Pizza on a campfire. No fuss, no muss, no dishes

Who doesn’t love pizza? And who doesn’t think cooking caveman style on a fire is bad ass? I think they are both awesome, and I wanted to combine the two into something extraordinary.

There are lots of campfire pizza recipes out there, but most seem to be built around pita bread, English muffins, or tortillas. Don’t get me wrong, I love Mexican food (or what passes for Mexican food in Duluth, Minnesota), but a tortilla is not a substitute for a pizza crust.

Field and Stream had a neat article a few years back that talked about some campfire cooking methods (I still have to try digging a bean hole one of these days), and I liked their concept of using aluminum foil as a reflector oven. Aluminum foil is inexpensive and weighs next to nothing, so why not try it out?

Here is my recipe:

  • 1 Campfire, the hotter the better
  • Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil, 18″ wide if you have it. Rig one piece as a pizza pan, and tear off another piece a bit over three feet long to make the reflector.
  • Bannock Dough. My basic bannock recipe is 1½ cups self rising flour, 1 tsp sugar or honey, 1 tbs oil (olive or peanut for me), and enough water to make a stiff dough (about ¾ cup). I mix the works up in a 1 quart plastic bag.
  • Pizza Sauce
  • Cheese
  • Anything else you want on your pizza. I used pepperoni, but I suppose I should have foraged for the toppings to make this more bushcrafty.

Not a great image, but you can see more or less how I put it together

Unfortunately I was using my camera phone which is not optimized for taking pictures (I have an old Samsung Juke which feels like using a telegraph compared to the new smart phones, but new phones cost new money), but you should be able to get the idea from the pictures.

Roll each end of the foil around a straight, green stick. Anchor one of the ends right up next to the campfire and anchor another stick about a third of the way along the foil, away from the fire. Now fold the loose end of the foil towards the fire at a 45 degree angle and support it with two forked, green sticks. Better yet, look at the diagram:

You want a hot, hanging fire to do this; not coals. This simplifies cooking since hungry people do not like waiting for a fire to burn down.

On the foil pizza pan, dust the dough ball with flour and press it out like you would any other pizza crust. Lay on your sauce and toppings and put it in the reflector.  There are no set times; just keep rotating the pizza as it cooks to keep it even.

I thought the pizza turned out pretty good. It was a bit doughy in the middle; if I had a fire grate I would have stuck the pizza on top for a minute or two to brown the bottom. Either way, it worked pretty slick.

Until next time.