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MattGlamperGear
Author: Matt JohnsonPhotos/Graphics: Mike HawthorneUpdated: September 9, 2023

Hitting the road for a family camping trip is always a great time. However, planning out the meals for the trip isn’t. However, we’re helping you out with some of the easiest and most delicious campfire pie iron recipes we’ve ever made.

These are six of our favorite recipes that are perfect for an outdoor campfire. They’re easy to make, require minimal ingredients, and taste great when cooked in a pie iron over the fire. We’ve made these recipes countless times on our trips and these are the staples.

What is a pie iron, and how do you use one?

What is a Pie Iron

A pie iron, also known as a pudgy pie iron, sandwich toaster, jaffle iron, or toastie iron, is a delightful piece of camping cookery equipment that brings a new level of culinary creativity to the great outdoors. Originally introduced in the early 1960s, the pie iron has been a staple in campfire cooking kits for decades.

The pie iron is typically made of cast iron or aluminum, consisting of two hinged metal plates on long handles. The metal plates can be round, square, or rectangular and are designed to hold the food while it cooks over a campfire. Cast iron pie irons are favored for their durability and even heat distribution, while aluminum pie iron versions are lighter and easier to transport.

Using a pie iron is as easy as it is fun. To begin, you open the hinged plates and place your chosen ingredients inside. This could be anything from slices of bread with a filling to create a toasted sandwich, to pastry dough with a sweet or savory filling to create a hand pie. Once your ingredients are in place, you close the pie iron and hold it over the campfire.

The trick to perfect pie iron cooking is to turn it frequently to ensure even cooking and prevent burning. This requires some patience, but the delicious end result is well worth the wait! It’s also important to remember that pie irons get very hot, so always use a heat-resistant glove or cloth when handling them.

A pie iron is a simple, yet versatile tool that can transform basic ingredients into mouthwatering meals or snacks. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or just starting out, mastering the art of pie iron cooking can add an enjoyable and tasty dimension to your outdoor adventures.

Tips for using your pie iron.

Campfire pie irons are more of an art than a science, but that’s why we’ve put together some of the best tips for using your pie iron on your next camping trip.

  • Preheat your pie iron. Before adding your ingredients, hold the pie iron over the fire for a few minutes to preheat it. This helps to cook your food evenly and can prevent sticking. We like to heat ours up for 1-2 minutes.
  • Grease the iron well. Always grease both sides of the pie iron with butter or non-stick cooking spray to ensure your food doesn’t stick to the iron. This will also add flavor to whatever it is you’re cooking. One of our favorites is butter-flavored cooking spray.
  • Don’t overfill it. While stuffing your pie iron with ingredients might be tempting, it’s important not to overfill it. Too much filling can cause your food to cook unevenly or spill out and cause a mess. If you want to cook more food at once, get a few campfire pie irons.
  • Turn regularly. Turn your pie iron regularly to get an even cook on both sides. This will help to prevent one side from burning while the other is still raw. Turn the iron over every 30 seconds to a minute depending on what you’re cooking. It’ll cook slower, but that’s even better.
  • Handle with care. Remember that pie irons get very hot. Always use a heat-resistant glove or cloth when handling them, and keep a safe distance from the fire to avoid accidents. We’ve burned ourselves more times than we can count.

Now that you have a good idea of what a pie iron is and you’re armed with a few tips, let’s take a look at some of our favorite pie iron recipes.

6 campfire pie iron recipes that will change your life!

You want quick and easy meals, we’ve got your covered. From the breakfast sandwiches for a hearty breakfast to the savory hobo pies — we think you’re going to love these campfire pie iron recipes.

Campfire Pizzas.

Campfire Pizza in a Pie Iron

Also known as the classic pie iron pizza, making campfire pizzas using a pie iron is super easy, fun, and delectable. Here’s how we do it.

Ingredients.

  • Your favorite pizza dough, enough for 2 small pizzas
  • 1/2 cup of pizza sauce
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Your favorite pizza toppings (like sliced pepperoni, diced bell peppers, sliced olives, etc.)
  • A bit of olive oil or non-stick cooking spray

Instructions.

  • Preheat your trusty pie iron over the campfire.
  • Divide your pizza dough into four equal parts and roll them out to fit the size of your pie iron.
  • Lightly grease one side of two of the dough pieces, place them greased side down in the pie iron and add a generous layer of pizza sauce.
  • Sprinkle on a hefty amount of that deliciously melty mozzarella cheese and adorn it with your chosen toppings.
  • Top each with another piece of dough, close the pie iron, and cook over the campfire. Remember to turn regularly for an evenly cooked, golden crust. This usually takes about 5-7 minutes per side, but keep an eye on it.
  • Once your pizzas are cooked to perfection, carefully remove them from the pie iron (it’s hot!) and let them cool for a few minutes before devouring.

