Homemade Pizza School

Updated: October 30, 2023

Reading Time: 7 Minutes

How to Make Incredible Campfire Pizza

The weather is warming up, and that means it’s grilling and camping season. We love to go camping; something about the smoke of the fire pit, sleeping under the stars, and connecting with nature makes us feel good.

We are from Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes, so when we go camping, it’s usually near a lake, and we love jumping in the fresh cold water and swimming life’s worries away. Of course, camping, hiking, and swimming really work up an appetite, so we make campfire pizza every time we go camping, and it’s always a hit at our campsite.

Key Takeaways:

  • There are several ways to make campfire pizza, including throwing the dough directly on a fire pit grill, using a tripod cooker, a Dutch oven, or a cast iron skillet. Each method has pros and cons depending on the type of camping (car camping vs. hike-in camping).
  • It’s best to prepare the pizza dough and toppings at home before camping to avoid messing with measuring and mixing ingredients outdoors. The dough can be stored in a plastic bag in the cooler until ready to use.
  • Tips for making campfire pizza include prepping toppings at home, bringing foil to help with cooking, and trying alternative styles like pizza by the slice if a full round pizza is difficult over the fire. Cooking the toppings separately first is also recommended.
campfire pizza cooking on a hanging tripod stone
Photo Reddit

Cooking on the campfire makes everything taste better. So the next time you are camping and tired of hot dogs and other traditional camping food, try campfire pizza. You will be glad that you did. 

Campfire Pizza Cooking Gear

There are a few different ways to make a campfire pizza. You can throw the dough directly on the fire pit grill, use a tripod campfire cooker, a Dutch oven, or a cast iron skillet. We have tried them all, and here we break down the pros and cons of each one.

  • A fire pit grill grate is excellent for car camping, where you just pull into a campsite and set up.
  • Tripod cookers are great because they are lightweight and easy to set up.
  • Dutch ovens are heavy and are not ideal for hike-in camping.
  • Cast iron skillets are the ultimate campfire cooking tool, but they are heavy for hike-in camping, and if they aren’t properly seasoned, then everything will stick, and you will end up feasting on granola bars instead of a piping hot campfire pizza.
smoky campfire with tent in the background
Photo by Evan Wise on Unsplash

Other Campfire Cooking Gear

How to Make Campfire Pizza

Every pizza starts with a good homemade pizza dough. And when you are making campfire pizza, the easiest way to make pizza is by making the dough before you head out on your camping trip.

You don’t want to mess with measuring cups, activating yeast, and mixing dough outside. We suggest making your dough the morning of and just letting it rise in your car on the drive to the site.

Or pre-making the dough, and after it has risen, put it in a floured reusable plastic bag and toss it in your ice chest. You don’t want the dough to freeze unless you plan on using it the next day, so avoid putting it directly on the ice and double or even triple bag it. 

As for the sauce, we either make it ahead and bring it in the ice chest or use a store-bought sauce for convenience. We often bring a few different sauces since we like making a few different campfire pizzas to feed our camping buddies. Marinara sauce, pesto, and vodka sauce are some of our go-to sauces for campfire pizza.

Firepit Grill 

firewood burning in a campfire grill with grate
Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Some firepits in designated campsites and state parks have an attached grill that folds over one part of the fire. These grills are easy to use, and you can grill a pizza directly on it. If you aren’t sure if your campsite has attached grills call the camp host or check online to find out before you go.

If they don’t, you can buy a portable grill to place on top of the fire. A portable grill is an excellent choice if you have room in your car between your other camping gear.

If you use the campsite grill, you will want to clean it first. The best way to do that is with a grill-cleaning brick. We avoid metal grill brushes because the bristles can come loose, get stuck on food, and end up in your throat or stomach. 

Start by giving the grill a good scrub. Once it is clean, wipe it with canola or vegetable oil to season it. Then, get the fire going, and when there are hot charcoals, spread the charcoals out and throw your stretched-out pizza dough on the grill.

