Dutch Oven Pizza

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Craving amazing pizza? Break out the Dutch oven! Crisp and chewy crust, your favorite toppings, bubbling melted cheese–it’s all in your future when you make this Dutch oven pizza.

Pizza in a Dutch oven

Melty cheese and tangy sauce on a crust that’s crisp on the outside yet soft inside … there’s nothing quite like a perfectly baked pizza. 

But sadly, homemade pizza hasn’t been much of an option when camping, considering the whole not-having-an-oven thing. That is, until now! With Dutch oven campfire pizza, great pizza is possible–served up hot and fresh right at your campsite.

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Why make pizza in a Dutch oven? Because the pots are a tremendously versatile cooking vessel–including being perfect for making pizza! When you’re utilizing a campfire, cooking with a Dutch oven allows you to stack coals or embers both underneath and on the lid of the pot, creating high, omnidirectional heat inside. That produces an effect very similar to an oven—exactly the kind of environment that turns out a perfectly cooked pizza.

You can make this pizza at home, too! In fact, once you’ve enjoyed this cooking method out camping, you might just want to replicate it in your own kitchen.

Are you ready to try your hand at one of our all-time favorite Dutch oven camping recipes by making your own Dutch oven pizza? There are a few tricks to getting it just right, so read on for all you need to know.

Ingredients

Pizza dough: Make your own homemade pizza dough (here’s our favorite quick 30-minute pizza dough recipe) or use premade pizza dough such as Pillsbury brand or refrigerated dough from Trader Joe’s. You’ll want around eight ounces of dough for a 10-inch pizza, or 10 ounces for a 12-inch pie. 

Flour: Just a bit to help keep your dough from sticking when you’re rolling it out. 

Cornmeal: This helps keep your pizza from sticking to the parchment paper and adds a welcome bit of crunch to your crust.

Toppings of choice: This one’s up to you! You can choose typical pizza toppings like mozzarella, pizza sauce, pepperoni … or you can get creative and make a more unique pie. Either way, you’ll want to avoid too much moisture so your pizza cooks up as crisp as possible, so stick with low-moisture mozzarella and omit watery toppings like zucchini.

Here are some of our favorite combinations:

🍕 Cheese: Mozzarella, parmesan, asiago, and tomato sauce

🍕 Pepperoni: Mozzarella, pepperoni, and tomato sauce

🍕 Veggie: Mozzarella, mushrooms, bell peppers, black olives, and tomato sauce

🍕 Mediterranean: Feta cheese, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, oregano, and olive oil

🍕 Pesto: Mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and pesto

🍕 Blue cheese & bacon: Blue cheese, bacon, chopped dates, arugula, and tomato sauce

🍕 BBQ chicken: Mozzarella, chicken, red onions, cilantro, and barbecue sauce

🍕 Spicy chorizo: Manchego, roasted red peppers, chorizo, and tomato sauce

🍕 Combination: Mozzarella, crumbled sausage, tomato sauce, and sauteed bell peppers, fennel, and onions

🍕 Goat cheese & grilled peach: Goat cheese, grilled peaches, prosciutto,  fresh basil, and olive oil

🍕 Margherita: Mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, fresh basil, and tomato sauce

🍕 Spinach ricotta: Ricotta, prosciutto, spinach, and tomato sauce

🍕 Hawaiian: Mozzarella, pineapple, ham, and tomato sauce

🍕 Tex-Mex: Monterey Jack, poblanos, roasted corn, onions, cilantro, salsa, or El Pato tomato sauce

Dutch oven in a fire pit with embers on the lid

Equipment

Dutch oven: You’ll want a camping-style Dutch oven with legs on the bottom (so you can place coals underneath) and a lid with a rim (so you can place coals on top of it). 

Chimney starter: While not necessary, a chimney starter helps get charcoal briquettes ready fast. We like this one that packs flat for easy storage.

Parchment paper: Parchment paper gives you “handles” for lifting out your pie with ease. Plus, it makes clean-up a cinch! Cut sheets to size from a standard roll, or you can buy circular parchment paper sheets made specifically for Dutch ovens from Lodge. 

Metal skewers: We recommend placing metal skewers between the pot and lid to create a gap for steam to escape. Or you can roll up some foil to create spacers if you don’t have metal skewers.

Metal tongs: For safely moving your coals into position.

Heat-resistant gloves/lid lifter: Your Dutch oven will be extremely hot, including the lid. You can use a special lid lifter to safely remove the lid, but we prefer to use heat resistant gloves because they’re more versatile.

