How to Make Dutch Oven Pizza

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Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza at supper time. When you know how to make pizza in a Dutch oven, you can have pizza anytime – and anywhere!

Pizza in a Dutch oven

Sitting around a campfire with some good friends and a cooler full of beer seems like the perfect occasion for pizza. (Is there really such a thing as a not good time for pizza?) However, unlike most grillable types of camping food like burgers, brats, or kebabs, pizza is not quite as intuitive to make at a campsite. If you want pizza out in the wild, you’ll need to get a little creative.

Now everyone knows you need an oven to bake a pizza, right? Except: you don’t! But only the most well-heeled RVers bring a traditional convection oven with them out into the woods. For the rest of us, there’s the far more practical and affordable Dutch oven option. This cast iron cooking vessel allows you to stack coals or embers underneath and on top of it, producing omnidirectional heat inside. The effect is very similar to an oven. Dutch ovens have been used for hundreds of years and are tremendously versatile. They are also perfect for making pizzas.

So on your next camping trip, take your camp chef skills to the next level by making Dutch oven pizza. We’ve outlined everything you need to know to get started below.

Equipment You Need to Make Dutch Oven Pizza

Dutch Oven There are lots of different kinds of Dutch ovens, but you’ll need the type specifically designed for cooking on a campfire. A camping Dutch oven has legs on the bottom (so you can place coals underneath it) and a lid with a rim (so you can place coals on top of it). They come in all different sized diameters depending on how large you want your pizza.

Chimney Starter While not necessary, a chimney starter can help get your charcoal briquettes ready to go faster. This one is pretty cool as it packs flat for easy storage!

Parchment Paper The deep walls of a Dutch oven can often make it difficult to get a spatula inside to retrieve your pizza. Parchment paper not only gives you something to lift the pizza out with, but it also keeps your Dutch oven nice and clean. (So you can reload and make another pizza!) You can use a roll of parchment paper from the grocery store and cut the sheets to the right size, or Lodge sells circular sheets meant specifically for Dutch ovens.

Metal Skewers We placed metal skewers underneath our lid to create a gap that allows steam to escape. If you like crispy, crunchy pizza, then steam is the enemy. You want the heat inside the Dutch oven to be as dry as possible. If the lid sits snuggly, then all the moisture released from the dough, cheese, sauce, and toppings gets trapped inside and will result in a wet, soggy pizza. So it’s important to create a small gap to allow for proper venting. You could also roll up some foil to create spacers if you don’t have metal skewers on hand.

Tongs If you’re using coals as your heat source, you’re going to have to jockey them around with something. We have a pair of metal tongs that we use to shuttle the appropriate number of coals into position.

Heat Resistant Gloves / Lid Lifter Once your Dutch oven is up to temperature, the whole thing is going to be extremely hot (including the lid). They make dedicated lid lifters so you can safely remove the lid, but we prefer to use heat resistant gloves. They are much more versatile and multifunctional that the standard cast iron lid lifter. (No gloves and no lid lifter? We’ve seen people lift the lid with the rip claw on the back of a metal hammer.)

Ingredient Notes

Pizza Dough Whether you’re a novice or an expert, you have a lot of options in pizza dough. The most basic approach is to buy a roll of Pillsbury pizza dough. Moving up from there many grocery stores sell pre-made dough (we get our dough from Trader Joe’s). And then for the true purist, you can also make your own pizza dough. Here is our favorite quick 30-minute pizza dough recipe.

Cornmeal A little bit of cornmeal can go a long way to improving the crust of your pizza. Sprinkle a little bit down on the parchment paper before you place your rolled out down on it. Not only will the cornmeal give your crust a subtle crunch, but it will ensure your pizza doesn’t stick to the parchment paper.

Low Moisture Everything We’ve said it once, we’ll say it again, you want to reduce the potential for steam as much as possible. Sauce is inherently, well… saucy, so your best bet is to use as little as you can get away with. As for the cheese, many grocery stores sell specifically labeled low-moisture mozzarella – both fresh and pre-shredded. And finally, you’ll want to steer clear of liquid packed toppings (like fresh zucchini). Below we have some creative pizza topping ideas for you to try if you’re bored of the basic pepperoni & cheese!

Slices of pizza on a blue cutting board

Dutch Oven Pizza Topping Ideas

Mozzarella + Mushrooms + Bell Peppers + Black Olives + Tomato Sauce

Feta + Artichoke Hearts + Kalamata Olives + Sun Dried Tomatoes + Oregano + Olive Oil

Mozzarella + Cherry Tomatoes + Pesto

Blue Cheese + Bacon + Dates + Arugula + Tomato Sauce

Mozzarella + Chicken + Red Onions + Cilantro + BBQ Sauce

Manchego + Roasted Red Peppers + Chorizo + Tomato Sauce

Mozzarella + Sauteed Bell Peppers, Fennel, and Onions + Crumbled Sausage + Tomato Sauce

Goat Cheese + Grilled Peaches + Prosciutto + Fresh Basil + Olive Oil

Mozzarella + Sliced Tomatoes + Fresh Basil + Tomato Sauce

Ricotta + Prosciutto + Spinach + Tomato Sauce

Mozzarella + Pineapple + Ham + Tomato Sauce

Monterey Jack + Poblanos + Roasted Corn + Onions + Cilantro + Salsa or el Pato Tomato Sauce

Have a favorite pizza combination that you think we should include? Let us know down in the comments!

Pizza in a Dutch oven

Pizza in a Dutch oven

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
4.64 from 30 votes
Print Pin Rate Save
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
1 10" or 12" pizza


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


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

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

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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!!

  6. 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.

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

  8. 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

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

    1. 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!

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

  11. 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

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

  13. Brad Owen says:

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

    1. 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.

  14. 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