How to Use a Pie Iron

How to Use a Pie Iron

Have you ever wondered how to use a pie iron when camping?  We absolutely love to use a pie iron to make delicious recipes when we are camping.  A pie iron (also called camp cooker) is a small, hinged, cast iron camp cooking tool with long handles.  It’s used to grill and bake food right over the campfire.  It’s a super easy way to make breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes while camping.  Today I’m going to show you how to use a pie iron to its full potential.

Preparing this cast iron cooking tool:

  1. Start by seasoning the cast iron plates of the pie iron.
  2. Use hot water and dish soap to thoroughly wash the iron before using.  This is the only time soap should be used to clean the camp cooker.  
  3. Completely dry the iron.
  4. Next coat the entire pie iron with vegetable oil.
  5. Heat the iron over the campfire or grill for 15 minutes.
  6. Allow the iron to cool completely before wiping the excess oil off with a paper towel.
  7. Repeat the oiling and heating process whenever the plates become sticky.


Pie Iron Nutella & Banana Biscuits

Cooking with the pie iron:

  • When cooking with a camp cooker, begin by applying non stick cooking spray to the inside of both iron plates.  Alternately you can butter both sides of whichever bread you decide to use for your recipe.    This step is important so that your delicious meal doesn’t stick to the iron and burn.
  • Place your recipe ingredients into the iron before closing and latching it.
  • Cook the recipe over an open fire.  Most recipes take five to ten minutes to cook but times can vary widely depending on how hot the fire is.  I recommend placing the iron over the fire for two minutes before unlatching, checking for doneness and flipping the iron over to cook the other side.
  • Use caution when handling both the metal latch and handles as they can become hot while cooking.

Pie Iron Apple Turnover

Where to find this awesome camp cooking tool:

We love this square pie iron (aff link) because of its larger dimensions and long handles.

This double pie iron (aff link) is perfect for when you are cooking for a hungry crowd.

You can also find these camp cookers at most outdoor specialty stores.  Just be sure to purchase one that is made from cast iron as they weather better and last longer than others.

Peanut Butter and Jam

What can you cook with a pie iron?

We have all kinds of camp cooker recipes on the blog.  These are a few of our favorites:

Apple Turnovers

Chicken Pesto Pockets

Camp Cooker Pizza 

Breakfast Bake

Peanut Butter & Jam

Breakfast Bake

How to clean your pie iron:

  1. Simply rinse the iron with warm water and wash out with a cloth. 
  2. Dry completely with paper towel, apply more oil if needed and store it in a secure location.

More tips for camping meal preparation:

  • Prepare meals in advance at home whenever possible.  Leave most of the mess at home where running water is more accessible and clean up is easier.  Trust me on this one!
  • Create “one pot” family style meals for quick dinners that don’t require a lot of thought. 
  • Use tinfoil packets, foil pie pans or camp cookers (aff link). These tools help to make clean up a breeze!
  • Pack ingredients in 1 gallon size ziploc bags for flexible storage in small fridges and coolers.
  • Plan meals that use similar ingredients to help make packing and planning easy.  These Cheesy Vegetable Campfire Dip, Loaded Campfire Potatoes and Tinfoil Packet Nacho Dip recipes are some of my favorites.

Check out our Our Favorite Camping Recipes!

about heather

Hello, I’m Heather!

I'm an active mom of twin boys who is always looking for opportunities to inspire creativity through fun crafts, do-it-yourself projects and delicious recipes. This blog has been an integral part of supporting my little family and I am so grateful to have you become a part of our journey! Let's create together... Read more...

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What are you using for the bread in your pictures? Is it just a round loaf of bread?