Thursday, July 5, 2012

Skillet Pizza for Camping and an Easy Summer Meal

 Tomorrow I'm visiting our local Good Morning Arizona channel 3 TV station for a cooking segment on easy camping and summer meals for kids! I'm so excited to meet everyone there and cook with some new folks! The segment airs at 8:45 so if you're local, it should be a fun piece. I wanted to share one of the ideas I've used for camping that is just way too fun for kids and adults! I make pizza while camping using a skillet with a lid on a butane or Coleman stove or in my solar oven. It can also be done over the camp-fire with a skillet or folded in half like a sandwich in a foil pouch and cooked right in the coals.
At home it is fast, easy, and certainly can be done on the stove or BBQ grill! In the summer this will give you that crispy crust and gooey melted cheese without the oven heating your house. I can make them a lot healthier and cheaper than purchasing the pre-made frozen meals and they take about 20 minutes to make 10-12 ready-to-eat pizzas!  For the most part, camping meals need to be simple. If I'm not using one of my shelf-stable convenient 52 jar method meals, I'll usually bring along some of these! You will need store purchased pita bread or you can use the  homemade pita bread tutorial. Today I'm using some grilled panini flat bread. It really doesn't matter what you use for the crust, as long as it is thick enough for a pizza. When the boys were younger I'd use homemade English Muffins, split in half they made two mini pizzas. Now we need the bigger size. They're getting into teen years and it is a whole new grand adventure!  The best part of the skillet-pizza is that it doesn't heat the oven and it gives us a gooey cheese with a crispy crust. That's hard to do in the microwave. It's just freakishly cool!

 I still try to suck the life out of the time I have with them and that included having them help make the meals they'll be eating while I'm at work. They like having some time with me. I have to admit, I adore having some time with them as well. So, this is my son aka Face. He's shredding the cheese and helping spread the sauce.
 I lay out enough pieces of foil to accommodate all the pizzas. In this way, we can make a whole bunch at once and have 10-12 pizzas on-hand for quick meals. This is great for camping too because the work is already done. I like not having to prepare food in the rough.
 Put a pita on each 10 inch piece of foil. Add sauce of your choice, just about 2 Tablespoons.
Put the children to work. They love this part!

 Top with cheese and your favorite toppings.
 Sprinkle with an outstanding Italian Seasoning. Um...I tend to lean toward my own blends whenever possible. Yup. I'm a fan.
 Now if you use a tomato based sauce, be sure not to use a foil to cover the pizza. The acid in the tomato sauce will react to the foil and make a terrible mess. It will taste horrid. I'm using a parchment lined foil. You can use wax paper here as well. Just cover the top of the pizza. Wrap the foil from the bottom around the pizza.
 Place in a gallon size freezer bag. We can usually get 5 pizzas in a bag. Freeze. I keep 3 or 4 in the fridge (up to 4 days) so the boys don't have to even defrost the pizzas. For camping, I always freeze them. This keeps them at a safe temperature and helps prevent food born illness. Remember the picnic food safety segment? It keeps them together and adds to the cold of my ice chest. For more information on picnic safety go here.
 To prepare, simply slip the pizza out of the wrap and place in a thick covered skillet. Mine is 14 inches and the bottom is thick enough to not burn the crust.
 The main secret is making sure the flame is low and letting them cook with the lid on the pan about 7-10 minutes.
 The cheese will melt and the pizza will have a crispy crust. It's just what we love in a pizza without all the trouble of baking it.
Ironically we find ourselves using this stove-top method a lot more at home than we do camping. After all, how often do we really go camping? On the other hand, when we have taken them camping we have been very excited to have pizza! This is great for a Dutch oven or even on "no burn days" here in Arizona when we have to use our Solar Oven.

Tomorrow I'll be sharing a few new tips for camping as well as the fun Hobo Foil Dinner that my kids adore! I'm looking forward to an amazing segment tomorrow!

There you go! Make skillet Pizza and don't forget to watch tomorrow morning!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

I am no longer the corporate chef for Honeyville but we still love them dearly. My family is greatly blessed and relies heavily on the extra money brought in by sales tracked back to this site. This is also the company that packages and sells my spice line as well as my food storage cookbooks. Thank you so very much for your support. Xoxo!


Agirl said...

awesome! If we can find some pita bread, then that sounds WAY better than fry bread pizza!

Glo @ Off The Grid at -30 said...

This is a fantastic post! We live off grid and only have an oven in the winter unless I want to start a fire in the woodstove in the summer. It's way to hot for that right now! We usually have pizza every Friday and I was just thinking this morning on how to do it in a frying pan. :) No pita bread here unless I make it but might see if I can make some flat bread. :)

mlebagley said...

I LOVE this idea! Totally easy and user friendly - we are making these at my house for sure! It is just to HOT to turn that oven on in the summer!

Anonymous said...

no power is no power .try doing it all with no gas or electricity at all then let us know

Chef Tess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chef Tess said...


emmers said...

I rediscovered this posting and wanted to thank you ONCE AGAIN for a great idea! We are going camping soon and I love the idea of cooking these over the coals. I read the comment someone left 'no power is no power' and had to wonder if they had not read the entire posting...because these work great WITHOUT any power - solar oven/over coals, as you described...I remember those solar 'ovens' we made in elementary school with aluminum foil lined pizza boxes and wonder...I could totally use this idea with one of those too! LOVE it! Thanks again!