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seasoning your pie iron

1. remove wax coating

New cast iron pie irons are coated in a protective paraffin wax that you need to remove (I missed this step on my first pie iron decades ago. I lived to tell the tale, but I don't recommend it). First, melt off the wax—preferably on an outdoor grill, but you can also use a campfire. Heat your grill to about 400°F. Place your pie iron halves face down on the grill for 15 minutes, flipping them halfway through. 


2. wash your pie iron



Let your pie iron cool slightly, then clean all sides with soap and water (pre-seasoning is the only time you should use soap on your pie iron). You can use a brush, scouring pad, or steel wool to scrub off the remaining wax. Make sure you thoroughly rinse and dry your pie iron plates before moving on. 


3. season your pie iron


Choose oil or shortening with a high smoke point; avoid olive oil or butter. Generously coat both sides of your pie iron plates, then place them back on your campfire or grill at 350°F for 15 minutes, flipping once. Let your halves cool, re-coat and repeat. Rome recommends repeating this step twice; some people do it as many as four times.


campfire cook method

1. build a fire




When building a fire for cooking, you want to create a good amount of red and white-hot coals that you can spread out, just like cooking over charcoal on a grill. I'm partial to the teepee method, but I've also been known to rock a log cabin.  

2. prep and cook


Before cooking, coat your seasoned pie iron plates with melted butter, oil, or cooking spray. Avocado oil is an excellent option with a high smoke point. To cook your camp pie evenly, you can (A) use a grate to elevate the pie iron a few inches above the hot coals, checking and turning the iron every 2-3 minutes. (B) Place the pie iron directly onto the hot coals, checking and turning every minute and a half. Or (C) hold it directly over the flame like a 5-year-old roasting a marshmallow, so the pie is both burnt and raw (I don't recommend C).

3. check your pie


No worries if one or both sides of your camp pie have burnt, this is a Pieironeer's rite of passage. If both sides appear to be golden brown, but your pie's center is uncooked, your pie iron became too hot too fast. Put the pie back in the fire for a few minutes but keep it elevated above the hot coals turning it frequently. If both sides of your pie are a nice golden brown and you have confirmed that the inside is cooked, your pie is done, and you are a level three expert. Congratulations!

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