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How to Cook an Amazing Pizza Over the Campfire

How to Cook an Amazing Pizza Over the Campfire

There’s nothing like a piping hot pizza fresh out of the oven. But did you know that you can make a fantastic pizza over a campfire without the oven? It’s a fun and delicious way to enjoy the great outdoors with friends and family.

With a few simple ingredients and tools, you can make a mouthwatering pizza and some fun memories you’ll never forget. If you want to stop eating nothing but hot dogs over the fire, today’s article is for you.

We’ll share how to cook an amazing pizza over the campfire. If all goes to plan, it’ll be better than any pizzeria.

So set up the campfire; it’s time to make some pizza! 

Cooking Campfire Pizza on Cast Iron

What Is a Campfire Pizza?

A campfire pizza is one you cook over an open fire while camping or enjoying the outdoors. Instead of baking in an oven, the pizza cooks in a cast iron skillet or on a griddle over a campfire or grill. Depending on personal preference, the crust can be thin or thick and is typically a simple mixture of flour, yeast, water, and salt. 

There are no limits when it comes to toppings. Add or subtract as desired, including tomato sauce, cheese, vegetables, meats, and herbs. However, remember that many of your toppings will need to stay cool. Depending on how you’re camping, this could be challenging.

The result is a delicious, smoky, and satisfying meal perfect for enjoying around the campfire with friends and family.

Pro Tip: Keep your pizza toppings cool in one of these 6 Best Solar Powered Cooler Options.

Pizzas being made by fire
Let your inner chef shine on your next camping trip and make homemade pizzas.

Is Making a Campfire Pizza Hard?

Making a campfire pizza can be challenging, especially if you’re new to cooking over an open flame. However, with the correct tools and a bit of practice, it can be a fun and rewarding experience. Don’t expect perfection on your first attempt.

One of the best things about trial and error when cooking pizza is that it means you’ll have to eat more pizza. Like Bob Ross, don’t consider your mistakes failures; instead, consider them “happy accidents.” How can you be unhappy if you get to eat more pizza?

Best Methods for Making Campfire Pizza

There are a few standard methods for making campfire pizza. One of the best homemade pizza options is a skillet and a tripod. You’ll want to preheat the skillet over the fire for a few minutes for the best results. 

Once you’ve let it hang over the fire for a few minutes, add the dough, sauce, and toppings to the skillet and cover it with a lid or foil. Then, let the pizza hang over the fire for 10 to 15 minutes or until the crust is crispy and the cheese melts. This can take some getting used to, but before you know it, you’ll end up with the perfect crust almost every time.

campfire  cooking tripod setup
Using a tripod with a grill or pot can work to place a skillet in.

If you’re worried about cooking it perfectly over the fire, why not try a pizza pocket instead of a pizza? You can place your dough inside the cast iron sandwich makers and load it full of your favorite toppings. Place a layer of dough on top and close the roasters. Place them over the fire for three to five minutes on each side. This is a fun way to allow everyone to customize their pizza.

Finally, if creating your dough or making a pizza is intimidating, bring a frozen pizza.  Take some aluminum foil, cover the grate on your fire pit, and let the fire heat up. Place the pizza directly onto the foil and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. The cheese will melt, and the crust will get nice and crispy. You may need to rotate the pizza every few minutes to ensure it cooks evenly.

Making pizza while camping
From cast iron skillets to pizza pockets, there are many ways to make delicious campfire pizzas.

What Equipment Do You Need for Campfire Pizza?

If you want to give cooking a campfire pizza without an oven a try, you’ll need a few items. First, you’ll need a cast iron skillet. As a result, this can be challenging if you’re backpacking, as cast iron isn’t exactly light. It can also be helpful to have items like a tripod or grate, heat-resistant gloves, and utensils like a metal spatula, rolling pin, knife, and cutting board.

If you don’t use a tripod, you can place the skillet right in open flames or on coals. If placed directly on the fire, it helps to add coals to the lid to heat the pizza more easily.

You’ll also need a way to keep your items fresh. If you’re bringing a cooler or refrigerator, ensure it stays at the proper temperature to store meat and other temperature-sensitive ingredients safely. You don’t want to end up with food poisoning trying to make a delicious pizza.

Don’t forget that you’ll need a heat source, typically a fire. Ensure you have a plan for starting and maintaining a fire. Just check for fire restrictions. Law enforcement won’t find your pizza appealing if you violate the rules.

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Pro Tip: Add one of these 7 Best Campfire Tripods for Sturdy Fire Cooking to your camping gear set up.

Mini pizzas being made over campfire
Cooking over a campfire takes patience and practice.

How to Cook an Amazing Pizza Over the Campfire

Want to cook a fantastic pizza over a campfire? Let’s gather around the campfire and see what you can do to create the perfect pizza for you and your fellow campers.