Let it cook on one side for a minute or two; you can lift one side with tongs to see if the side is cooked. Then flip it over and grill the other side. The dough doesn’t need to be fully cooked. It is more of a rustic par-bake to have a solid crust to add to.

Then, take the dough off, spread your sauce, sprinkle cheese, and add the toppings. Place the pizza back on the grill and loosely cover the top with foil or a fire-safe lid to help the heat stay in and melt the cheese. 

Pro Tip: If you are worried about using the public grill, lay a sheet of aluminum foil with holes over the grates and make your pizza on the aluminum. We still recommend cleaning the grill before you use it and always remove ash and other debris.


There is no denying it; cooking on a tripod over a campfire looks cool. It feels rustic and gourmet at the same time. A tripod sits over the fire with a rack or hook to attach a pot. You can make a campfire pizza on a pizza stone placed on the tripod rack or directly on the rack.

The process is the same par-bake the dough before adding the toppings. Some tripods can hang two different things simultaneously, so you can cook a pizza and grill some sausages to put on the pizza.

Remember it takes a long time for the pizza stone to cool down so keep that in mind and get some oven gloves or something.

Dutch Oven

cast iron dutch oven camping cooking set for pizza

We have a previous post about making Dutch oven pizza, and the process is the same, but the campfire-safe Dutch oven is different. You will need a specific campfire Dutch oven because a regular Dutch oven with its enameled surface will be ruined cooking on the fire.

You can place the Dutch oven on the fire pit grill or hang it from the tripod. This makes great deep-dish pizza, so if you like Chicago-style pizza, this is the best way to make campfire pizza.

Cast Iron Skillet

The humble cast iron skillet is another option. The cast iron skillet will give you a pizza similar to a Detroit-style pizza with crisp outer edges and a thick, chewy crust. We suggest investing in two cast iron skillets so you have one at home and one that is only used for camping.

When you make a campfire pizza in a cast iron skillet, oil the skillet, then press the dough in and cook the dough first. Once the dough is pressed in and partially cooked, add the sauce, cheese, and toppings, then cover with a lid.

Campfire Cooking Tips

vegetable kebabs over campfire grill
Photo from Wiki Commons
  • Cook your toppings first. If you are using vegetables, you can use skewers and cook them over the campfire first.
  • Prep your cheese before you head out on your camping trip. Grate it at home and store it in a plastic bag. 
  • Use precut pepperoni and salami slices. Don’t use your camping knife that cuts kindling to cut your food too. So pack a separate knife or precut at home.
  • Bring foil to cover the top to help it cook faster. Lids are bulky, and heavy foil is light and takes up little space.
  • Bring premade frozen dough balls. They defrost while you are setting up camp and will be ready by the time your campfire is ready for cooking.
  • Try making pizza by the cut, Roman style over your campfire if a full round pizza doesn’t work well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I cook a pizza on a campfire?

Yes, you can definitely cook pizza on a campfire. The key is having the right cooking method and preparation. As outlined above, some good options for campfire pizza include throwing the dough directly on a fire pit grill, using a tripod cooker, Dutch oven, or cast iron skillet placed over the coals.

It’s best to partially pre-bake or par-cook the crust before adding toppings to ensure it doesn’t burn on the fire. With a little practice, campfire pizza can be an enjoyable camping meal. Just be sure to have the proper cooking equipment and prepare ingredients ahead of time for success.

Can I use a regular Dutch oven instead of a campfire-safe one?

No, the enamel coating on a regular Dutch oven will be damaged or ruined if used directly over the fire. You need a cast iron or carbon steel Dutch oven specifically made for campfire cooking.

How do I clean the grill after using it?

Use a grill-cleaning brick to scrub off any residue before and after using a public campsite grill. Avoid metal brushes which can leave bristles behind. Remove ash from the fire pit when done.

What kind of wood is best for the campfire pizza?

