People pay a lot of money for wood-fired pizza; something you can do easily on a camping trip!
Firepit pizza was introduced to our group by my sister-in-law on a trip to Massasauga Provincial Park several years ago. Ever since we have been making it once or twice a season.
Pizza is great for lunch or dinner depending on the amount of time you have to cook.
Pizza crusts pack well in a food barrel – they are the perfect shape. It always amazes me how well these crusts travel. Note: You could make your own dough at the campsite if you have the time and the inclination.
Any store bought crust will do, but ideally something in a package with a bit of protection. We prefer the thinner crusts because they cook quickly. You can buy the crust with the packaged sauce or you can use dehydrated pizza sauce. For smaller pizzas you can use pocket-less pitas, they travel well too.
- Build a wood fire an hour or so before you want to cook
- Use small pieces of wood
- Build up a good coal bed
- The key to the perfect pizza is a hot fire minus the flames OR some distance between the pizza and the flames.
- Re-hydrate the pizza toppings
- Place pizza crusts on tinfoil or even better a tinfoil tray
- Tinfoil trays are light, they fold and they will come in very handy throughout the trip
- Rub a bit of olive oil on the crusts
- In our group, one store bought crust is enough for two people
- Add toppings, place over coals, cover with tinfoil and watch closely – it can burn pretty fast
We all have our favorite toppings so I will just make a list of things we have used that worked well.
- If we are using a tomato based sauce we sprinkle a bit of basil, oregano and a few chilies on top of the crust or on top of the sauce
- Sun-dried tomato (my favorite)
- Bacon – you can use bacon bits or fry up some bacon – use the bacon that doesn’t need refrigeration
- Pepperoni or sausage – we love the stuff from the St. Jacobs market but you can usually find all types of meat that won’t need refrigeration in the deli section of most grocery stores
- Fresh or re-hydrated veggies – mushrooms, sweet and hot peppers and onions all work well
- Olives – taken from a boxed salad mix
- Re-hydrated pineapple – OK I haven’t tried this yet, because the people I camp with would have a fit, but I bet it would be good!
- Anything else you like really as long as it travels well or dehydrates well
- Cheese – there are a number of options when it comes to cheese
- Find cheese that doesn’t need refrigeration. Parmesan cheese travels well, and Brie works nicely on some pizzas. The cheese wrapped in wax will last a long time too.
This pesto pizza is so good it has moved from the trail to being one of the number one requested pizzas at home.
Unfortunately we don’t have any pictures of the finished product from the trail, but we did include a picture of our favorite “pesto in a tube”. Perfect packaging for camping.
Dehydrating fresh pesto is a problem because it’s very oily. However, if you are using pesto in the first few days you could take fresh.
Note: This tube pesto is also great on pasta. We keep a tube in our pack with some pasta for emergency meals – e.g. when someone spills dinner on the forest floor.
To make the pizza at home or on the trail start with a bit of olive oil on the pizza crust. Squeeze on the pesto, add a lot of re-hydrated mushrooms (any kind of mushrooms) and a bit of onion. Cover it with any type of cheese and bake.
We like to keep this pizza simple but you could add anything your want like re-hydrated peppers for example.
Stove Top Pizza:
Pizza in the rain doesn’t work well. However, if you have small crusts or pita, you can use the stove top method used by my brother-in-law. Very yummy but keep a close eye on it because it cooks very fast. He dehydrates some unique mushrooms that he sources from a local market, this always gives his pizzas a gourmet flare.
Prep-time means pizza is not an ideal meal on a “move day” or when time is tight. You will need to give yourself enough time to re-hydrate the toppings. It is a great meal for a leisurely day hanging out around the campsite.