Whether you’re out hiking, hunting, fishing or enjoying any other outdoor activities, one of the best parts of any trip is the end of the day when everybody gathers around the campfire for some traditional outdoor foods like hotdogs, barbecue or spit-roast meat.
Pizza would be the ideal camping food to share but you might think it’s right off the menu since you need an oven to cook pizza, right? Not exactly! You can also make delicious pizza on your camping trips using a Dutch oven, it’s really easy – and here’s how to do it…
Pizza In The Woods – The Steps You Need To Know For Perfect Dutch Oven Pizza
What You’ll Need
There are two parts to what you need, the equipment and the ingredients. Here, I’m listing the ingredients for two different pizzas to give you some choice – but you can also adapt my ideas to make your own style pizzas.
You can use any other toppings you like but for the best results, you should use ingredients which contain the minimum amount of moisture possible. Cooking a pizza in a Dutch oven will create a lot of steam and to ensure you end up with the perfect delicious crispy pizza, you need to combat this.
For the pizza base, you have several options. The best choice is to take a ready-made rolled up base which you can simply unroll and use. Making pizza dough requires flour, yeast and other ingredients and on a campsite, is a little unpractical. Another option is to buy a ready-cooked pizza base.
Having said that, making pizza dough is not difficult and if you prefer to make the pizza base yourself from scratch, here is a video I found that will show you how.
To make pizza in a Dutch oven, here’s what you’ll need:
- Dutch oven with a rim on top so you can place coals on the lid
- Cooking paper
- Gloves, lid lifter or other means of removing the lid
- Tin foil or skewers
- Pizza cutter or knife
- Chopping board
Classic Pepperoni Pizza
- Pizza base
- Tomato sauce
- Sliced pepperoni
- Grated mozzarella cheese
- Sliced red pepper
- Sliced green pepper
- Chopped onion
- Olive oil
Four Cheese Pizza
- Pizza base
- Tomato sauce
- 2oz grated mozzarella cheese
- 2oz gruyere cheese
- 1oz gorgonzola or any other suitable blue cheese
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- Olive oil
How It’s Done
1. Prepare The Coals
The first step is heating the coals. The secret to making successful Dutch oven pizza is that you need to place coals on top as well as below to replicate the heating of a regular oven. This means you need to have enough hot coals to cover the lid as well as the ones you place under the oven.
2. Place The Cooking Paper In The Dutch Oven
One of the trickiest parts of cooking pizza in a Dutch oven is removing the pizza afterwards. Here is my little trick to make it easier for you. To solve the problem, you can use a piece of parchment paper to line the oven so that when it’s done, you simply lift the paper out with the pizza on it.
For the paper in the Dutch oven, you need a piece that is long enough to line the Dutch oven and that sticks out a little at each side so you can get hold of it.
3. Place The Pizza Base On The Paper And Add The Toppings Of Your Choice
To make sure the pizza doesn’t stick to the paper, first, you need to spread some olive oil over the paper. Then you place whichever type of pizza base you have chosen to use on the paper in the Dutch oven.
Once the pizza has been placed in the Dutch oven on the paper, you can start to add the toppings. First, spread the tomato sauce evenly over the base then add the rest of the toppings you have chosen. Finally, drizzle a little olive oil over the pizza for extra flavor.
4. Place The Lid On The Dutch Oven
As mentioned before, cooking pizza in a Dutch oven can create a lot of steam inside. If you want to avoid having a soggy pizza, you need to allow any steam that is released to escape.
The way I do this is to place a couple of skewers between the lid and the rim of the oven. This allows the steam to escape from the oven but still ensures most of the heat is retained within the oven.
5. Place The Oven On The Coals And Place Coals On Top
Place half of the coals in the pit where the cooking will take place and then place the Dutch oven over the coals. Once the oven is in place, carefully place the remaining coals on the lid. Ideally, you need an oven with a rim for this purpose but it may be possible to make it work without one.
The heat from below will cook the bottom of the pizza and the coals on top will heat the air above the pizza which should result in a delicious crispy pizza.
6. Cook The Pizza And Check
Leave the pizza to cook for around 10-15 minutes depending on the heat of the coals and then, using your gloves or lid lifter, lift the lid to check. This is also why it is better to have a rim because if you don’t, it is easy for the coals to fall off when you lift the lid.
The pizza should look crispy and slightly browned. If it isn’t ready yet, you can replace the lid and leave the oven on the coals for a few minutes more before you check again.
7. Remove The Pizza And Enjoy!
Once the pizza is done, remove the oven from the coals and place it on the floor. Remove the lid and place it somewhere safe. Remember, cast iron Dutch ovens get very hot and retain heat for a long time so make sure you don’t burn yourself.
With the lid removed, carefully lift the pizza out of the oven using the paper. Place the pizza on the chopping board and divide it up with the pizza cutter or knife. Your pizza is ready to enjoy and is perfect with a nice glass of wine or an ice-cold beer!
The two options I’ve outlined here are my favorites when I make Dutch oven pizza – and I love to add a splash of tabasco or other spicy sauce if I’m eating the pepperoni one. You can use any of your favorite ingredients but remember to try to reduce moisture as much as possible.
Have you ever tried to make a pizza in a Dutch oven? What did it turn out like? Do you have any other tips for the perfect Dutch oven pizza? What are the perfect toppings for campsite pizza? I hope you liked my article – if you did, please leave a comment and why not share with your friends?