Cardboard Box Oven v2.0 + 20" Pizza
I have previously posted about using cardboard box oven and the one I had finally was finished, it lasted since 1994. The new one is supersized, kinda an exercise in what if rather than most pratical size. One thing that I have always wanted to do with my box oven was make pizza. The previous smaller one made cinnamon rolls, coffee cafe, cornbread, cookies, SMALL pizzas, several casserols, full size cakes and it has always been fun and caught a few stares.
This one is about 23" X 23" by 18" high and uses a full size oven rack as the rack. It is lined with heavy cardboard panels on all sides, each covered with HD AL foil. I was looking for IIRC super strength Reynolds wrap, couldn't find it. The foil is secured with aluminum tape, home centers or hdwe store. The heat source is grey charcoal sitting on an an AL plate and each plate is sitting on three small stones to keep it off of the cardboard. Under each plate is a hole the size of a business card to let air in to feed the coals.
The first try with a light coal charge and a small frozen pizza resulted in 390 degrees. Good start. I don't get too concerned by reciepe temperatures, I just adjust cooking time, we are supposed to be camping aren't we?
The next day was pizza day and I make it from scratch, Pillsbury hot roll mix gets me started. The first one was cooked in an old 15" steel skillet, took a little longer than the home oven, but it disappeared in minutes with the family urging Dad on. I cheated and made a 15" cast iron in the home stove to suppliment and then dragged "IT" out.
"IT" is a Lodge 20" cast iron monster that has been a pancake making machine for special occasions. A complete box of hot roll mix made the dough and the toppings of course are abundant.
In "IT" went.
The heat dropped pretty dramatically after all I just put about 25+ pounds of room temperature into a charcoal heated oven, more coals, another beer, some more coals and finally about 35 minutes later the top was starting to get slightly browning, out IT came.
It was the third pizza of the day and only 2 slices survived to make it to the fridge only to be devoured by No. 1 Son for lunch. The crust was nice and brown and to a depth of about 1/8" CRISPY this crust held up, nothing soggy here.
In the years that I have been using one of these, no one has commented on a charcoal taste, didn't even tell MIL that the test pizza came from the box oven until she was on her second helping.
Agreed, this was not done on the road, but there is nothing that would prevent it from being possible. The next time we have a group campout this monster box oven and all the fixings will make their road trip debut and most likely after the pizza making a nice couple of pies for desert, no wait make the pies FIRST then they will be cooling for later.
Not everything has to make perfect sense, sometimes its just for fun and the challange.
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