preheat the stone while the grill reaches 450 degrees or so. (If you have a high-quality stone, you can go to 500 degrees, assuming the stone and your grill is rated for it.)

2. For a crispy crust, make sure the stone has been on the grill for a half hour — long enough to make sure it’s good and hot. If you can’t wait that long, you can still cook the pizza on a stone, but the dough won’t be as crisp.

3. Use a pizza peel or pizza paddle to slide your pizza onto and off of the stone.

4. Cook for 10-12 minutes. Once the crust browns and the cheese melts, your pizza is done. For a crispier pizza, let the edges of the crust just start to blacken and the cheese just start to brown.

5. Remove the pizza with your pizza peel or paddle on a large cutting board and use a pizza wheel to cut it into manageable slices. Enjoy and repeat!

 

Important Tip: Be Careful Walking To and From the Grill!

While the pizza paddle makes it possible to carry your pizza, if you’re not paying attention or you bump into someone or something along the way, the pizza can slide off of the peel and onto the ground or floor. Remember the cornmeal? The pizza peel is slick. So be careful, pay attention, and walk through a clear path. I haven’t lost a pizza yet, but I’ve had a couple close calls.

 

Pellet Grills vs Gas Grills for Pizza

This photo shows a homemade pepperoni pizza cooking on a pizza stone on a pellet grill.
While you don’t need a pizza stone on a pellet grill, a stone makes cooking the crust easier on a gas grill.

While I’ve had excellent results cooking pizza on my Traeger pellet grill without a pizza stone, it’s trickier to get right on a gas grill. Why? The heat from the gas flames moves nearly unimpeded upward to whatever is on the grill itself. If you try to cook pizza directly on a rack on gas grills, you may have a difficult time getting your toppings to melt properly without burning the bottom crust. The flame is usually too close and too hot.

However, if you use a high-quality pizza stone on a gas grill, that direct heat from the flames is muted by the pizza stone, which makes it easier to nail down your cook time properly so that you get crispy crust with hot toppings and melted cheese.

But wait, there’s still another potential drawback to using a pizza stone on a gas grill: If you simply place a cool pizza stone on a hot gas grill, the intense heat from the flames (and possibly heavy-duty grill grates) could heat the stone too quickly and crack it. To combat that risk, you have to preheat the stone slowly. Alternately, if you use a good metal pizza pan with holes or even a cast-iron pizza pan like the Lodge 15-inch Seasoned Cast Iron Pizza Pan, you can get good results without the risk of cracking a pizza stone.

So why don’t you need a pizza stone on a Traeger? If your pellet grill is designed like most Traeger pellet grills, the firebox that burns the pellets is located underneath a large steel pan that catches drippings. This diffuses the direct heat from the firebox and essentially turns the pellet grill into a smoky oven. Also, unlike a kitchen oven, it won’t matter if a bit of cheese melts and falls between the grill grates in a pellet grill.

If you want to learn more about the Traeger Pro 575 Pellet Grill with some comparisons with a gas grill, read our Traeger Pro 575 Pellet Grill Review: ‘Pellets Better Than Gas?’ By the way, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about cooking on pellet grills, is that it’s surprisingly hard to cook anything wrong on a pellet grill. I’m not sure why, but you’re basically cooking in a wood-fired smoky oven, and it just works well.

 

Pellet Grill Pizza FAQ

Can I cook a pizza on a pellet grill directly on the rack?

Yes. The easiest way to get a pizza onto and off of a hot pellet grill rack is with a pizza paddle, a.k.a. a pizza peel.

What temperature do you cook pizza on a pellet grill?

450-500 degrees. Some pellet grills max out at 450 degrees, which still works well for cooking pizzas on a pellet grill.

How long does it take to cook pizza on a pellet grill?

10-12 minutes for relatively thin-crust pizzas cooked at 450 degrees. Some pizzas could cook faster or slower depending on pizza size, toppings and temperature.

How do I use a pizza stone on a pellet grill?

To use a pizza stone on a pellet grill, simply place the pizza stone in the center of the pellet grill grates when you first start the pellet grill. This will help heat the pizza stone. If you can wait at least a half-hour until the stone is hot, you’ll get crispier crusts. When you’re ready to cook your pizza, use a pizza paddle/pizza peel to slide your pizza onto the stone. Cook until the cheese is melted and the edges of the crust turns brown and crispy.

Can you cook a pizza on a pellet grill without a pizza stone?

Yes! You can cook a pizza on a pellet grill by placing a pizza directly onto the grill grates and cooking for 10-12 minutes at 450 degrees. Use a pizza peel/pizza paddle to place and remove the pizza for best results.

Can you cook a frozen pizza or store-bought uncooked pizza on a pellet grill?

Yes! A wood-fired smoky pellet grill can sometimes make store-bought uncooked pizzas taste just a bit better. You can use a pizza stone or place the pizza directly on the pellet grill grates and cook at 450 degrees until done. Use a pizza paddle/pizza peel to get the pizza onto and off of the grill surface.

 

Weber Pizza Paddle Review

This photo shows the Weber Pizza Paddle near a pellet grill.
The Weber Pizza Paddle uses thin, high-quality stainless steel.

The Weber Pizza Paddle is a high-quality stainless steel pizza peel. It has an adjustable handle that lets you reduce the packable size if you need to stow it in a cupboard or underneath your pellet stove or grill.

The overall quality is excellent, and the face of the peel is thin and easy to slide underneath pizzas.

If you coat the Weber Pizza Paddle with a bit of cornmeal, it’s even easier to slide underneath an uncooked pizza.

The only drawback I’ve noticed so far is that I wish it were a bit stiffer. Under a large pizza, it flexes a bit more than I would like, but I’m also glad that the peel is thin — much thinner than wood pizza peels.

When you carry a full pizza on the Weber Pizza Paddle, simply tip it back just a bit and it will carry well.

All-in-all, the Weber Pizza Paddle is a high-quality thin pizza peel that does it’s job — and it’s dishwasher safe!

 

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