Pie Iron Recipes for Camping and Picnics

Updated on April 14, 2018

King Pie

There seldom is a camping trip that we don’t forget something. However, there is one thing we never forget—we never forget our Mountain Pie Makers! And, yes, over the years we have acquired several and use them all every time.

I’ve raised nine children and they were all raised camping. What’s funny now, is that if you ask any of my grandchildren what a Mountain Pie is, they will boisterously exclaim that yes, “they do,” and each will proclaim, that they are the “best” at making them. Although, as "King Pie," I am the best!

"Pudgie Pie" and "Hobo Pie" are words for the same thing.

Mountain Pie Maker Basics

A Mountain Pie Maker—also called a pie iron—is a relatively simple cooking instrument made of two hinged cast-iron clamshell grilling plates connected to two long rods with wooden handles. To use it, you simply take two pieces of bread, insert your ingredients, place inside the maker, and then when you close the handles it crimps the bread together creating a sealed bread pouch making it easy to eat. For most recipes, it takes approximately five minutes to cook in your campfire or over your outdoor grill giving you a delicious golden brown outer layer and bubbling hot center.

Pie Makers come in all shapes and sizes
Pie Makers come in all shapes and sizes

More than pies

One of the best things about pie makers is that you don’t have to use them just for making sandwiches. They also work great for sautéing onions, mushrooms, peppers, etc.. I usually will add a slice of butter and an onion and pepper mixture, clamp it shut, and place it in the coals for a no mess topping for steaks and potatoes. Simply adding some shredded potoates, an egg, and crumbled sausage makes a great hash brown breakfast meal all-in-one. How many omelet combinations can you think of?

More than bread

With many of my recipes, I change up the kind of bread I use. Traditionally, large square white bread seems to be the mainstay, but, I also use potato bread, rye, wheat, or cinnamon swirl depending on the taste I am trying to achieve. And sometimes, I don’t use bread at all. I like working with soft taco shells, crescent roll dough, and prepackaged pizza dough when I am concocting strombollies, or Mexican style favorites.

Tips & Tricks

  • “Season” your new cast iron pie maker with bacon grease in the coals of your fire for a long life. I will generally season a new cooker for about ½ hour.
  • When buying a new cooker, choose cast iron over aluminum…well worth the couple of dollars more and if maintained, will last a lifetime
  • Prepare certain ingredients before you go camping and place in zip-lock bags. I like to fry up hamburger and sausage and pre chop onions and peppers.
  • When planning to make pizza type recipes, use “squeezable” pizza sauce. This is especially helpful for kids.
  • Although you can butter your bread, I recommend using “Pam” grilling spray. This has been the best I have found and keeps your cooker seasoned.
  • Safety—use caution especially around kids. Cast iron cookers hold their heat for a long time. Make sure you warn all not to touch the metal. When done cooking, place your cookers out of reach until they cool.


One of the best parts of making mountain pies is the unlimited combinations that you will create. I always make the "standard" ham and cheese, but, it never fails, my fellow campers always try to create new temptations. Kids are especially good at concocting new variations. Its also funny how this works--kids will eat their own creations even if it is something they would turn their nose up at home. Below are some of the recipes I have tried...add some of your own in the comment section below.

Fruit Pies

Use any canned pie filling; apple, cherry, and peach are delicious. Place filling between your choices of bread. I will also use cinnamon bread as a variation or combine apple filling and raisons. Grill until golden brown. These are great anytime and a great ending to a meal or for that "one last snack" as the fire dies down before hitting the sack.

Pizza & Strombollies

Place slice of pre packaged pizza crust in cooker, add tomato puree (or squeeze pasta sauce), green peppers, slivered garlic, oregano, mozzarella cheese and top with pepperoni, etc. . Cover with second slice of pizza crust. Grill 3 or 4 minutes on each side or until dough is golden brown. is reached. These are most popular with teens and for late night meals. When I am making pizza type pies, I will usually present a smorgasbord of ingredients and let everybody choose their combination.