Pizza in a Dutch oven

How to Make Dutch Oven Pizza–Step-by-Step

When camping and/or cooking outdoors, begin by preparing your coals or charcoal briquettes in your campfire pit. You’ll start with about 30 coals for a 10-inch Dutch oven, or 33 for a 12-inch. 

Once the coals are hot, assemble the coal-pile base for your pot–10 coals for a 10-inch Dutch oven and 11 for a 12-inch pot. Set your Dutch oven on the coals, preheating the pot to 450F (230C). 

While the Dutch oven heats, prepare your dough. Dust a large cutting board with flour, place the dough on the board and roll it into a circle an inch or two larger than your pot. 

Next, sprinkle the cornmeal evenly onto your parchment paper and transfer your dough to the paper. Use a fork to prick several holes in the dough to prevent bubbles in the crust. 

Then add your sauce, toppings, and cheese. See variations (anchor link) for loads of topping ideas.

Now it’s time to bake your pizza! Move the preheated Dutch oven away from the coals, remove the lid, and carefully lower the pizza into the pot– parchment paper and all. Lay your spacers–the metal skewers or foil strips–across the top and place the lid over them.

Return your Dutch oven to the bed of coals. Transfer the remaining coals or embers to the top of your pot and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the pizza crust is golden and the cheese is melted and bubbling.

To make Dutch oven pizza at home, preheat your oven to 450F. Prepare your pizza on parchment paper, transfer the pizza to your Dutch oven, place the pot in your kitchen oven, and bake it uncovered for about 15 minutes. 

Slices of pizza on a blue cutting board

Tips for Making Dutch Oven Pizza

If you like crispy, crunchy pizza, steam is the enemy–so the inside of the Dutch oven should stay as dry as possible. We have two tips to keep moisture at bay for the best, crispiest pizza:

1. Vent the lid: If the lid sits snugly on the pot, the moisture released from the pizza will get trapped inside, resulting in a soggy pie. To avoid this, we recommend you lift the lid with metal skewers, creating a small gap through which the steam can escape. If you’re making this in your home oven, leave the lid off.

2. Use low-moisture toppings: For the mozzarella, forgo fresh mozzarella and choose a low-moisture version instead. More pizza sauce equals more moisture, so a light hand with the sauce is best, too. And avoid watery/higher moisture toppings such as zucchini.

Pizza with cheese, bell peppers, and olives.

Dutch Oven Pizza

Here are the basic instructions for how to make pizza in a Dutch oven. Use whatever combination of cheese, sauce, vegetables, and proteins strike your fancy!
Author: Fresh Off The Grid
5 from 23 ratings
Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
1 10″ or 12″ pizza

Ingredients

  • 8-10 oz pizza dough, (8 oz for 10″, 10 oz for 12″)
  • 1 tablespoons each flour + cornmeal
  • Toppings of choice

Instructions

  • PREPARE YOUR COALS: Start by preparing your coals or charcoal briquettes. You’ll need about 30 for a 10” Dutch oven, or 33 for a 12” Dutch oven. Once the coals/briquettes are ready, preheat your Dutch oven to 450. For a 10” oven, place 10 coals under the oven and 20 on the lid. For a 12” oven, place 11 coals under the oven and 22 on the lid.
  • PREPARE THE DOUGH: In the meantime, roll out your dough. Dust a cutting board with flour and using a water bottle or bottle of wine (who brings a rolling pin camping?), roll the dough into a circle. Dust the cornmeal onto a piece of parchment and transfer the dough to the parchment paper. Dock the dough all over with a fork (this will prevent the dough from bubbling up while baking).
  • TOP:
    Add whatever toppings you wish.
    See our suggestions here.
  • BAKE THE PIZZA: Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the coals and remove the lid. Place the pizza, parchment paper and all, into the Dutch oven, lay the spacers across the top, cover, and return to the bed of coals. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is golden.
  • SERVE & ENJOY!

*Nutrition is an estimate based on information provided by a third-party nutrition calculator

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24 Comments

  1. Michelle -- Leo Sigh says:

    I would never ever think of making a pizza in a dutch oven but this looks incredible. And thanks for the topping ideas.

    I’m vegan so, obviously, no cheese but with a vegan substitute this is going to be dinner tonight. Just hope mine turns out as good as yours looks!!

    1. Fresh Off the Grid says:

      Let us know how it turns out! I’m sure it would be great with a cheese substitute or even just with lots of sauce & veggies 🙂

  2. Bilal Tahir Khan says:

    I Want to Learn How To make Pizza.This is very Helpful Article For me.Thanks For Sharing.5 stars

  3. it is Very Interesting Article.Pizza is my Favourite Dish.Thanks For This.5 stars

  4. this is very great information.I would really loved it.

