Baking calzones in the wood stove


Pardon me if I seem overly excited about this venture, but being able to cook calzones on or in my woodstove was something I was a little apprehensive about trying. But we love calzones.  They are a filling, cheap treat we like to enjoy once in a while.  And when you’re paying $6+ per calzone for a family of 8, it gets to be something you either make yourself or do without.  I couldn’t do without, so I have been making them for the past few years in my oven, which worked just fine.  But, I didn’t want to fire up the oven to bake a calzone if I didn’t have to.  I’m kind of getting a kick out of my cooking method being free.  My home has to be heated, but its a bonus to my frugal soul if I can cook over our heat source.  🙂

I decided I would try three different methods after researching them online.  I was going to try using my dutch oven on top of my wood stove, baking them in foil inside the firebox, and then my own crazy idea of throwing them in a skillet right inside the firebox.  I realized I may risk catching them on fire, but what do you do when you cook in a brick pizza oven?  You put the pizza right next to the fire source.

I tried this idea first and I am glad I did because I didn’t need to try the other methods. I preheated a cast iron skillet on hot coals in my firebox.  I had a medium fire going to simmer the pizza sauce, so I just pushed the logs over to one side and evened out the coals to lay flat.  Once my calzones were put together, I put them in the skillet and into the firebox they went.  It’s important to note that your skillet must be DRY.  No greasing, no pam spray, nothing or it will burn.  As well, make your calzones are sealed up well, as any sauce, cheese or oil that drips out will burn.  I roll my edges in and pinch them tight so nothing leaks out.  Then, I dropped the bottom of the calzone into a plate of flour to absorb any moisture before setting them in the skillet.  You could also use cornmeal.

It’s important to watch your food, because they will brown up fast.  Once brown on the side closest to the fire, I removed the skillet (USE OVEN GLOVES!!!!), pushed them around the skillet (to make sure nothing was sticking) and rotated them so an unbrowned side was closest to the fire when I put them back in.  They probably cooked up in less than 5 minutes, and they were thoroughly cooked inside too.   In fact they were heavenly.  Way better taste than we get in a regular oven.  Cooking them in the firebox probably mimics a pizza oven and you get the same results.  I am anxious to try pizza next (I tried cheesy bread with leftover dough and that turned out really delicious too) because as much as I try to get that pizzaria-style crust, it’s extremely difficult to do in a normal oven.  And the crust is what makes a pizza!

Once they were out of the oven, I smothered them in butter, then shredded some real parmesan cheese over the top, and some dried parsley and garlic powder.

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