Spray your cooker well. Use a packaged cornbread mix and fill up one of the cooker shells to about half full. Close and clamp. Cook slowly away from direct flames and not directly on top of coals. I generally will flip the cooker after about 3 minutes and then cook for another two minutes before I pop it open to check on it. This takes a little practice but I've pretty much got it down to an exact science. After cooking, I pop out the cornbread and slice it in half.

"Un" Sloppy Joes

Again, like pizza, the combinations are endless. I normally make the the "basic" sloppy joe mix at home and put it in zip-loc type bags before camping. When the time comes, I will let people add additional ingredients like cheeses, extra peppers or onions, etc. You can also buy pre made sloppy joe mix in cans. The "Un" Sloppy Joes are popular because they are self contained and easy to handle.

Grandpa's Pot Pie

Preheat pie maker. Spray with Pam Grill non-stick spray. Place slice of bread in maker. Spread mash potatoes into thick layer. Spoon layer of gravy liberally on potatoes. Spoon and press in chopped chicken and drained veggie mix. Season to taste. Place remaining slice of bread on top, close, and clamp cooker. Cook on low heat approximately 4-5 minutes on each side. I’ve used both potato bread and crescent roll dough. This takes a little bit of extra work and the demand for “more” always makes it worth it.


The real trick when making tacos is to have enough ingredients to keep making them and make sure you eat first because the "demand" for more seemingly will not end--especially for teens and beer drinkers.

Just like when making pizza, let people choose their ingrdients. I usually precook my meats and use zip-lock type bags for the other ingredients. I buy a large package of soft taco shells and use them in place of bread(two per taco.) Cook in the flames or directly on coals pulled away from the main fire. I will usually have at least three cookers in the fire at a time because of the high demand that happens. Teens especially will eat these up quicker than you can cook them. It takes about 4 minutes to cook each taco.

Hungry Yet?

The recipes above is just the tip of the iceberg so to speak but, i'm sure you get the gist of the wide range of possiblilities. I love cooking mountain pies and am always looking for new ideas. Have fun with yours...happy trails!

PS: If we ever meet next to a fire, I'd be glad to join you and perhaps do a Mountain Pie "Cook-off"... although, I still hold the crown of "King Pie"! :)

The King Asks

Your favortie Mountain Pie?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Morning Joel.

      I don't know if I fit into your definition of camper. But every year at this very moment week are longing for Easter or at least the warm weather to show it's lovely face, where we can driver over to our static caravan on the Dutch/German boarder. Now stop laughing, I know that in your mind, we are the softies in the camping world. Trouble is we are both at an age where lying on a hard surface in a sleeping bag all night, well I can only say we'd need some sort of lift to get us in an upright position in the morning.

      You could say we have two of everything, so we are home-from-home wherever we are. Maybe the sad thing about it all is and that's because of the years behind us, we are summer or better said warm weather campers.

      We don't have a B-B-Q and an open fire is not allowed on out camp-site because of all the gas bottles on site. We get invited quite often mainly at the weekends when our nice young working families are on site. They provide the food and we provide the beer, everybody happy.

      Anyway back to your hub.

      You have introduced me to a lot of interesting cooking utensils and recipes. I can see them working on an open fire and I dare say would work equally good on a b-b-q. Will have to look into it and may even buy a b-b-q and get into practice.

      Mean while I can only look out my frosted windows and wonder or better ask the man upstairs how long do we have to wait for the warm weather.

      Have a great day Joel.

      Now what can I have for breakfast?


    • tlcs profile image

      Trudy Cooper 

      5 years ago from Hampshire, UK

      Wow, I had never heard of a mountain pie maker! We have toasty makers in the UK but these need electricity, what a lovely piece of kit. Enjoyed your hub, thanks.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      5 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      OMGosh I am now quite hungry! These pies sound wonderful. I have never had a mountain pie, but will make sure to try this on next camping trip - or in our backyard cookout over the fire pit. You have many great, useful tips and recipes here, Joel. Thanks for sharing.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      5 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      OMGosh I am now quite hungry! These pies sound wonderful. I have never had a mountain pie, but will make sure to try this on next camping trip - or in our backyard cookout over the fire pit. You have many great, useful tips and recipes here, Joel. Thanks for sharing.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, skyaboveus.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)