How to Make Pudgie Pies on a Campfire
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!
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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!
I have had this Rome's Square pie iron for about five years now. Believe me, these pie irons last for years and years! I love my pie iron because it is durable, easy to use, and of excellent quality. Pie irons aren't an item you need to blow a lot of money on, which is another reason why I love this one so much; it's affordable!
How To Make a Pudgie Pie
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