We can all agree that pizza is the best, right? Then combining it with another good thing makes everything better, obviously. Camping + pizza= campfire pizza! Wanting to test the newest addition to our camping set up, Snow Peak’s field oven, a group of friends and I decided to take on making campfire pizzas. As anyone who has made pizza from scratch can attest, this is no easy feat, and the difficulty intensifies with the campfire element. Yet, armed with a few shortcuts and a team of people, we took on the challenge! Here is what we did and what we’d do differently next time.
Snow Peak Field Oven*
Snow Peak Takibi Fire & Grill*
Pizza stone or cast-iron skillet
Firewood & kindling
Matches or lighter
Wooden or metal spatula
Kitchen towel or rag
* You don’t need the field oven and Takibi set to make campfire pizza. Yet, you do have to figure out a way for the pizza to cook in an oven-like setting- aka mostly covered. Fresh Off the Grid created a thorough guide that walks campers through the steps of baking a pizza in a cast iron on campfire grates. There are other products and covers in the market. Seeing as we already had the Takibi fire and grill, we thought we’d try it out.
Fresh mozzarella cheese
Our Shortcuts & Hacks
Hack number one for making this process easy is to purchase pre-made pizza dough. If you have the time and ingredients to make your own dough ahead of time, there are many recipes online for homemade dough. We were already purchasing a variety of things from Trader Joe’s for the camping trip, so it made sense to pick up a few packages of dough. They are in the refrigerated section, need to be chilled, and are inexpensive. Some grocery stores have frozen dough in the frozen pizza or bread section.
The next shortcut was using store-bought pizza sauce. With all of these wonderful summertime tomatoes right now, I had every intention of making the sauce myself, but when it came down to it, I ran out of prep time! Things happen! Fortunately, our friend had grabbed a jar of sauce from her pantry. In the end, it saved us from a lot of cooking and cleaning.
Another suggestion is to be generous with the cornmeal, to the point that you feel like you’re using too much. Whether you’re using an open fire or a campfire oven, the intensity of the heat and the combination of the raw dough creates a sticky situation.
This brings me to the next suggestion, pre-baking the dough before putting on the toppings. This helps prevent the dough from becoming soggy, sticking to the pan, and burning (particularly the center- see photo below). Next, sprinkle the cornmeal onto the stone, powder the ball of dough with a pinch of flour, stretch it out and place it onto the stone or pan, and set it on top of the campfire or in the oven for one to two minutes. Once the flour has hardened just a tad, remove, flip the dough over with your spatula, and put your pizza toppings on.
The Magic Sequence
Prepare, gather, and arrange your toppings on the picnic table.
Preheat your pizza stone or cast iron pan by placing it above the fire or oven.
Liberarlly sprinkle cornmeal onto a pizza peel.
Split the pre-made pizza dough into two balls. Before picking one up, powder the dough with a pinch of flour. To stretch the pizza dough out, flatten the ball and pinch the edges while pulling the dough, stretching it while spinning the disc as you go. When the dough gets stretched and flattened enough, lay it on the pizza peel and, using your fingetips, continue to stretch out the dough on the peel.
Once the dough is flattened enough and ready, slide it onto the pre-heated stone or pan. Place in the oven or on the grate and bake the dough for a minute or two.
Pull the stone out and flip the pizza dough over. Place your sauce and toppings on the pizza and transfer back to the campfire or oven. Bake the pizza for 7-11 minutes, pulling the pizza out and checking the bottom of the crust with a spatula to make sure it’s not burning. That sucker will get hot.
Once the pizza is fully cooked, pull the pizza out and transfer back onto the pizza peel. Since we were making pizza after pizza with the same peel, we ended up transfering the cooked pizzas onto sheets of aluminum paper.
Top with any fresh toppings that you might have like basil, balsamic glaze, or parmesan.
Cut the pizza and enjoy!