Foil Pack Camp Fire Cooking

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Cooking over an open fire produces some of the best tasting food you’ll ever eat, but after a long day of hiking, swimming, fishing or sightseeing, who wants to spend hours preparing a meal?

Foil packs to the rescue! It’s one of the easiest ways to produce a great camp-out meal with little clean up. The concept is simple: mix meat, veggies and oil together, wrap in foil and cook in the coals of a campfire. The veggie chopping or even the whole mixture can be done ahead of time and refrigerated until you’re ready to grill. There are endless varieties, but here are some ideas:

  • Mix together in a large bowl or zipped baggie:
  • 1 lb of chopped meat, poultry or fish – chicken, beef, pork, fresh catch, whatever you like
  • 4 small potatoes, cubed (for a time saver, use a small bag of hash browns at fridge/cooler temperature – the O’Brien kind includes onions and peppers already).
  • Garlic, chopped, 3-4 cloves
  • 4-5 other veggies you like, chopped or thinly sliced (many can be purchased pre-chopped to save you even more time). Here are some suggestions:
  • Onion
  • Mushrooms, 8 oz.
  • Bell pepper, any colors
  • Green beans, a handful or so
  • Carrot
  • Kernel Corn, about 2 cups
  • Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Tomato

Add any of your favorite seasonings and herbs, fresh or dried. Lemon or lime juice might be lovely, especially for chicken or fish. Add 1/4 cup olive oil or butter and mix well. The type of oil (or butter) you use is up to you, but do use something so your food doesn’t scorch and stick to the foil. Some also suggest tossing in a couple of ice cubes to keep things steaming along and not drying out.

Lay out four large sheets of tin foil; divide the mixture onto each. Cover with another sheet and seal edges snugly. Wrap the whole thing again in a second layer of foil.

Toss into the hot coals and cook until the meat is cooked through and veggies tender; about 30-40 minutes. Turn once or twice during cooking. VERY carefully, to avoid a steam burn, peek inside that pack ahead of time to be sure things are going well. Remember, frozen or canned veggies will cook faster than fresh, and fish cooks faster than chicken, so time it based on what you selected. If you prefer, you can grill your meat separately and use the foil packets just for veggies. Then sit back and enjoy a wonderful meal that cleans up with a foil ball dunked in a wastebasket.

But wait! There’s more room in that fire! How about a Banana Boat for dessert? Slice a banana in half lengthwise, leaving the peel on the back side. Lay it on a sheet of foil, toss in some marshmallows and chocolate chips, seal tightly and place in the coals 5-10 minutes. Turn the pack often to keep from burning. Ice cream optional.

For more delicious dessert ideas, visit Now for Pete’s sake, get out of that kitchen and enjoy the fresh air!

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