Go camping they said, it will be fun they said! These are the words spoken by a true non-veteran camper! Now don’t get me wrong camping can, and is a lot of fun, however the meals while camping could pose a problem for those new to the camping scene. We should all remember that meals should be kept simple and I say with as little effort as possible when creating them, after all isn’t that why we go camping in the first place, to enjoy the solitude and time away from our usual busy lives? For some yes, and for others it is a time to create some delicious meals together, and taking our time in doing so!
My husband and I are not new to the camping scene, and today we are in our 5th year as seasonal campers at a local KOA campground, we have anchored our camping roots. Over the years I have learned to create meals that allow us to take time to sit, relax, and enjoy. Each meal now takes just a little bit of preparation and that allows us more time to do what we love most, spending time with our family, golf cart rides, fishing, a few games of corn hole, visiting with fellow camping neighbors, enjoying a great book, and of course the fire at the end of the day where we all gather and reflect on life, it gets no better than this!
One of my first rules is to prepare as much as you possibly can at home, and use those handy zip lock bags to store your food prep in. Let’s face it those fridges for the most part don’t hold a lot of food, and I’m not one to rely on a cooler filled with ice, unless it has a nice beverage waiting inside! My second rule, keep it simple, but we all get tired of burgers and hot dogs, so chicken, ribs, and a great Dutch oven that can be used on the fire, is a huge asset!
For those that might not know, a Dutch oven kettle for a fire is usually made of cast iron, its flat on the bottom with three legs, and it has a wire handle for lifting and/or for hanging, I’m pretty sure you may have seen them used in western movies, or in the indoor kitchens of slower times by our ancestors. Believe me they’re perfect for camping, and enjoyable when making my simple one pot recipes, which I plan to share with all of you over the next few weeks!
I have four favorite go to meals, along with a few snack recipes that are simple, delish, and some just require a little stirring each time you add a little wood to stoke the slow burning fire you created, others use briquettes, and require no stirring. If you have a tripod to hang your pot on like we do, simpler yet, otherwise just carefully position your pot in a nice outdoor campfire closer to the outside edge, and please use every precaution when near the hot fire!
So let’s get started with a simple oven dish, pizza in a pot, after all who doesn’t like pizza right!
Dutch oven Pizza (First things first, this is one fantastic pizza, and I give it 5 stars!)
- Pillsbury pizza dough (trust me it works great!) Note: For a 10” Dutch oven use the 8 oz. pizza dough. For a 12” Dutch oven use the 10 oz. pizza dough.
- One Tablespoon of flour, for dough preparation.
- One Tablespoon of cornmeal, for parchment paper.
- Parchment paper (use a huge piece!)
- Rolling pin, a wine bottle works great!
- Metal skewers (used to release steam for even baking)
- Have a nice fire started use wood and heat up around 30 briquettes for a 10” Dutch oven, and 35 or more for the 12” Dutch oven.
- Preheat your Dutch oven with the following method: 10 hot coals under and 20 on the lid. Use a few more briquettes under and on top for the larger Dutch ovens.
- While you wait for the oven to heat to around 450 degrees, prepare the dough, roll it out, (flour is used to roll the dough), wait what, you have no rolling pin? Well then use that wine bottle you have on hand, and when empty, store it for future use!
- Lay out a huge piece of parchment paper (this will be used to lay the pizza into the Dutch oven, so use a big piece), lightly dust the paper with the cornmeal.
- Place your prepared dough onto the parchment paper and using a fork, pierce the dough all over, this prevents a bubbling affect when baking.
- Add on your favorite toppings, anything you wish, including the cheese.
- Carefully! Remove the preheated Dutch oven from the fire, remove coals from the lid and set aside, now place the pizza, parchment and all into the Dutch oven.
- Lay the metal skewers over the pots edge and cover with the lid, place the oven back into the fire.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until your crust is nicely golden.
- When done remove oven from fire, then remove your pizza.
Reminder: When using a Dutch oven, use a non-stick cooking spray on a cold oven not a hot preheated oven!
Cut – Serve – Enjoy!