What Exactly IS a Pudgie Pie?
A Pudgie Pie is traditionally a hot sandwich made over a campfire in a pie iron. In my opinion, no camping trip should be without a pudgie pie Iron. Not only are these campfire sandwiches DELICIOUS, they are also easy to make! There is no fussing with a grill or tripod, just a simple pie iron you stick into the fire to cook your meal.
Below, I have put together step-by-step instructions with pictures on how to make a pudgie pie. Be sure you read on because I have also included some great recipe ideas as well! ENJOY!
Are You a Pudgie Pie Veteran?
My Discovery of Pudgie Pies
I discovered pudgie pies while I was growing up; to me they were just a normal part of camping. Each summer, I would go camping with my aunts and uncles, grandparents, and cousins. Every night by the campfire, our evening snack would be a pudgie pie.
We would all sit around the fire and my aunt would take each of our orders. The pudgie pie I always chose was the Sausage Pizza. We would play games and tell stories; all the while, my aunt was buttering bread and adding fillings. She would then hand the pie iron over and we would cook our pudgie pies. So, for me, I associate this treat with family and fun.
My husband and I camp together now and you better believe I've always got a set of pie irons with me. We started a tradition of our own; the Breakfast Pudgie Pie. Each morning while we are camping, I get up, stoke the fire and make ham, cheese, and egg pudgie pies.
As an adult, I have discovered that pudgie pies are not a normal part of everyone's camping experience. In fact, many people don't even know what they are! So, through the internet, I decided to share my love of pudgie pies and encourage everyone to add them to their camping traditions!
Where Can I Buy a Pudgie Pie Iron?
You can purchase pie irons from local stores such as Wal-Mart, Gander Mountain, Menards, and Farm and Fleet, to name a few. Most sporting goods or camping stores will carry them. You can also find them online at Amazon.
If you are a pudgie pie beginner, I recommend the Rome Industries pie iron shown below and the Pie Iron Recipe Book. I recommend both so that you will be armed with tons of great recipes to try out and get the full experience of your pie iron. Definitely a way to ensure you get plenty of use out of these wonderful cooking tools!
Unless otherwise noted, all pictures below were taken by me and belong to me. Please ask permission before using.
1. Butter One Side of Each Piece of Bread
Just like with a sandwich, select two pieces of bread for each pudgie pie. Then, butter one side of each piece of bread. (I use margarine, but I'm sure softened regular butter would work as well).
2. Place the Bread, Butter Side Down, Into the Pie Irons
When placing the bread, butter side down, into the pie iron, the bread may not fit perfectly. It's OK to push the edges of the bread into the iron to make sure it all fits. Depending upon what type of pudgie pie I am making, I sometimes will push down the middle of the bread to create a bowl so the ingredients stay in place better.
3. Add the Fillings
The next step is to add the fillings! Place the fillings of your choice onto the bread. IMPORTANT: If your filling is runny, make sure you place that filling on the piece of bread that is in the pie iron without the hook on top. That way, the pie iron with the runny ingredients stays stationary when it comes to fitting the pie irons together. In this particular instance, I made an egg, ham, and cheese pudgie pie for breakfast. YUM!
4. Fit the Pie Iron Together and Place in the Fire
Next, you will fit the pie irons together. Pick up the pie iron with the hook at the top and leave the other pie iron stationary. Quickly fit the hook on one pie iron into the notch on the other. Squeeze the handles on the pie irons together and close the latch that will be near the handles. This will hold the pie irons together.
Place the latched pie iron onto the fire. I find that placing the pie iron on a bed of hot coals rather than in the flames cooks the pudgie pie more slowly, but more thoroughly, with less chance of burning the bread. Make sure you pull the pie iron out of the fire every couple minutes and check to see how fast the bread is toasting.
(Note: I was multi-tasking when I took this picture and made two pies at once, hence the two shown in the picture, but the instructions are for making one pie).
