There’s a common camping misconception that heading out of delivery range means forgoing doughy, cheesy goodness in favour of a few nights under the stars. You can have a Neapolitan deluxe with peppercorn ranch, or you can brush up on your big dipper identification skills. But both? At once? The stuff of dreams.
In fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Pizza is to camping as s’mores are to… well, camping. With the right gear and a few good ideas you can whip up a pie that’ll have your camp buddies saying, “Nice one, dude,” in no time. Here are a couple of our favourite methods, arranged in order of fanciness from total newbie to pizza pro.
Great news for pizza fans: Even if you can’t make it to a campsite, you can practice most of these pizza methods cooking at home. Use your cast iron skillet in your oven or set up a camping grill in your backyard to test new ingredient combos in preparation for future camping trips.
Method 1: Straight on the grill
Easiest with a pre-made base. Assemble your toppings, fire up the grill and you’re ready to go. You can even skip the pizza dough and use flatbread, naan, pita or even English muffins (save the rest to have for breakfast with the best cup of camp coffee you’ve ever made).
Fanciness level: Definitely classier than a pizza pocket
Pro tips: Lay some tinfoil over your grill to prevent any cheese-melting messiness. We’ve even heard of people skewering refrigerated pizza dough and bite-sized ingredients on kebab sticks to roast ‘em like marshmallows!
Method 2: Cast iron skillet
Just one more thing your one-and-done camp pan can do. Roll out your dough and press it into an oiled skillet. Top with pizza sauce, cheese and your favourite ingredients. Cover with a lid or some foil and cook over your campfire or grill until the top is crispy and brown.
Fanciness level: Rustic with a cheesy twist
Pro tips: Take advantage of the high walls of your skillet and try making an extra gooey Chicago-style deep dish pizza. Or, if you’re packing picky eaters, skip the toppings debate and use a 6.5in. skillet to make personal pizzas.
Method 3: Dutch oven
No, not that kind. Press your dough into the base of the oven (if using a high-walled oven, line with parchment paper to streamline the pizza extraction process once it’s cooked). Try to use a small amount of sauce and low-moisture ingredients (think meats, mushrooms, olives and less juicy veg like peppers) to keep things crispy rather than steamy during cooking. Set the oven over your fire or camp stove, cover with the lid, and place hot coals or stones on top. Let convection do the rest!
Fanciness level: Some know-how required – with perfectly crispy on top/gooey in the middle results.
Pro tip: Don’t forget your campfire mitts!