What’s a Campfire Pizza?
We have added a new staple to our regular camping meal plan, the Campfire Pizza. We are always looking for some unique ways to cook different things while we’re camping. It also has to allow the kids to get involved. The campfire pizza is quick, easy, and who doesn’t like pizza? Better yet, the only thing you need is a cast iron pan, some basic ingredients, and of course a campfire (alternatively you can use a charcoal grill).
- Pre-rolled pizza dough from your local grocery store (we used Publix)
- Mozzarella cheese
- Pizza sauce (1 jar was more than enough for 4 personal sized pizzas)
- Toppings (we used the following, but this is up to you)
- Bacon (left over from our breakfast sandwiches)
- Mushrooms (pre-sauteed these on our stove top)
- Anything you want on your pizza
Other items needed
- Cast Iron skillet (recommend 12″, or however big you want your pizza)
- Cooking spray (aka Pam)
- Long reach BBQ turning spatula
- Leather BBQ gloves (or equivalent) for handling pan over fire
Cooking the Dough
- Preheat the cast iron skillet over the fire for a good 5-10 minutes until its “piping” hot (and yes ‘piping’ is an official temperature)
- Warning: Don’t grab the cast iron skillet with your bare hands. It will be hot and is guaranteed to burn you. This will be your only warning that you can burn yourself if you aren’t careful – there we have covered the liability of aspects of playing with fire.
- While the skillet is pre-heating, take the dough out, cut it in half and move one end around to the other to make a circle.
- Tip: The dough won’t roll out evenly again, so don’t ball it up and try to massage it in to a round shape
- Spray the cast iron skillet with Pam
- Place dough in cast iron skillet
- Tip: watch the dough carefully, because it won’t take long to cook. Check by placing spatula underneath dough frequently. When it starts to brown, move on to the next step. If you find dough is burning rapidly, try removing skillet from fire for a few seconds-minutes to allow it to continue to cook at a lower temperature.
Tip: Since you’re not using an oven, you have to flip the dough so that it is cooked thoroughly. Then apply the toppings.
- Remove skillet from fire, and place somewhere you can work on it (you won’t be able to add toppings successfully on the fire)
- Add about 2-3 tablespoons of pizza sauce to the dough, and spread evenly
- Add a layer of Mozzarella cheese on top of pizza sauce
- Tip: It’s ok if there isn’t a piece of cheese covering every inch of red sauce. This will allow the cheese to melt, and tends to taste better.
- Add toppings of your choice (i.e. pepperoni, mushrooms, bacon, etc.)
- Return skillet to the fire
- Tip: While we wouldn’t recommend it, you can position your wood like we have in the pictures to cook the pizza directly on the fire. It would definitely be preferable to have the metal cooking grate over your fire, but its camping. You make do with what you have.
- Check frequently by using spatula to check under side of dough for browning
- When dough on bottom is brown to your liking the pizza is done and cheese should be melted at that stage
- Remove skillet from fire
- Remove pizza from skillet on to a plate that can withstand heat (be careful using those Styrofoam plates as they might melt in to your pizza)
- Allow to cool for 3-5 minutes before cutting
- Cut pizza
- Serve and enjoy
Tip: Make use of a nice leather BBQ glove to protect your arms from the flames as well as your hand from the hot skillet.
Finished Campfire Pizza
Getting the Kids Involved
Naturally we can’t do anything without trying to create memories with the family, so we had to get the kids involved with creating their pizzas. We did the initial dough cooking, and when it came time to put toppings on, we let the kids go to town. Its an easy exercise, teaches them to mind the hot pan, and provides a sense of accomplishment at the end.
If cooking over the campfire isn’t your thing, you can always use a charcoal grill to accomplish this task. The campfire is just so much more authentic and fun.