We love making pizzas with our pie iron because it’s incredibly simple. There’s no need for a fancy oven or special equipment – just a pie iron, a fire, and basic ingredients. Plus, it’s a fun, hands-on activity everyone can participate in. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a newbie, this recipe will surely impress.

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.

Ironed Cheese Sandwich

A pie iron will elevate your campfire cooking when making these incredible grilled — ahem, ironed — cheese sandwiches. This recipe is not only simple and quick, but it’s also so much fun. Here’s how we do it.

Ingredients.

  • 4 slices of your favorite bread
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, softened
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (or any cheese you prefer)
  • Optional: add-ins like sliced tomatoes, bacon, or ham

Instructions.

  • Start by preheating your pie iron over the campfire.
  • Generously butter one side of each slice of bread.
  • Place two slices of bread, buttered side down, in the pie iron.
  • Pile on your cheese and any additional fillings we fancy, making sure not to overstuff.
  • Place the other two slices of bread on top, buttered side up, close the pie iron, and get grilling.
  • Turning your sandwiches frequently for an evenly toasted exterior. This usually takes 3-5 minutes per side, but you really want melted cheese just starting to come out of the edge.
  • Once your grilled cheeses are golden and crispy and the cheese is gooey, carefully remove them from the pie iron and let them cool slightly before digging in.

There’s something truly special about making Grilled Cheese Sandwiches over a campfire with a pie iron. It’s a breeze to set up, requires minimal ingredients, and the hands-on process is a blast. Plus, the endless customization options allow everyone to create their dream sandwich. Whether you’re an experienced outdoor chef or a camping rookie, this recipe will delight and satisfy you.

Breakfast Sandwiches.

Breakfast Sandwich from a Campfire Pie Iron

Mornings are always fun at the campsite. There’s really nothing like sipping a fresh cup of coffee as the sun comes up. You’re prepping yourself for a fun day filled with adventures. With that, breakfast is an important part of the morning as well. We think you’ll love these breakfast sandwiches.

Ingredients.

  • 4 slices of bread
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 slices of ham or bacon (cooked)
  • 4 slices of cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions.

  • As always, we preheat our pie iron over the campfire.
  • Load up a thick layer of butter on one side of each slice of bread.
  • Place two slices of bread, buttered side down, into the pie iron.
  • Layer a slice of cheese and a slice of ham or bacon onto each piece of bread.
  • Carefully crack an egg onto each sandwich, sprinkling a bit of salt and pepper for seasoning. No need to beat the egg, just drop it on whole.
  • Top each sandwich with another slice of bread, buttered side up, close the pie iron, and cook over the fire. Remember to turn regularly for an evenly toasted sandwich. This usually takes about 5-7 minutes per side.
  • Once your breakfast sandwiches are golden brown and the eggs are cooked to your liking, we carefully remove them from the pie iron

Pie iron breakfast sandwiches are the perfect way to kickstart your day in the great outdoors. Our kids love making these first thing in the morning. They’re simple to make, require just a few basic ingredients, and the process is a fun camping activity in itself.

They’re also incredibly customizable – you can swap out the ham for sausage, use a different type of cheese, or even throw in some veggies for a healthier twist.

Fruit Pies.

Fruity Pies from a Pie Iron at the Campfire

There’s always room for dessert while camping, and these pie iron fruit pies are the perfect way to finish off your meal. Not only are they delicious but they look amazing too! Here’s how we make them.

Ingredients.

  • 2 cans of store-bought pie filling (apple, cherry, blueberry, etc.)
  • Your favorite pastry dough, enough for 6 individual pies
  • A bit of butter, melted
  • Optional: a sprinkle of cinnamon and/or sugar

Instructions.

  • Preheat your pie iron over the campfire.
  • Cut your pastry dough into six equal parts and roll them out to fit your pie iron.
  • Grease one side of three pieces of rolled-out dough with melted butter.
  • Place the greased side down in the pie iron and spoon your chosen filling onto each one, making sure not to overfill.
  • Top each pie with another pastry dough, closing the pie iron.
  • Sprinkle on some cinnamon or sugar if you wish.
  • Cook over the fire, turning occasionally to get an evenly golden crust. This usually takes about 5-7 minutes per side.
  • Once your pies are cooked, carefully remove them from the pie iron and let them cool before serving.

Fruit pies are a great way to end any outdoor meal in style. You can easily make these with either store-bought or homemade pie dough, and the filling options are limitless. They require minimal ingredients, are easy to assemble, and always turn out amazing. Plus, everyone loves sitting around the campfire while these sweet treats bake away – a wonderful experience you won’t forget.

Hobo Pies.

If you’ve never tried hobo pies before, you’re in for a treat. These classic campfire recipes are as comforting and delicious as it gets – they truly embody the great outdoors. Here’s our take on this classic.

