Take your pizza skills into the wilderness with this easy campfire pizza tutorial.
You know how sometimes (always?) the plans you sketch out in your head get all jumbled when they face plant in reality? "Campfire pizza will be no sweat," I said. "Nah, we don't need to bring aluminum foil. The dough will cook perfectly right on the grate, and then we'll just slide it off with tongs or the pizza peel."
I spent three hours last Friday prepping ingredients and gathering materials to make pizza during our Memorial Day weekend camping trip. I made a batch of dough and triple-wrapped it so it couldn't pop out of its plastic. I whipped up some No-Cook Pizza Sauce and grated the cheese. I washed and cut every vegetable and potential pizza topping that was left in my fridge from the week, then packed it all up with plenty of ice. It wasn't until the ingredients were laid out on the campsite's picnic table that I realized I'd forgotten both long-handled tongs and a pizza peel. That's when John handed me the roll of aluminum foil I had told him not to bring. Teamwork at its finest.
John and I started the fire and worked out a quick plan of attack. And while our campmates Scott and Thea watched on like spectators at a sporting event—gasping at our haphazard dough transfers and leaping in to help as needed—we made two really delicious, smoky-flavored campfire pizzas.
Here's how we pulled it off (thanks to Scott Westfall for taking all the action shots!):
Step 1: Start the fire with a grate set over top.
Step 2: Prep any remaining toppings. (At the last minute, I decided to grill the bunch of green onions that I'd originally designated for salad.) Place all your toppings nearby, within arm's reach of wherever you plan to top the dough.
Step 3: Create a long sling out of 2 stacked sheets of aluminum foil. Stretch out the dough to your desired shape and rub it liberally with olive oil, then place it oiled-side-down on the foil sling.
Step 4: Pick up the ends of the sling and carefully lower the dough onto the campfire grate.
Step 5: Once the dough has browned on the bottom, use 2 long sticks to lift it from the grate and transfer it to a cutting board. (This is where my pizza peel would have come in handy, but where's the adventure in that?)
Step 6: Peel off the foil and top the browned side of the crust with sauce and whatever else you prepped. (I made one with cheddar, red bell peppers, and grilled spring onions, and another with fresh mozzarella, sliced leeks, and olives.) Set the foil aside.
Step 7: Make a new sling out of aluminum foil and rub it with olive oil. Place the topped pizza on the sling and carefully lower it onto the campfire grate. Cover the pizza with the reserved foil.
Step 8: When the bottom of the pizza is golden brown and feels firm when poked with a stick, use two long sticks (or a pizza peel) to transfer it from the grate to a cutting board.
Step 9: Cut up the pizzas with whatever tools you have on-hand (I used kitchen shears) and enjoy!
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