When planning the menu for your next camping trip, you should consider having pizza. I am not saying you should check out the closest take-out restaurant. You can enjoy that delicious brick oven taste without leaving the campground by following a few easy steps.
We have enjoyed a variety of campfire pizzas in our backyard and on many camping trips. Our family has experimented with toppings and spices to create a plethora of gourmet style pies. The kids love this recipe so much that my son has made this meal a few times on Boy Scout campouts. The scouts have so much fun customizing the pies, in fact, last time they enjoyed crumbling bacon on top.
You will need to obtain a large 16” brick and 2 cinder blocks from your local hardware store to create an oven. Once heated by the campfire, the brick holds its heat for a long period of time. Placing the dough directly on the brick will allow it to cook quickly, and provide an authentic brick oven pizza flavor.
Prepping the Brick
Use a mild dish detergent to scrub the brick, and rinse it thoroughly, especially if this is the first time it is going to be used. Scrub vigorously with a soap pad to ensure that any extraneous dirt from the hardware store is washed away. After each use, always make sure that the brick is completely cleaned and rinsed.
Assembling The Oven
To assemble a sturdy campfire oven, you will need:
- 2 small tower cinder blocks
- 1 16” square patio brick
About two hours before you are ready to start preparing your meal, start the campfire. Place one of the cinder blocks near the fire and rest the 16” brick vertically against it so that the flat, smooth bottom is facing the fire. Heating the stone in this way will reduce the amount of time it will take to get the stone hot for cooking later. (If you do not want to move the 16” brick later -it will be heavy and hot – you can skip this step, and simply build a fire under the stone. However, depending on the weather, it may take an hour or more of intense heat until the stone is hot enough to cook on.)
About a half hour before you are ready to cook, scoop up a small amount of coals with a shovel and start a small fire at the edge of your campfire ring. Place a cinder block on either side of the fire about 15” to 16” apart.
Using a pair of heat resistant gloves, quickly and carefully place the 16” brick on top of the cinder blocks so that the corners are securely placed on top, and the 16” brick does not move. Make sure there is no wobble or instability at all. Keep a strong flame burning under the stone until a small amount of water placed in the center bubbles and sizzles.
Making the Pizza
- 1 ball pizza dough
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1⁄2 cup tomato sauce
- Fresh or dried basil
- Fresh tomato (sliced thin)
- Pepperoni (sliced thin)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp cornmeal
- Vegetable oil (as needed)
- Gently stretch the ball of dough into a thin layer and lay out on a pizza tin. Pour 2 to 3 tbsp on the 16” brick and rub into the stone with a paper towel. Quickly flip the dough onto the hot stone, spread and flatten into a thin round crust.
- Allow to cook 5 to 6 minutes
- Drizzle the olive oil on the dough and sprinkle with cornmeal.
- Slide the tin underneath and quickly flip the dough over.
- Allow to cook 3 to 4 more minutes. Dough should be stiff enough to slide onto the tin, but not cooked through.
- Remove the tin and bring the dough to your prep area.
- Spread tomato sauce on the dough leaving a 3⁄4 inch edge without sauce.
- Sprinkle with basil to taste.
- Add sliced tomato, evenly spaced on the top of the sauce.
- Spread mozzarella cheese over the sauce and tomatoes. If you want to, add pepperoni evenly spaced on top of cheese.
- Slide the pizza back onto the brick, removing the pizza tin. Turn the tin over and place on top of the pie to help trap in the heat and cook the cheese.
- Continue cooking the pizza for 8 to 12 minutes until the bottom crust is toasted brown and cheese is completely melted. If any edge is too puffy or doughy, simply press flat with fingers or a fork.
- Slide the tin under the pie, and remove from heat.
- Cut and serve.