Ingredients.

  • 4 slices of your favorite bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup of hamburger meat, cooked
  • 1/4 cup of diced onion
  • 1/4 cup of diced bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (or any cheese you prefer)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions.

  • Preheat your pie iron over the campfire.
  • Generously butter one side of each slice of bread.
  • Place two slices of bread, buttered side down, in the pie iron.
  • Pile on hamburger meat, onion, bell pepper, and cheese – making sure not to overstuff. Sprinkle with salt and pepper for seasoning.
  • Place the other two slices of bread on top, buttered side up, close the pie iron, and get grilling.
  • Turning your sandwiches frequently for an evenly toasted exterior. This usually takes 3-5 minutes per side. Lower the pie iron into the flames at the end for a few seconds for a crispy outer shell.
  • Once your hobo pies are golden and crispy, carefully remove them from the pie iron and let them cool slightly before digging in.

Hobo pies are the perfect way to enjoy a classic campfire dinner. They require minimal ingredients, are easy to assemble, and always turn out amazing. Plus, everyone loves sitting around the campfire while these savory snacks bake away – a wonderful experience you won’t forget.

French Toast on the Pie Iron.

Camping French Toast

Another one of our favorite breakfast recipes is french toast. It’s such a simple yet classic campfire dish. This recipe takes just minutes to make and never fails to impress.

Ingredients.

  • 4 slices of your favorite bread
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs (scramble them at home and store in a container for convenience)
  • 2 tablespoons of milk or cream
  • Cinnamon and sugar for topping
  • Optional: maple syrup for drizzling

Instructions.

  • Preheat your pie iron over the campfire.
  • In a small bowl, mix together eggs, milk/cream, and cinnamon until well combined.
  • Grease one side of each slice of bread with melted butter and place two slices in the pie iron, buttered side down.
  • Carefully spoon the egg mixture onto each sandwich, making sure not to overfill.
  • Top with the other two slices of bread, buttered side up, close the pie iron, and begin grilling.
  • Turning your sandwiches frequently for an evenly toasted exterior. This usually takes 3-5 minutes per side slowly turning them over.
  • Once your french toast is golden and the eggs are cooked to perfection, carefully remove them from the pie iron and let them cool slightly before serving.

Another way we’ve seen these made is by putting the bread in the pie iron and pouring the egg onto it. Interesting twist, but you can do that with a pie iron. Either way, these are a delicious treat in the morning.

Honorable mentions.

While we’ve covered some of our favorite and the best pie iron recipes, the possibilities with your pie iron are endless. Here are a few additional honorable mentions that deserve a shout-out. These pie iron recipes for camping may not have made our top six, but they’re certainly worth trying out—

  • Campfire pies. A classic choice for any campfire cookout. Just sandwich your favorite fruit filling between two slices of bread, clamp it in your pie iron, and cook until golden brown. Don’t forget a dusting of powdered sugar on top — at least for the pie iron breakfast recipes, we always have a shaker of powdered sugar.
  • Mountain pies. Like campfire pies, mountain pies typically involve savory fillings like ham, cheese, tomato, or even pizza ingredients. They’re a hearty and satisfying option for dinner under the stars. Some prefer a mountain pie maker for this, but a pie iron does just fine.
  • Hot dogs. Yes, you can absolutely cook up hot dogs in your pie iron! Simply roll your hot dog in a piece of bread (or biscuit dough), place it in the pie iron, and cook until the bread is toasted and the hot dog is heated. You can always go the old-school route and roast the dogs without bread.
  • Pie iron quesadillas. This is a great option for a quick and easy lunch or dinner. Just layer cheese and your favorite toppings between two tortillas, and cook in the pie iron until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are crispy. Delish and quick!

Don’t be afraid to experiment with your pie iron. The beauty of campfire cooking is that it’s all about improvisation and creativity. If you’ve got a campfire, a pie iron, and imagination, you can slap together some delicious pie iron recipes.

What are your favorite camping pie iron recipes?

Mountain Pie Makers Over a Campfire

A pie iron is much more than a simple campfire cooking tool. It symbolizes adventure, creativity, and shared experiences under the open sky.

Whether you’re craving a sweet, fruity pie or a savory, meat-filled sandwich, the versatility of this tool is hard to beat.

Have you made any of these camping pie iron recipes? What are your favorite fillings or combinations to make in a pie iron? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

MattGlamperGear

Matt Johnson


Senior Content Writer

Matt is an experienced camper and glamping enthusiast with a Master's degree in Wildlife Science from Texas A&M University. Authoring posts for GlamperGear, he shares his wealth of knowledge on picturesque campsites, luxurious accommodations, and the best gear for outdoor adventures. His passion for nature and knack for comfort in the wilderness make him an expert guide for your next camping endeavor.

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