Unitasker Wednesday: Square Pie Iron

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

To corrupt a line from the movie Wedding Crashers

That’s what camping trips are known for: Sleeping in a tent and making pies!

When I go camping (which is probably once a decade), I’m insistent on making pies! Don’t you? I know you do. Everyone makes pies while camping. Pies and camping are a perfect pair, and the Square Pie Iron makes it possible:

I love this device’s product description on Amazon:

The classic, all-time favorite square pie iron loved by family campers & scouts and for 45 years. Made from solid cast iron with dependable chrome plated steel handles, you won’t find a better design on the market.

My favorite part is, “you won’t find a better design on the market.” Because, and let’s be honest here, a round pie would certainly be a better design. Am I right?

73 Comments for “Unitasker Wednesday: Square Pie Iron”

  1. posted by Karen on

    Oh man, my kids would love this. We don’t go camping a lot, but we have a fire pit in our backyard and are always building fires to toast marshmallows and roast hot dogs in the summer. It’s a nice way to cook without heating up the house. With these we could make grilled cheese and lots of other things. Awesome!

  2. posted by Pamela on

    Hmmm…..have to disagree. LOVE this product when camping!!

  3. posted by FutureCat on

    In New Zealand, we call them toastie pies, and they’re usually savoury, with cheese and other fillings. Using the term “pie” for them isn’t as strange here, because savoury pies are very common in NZ (in fact, probably more common than sweet pies – if you say “pie” here, most people will assume you mean a meat pie, i.e. pastry filled with mince (ground beef) and gravy).

    Somewhere in my garage I’ve got one of those campfire toasty pie makers that was handed down to me by my parents – I think they got it as a wedding present (which would have been 1968, so they’re definitely not a new thing!).

    ^ ^

  4. posted by Amy on

    Using these was one of my favorite parts of camping growing up.

    I don’t have any of my own, and I think this unitasker post had the opposite affect, because I think I’m going to buy a couple.

    Great suggestions in the comments on what to fill them with!

  5. posted by Kim on

    I agree with so many of the other commenters on this post! Making campfire pies and sandwiches with this tool is a family tradition, and I can’t imagine how you’d achieve the same thing as easily without it. It’s not so much a uni-tasker when you think of all the different sweet and savoury fillings you can use. :) We’ve also used this device to make regular toast to go with eggs we cooked on the camp stove.

  6. posted by Madaco on

    In Australia we call them Jaffle irons and use them to make jaffles – sealed toasted sandwiches – at home or away camping. Usually savoury, with egg and/or cheese being a favourite, although banana is good too, with or without chocolate. Any traditionalist will tell you that only the round ones are genuine and the square ones are just Toastie Toasters and don’t seal the bread properly! Many hours of arguments ensue, of course. Thanks everyone for all the great recipe ideas. A family favourite is about to branch out in new directions

  7. posted by Melissa on

    I love pie irons! They’re great for camping. I would classify this as a USEFUL unitasker. You can make lil pizzas, panninis and pies in the campfire.

  8. posted by DavidG on

    About 99% of the unitaskers are total garbage, but I totally disagree. These things are very useful when camping to bake individual serving of many different dishes. Perhaps one of the best ways to a calzone or a desert while camping. Delicious…

  9. posted by Sally on

    This isn’t a unitasker — you can make pies; bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches; grilled cheese; panini; etc. in it. We love ours — we use it camping and also at home in our firepit.

    We camp a lot — several trips every summer; and part of the fun of camping is cooking stuff in the campfire. I am guessing that Erin is a non-camper!

  10. posted by EngineerMom on

    Erin, you goofed on this one – not a unitasker anymore than a frying pan is a unitasker!

    The pan is square to accommodate square slices of bread, and you can fill the “pie” with anything – pizza sauce with toppings and cheese, ham and cheese, jam and berries for a “pie”, chocolate and marshmellows for a s’more pie, etc.

    I’ve used them while camping, but mostly around a bonfire at my friend’s house in high school. Her family would have a bonfire at least once a month as long as it wasn’t too cold, so these things got a LOT of use just by us guests, in addition to her family using them in the fireplace in the winter.

    I personally don’t own any because we don’t have enough land to do a bonfire (teeny yard) or a fireplace for an indoor fire, but I do plan to get some when my kids are old enough to take camping (one is almost 3, and the second is still baking).

