Looking for a way to simplify dinner at the campsite, minimize dish cleanup, or want to try something new?  Then foil packet meals might be just the thing for your next family camping trip!

The combinations and possibilities with this cooking method are endless, but here’s the basic technique:

  1. Start with a piece of heavy duty foil, about twice as long as the food you put inside (better to have too much than too little). Coat with cooking spray.
  2. Slice meat into thin strips and chop your veggies into small pieces (except for potatoes or carrots which should be thin sliced).
  3. Lay your ingredients in the center of the packet, meat on the bottom, then veggies.
  4. Add a tablespoon or two of moisture to the packet: butter, oil, sauce or dressing. Add any seasonings.  An ice cube or two can also be helpful for added moisture.
  5. Fold the packet up, making sure the seams are tight so steam won’t escape. Don’t scrunch the foil, which can cause leaking, and be sure to leave an air pocket.
  6. Place the foil pack on a grill (low to medium) or in the campfire on about 2 inches of mature white coals (not the red ones). Never put them in the flames.
  7. Cook for about 15-25 minutes, turning once or twice with tongs. Check for doneness, leaving longer if necessary.
  8. Carefully open the steaming packets.
  9. Add cheese if desired after cooking to avoid sticking and burning.

foil packet meal on grill

If you’d like to add rice or pasta they need to be precooked before adding to the foil packets.  Potatoes can be helped with a little precooking too – either alone in the foil packets for 15-25 minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients, or cooked just to softening at home beforehand.

Here are a few combinations to get you started, but recipes are all over the internet if you’re looking for more:

Stew meat, potatoes, carrots, onion, potatoes, butter, salt and pepper.

Fajita sliced chicken, red and/or green peppers, onions, Mexican seasoning of choice.  Serve with corn tortillas warmed in another foil packet.

Shrimp (uncooked), andouille sausage, small red potatoes, small corn on the cob, butter, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.

Link sausages, hash browns, an egg or two, diced tomato and green onion, shredded cheese (great for breakfast or dinner).

Whole wheat pasta (precooked), tomatoes, basil, goat cheese, garlic, salt and pepper (vegetarian).

Have a favorite dinner recipe using foil?  Please share with us!


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