Flavored woods or hardwoods like oak, maple or fruitwoods that burn long and hot work best. Avoid softwoods like pine which burn quick and leave behind a lot of smoke and creosote.

Can I use store-bought pizza dough for campfire pizza?

Yes, store-bought pizza dough will work in a pinch. Just be aware it may not have as much structural integrity as homemade when cooking over an open fire.

What is your favorite way to make campfire pizza? If you’re not ready to go full-on camping to make pizza yet, try a visit to a pizza farm for a nice little picnic instead.

One of our Favorites

Level up your camping experience with an outdoor cast iron cooking set! 🔥🍕 Gather your loved ones around the campfire, and unleash your inner pizza maestro. This versatile set allows you to create delicious, crispy pizzas with ease, right in the heart of nature. With its durable construction and even heat distribution, you’ll achieve perfect crusts and mouthwatering toppings every time. It’s the ultimate bonding activity, combining the joy of camping with the pleasure of savoring homemade, wood-fired pizzas. Elevate your outdoor adventures and create unforgettable memories with family and friends, one delectable slice at a time. 🏕️🍽️

Share With Other Pizza Lovers:

ooni Brand

Ooni pizza ovens have gained a reputation as the go-to choice for homemade pizza enthusiasts, and for good reason. Their commitment to quality craftsmanship and innovative design sets them apart in the realm of pizza ovens. One of the standout features of Ooni pizza ovens is their versatility. Whether you prefer the classic taste of wood-fired pizza or the convenience of gas or charcoal, Ooni offers models to suit every preference. This versatility allows home chefs to experiment with different cooking methods to achieve their desired flavor profiles and textures.

Pizzelo Brand

Elevate your homemade pizza game with Pizzelo’s precision-engineered pizza ovens. Achieve that perfect, crispy crust and gooey cheese you’ve been dreaming about every time you smell pizza. With customizable temperature control and quick heating, enjoy authentic pizzeria taste in the comfort of your home. Unleash your inner chef with Pizzelo – where passion meets perfection.

Related Pizza Posts

Cold Fermentation Pizza Dough: Mastering the Art of Flavorful Crusts

Best Ooni Pizza Oven Accessories: Essential Tools for Perfect Pies

Price of a Pizza Oven: Factors That Affect Cost

Ooni New York Pizza Sauce

Ooni New York Pizza Sauce Review: Authentic Flavors Tested

Best Pizza in Phuket: Unveiling the Top Spots for a Slice

how much does a pizza oven cost

How Much is a Pizza Oven: Factors Affecting Price and Options


DK & Eliana

DK & Eliana

Thanks for reading about our homemade pizza journey! We're a young married couple who started making pizza at home on our wedding night and haven't looked back yet. We've learned over countless attempts of trial and error how to make the perfect pizza sauce, pizza dough, and exactly which pizza accessories to buy for your home setup...

FYI When you make a purchase or, sometimes, carry out some other action as direct result of clicking on a link at Homemade Pizza School, we will receive a small commission. Gratzie!

Recent Pizza Posts

Upgrade your home/kitchen’s homemade pizza setup with authentic commercial pizzeria-style pizza dough proofing boxes. They hold all the dough you need for an awesome pizza night prep with friends and family. Size is 17.25 x 13 x 3.54 inches and fit perfectly in our home fridge…

Our Pizza Favorites:

These cup & char pepperoni cups from Battistoni brand are by far our top seller here on the blog. They’re the single best topping we use on our own homemade pizzas (as we almost always use pepperoni) and probably order them monthly, at least. Want those lovely charred pep cups? Buy Battistoni.

By a large margin, this is the most affordable, albeit tiny, pizza “oven” on the market today. Sold at Uncommon Goods, this personal-sized pizza maker is perfect for children or picky eaters who only want their specific toppings. Note: only works with charcoal grills. Try it today!

We love the authentic Italian-style Neapolitan pizzas from Talia di Napoli! Now you can do, for a limited time offer of 20% off all of their pizza packs. We recommend the Taste of Talia~