  11. posted by Kimberly Draiss on

    Wow- Jenn had it; They are “Mountain Pies” as I’ve heard it. I have friends who frequently host backyard campfires with a table spread out full of all sorts of cold cuts and toppings for these amazing little delicacies! And these friends are located both in New York and Pennsylvania; I learned it from them and am glad I did!

  12. posted by The Other Jen on

    Poor Erin! If it makes you feel a bit better, I’m a Canadian who started camping in the 70’s and has camped often since then, and I’ve Never seen or heard of this. But I usually solo camp or camp with living history groups, so I’m probably “out of the loop”
    Looks similar to a popcorn popper that my Mom had at the cottage, a wire mesh basket about the same size, that you shake over the stove or over the flames.
    If I wanted to make a pocket sandwich or grilled cheese, I use my fry pan, same as I do at home.

  13. posted by kalamari on

    I have to agree with Chris:
    It is a unitasker, but I don’t know what you’d be able to use to obtain the same results.

    A clothes iron is a unitasker, too, but is efficient at achieving its goal and not easily replaceable.
    What are you suggesting we could use that is not a unitasker?

  14. posted by Khalil on

    I also disagree… We have six of them and make meals and desserts when camping and arund our home firepit when not camping. Bad call today!

  15. posted by OhCaptain on

    Hate to pile on but you missed on this. The round is a better design in that it does make round pies, but then you throw away a lot of bread. Bread is square. When you use the round ones,you have to cut off the overflow bread unless burnt bread tastes good (which it does’t). Unfortunately, you don’t cut off all that much, so to the ground it goes.

    Most of your unitaskers are funny. This one, about like calling your toaster a unitasker since it only makes, um, toast. Which is also tasty.

    Go camping, make any one of the treats listed in the comments and come back and tell us these are silly :)

  16. posted by beth on

    Nope, round would not be better since bread is square.

  17. posted by Stephanie H. on

    “If I wanted to make a pocket sandwich or grilled cheese, I use my fry pan, same as I do at home.”

    True, you could do it that way and it wouldn’t require any extra equipment – if you are’t camping with kids. Mountain pie makers are different and entertaining to bored kids on camping trips. I have found memories of camping with my Girl Scout troop. The fun part wasn’t putting up the tent (work) or sleeping in the cold on the ground in the tent (cold & uncomfortable). The fun part was being around the camp fire (warm), making mountain pies for dinner and then s’mores for dessert (delicious)! You could do it your way – put what you want in them, cook them however much you wanted to – it was complete control, and complete bliss for a kid! It kept us happy and cheerful, which was priceless to my troop leader, my mom.

  18. posted by K00kyKelly on

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Dutch ovens as an alternate choice for making tasty camping deserts! Dutch Oven Cobbler is a favorite of mine!!

  19. posted by Todd on

    You’ve missed the boat on this one. Pie irons are a time-honored camping tool. Great for fruit filled pies, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc. I was a Scout leader for a number of years, and other than dutch oven desserts, these were our boys favorite desserts.

    Your unitaskers are usually pretty ridiculous. This isn’t one of them. And yes, square is to fit classic white bread.

  20. posted by Alix on

    Clearly there are two kinds of people in the world: those who camp, and those who’ve never seen one of these things in their entire lives.

  21. posted by Laura on

    Oops….we have several of these and they are a key item in our camping kit. We camp every year with family in 3 cabins and we never have enough to go around. We tend to use them for pizza and sandwiches instead of fruit pies. We also have a round one…perfect for English muffin / bagel breakfast sandwiches and 2 that work like panini presses.


    I agree with the comment…if this is a unitasker so is the tent and sleeping bag.

  22. posted by Lois on

    Have to weigh in on the missed-the-boat side, I’m afraid! First time ever; I really enjoy the Unitaskers. I had a passel of these when I was a Girl Scout leader, and we made all the things described by other folks. We still have a few for our camping trips, which are too infrequent these days.

  23. posted by Tami on

    You are really wrong here, Erin. These are great for camping: We make pizzas, grilled cheese, eggs, and yes, pie with these.
    They are a great multi-tasker for folks doing some simple, uncluttered camping.

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