Campfire grilled cheeses have never tasted so delicious.

Victoria Seaver, M.S., R.D.
June 15, 2020
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There are a lot of things to love about camping, like sleeping under the stars, cozying up to the campfire and cooking a tasty meal over the open flames. But even if you're a seasoned home cook like me, it certainly takes some strategizing to figure out what to make—and exactly how to make it over the fire or on a camp stove. An easy solution? Use a pie iron to make a meal!

Camp Chef Single Square Cooking Iron
$17
SHOP IT
Dick's Sporting Goods

Pie irons first became popular among campers in the '60s and '70s as a fun way to cook grilled sandwiches and fruit pies over the fire, and they still have a place in many camper's hearts today. I remember getting a pie iron as a kid for Christmas, with which I made many grilled cheese sandwiches over the years! As an adult, I still love taking this tool on camping trips.

While there are a few different shapes and sizes of pie irons, the square-shaped sandwich size (like this one from  Dicks' Sporting Goods, $17) that I was gifted is probably the most popular (you can also find round pie irons, waffle molds and even heart-shaped molds). Made out of cast iron (or a similar metal), the two sides of the metal mold clamp together around the sandwich and the long handles make it so it can be held over the fire to cook.

Whether it's a classic grilled cheese sandwich (or an upgraded grilled cheese, like the Campfire Caprese Grilled Cheese pictured above),  Avocado Egg-in-a-Hole Toasts for breakfast or a chocolaty Nutella and banana sandwich, there are plenty of delicious ways to use your pie iron. And it doesn't just stop at sandwiches. You can make fruit-filled hand pies, loaded pancakes and more. Experiment with different pie-iron recipes and your own combinations to find your favorite.