When planning the menu for your next camping trip, you should consider having pizza. And 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.
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, providing an authentic brick oven pizza flavor and is a great replacement for a pizza stone or steel.
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 for the stone to be 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 so that 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
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 can also make the dough thicker and stick it in one of your cast iron pans for a deep dish version.
And if your friends or family have a gluten intolerance, try our gluten-free zucchini pizza for a healthy, fresh alternative!
How about a little late-night campfire reading? If you’re pondering the thought of a life without pizza, or wondering what it would be like to pine away for your favorite comfort foods among the stars, as an astronaut out in space, check out Allison’s post, “What’s Cooking? Space Food and the Gastronaut Question.”
Have fun and enjoy!
About Jennifer Swartvagher
Jennifer is an experienced journalist and author. Her work has been featured on TODAY Parents, The New York Times Blog, BlogHer, Scary Mommy, and scores of other parenting and cooking publications.