You can cook HOT and TASTY quesadillas over the campfire with a pie iron!
Have you cooked with a "pie iron"? The pie iron is synonymous with camp[fire cooking. If you have used one in the past, it might have been to make a toasted ham and cheese sandwich or a "pudgy pie" - that is, fruit pie filling between two pieces of bread.
The pie iron is an ingenious invention. With a little imagination, you can cook hundreds of breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes, as well as tasty breads and desserts. The basic recipes include your choice of filling between two pieces of buttered bread. The cast iron halves of the pie iron enclose the ingredients, and allow you to cook your meal over the coals - on a campfire or charcoal grill.
Since we all love to have a campfire, it's easy to take turns creating hot and tasty entrees or desserts. The solo camper can make as many main courses as needed by simply repeating the recipe. Multiple campers and families enjoy the conversation while they take turns making their meals and eating the results of their campfire cooking. You can also use double pie irons to make the meals or desserts twice as fast!
This simple invention adds another option to your camping recipes. Instead of simply frying your meal try cooking it with the pie iron. The enclosed cast iron pie iron also offers you the option to bake single servings of main or side dishes without having an oven or requiring a bulky and heavy Dutch oven. For the added variety, I enjoy carrying a pie iron on #motorcyclecamping trips and #canoetrips. (I have shortened the wooden handles a few inches on one of my pie irons.) I can tuck a pie iron in my pack alongside my hammock or sleeping pad and not notice the length or small weight. Backpackers, on the other hand, may obsess over the added weight and bulk.
You can use the pie iron to bake bread using the simple bannock recipe of flour, water, and baking powder - or substitute Bisquick. This allows you to have bread, biscuits, sweet rolls, or cornbread in camp. While most recipes use two slices of bread, you can also use tortillas, crescent rolls, English muffins, bagels, pie crust, or pizza crust as the wrap. Add pizza sauce and you can bake spaghetti, pizza, calzones, and more. Layer with hashbrowns, sliced or mashed potatoes and create your own campfire casseroles or shepherd's pie.
The camping favorite dessert is made with canned pie filling between slices of bread. If you are lucky enough to find fresh berries near your campsite, you can enjoy the luxury of a fresh pie in the wilderness! Include some sugar in your food pack along with butter or margarine to toast the bread. You can carry vegetable oil or spray the iron halves with cooking spray. The cast iron surfaces should be cleaned and seasoned like any other cast iron pan.
For a recipe example, instead of serving the Five Minute Fajitas on tortillas, place a large tortilla in the pie iron, then add the rehydrated ingredients. Sprinkle on a layer of shredded cheese, then fold the tortilla in from all four sides. Close the pie iron and cook in the coals until the tortilla is toasted and the cheese has melted.
You can create recipes from scratch, or adapt existing recipes. Mix up some freeze-dried scrambled eggs and coat both sides of the bread in egg, then add your chosen fillings. You then have created a French Toasted stuffed sandwich. Cooking with pie irons are also a great way to make fun meals from leftovers, including meats and vegetables, adding more ingredients to satisfy your hunger and your palate - which is easy since everyone can add or subtract ingredients to suit their taste.
Most pie irons include sample recipes. But you can adapt almost any recipe you would cook in a frying pan. You can even use the open pie oven halves as individual frying pans for eggs, fish, burgers, etc. But it's more fun to enclose the pie iron and enjoy revealing the finished meal. If you are interested in more creative ideas for pie iron cooking, search for recipes online or in a few specialty cook books:
While searching online, you may also see numerous sources for square, round, single, and double pie irons. Prices range from $25.00 to over $50.00. The price is reasonable since you can hand these down over generations. I recently found some true BARGAIN pie irons at my local Menards and share the link for the "Guidesman™ Cast Iron Camp Pie Iron" (this is NOT an affiliate link). The price as of this writing is ONLY $9.99. I hope you agree that this is the most fun - and the most variety - you can have around the campfire for $9.99!