Chances are that if you have ever been camping you have likely made a meal in a pie iron. Sadly, most people who have cooked in a pie iron have only ever made a pie (with bread and a can of pie filling) or a simple sandwich.
Pie Irons are one of our absolute favorite cooking tools when we are out family camping (check out our Pie Iron Pizza Calzone recipe here). They allow for an interactive meal, they absorb the smoky flavors of your campfire and they open up a lot of possibilities for cooking over a fire.
I decided the other day that doing a Philly cheese steak over the fire would not only work in a pie iron, but actually be quite easy and delicious (I was right). Note: We LOVE our Rome Double Pie Iron, you can get one from Amazon for $23.99.
The key to having a good stress free time cooking over a fire with a pie iron is proper preparation before you go camping. A simple idea we use is to prep each individual ingredient for a meal into a zip lock bag, pack those ingredients into a bigger bag (maybe a used target bag), label the bigger bags and load them into the cooler.
For the Pie Iron Philly Cheese Steak, I cut up the steak into small strips at home along with the onions and peppers. I also loaded in a pack of swiss cheese and some tortilla shells (a can of Pillsbury bread dough would have been awesome as well). Last, I keep a bottle of squeezable olive oil in our camping gear that I used for this recipe.
Getting Your Coals Right For Pie Iron Cooking
To properly cook with a pie iron you need a nice bed of red coals and minimal flames on your fire. One or two solid logs that aren’t going to burn too high are nice as well to set your pie iron on while cooking. If the flames are too high, it will simply be too hot to stand and cook over.
With a solid cast iron pie iron, there is no need to hold the iron over the fire, you can simply set it in the coals. If you have a cheap pie iron, this will definitely cause your food to burn.
For the Pie Iron Philly Cheese Steak I used (per sandwich):
- 2 tortilla shells
- 1/4 lb. of pre sliced steak
- 2 slices swiss cheese
- Diced peppers
- Diced onions
- Olive Oil
*Note, our pie irons are all double irons, so adjust accordingly.
Line the pie iron generously with olive oil and place the steak and onions into the iron. Place the iron into the coals and cook for 5-10 minutes flipping every minute or so. Cooking times vary greatly with any campfire cooking so pay attention and check often.
Once the steak is cooked to your liking remove it from the pie iron and set aside. Personally I used two pie irons to make this recipe so that I didn’t have to create my sandwich in a burning hot pie iron.
Use oil based cooking spray to line your pie iron and place a tortilla shell on either side of the iron. If you have a single, obviously cutting one shell into two will work super! Line one side of the iron with cheese, steak, onions and peppers. Line the other side with just a tortilla shell.
Clamp the pie iron together and cut off the excess shell sticking out of the iron (if you don’t it will just burn off anyway) and heat up the sandwich for 3-5 minutes. You are not necessarily cooking anything here since you have already cooked the steak, you are merely melting the cheese and giving your tortilla shell a golden glow.
Tips: Pay very close attention any time you are cooking with a pie iron in the coals of your fire. I often remove my irons and let them cool down for a minute periodically even if I know the food is not done. This keeps excessive hot spots from forming and burning your food.
Pure Camping Deliciousness!
Also check out more recipes in Rome’s Pie Iron Recipes book.
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