5. Remove the Finished Pudgie Pie and ENJOY
When the bread is toasted to your liking, remove the iron from the fire. Unhook the latch linking the two irons together and remove the side of the pie iron that has the hook on top. Flip the remaining side of the pie Iron over, and drop the pudgie pie onto a plate. Sometimes part of the bread will stick to the iron. This is OK, just use a knife to pull the bread away from the iron if you need to.
Now comes the best part...DIG IN AND ENJOY! (Maybe let it cool down a few minutes first though...)
Pudgie Pie Recipe Ideas
The fillings that you can add to your Pudgie Pie are ENDLESS! I find that the best fillings are pre-cooked foods or foods that cook quickly.
Most pudgie pie recipes use white bread, but you can use whichever kind your heart desires. Just in case you need some inspiration, read below for some great fillings!
(Unless a different type of bread is listed in the recipes below, just use white or wheat.)
Reuben (My Grandma's Favorite)
- Rye bread
- Sour kraut
- 2 pieces of shaved corned beef
- 1 slice of swiss cheese
- 1 spoonful of Thousand Island dressing (optional)
- 1 whole raw egg or pre-cooked scrambled eggs
- 1 slice of American cheese
- 1 slice of lunch meat and/or chopped veggies of your choice
Chorizo & Eggs
- 3 spoonfuls of pre-cooked scrambled eggs
- 1 slice of american cheese
- diced chorizo
Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
Just like dipping grilled cheese into tomato soup all rolled into one tasty bite!
- 2 slices of American cheese
- 2 spoonfuls of tomato sauce
Simple, but results in gooey bliss.
- Peanut butter and jelly
Hot Ham & Cheese
- 1 slice of ham
- 1 slice of Velveeta cheese
Or any cheese will do.
- Sourdough bread
- 2 spoonfuls of guacamole
- 1 thick slice of mozzarella
- Pre-cooked chopped bacon or bacon bits (optional)
- 4-5 thin slices of avocado
- 2 pieces of Swiss cheese
- 1/4 can of shredded chicken or chopped pre-cooked chicken breast
- 3 spoonfuls of Alfredo sauce
- 1/4 can of shredded chicken or chopped pre-cooked chicken breast
- 2 spoonfuls crumbled blue cheese
- A dollop of cayenne pepper sauce. (I prefer Frank's Red Hot)
- Pre-cooked ground beef or turkey, cooked in taco seasoning
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- A dollop of sour cream
- Taco sauce
- Veggies of your choice
Just like a normal pizza, the sky is the limit when it comes to toppings. No matter what toppings you decide on, these ingredients will be common to each combination:
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 spoonfuls of pizza sauce
Some ideas for toppings:
- Pre-cooked ground beef or italian sausage
- Canadian bacon
- Canned shredded chicken or chopped pre-cooked chicken breast
- Canned mushrooms
- Chopped green peppers, onions, and jalapenos
- Canned pineapple
- Black and/or green olives
To satisfy a sweet tooth.
- 4 spoonfuls of canned pie filling of your choice.
- Peanut butter
- Half of a chocolate bar
- 4-5 thin slices of apple or 3 spoonfuls of apple sauce
- 2 pieces of Provolone cheese
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.
I LOVE Your Feedback!
Pack it out Paul on August 03, 2018:
I just got four pie irons for my Birthday. I got the round ones because a camp friend of mine said they sealed the edges of the pie better. I seasoned them extra well on my home BBQ grill with several rounds of Crisco until the irons were good and black.
My wife and I and our two kids each have different likes for the ingredients for our meals. I’m thinking the pie irons will give us a personalized meal made just to our liking.
We are headed to California’s Eastern Sierras in the morning! I’ll tell you how it went.
Campergirl edith on May 22, 2018:
Oh wow, great ideas for new recipes! My hubby introduced me to pie iron cooking a fee years ago. Just recently we had camping friends over for a camp fire and they got us totally hooked on pie iron cooking. Added to our collection! And plan on trying out some of these delicious recipes! Rye bread with saurkraut and corned beef?!? Why didnt I think of that??? I LOVE that!
Steve w on September 05, 2017:
A thought for another recipe, key lime pie filling, two Graham cracker pieces,and a marshmallow broken in half toasted between white bread.Hope you enjoy!!
Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on June 25, 2017:
Hmmm---interesting! I've never heard of either a 'pudgie pie,' or a pie iron. Learn something new every day! Thanks for helping me live up to my motto!
These sound good; and, I don't see any reason they could not also be used at home on the BBQ grill! ;-)
Beacher on June 13, 2017:
For those of you yearning for a Pudgie Pie and can't wait for the next camping trip try a stovetop pie iron, the Toas-Tite!! The Toas-Tite is an old timey American stove top pie iron that was recently reintroduced into production. Or, you can find some stove-top Aussie Jaffle irons, (basically the same thing). The Toas-Tite and Jaffle irons have much shorter handles for use indoors on your stove tops.
Beacher on June 13, 2017:
Sometimes, (when making meat pies in particular like a Pasty), you want to keep the pie iron off direct heat so that it cooks very slowly; up to one hour.
Fruit pies are my favorites in round shaped irons. Pastys, Calzones, and Grilled Cheese are my favorites in the square or double irons!
Michelle Heber on April 10, 2017:
Love making these pies. Last year made them with Saskatoon berries I picked IN my campsite. We use nonstick foil on each side ... no mess at all.
Cookie Lewis on February 27, 2016:
Pudgie pies are the best easiest and cheap too! One of the things we do is use a spray i.e. Pam butter spray, or olive oil spray! It is quicker and a lot less greasy!
Desiree on December 02, 2015:
Thank you for sharing some great ideas. It certainly brought back memories of when I was growing up. We had one of these contraptions, but we called our creations.....wait for it......."flying sauccers"!because the iron was round instead of square. I think I need to buy one of these for camping.
Cara on July 04, 2015:
Been making camp pies since I was a child but we always just sprayed the iron with cooking spray. Much easier.
Renaissance Woman from Colorado on August 17, 2013:
Can't believe I have been camping all this time and missing out on the pleasure of pudgie pies. You can bet I won't deprive myself any longer. Thanks for sharing this tradition and your recipe ideas. Appreciated!
sojourner-1 on May 19, 2013:
Pudgie pies...why haven't I heard of these before. Now, how to get some chocolate in them...
erbeaz on May 13, 2013:
I've been camping all my life and we never had these - love it - gotta get one of those!
Leila from Belgium on March 10, 2013:
I didn't know they were called Pudgie pies but I always loved them! I used to eat a lot of them as a kid and will love to try it by the camfire. Great lens!
anonymous on February 19, 2013:
Awesome info. we love to go camping every summer, Even if it is in our backyard. I will have to introduce this to my kids this summer. What a nice lens.
Infohouse on February 09, 2013:
I'm going to try some on my next camping trip.
NeatGeek on January 14, 2013:
I love your lens, great job. I love it so much I add it to my featured lenses on Pie iron recipes.
Kae Yo on September 24, 2012:
Those look great! I have never heard of pudgie pies before, but the egg, ham and cheese filling looks lovely.
Thankfultw on September 04, 2012:
Pudgie Pies, oh my, I feel a poem coming on. I have never heard of this type of iron before. There should be a children's book called "Pudgie Pies". Love it! Camping with family is the best experience.
Kristen (author) from Wisconsin on July 04, 2012:
@LiteraryMind: I LOVE the name La La pies! Too cute!
Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on July 04, 2012:
We callled them "La La" pies -- long story.
WriterJanis2 on July 01, 2012:
Love the step by step photos.
KimGiancaterino on June 21, 2012:
I've never tried a pudgie pie, but thanks to several years with the Girl Scouts, I make a mean s'more. Your step-by-step instructions are great. I will have to look for one of those pie irons for our RV so we can try this.
Lorna from USA on June 09, 2012:
I never heard of Pudgie pies, seems easy to make and looks so delicious. I would love to have it someday. Thanks!
BuckHawkcenter on June 08, 2012:
I've never tried Pudgie Pies on the campfire (will certainly do this summer!), but I use my electric sandwich maker to make tons of wild grilled sandwiches at home. Found some fun new ideas here.