  5. John Miller says:

    I’ve been making pizza in my Dutch oven for years. Never thought of metal skewers to release steam. Making pizza tomorrow and I can’t wait to see the results.

  6. I wish you guys would drive around the country visiting people like me and helping us pack our cars for our first off the grid car trip! Visit me first!!

    1. Fresh Off the Grid says:

      But half the thrill and excitement comes from doing it yourself! Ha!

  7. Angel Jensen says:

    I tried this last weekend and it turned out great. I am doI got this at our church girls camp this week. Our girls are excited to have pizza while camping. Thank you for making this post and easy to understand.

  8. I’m going to try this over the weekend! Thanks for providing a practical pizza recipe with east instructions for the Dutch oven.

  9. This is a helpful recipe! I wanted to share a hack I’ve had success with in th epast, to make it easier on the day of camping. I make my pizza crust ahead of time and parbake it (in the oven on a preheated pizza stone, bake for only about 5 min, til it’s done enough to hold its shape but not fully crisp), let it cool, then freeze it. Then when we go camping, I bring the frozen pizza crust in the cooler. It has usually thawed by the time we’re ready for the pizza meal the 2nd day. I heat it up in my big cast iron skillet, flip it once, then add all my toppings and proceed with baking. The crust gets nice and crunchy, and the process is less messy than having to cook raw dough in the woods.5 stars

  10. Would love to try this Dutch oven pizz? What type of dough are you purchasing at Trader Joe’s?

    1. Fresh Off the Grid says:

      Trader Joe’s has a pre-made pizza dough that you can find in their refrigerated section (usually near the cheese) – comes in a ball in a small bag, perfect to throw into your cooler until pizza night!

  11. After reading your post i will going to Making pizza tomorrow and I can’t wait to see the results.5 stars

  12. Jill Evans says:

    Recipe is spot on, other than I did cook closer to 25 minutes. Did use metal skewers, corn meal, and pat dried my tomato slices, and the crust was crunchy and delicious!! Seriously. Great recipe!5 stars

  13. You deserve 5-star ranking for this wonderful Pizza Recipe. Thanks5 stars

  14. Brad Owen says:

    What are the “spacers” you lay across the top??

    1. Fresh Off The Grid says:

      Those are just kabob skewers! You could also make some with foil folded into 1/2-inch thick by 1-inch long pieces and then pinch them over the rim of the Dutch oven for the lid to sit on.

  15. Donald Glass says:

    Really easy and tasty too. So many ways to go with this. Can’t wait to make one for the grandkids!5 stars

  16. Any hints on how to brown the cheese topping?

  17. Hi, I wanted to offer a slightly different approach to the method. It’s slightly more fiddly, but the pizza is excellent. Rather than cook the pizza in the bottom of the oven, I cook it on the inverted lid. I start by heating up 40 charcoal briquettes in the chimney. While that’s happening, I’ll invert the lid of the oven, lightly oil it, then dust it with flour and spread my dough on the lid and add toppings. Once my briquettes are ready, I’ll set two thin sticks on the ground, place six briquettes spread evenly, then place the inverted bottom of the oven on the sticks. Next I’ll pile all the remaining briquettes on the bottom of the inverted oven and place the inverted lid so that the pizza is on top.
    10-11 minutes to partially cook the crust.
    Then, swap everything. Place the lid on the two sticks and lower the inverted bottom onto the pizza so that it is finally enclosed in the inverted Dutch oven and give it ten more minutes to cook the toppings.
    perfection
    Now, this approach requires that in addition to the gear you suggested, that you also have a heavy pair of gloves to manipulate the hot oven, but the method works great.

  18. How do you know when the pot is pre-heated to 450 ??5 stars

    1. Fresh Off The Grid says:

      We have a Thermapen instant read thermometer and find that taking a reading near the bottom (but not touching the cast iron) is a pretty good way of gauging the pre-heated temperature.

  19. Many years ago as an Asst Scout Master I tried to introduce the troop scouts to Dutch Oven cooking. We made the dough using an Italian bread recipe, bought jarred sauce & grated cheese. Heated up a 14″ DO, with a trivet and a 14″ circular baking stone, Just before sliding the pie onto the baking stone (using two clip boards) we dusted the stone with cornmeal, 20 minutes later, success. We made 4 pies that night and many more over the years. They did learn to cook with a Dutch Oven as well as a wok. It’s surprising what an empty stomach can learn. (We did buy a troop pizza peel before the next outing).