Pioneer Pizza Recipe. The BEST Fire Grilled Pizza


Pioneer Pizza is a thin crust, fire roasted, crispy pizza that is cooked directly on the grill. It has all the delicious flavors of being cooked outdoors just like the Pioneers did. The homemade crust adds the wonderful aspect of the dish. Pioneer pizza is like pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven.

We include a recipe for homemade Pioneer pizza crust, but if you don’t have the time to make pizza dough or are not fond of making it, you might also choose to use a loaf of frozen bread dough that can be found at your local grocery store and thawed.  It will provide the same delicious results and save you preparation time.

Pioneer Pizza Recipe. The BEST Fire Grilled Pizza.
Pioneer Pizza Recipe. The BEST Fire Grilled Pizza. Photo by CookThink.


Electric Mixer
Grill, gas or charcoal

Shopping List

Active Dry Yeast
All-Purpose Flour
Olive Oil
Pizza Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese
Pizza Toppings

What To Eat With Pioneer Pizza

Loaded Potato Salad
Wedge Salad
Watermelon Pizza
Watermelon Salad With Feta And Tomato

How to Reheat Pioneer Pizza

Since Pioneer pizza is cooked on the grill, you might be wondering how to best reheat the leftovers the next day. The best way I have found is to put it in the oven at 375F for about 5-8 minutes, placing it directly on the oven rack. This will allow the pizza to maintain its crispness.

It is possible to reheat Pioneer pizza in the microwave. But the microwave provides a moist heat that give the pizza more of a soggy presentation after being heated.

How to Store Pioneer Pizza

Pioneer pizza can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. It is best when eaten fresh.

Pioneer Pizza Recipe. The BEST Fire Grilled Pizza. Photo by CookThink.
Pioneer Pizza Recipe. The BEST Fire Grilled Pizza. Photo by CookThink.

Can Pioneer Pizza Be Made Gluten Free?

Yes. Pioneer Pizza can be made gluten free. You’d want to use an all-purpose 1:1 gluten free flour as your substitute. You might also note that using a gluten free flour can sometimes create a drier outcome that regular all-purpose flour. Therefore, additional water might need to be added in order to compensate.

What Kind of Pizza Sauce Should I Use?

You can use your favorite pizza sauce. But you know that for pizza, the sauce is the boss. The sauce really does play a significant factor in the outcome of the flavor of your pizza. It is probably the most important item to determine flavor. Some of the pizza sauces that we like to use are Contadina Pizza Sauce and Dei Fratelli Italian Style Pizza Sauce. They are readily available at our local grocery store and we like the flavor. But you don’t have to stick with those, try different sauces and see which ones you like best.  

What Is The Best Cheese For Pioneer Pizza?

The go to cheese for pizza is typically mozzarella. However, mixing mozzarella with muenster cheese can be really delicious. If you’re able to purchase a chunk of cheese and grate it yourself, rather than buying shredded cheese, you’ll have more ooey gooey cheese. That is because you’ll be avoiding a powder that is applied to store bought shredded cheese that is applied so that the fine little shreds don’t stick together.

Pioneer Pizza Topping Ideas

Green Peppers

Importance of Allowing Time for the Dough to Rise

It is important to allow the 1 hour time for the dough to rise.  If this step is skipped, your pizza crust will not have the desire elasticity and will be denser. If you’re making the homemade Pioneer pizza crust, allow an hour for the dough to rise.

If you don’t have the time to make a homemade pizza dough or just plain don’t want to fiddle with it, you can purchase an already made loaf of bread dough in the freezer section at your local grocery store. Just thaw it in a covered dish and let it rise at room temperature before using it. Using frozen bread dough is a hack that will give you similar results in flavor and outcome.

Pioneer Pizza Expert Tips

1. Make a thin crust.

You’ll want to make as thin of a crust as possible to achieve successful results. Maybe you’ve been to a restaurant that makes pizza in a wood-fired oven. The outcome of cooking Pioneer pizza on the grill is a lot like that.  It’s not your thick crust deep dish pizza. 

2. Reduce to a low heat.

If you like your cheese to be melted and bubbling, it is important that the heat of your grill be reduced after the first side of the crust has been cooked.

3. Place it directly on the grill rack or pizza stone.

For this recipe we place our pizza directly on the grill rack to cook it because we want to achieve that all important Pioneer open fire roasted flavor. But if you have a pizza stone that will fit inside your grill, that is another way that Pioneer pizza can be achieved. It diminishes the open fire flavor on the crust a bit. 

4.  Don’t use water that’s too hot, you can kill the yeast

If you’re using our recipe below for pizza dough, you’ll want to be sure to not use water that. Is above the 95-110F range. Doing so will likely kill the yeast, which means the dough will not rise.

5. Two options for grilling.

There are a couple of options to grilling a Pioneer crust. You can grill one side of the crust then flip it over and add toppings. Or you can choose to add everything on the crust at the beginning and grill lower and slower. If choosing the low and slow method, use a temperature of 275F and check the pizza every few minutes until the desired doneness is completed.

Pioneer Pizza Recipe. The BEST Fire Grilled Pizza. Photo by CookThink.
Pioneer Pizza Recipe. The BEST Fire Grilled Pizza. Photo by CookThink.

How To Make Pioneer Pizza

Pioneer pizza is an easy to make pizza on the grill with a homemade crust. You’ll need to allow about an hour for the dough to rise. But that’s the most time-consuming part. And if you’re not real fond of making your own crust, simply substitute a loaf of purchased frozen bread dough that has been thawed.  Other than that, you can just enjoy assembling and cooking your pizza on the grill like the pioneers would have done it.


1 ¼ tsp Active Dry Yeast
½ tsp Sugar
¼ cup warm Water (95 – 110F)
3 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp Salt
¼ cup Olive Oil
1 cup water (room temperature)
Pizza Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese
Pizza Toppings

Step by Step Instructions

1. In an electric stand mixer, combine 1 ¼ tsp active dry yeast, ½ tsp sugar and ¼ cup warm water that is about 95 to 110F. Stir until yeast is dissolved. Let sit for about 5 minutes or until mixture begins to foam.

2. Next, add 3 ½ cups of all-purpose flour, 2 tsp salt, ¼ cup olive oil, 1 cup room temperature water.  Mix together all at once until the dough forms a ball.

3. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for the dough to rise for about an hour.

4. Punch the dough down and divide into smaller servings if desired. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to flatten each dough ball into as thin of a crust as possible. Transfer the dough to a pizza stone or cutting board for stability in moving it to the grill.

5. Heat grill to 400F. For a crispier crust, place the crust without toppings directly on the grill. Grill crust until browned, about 2 minutes.

6. Flip the crust. Add sauce, cheese and toppings. Reduce the heat to 250F and grill until cheese is melted.

Serve hot and enjoy!

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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