Choose the Right Equipment

The right equipment is essential for making an amazing pizza over the campfire. A cast iron skillet or griddle is one of the most crucial campfire pizza tools. Cast iron is a practical choice because it can withstand high temperatures and provides heat distribution, ensuring that your pizza cooks evenly. 

Look for a sturdy skillet or griddle with a good weight to it, as this will help prevent burning and create a crispy crust. If you’re using a skillet or griddle, consider using a tripod to suspend it over the fire. A tripod allows you to adjust the height of the skillet or griddle and provides stability for safe cooking.

Another option for making campfire pizza is a Dutch oven. A Dutch oven is a heavy cast iron pot with a tight-fitting lid to place directly on the hot coals. Dutch ovens help make thick-crust pizzas, and you can use them for other campfire cooking activities.

Gather Your Ingredients

The right ingredients are crucial for making a fantastic pizza over the campfire. One of the most essential ingredients on any pizza is tomato sauce. You can use canned or homemade tomato sauce, depending on your preference. Look for a sauce with a good consistency that isn’t too watery, which tends to make the pizza soggy. 

Once you have your sauce, add your desired toppings, like cheese, vegetables, meats, and herbs. Be creative with your toppings and experiment to find your favorite. Chopping your toppings into small pieces can help them cook evenly. 

Kids making their own pizzas
Letting your little ones get creative and design their own campfire pizzas makes for a memorable camping experience.

Prepare Dough and Ingredients Ahead of Time

Can you have pizza without pizza dough? You can make yours from scratch or buy pre-made dough from a grocery store. If you’re making your dough, let it rise properly before cooking. You want the dough to have a good consistency to withstand the intense heat from the campfire.

In addition, take the time to plan out the dough and ingredients. You can place them in individual containers to help keep everything neat and organized. This can also make it easy to keep ingredients during transport so they’re fresh and ready to go when you need them.

Build Your Pizza and Get Creative

The first step is to roll out your pizza dough to the desired thickness and shape. Depending on your preference, you can use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch and shape the dough. Once the dough is the right size and shape, you can transfer it to a floured surface.

Next, add your tomato sauce and toppings. Start with a layer of tomato sauce, spreading it evenly over the dough and leaving a small border around the edges. Then, add your desired toppings, like cheese, vegetables, meats, and herbs. 

Be creative with your toppings and experiment with different combinations. Just be mindful not to leave the pizza with too many toppings, as this can prevent it from cooking evenly and result in a soggy crust. 

Finally, top the pizza with a layer of cheese, like mozzarella, cheddar, or Parmesan. This will help hold the toppings in place and create a delicious, melty layer. With your pizza fully assembled, it’s time to cook it over the campfire and enjoy a delightful outdoor meal without an oven.

Making campfire pizzas
Kick the classic campfire hot dogs to the curb in exchange for mouth watering pizzas.

Place Over the Fire

Before placing your pizza over the fire, ensure the fire is ready. The optimal campfire to cook your pizza is a bed of red-hot coals with low flames. Hold your hand about 6 inches above the fire to test the heat. If you can only hold it there for a few seconds before it becomes too hot, the fire is at the right temperature for cooking pizza.

The cooking time for campfire pizza can vary depending on the cooking method and the thickness of the pizza dough. Watching the pizza while cooking is crucial to prevent burning or undercooking.

How long you cook your pizza will depend on how hot you cook it. Going too hot is not a problem. You just need to check it more frequently. Hot enough you can get a pizza to cook in a few minutes, but usually, it takes 8-15 minutes. It’s best to check it every 2 to 5 minutes to get the best results.

The cooking time will also depend on the thickness of the pizza crust and the toppings you use. To ensure the pizza is to your liking, check the crust frequently and use a spatula or tongs to lift the edges and the underside.

Pro Tip: Start your campfire with ease by using one of these 8 Best Campfire Starters to Bring on Every Outdoor Adventure.

Enjoy the Experience

Cooking a campfire pizza without an oven is a unique and fun way to have dinner while camping. Unless you’re camping with a professional pizza chef, there’s a good chance everybody will make a mistake or two. Give yourself and each other some grace and enjoy the experience.

It’s more about making memories than making award-winning pizza. So make sure you take plenty of pictures and document the entire experience. You’ll likely cherish the images long after you’ve eaten the last piece of pizza.


Enjoy a Delicious and Unique Meal with Campfire Pizza!

While your first few attempts may not produce fantastic results, the more you practice, the easier it will become. Take each opportunity to learn and evaluate what worked and didn’t work. Before you know it, you’ll enjoy pizza cooked to perfection. Just make sure you save us a slice or two!

What are your favorite pizza toppings? Tell us in the comments!

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About Mortons on the Move

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of The RVers, producers of “Go North” on Amazon Prime, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for and an Arizona travel guide.

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